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[240] beaten back. In this part of the engagement we took about fifty prisoners, who said that in just that part of the engagement the entire force of Longstreet's and Hill's divisions, and a part of Jackson's column, participated. Probably the most desperate fighting of the day took place upon this part of our lines and at this time. Here it was that we suffered our heaviest losses, and the field presented a most sanguinary hue. The fighting was principally done by musketry; a thick pine woods intervening between our batteries and the enemy preventing the former from getting the range of the latter. Many of our regiments suffered here to the extent of one third of their men; but nearly all of them stood their ground with firmness, behaving most gallantly. Particularly was this the case with the Ninth Massachusetts, the Fourth Michigan, the Fourteenth New-York, of Griffin's brigade, the Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania, of General Newton's brigade, and the Sixteenth New-York, of Colonel Bartlett's brigade. The Sixty-second Pennsylvania, of Griffin's brigade, met an overwhelming force of the enemy, who took them on the flank, and, after a desperate resistance, they succeeded in repulsing the regiment, killing the Colonel, Samuel W. Black, and wounding Lieutenant-Colonel Sweitzer. The regiment broke and retreated, and was the first one to come off the field in disorder, the men frightened and panic-stricken at the death of their beloved Colonel. The regiment was not re-formed.

Finding he could not force our centre, the enemy gradually threw his columns against our left, pressing Martindale's right wing very hard, where he met a gallant resistance from the Twenty-second Massachusetts and Second Maine regiments, as brave veterans as ever shouldered a musket.

Suddenly the everlasting roar of musketry increased in volume toward the extreme left, and the conflict seemed to grow fiercer than at any previous time. This was about six o'clock, and as I galloped over the field, I looked back and around upon the most sublime scene that the fierce grandeur and terrible reality of war ever portrayed. The thousand continuous volleys of musketry seemed mingled into the grand roar of a great cataract, while the louder and deeper discharges of artillery bounded forth over those hills and down that valley, with a volume that seemed to shake the earth beneath us. The canopy of smoke was so thick that the sun was gloomily red in the heavens, while the clouds of dust in the rear, caused by the commotion of advancing and retreating squadrons of cavalry, was stifling and blinding to a distressing degree. That memorable scene will never be effaced from my recollection, and it seemed most like a battle-field, of any representation, either real or upon canvas, that I ever saw.

For one hour and a half, our left line withstood this terrible shock of battle. Brigade after brigade of the enemy was hurled against our devoted, daring, dying heroes. Butterfield, with hat in hand, rallied, cheered and led his men forward again and again. Though decimated at every discharge, losing heavily in officers, and with an overwhelming force in front, they still continued to fight. The gallant Col. McLane and Major Nagle, of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, fell death-stricken, while line-officers were stricken down by scores and men by the hundred. But they wavered not. Without a single reenforcement, from first to last, this gallant brigade fought on, cleared its front from the enemy time after time, until suddenly they found themselves out-flanked on the right, the enemy breaking through Martindale's left, and came surging down the hill, to cut off and capture the struggling brigade. They thus saw it was in vain to longer continue. The right was giving away rapidly, and black crowds of retreating men could be seen making their way toward the river. “Once more, my gallant men,” cried the brave Butterfield, and rallying again, the men cut their way through the opposing host, which now assailed them in front, in flank, and in rear, and fell back upon the river, crossing upon the remains of Emerson's bridge, which had been blown up by our own forces during the fight, and gathering together their scattered columns in the camp of Smith's division, found that they numbered only fifteen hundred, with Lieut.-Col. James C. Rice, who had again signalized himself for heroic bravery, as the senior officer in command. A part of the brigade had been withdrawn by the right flank, and with them Gen. Butterfield, who, notwithstanding the thousand dangers that he risked, escaped unharmed, one bullet having passed through the rim of his hat, and another bent his sword double.

When the left gave way, the centre and finally the right was also pressed back, and the retreating columns soon became mingled into one black mass of troops. The infantry supports having fallen back, Allen's, Weeden's, Hart's and Edwards's batteries were left exposed, and all of them lost a part of their armament. Most of Martindale's brigade were rallied within thirty rods of the enemy, under a heroic call from Col. Roberts, of the Second Maine; but he was not supported, and then continued to fall back with the troops. When the order to fall back reached the middle hospital--one of three houses about equidistant from each other, on the road to Woodbury's bridge — quite a stampede took place among the stragglers who had there congregated, most of them being men who had been detailed to bring in the wounded from their regiments, and who had failed to return. They made a rush for the bridge, followed by some of the troops, but before they reached the last hospital near the end of the bridge, they were speedily and summarily checked. About seven o'clock, Meagher's and French's brigades crossed the bridge, and advanced on the double-quick up the hill, forming in line of battle beyond the hospital, and swooping up the stragglers with a round turn. Griffin's and Martin's batteries likewise did splendid services in checking the advance of the enemy, pouring canister into their ranks with terrible

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