Report of Maj. H. J. Williams, Fifth Virginia Infantry.
August 14, 1862.
I have the honor to report that at dawn on the morning of the 9th instant we left camp near the Rapidan River and marched a distance of 7 miles. Engaged the enemy about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The line of battle being formed in a woods, with the Thirty-Third Regiment resting on our right and the Second on our left, the Fifth being the center regiment of the brigade, we then advanced in line of battle through the woods a distance of about 400 yards to the edge of a field, where we were ordered to halt and throw down a line of fencing immediately in our front. After removing the fence we were ordered to prepare to charge, which was done, and we moved forward in line of battle to the top of a little hill or rise in the field, when the order was given by our gallant commander (Colonel Ronald) to the brigade to charge, which was obeyed and the charge executed in most elegant style, driving the enemy entirely from the field into the woods, a distance of some 300 or 400 yards.
I then received an order to close my regiment at right angles with and on the left of the Thirty-third. Thus having passed the Thirty-third and Twenty-seventh some 200 yards, I succeeded in forming my right wing perpendicular with the former line of battle and advanced it about 100 yards, thus giving me a good position to fire upon the enemy, who were crossing a large wheat field upon the right of our former position, pouring a constant and destructive fire upon the enemy, thus causing a large number of them to surrender. The regiment also captured three stand of the enemy’s colors; the left wing still holding their former position at the edge of the woods, thus protecting the left of my right wing from a severe fire from the enemy in the woods.
The conduct of all officers and men was such as would attract the admiration and win the praise of the greatest champion warriors, and particularly the conduct of Color Sergt. John M. Gabbert, who was in advance with a sword in one hand and the colors in the other, waving both the sword and colors, calling upon the men to come on, when he received a wound in the shoulder and leg, which disabled him so much he was compelled to abandon the field.
At a late hour we were re-enforced by two other brigades. We then advanced, the left wing being rallied by Adjt. C. S. Arnall, whose conduct was highly commendable in rallying it to the colors and pressing forward with the Second and Fourth Regiments boldly in hot pursuit of the enemy till after dark, when, reaching the top of a hill in a corn field, were ordered to halt and remained until morning. I joined in with Colonel Lee, of the Thirty-third, and advanced, overtaking the Second and Fourth, who had halted in a corn field on the right of the main road leading to Culpeper Court-House, where the brigade remained overnight and until about 9 o’clock on the morning of the 10th, the enemy not having made any demonstration up to that time. We were ordered back a distance of about 3 miles and encamped until the morning of the 12th, when we were ordered to take up the line of march to our old camp near Liberty Mills, at which place we arrived about 6 p.m.
I forward with this a list of casualties.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. J. WILLIAMS,
Major, Commanding Fifth Virginia Infantry.
Captain Fulton, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.