Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 28.djvu/326

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320 Sttidlnrn J/isforinil Hocit't;/

push straight through to Richmond, and not to stop on the way. General Beauregard, by telegraph, insisted upon, and succeeded in having this order revoked. Results showed he had correctly as- sumed the purpose of General Butler.


The leading detachment of Hagood's Brigade, under Colonel Graham, consisting of his own regiment (2ist South Carolina), and a part of the 25th South Carolina, under Major Glover, in all some 600 men arriving at Petersburg, was sent forward towards General Butler by General Pickett, and at Walthall Junction, on the evening of the 6th of May, encountered and repelled the brigade of Heck- man, supported by artillery, which had been sent by Butler against the railroad at that point. Graham's loss was two killed and thirty- one wounded; the Federal loss, nine killed and sixty-one wounded.

During the night General Hagood reached Graham with the 29th regiment and the remainder of the 2ist regiment; at daylight Colonel Gaillard with the 2yth regiment of the brigade, arrived, raising his command to 1,500 men. General Bushrod Johnson, at Drewry's Bluff, a few miles beyond, hearing Graham's firing, had marched to his aid also, and arrived during the night, with his brigade of 1,168 Tennesseans.

On the morning of the 7th Genera! Butler sent forward against the Confederate advance at Walthall a division under General Brooks, of five brigades, with the usual proportion of artillery, and supported by cavalry. The action that ensued was open-field fighting and severely contested. Hagood's command of 1,500 men lost: 22 killed; 132 wounded, and 13 missing; Bushrod Johnson's loss was slight 7 men wounded from shell fire. Before dark the enemy withdrew to their now fortified base at Bermuda Hundred, and the Confederates slept upon the field. Of the affair at Walthall General Beauregard subsequently was pleased to say: "Succeeding in hav- ing the order for General Hagood to be pushed on to Richmond without an instant's delay rescinded, he was thus enabled to baffle Gene al Butler's forces on May 6th and 7th, in their assault upon the Richmond railroad above Petersburg. General Bushrod Johnson, who had hurried from Drewry's Bluff to take part in this action, was of material assistance, although, from the point he occupied with his troops, his services were less conspicuous.

"Petersburg would inevitably have fallen into the hands of the