This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 “As soon as we were unmasked a most terrific fire was opened upon us from three directions. In front, on a rising ground heavily wooded, the enemy were posted in two lines behind breastworks, one above the other, so that both lines fired upon us at once. On the left was a piece of woods, from which the enemy's sharpshooters opened a very galling fire, raking our whole line. This decided the failure of our attempt to storm their works, for the regiments on the left first halted (while the right of the line advanced), and then fell back. . . . Still we pressed on. General Steuart, Captain Williamson, and I were all on the right-centre, where was the Second Maryland and eight men of the Third North Carolina. Oh! it was a gallant band. We had our sabres drawn, and were cheering on the men, but there was little need of it. Their gallantry did not avail, and their noble blood was spilled in vain. . . . It was as if the sickle of Death had passed along the line and mown down the noblest and the bravest. Major Goldsborough fell (as we supposed), mortally wounded. That brave officer and noble gentleman, Captain Murray, fell dead. Friends dropped all around me, and lay writhing on the ground. .... It was more than men could endure, and reluctantly they commenced falling back. Then our task was to prevent a rout, for the brigade was terribly cut up and the men much demoralized. Behind some rocks we rallied the scattered regiments and made a stand. Finally we took our old position behind the breastworks, supported by Daniel's brigade. Here we lay for about an hour under the most furious infantry and artillery fire I have ever experienced, but without much loss.” --Extract from a letter describing the battle. I give it just as I find it, adding that if the tattered battle-flag of the Third North Carolina was followed by only a handfull, it was because they had already suffered more heavily than any other regiment.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.