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[480] seen to start, McIntosh rode over quickly to the Lott house, where he had left the First Maryland prepared for such an emergency. Gregg, however, upon coming on the field, had moved the regiment over to the right of the Salem Church road, to guard more effectually that important quarter. The Seventh Michigan, which was to take its place, was just then coming on the field from the direction of the Reever house in column of fours. Custer, who was near, also saw the emergency, ordered close column of squadrons to be formed at the gallop, and advanced with it to meet the attack.

As the First New Jersey fell back, the right of the two Third Pennsylvania squadrons, and that portion of the Fifth Michigan which had reached them, swung back behind the fence which ran parallel with the line of the charging column and intersecting the field lengthwise.

The Seventh Michigan, a new regiment, advanced boldly to meet the First Virginia, but on coming up to the stone and rail fence, instead of pushing across it, began firing with their repeating carbines. The First Virginia came on in spite of the heavy fire until it reached the fence from the other side. Both regiments fought face to face across the fence with their carbines and revolvers, while a scorching fire was centred upon the First Virginia from either flank. The enemy's dismounted line also came up, and assisted the First Virginia to pass the fence, whereupon the Seventh Michigan gave way in disorder, the enemy following in close pursuit.

The First Virginia, becoming strung out by this movement, was exposed to a terrific fire from the two batteries in front, and from the heavy skirmish lines on the flanks, while some of the Fifth Michigan, who had succeeded in mounting, advanced to assist the Seventh. It was more than even their gallantry could stand, and the First Virginia fell back on the supports which were fast advancing to its assistance. This was about three o'clock.

Just then there appeared in the distance, turning the point of woods on the cross-road by the Stallsmith farm, a brigade of cavalry.1 It was manifest to every one that, unless this, the grandest attack of all was checked, the day would go hard with the Army of the Potomac. It was Stuart's last reserve and his last resource, for, if the Baltimore pike was to be reached, and havoc created in our rear, the critical moment had arrived, as Pickett was even then moving up to the assault of Cemetery Ridge.

1 Stuart, in his official report, states that this force consisted of the First North Carolina Cavalry, and Jeff Davis Legion, but that gradually the greater portion of his command became involved in the hand-to-hand fighting.

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Cemetery Ridge (Mississippi, United States) (1)

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J. E. B. Stuart (2)
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