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[446] immediately ordered my brigade to fall back, and seek cover under the woods in the ravine, and reported to General Armistead what I had done. In this ill-timed advance, my loss was very severe. Part of my brigade, the Fourth Georgia and the Twenty-second Georgia, under Major Wasden, and a part of the Third Georgia, under Captain (acting Lieutenant-Colonel) Nesbit, had advanced on the extreme right so far as to pass over the crest of the ridge, and were lying in a hollow about two hundred yards in advance of the line of woods. These were permitted to remain, as they were comparatively secure from the effects of the enemy's shells.

General Armistead directing, I ordered up another battery, (Moorman's, I think,) and got it in position a little under the crest of the hill in the clover field, and opened upon the enemy. The superior metal and number of the enemy's guns, in addition to his strong position, gave him the decided advantage of us, and very soon this battery was forced to retire. Meanwhile, Captain Pegram's battery was ordered up, and taking position two hundred yards to the left of Moorman's, opened a well-directed fire upon the enemy, which told with fearful effect upon them. But this chivalric commander, by the retiring of Moorman's battery, was left alone to contend with the whole force of the enemy's artillery. Manfully these gallant men maintained the unequal conflict, until their severe losses disabled them from using but a single piece. Even with one piece they gallantly held their ground, and continued to pour a deadly fire upon the enemy's line, until, seeing the utter hopelessness of the contest, I ordered them to cease firing until I could get more guns in action. It was now three o'clock P. M. We had been fighting since half past 11 A. M., and still the enemy continued to pour volley after volley upon us from their whole line. Another battery was soon ordered up, and again the gallant Pegram opened, with his single gun, himself assisting to work it. Still the superior number and calibre of the enemy's guns enabled him to pour a continuous and galling fire upon our artillerists, and keep the skirt of woods, in which my men lay, wrapped in a sheet of flame and hail from their immense shells. Again our few guns were silenced, and I rode from the scene convinced that, with the small force at our command, further demonstrations against the enemy in this stronghold were utterly futile and highly improper. These views I urged upon General Armistead, who entirely concurred in opinion with me, and ordered the firing to cease. I immediately re-formed the shattered fragments of my brigade, at least that portion of it not already in advance, in the hollow of the field. I regret to state that, in re-forming, I was unable to find the Twenty-second Georgia regiment, or its commander, Colonel R. H. Jones. After a long search, and considerable delay, I discovered Colonel Jones approaching from the rear, where he had been some mile or more without my assent, knowledge, or approval. He had received a slight scratch in the face from a fragment of shell, left his command, and retired to the rear. I ordered him to collect his regiment and form on the left of the First Louisiana regiment. This he failed to do, and in the subsequent severe fighting which occurred that afternoon, no portion of that regiment was engaged, except the small number who, under Major Joseph Wasden, had, in the first advance, got over into the hollow in the field.

Major-General Magruder came on the field about four o'clock, and, assuming command, directed the future movements of my brigade. I was ordered by him to advance, supported by Brigadier-General Mahone's brigade, upon the enemy's right, and charge upon the enemy's batteries. This movement was to be simultaneous with an advance upon the enemy's left and centre. I immediately took my brigade round by a flank movement to the right, and, by filing to the left under the edge of the bluff, got it in line in the hollow already occupied by the Fourth Georgia and portions of the Twenty-second and Third Georgia. Here I formed my line, the Fourth Georgia upon the right, the First Louisiana, and a few of the Twenty-second Georgia, under Major Wasden, in the centre, and the Third Georgia on the left. I had lost a few men, wounded, in getting into this position, and the enemy, detecting the movement, opened a furious fire upon us; but my gallant soldiers lay quietly upon their faces, ready and eager for the order to advance. At a quarter before five o'clock, I received an order from General Magruder, through Captain Henry Bryan, one of his staff, to advance immediately, and charge the enemy's batteries. No other troops had yet come upon the field. I ordered my men forward, and springing before them, led my brigade, less than one thousand men, against a force I knew to be superior in the ratio of at least twenty to one. Onward we pressed, warmly and strongly supported by General Mahone's brigade, under a murderous fire of shot, shell, canister, and musketry. At every step my brave men fell around me; but the survivors pressed on until we had reached a hollow about three hundred yards from the enemy's batteries, on the right. Here I perceived that a strong force of infantry had been sent forward on our left by the enemy, with a view of flanking and cutting us off from our support, now more than one thousand yards in our rear. I immediately threw the left of the Third Georgia regiment a little back along the upper margin of the hollow, and suddenly changing front of this regiment, I poured a galling fire upon the enemy, which he returned with spirit, aided by a fearful direct and cross fire from his batteries. Here the contest raged with varying success for more than three quarters of an hour. Finally the line of the enemy was broken, and he gave away in great disorder. In the mean time, my front, supported by General Mahone, had been subjected to a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, and had begun to waver, and, I feared, would be compelled to fall back. Just at this moment firing was heard far away on our left, and soon we saw our columns


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Joseph Wasden (3)
Moorman (3)
William Mahone (3)
L. A. Armistead (3)
J. Bankhead Magruder (2)
R. H. Jones (2)
J. W. Pegram (1)
Nesbit (1)
Henry Bryan (1)
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