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[220] should come to his support. I had scarcely reached him when he was struck, and, I observed, so seriously wounded as to disable him from conferring with me. I determined not to engage the second line until the first gave way. General Hanson had hardly fallen, however, when his line began to yield, and after a few moments many of his men were falling to the rear. I saw that they needed support, and going back to the second line, instantly ordered the right regiment (Thirteenth Louisiana volunteers, Major Guillet,) to move by the right flank, in order to avoid the river, towards which we were marching, and then to advance in line of battle towards the woods; and having my horse disabled by a wound in riding back, I dispatched Captain Lipscomb to give the same order to Major Zacharie, commanding the Sixteenth Louisiana volunteers, already under the bank. I moved rapidly forward the right regiment and soon engaged the enemy, under heavy ire. I presumed that the Sixteenth was moving under the river bank on our left, in accordance with the order sent by Captain Lipscomb.

The woods were full of troops apparently in great confusion. Many of these formed on our line, and we advanced, driving the enemy before us beyond a ravine, on the further side of which was a picket fence. This ravine was filled with men broken from their commands, who were sheltered from the enemy, but such was their confusion, that they could accomplish nothing against him. I formed the fighting line on the rear side of the ravine, on the lower side of the crest, and by a well-directed volley poured into the advancing lines of the enemy, broke and dispersed it. When this first compact line gave way there was a momentary lull — a suspension of fire-and we prepared to charge; but, as if in the twinkle of an eye, another line of the enemy, extending far beyond our right, assumed the lost position. This was dispersed.

Presently a number of skirmishers appeared on our right, and we were fired upon from the left, on the opposite side of the river. The men in the ravine broke to the rear under these fires, that were aimed chiefly at them, and from which they appeared to suffer. There was perpetual skirmishing from the moment we entered the woods. Again, another line came on our front, which engaged us. I observed that our own right had given way, going through the open field on the right of us to the rear. I moved to our extreme left and saw the enemy was in heavy lines on the opposite bank, and already beginning to cross. I saw at once that we would be enveloped on the right and left. I ordered my command to fall back. It was a matter of doubt whether this could be accomplished successfully. Scarcely any one could enter the open field to our right and rear without being shot down, either by the infantry or by the batteries of the enemy. I should observe, that from the moment we approached the elevated ground near the river, the batteries of the enemy, posted on the opposite side, poured into our ranks without intermission.

As soon as he was driven from the high ground on this side his batteries played upon it. His batteries and infantry concentrated on every spot from


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Lipscomb (2)
F. C. Zacharie (1)
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