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[200] the same direction, indicated the time appointed for our advance. The order was given and the troops moved forward deliberately and with resolution. The enemy's line of skirmishers was pushed back upon his main line at the top of the ridge before alluded to, and our first line was soon under a heavy fire from his breastworks. There was but little cover for our assaulting lines, and the ascent in some places was moderately steep, but not rugged, affording the enemy great advantages in the ground, in addition to those derived from his breastworks. The troops, however, moved forward with a spirit and determination that threatened, in spite of all odds, to crown the hill and drive the enemy from his place-Slowly, but resolutely, they advanced up the ascent, to within pistol shot of the enemy's works. At this point, under a deadly fire, a few wavered and the rest laid down. The line was unbroken, and, although the position was a trying one, every inch of ground gained was resolutely maintained. A staff officer was sent to request the reserve line to be pushed forward without delay. After waiting sometime for the reserves to come upperhaps not so long as it appeared to those exposed to this deadly fire at such close range-another staff officer was sent back with an urgent appeal for them to be brought up immediately. In the meantime, both men and officers in the front line were suffering severely. Each moment brought death and wounds into their ranks. On every part of the line officers were constantly falling, while engaged in encouraging and urging the men to remain firm until assistance should arrive, and, by their conduct, setting examples of heroism and courage seldom equalled, and still more rarely surpassed. The second line came up in rear of Deas and Brantley, but the ranks of the latter had been so thinned by the fire to which they had been exposed that the two lines combined were unable to make any further advance. Unwilling to abandon the attack while a reasonable hope of success remained, and believing that, with the assistance of a couple of good brigades, the enemy's left could be forced back, a staff officer was sent to General Lee to ascertain if the necessary assistance could be spared from other portions of the field. In the meantime, every effort was made to hold the ground already gained. Stragglers were pushed up to the front and the slightly wounded were encouraged to remain there. (While engaged in these efforts, a color-bearer

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R. E. Lee (1)
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