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[180] Peach Orchard and at the same time establishing connection with Hood on my right and co-operating with him. It was understood he was to sweep down the enemy's line in a direction perpendicular to our then line of battle. I was told that Barksdale would move with me and conform to my movement. These directions 1 received in various messages from the Lieutenant-General and the Major-General commanding, and in part by personal communication with them. In my center-front was a stone house, and to the left of it a stone barn, both about 500 yards from our line and on a line with the crest of the Orchard Hill. Along the front of the orchard and on the face looking towards the stone house the enemy's infantry was posted. Two batteries of artillery were in position, the one in rear of the orchard near the crest of the hill, and the other some two hundred yards further back in the direction of the rocky mountain. Behind the stone house, on the left, was a morass — on the right a stone wall, running parallel with our line of battle. Beyond the morass, some two hundred yards, was a stony hill, covered with heavy timber and thick undergrowth, extending some distance towards the enemy's main line and inclining to our left and in rear of the orchard and the batteries described. Beyond the stone wall and in a line with the stony hill, was a heavy forest, extending far to our right. From the morass a small stream ran through this wood along the base of the mountain towards the right. Between the stony hill and this forest was an interval of about 100 yards, which was only sparsely covered with scrubby undergrowth, through which a small road ran in the direction of the mountain. Looking down this road from the stone house a large wheat field was seen. In rear of the wheat field and between that and the mountain was the enemy's main line of battle, posted behind a stone wall. Under my instructions I determined to move upon the stony hill so as to strike it with my center, and thus attack the orchard on its left rear.

Accordingly, about 4 o'clock, when I received orders to advance, I moved at once in this direction, gradually changing front to the left. The numerous fences in the way, the stone building and barn, and the morass and a raking fire of grape and cannister, rendered it difficult to retain the line in good order; but, notwithstanding these obstacles, I brought my center to the point intended. In order to restore the line of the directing battalion, the


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