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[180] I am able to say this: I have yet to meet an intelligent and competent officer, present at the skirmish, and engaged upon either side, who does not believe that the place might easily have been taken. This might have been accomplished, first, by turning it upon our right, as Mr. Winthrop was attempting to do when he fell. That attempt might have succeeded; to use the language of Captain Levy, as nearly as I remember it: “Had you had a hundred men as brave as Winthrop, and one to lead when he fell, I would be in Fortress Monroe a prisoner of war to-night.” It might have been accomplished, second, with much less difficulty upon the left; Captain Haggerty had discovered this, had suggested it to General Pierce, had after some difficulty secured Colonel Townsend's cooperation, when this plan was defeated by the gross blunder of whoever was in command of Townsend's left — a captain I believe — in allowing three companies to become detached from the main body by a thicket. From this circumstance Townsend, as he was proceeding to the attack, was led to believe, as he saw the bayonets of his own men glistening through the foliage, that he was outflanked. He retreated, and that was the end of the battle.

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Henry D. Townsend (3)
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