Report of Colonel Leroy Stafford, 9th Louisiana, Commanding Starke's Brigade on August 30th:
"On the morning of the 30th Brig. Gen. W. E. Starke ordered me to send half of one of my regiments forward and occupy the railroad cut as a point of observation, to be held at all hazards. About 8 o'clock in the morning the enemy commenced throwing forward large bodies of skirmishers in the woods on our left, who quickly formed themselves into regiments and moved forward by brigades to the attack, massing a large body of troops at this point with the evident design of forcing us from our position. They made repeated charges upon us while in this position, but were compelled to retire in confusion, sustaining heavy loss and gaining nothing. It was at this point that the ammunition of the brigade gave out. The men procured some from the dead bodies of their comrades, but the supply was not sufficient, and in the absence of ammunition the men fought with rocks and held their position. The enemy retreated. We pressed forward to the turnpike road, there halted, and encamped for the night."
Southern Historical Society papers, Vol. 7, p. 124
The following piece is from Clement Evens' Confederate Military History Volume 10, 232-234:
On the morning of the 30th Stafford's brigade was ordered up to this dangerous line, to be held at all hazards. At an early hour the enemy's activity began. Massed heavily, the Federals formed six lines of battle. Starke, to meet the expected attack, placed the brigade in the deep cut. Our artillery quickly opened fire on the enemy. Ominously silent remained the brigade. The Federals came at double-quick toward the embankment, heedless of what might be behind it. Then the rifles of the brigade awoke. Our bullets came swiftly, and from close quarters made havoc in the advancing column. Charge after charge was each time repulsed with appalling loss. While this slaughter was going on, the Louisianians began to run short of ammunition. Already some of the men were relieving the dead bodies of their comrades of cartridges. Another Federal advance, in force, came up closer than before to our position at the railroad. Company E, Montgomery Guards, First Louisiana, earliest out, first called for cartridges. Starke had already been notified by Nolan, commanding the regiment, that ammunition was running out. Directly in the rear of the Montgomery Guards was their leader, Capt. Thos. Rice. The eyes of Captain Rice, from his station on a slight elevation of the slope, moved, here, there, everywhere. Nothing but a great quantity of rock was lying around, broken in fragments of moderate size, as they had been blasted when the railroad was building. Captain Rice drew upon his experience in the Crimea. He recalled that battle with stones, fought in a rock quarry at Inkerman, close to the redan— one of the bulwarks of Sebastopol—which had now come to him like a flash, born of the need. Quick as the thought, Rice picked up a piece of rock and calling out loudly, "Boys, do as we did at Sebastopol!" hurled the first stone. Ambulance men, being idle just then, gathered stones at the word. The company, the regiment —even other commands of the brigade—followed with more stone, pelting the enemy savagely in their faces, with good aim. Excellent work was done with these rocks—a work certified to by both pelters and pelted. Some of the enemy crawled up the bank and voluntarily surrendered themselves to escape the deadly stoning.