Today in History:

1091 Series I Volume XLVII-I Serial 98 - Columbia Part I


assist ant adjutant-general, Manigaults brigade, brought out ten men and eight prisoners aft forces. , er a tiresome march all night around the Yankee The disaster would have been much greater had not General Wal- thall arrived in time to fill up the gap and check the Yankee advance. Colonel Toulmin, commanding Deas brigade, was placed on his left. General Palmer on withdrawing joined General Pettus by my order. General Baker retired entirely across the Goidsborough road, and was no more engaged that day. I did not know his locality until too late to put him again in position. About sundown the Yankees attempted an advance upon General Pettus, but that stout-hearted soldier and his noble brigade drove them back without difficulty. In this attack he himself received a painful flesh wound, and his nephew and aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Pettus, wa~ killed. The heavy firing induced the sending up a brigade from MeLaws division, which seemed to have no particular instructions, but went in gallantly where the roll of musketry was the most rapid an4 continuous. Another brigade of that division (Kennedys) coming up without definite orders, I took the responsibility of sending it to the support of Walthall, who was firing rapidly, and one of my staff officers carried it into position. There had been a good deal of confusion after reaching the Goldsborough road, owing to the mixture oi~ troops and to orders being issned by different commanders, but after nightfall, when natural darkness was much increased by the smoke of battle and from thousands of smoldering pine stumps and logs, it was greater than I ever witnessed before. About 11 oclock we were withdrawn to our original position of the morning, holding, however, with our skirmish line, the intrenchments taken from the Yankees at 3.30 p. m. The capture of our men was due to the withdrawal of Smith and Pettus upon what, I think, was incorrect information. The failure to capture immense numbers of Yankees was partly due to that and partly to another cause. I learn from General Hoke that he had made a flank movement, and had nearly got to the end of the Yankee works when he received an order from General Bragg to adva~tce directly to the attack. This resulted in his repulse and withdrawal. When the Yan- kees threw dowmi their guns before Palmer B discovered the flanking force of iloke and aker, and Carter they had supposed themselves entirely cut off, but wheu he advanced to a front attack they resumed their posi. tion behind their works, repulsed him, and then turned upon Carter, who had been left alone, and drove him off also. March 20, our scouts reported the Yankees still working at their breast-works at 8 a. m. in their position of the night before. About 10 a. m. their skirmishers advanced cautiously to Coles house. Learning that General iloke was changing his front, I sent General Stevenson to hold his works on the Wilmington road until he could form a new line. General S[tevcnsonl was met, however, by Lieutenant-General Stewart and ordered back. The Yankees were not slow to discover the abandon- ment of the works, and advanced with loud cheers upon Brigadier-Gen- eral Kirkland, of Hokes division, before he had had time to intrench. They met a stout resistance, however, and after I had succeeded in turning six guns upon them they retired precipitately. There was nothing in my front but desultory skirmishing this day between the pickets. March 21, there was a great deal of heavy firing on our left, but no attack upon my command this day. My skirmish line, under Major