Yankees, on their side, lost General Reno, a renegade Virginian, who was killed by a happy shot from the twenty-third North Carolina. Garland's brigade was badly demoralized by his fall, and the rough handling it had received, and had the Yankees pressed vigorously forward, the road might have been gained. Providentially, they were ignorant of their success, or themselves too much damaged to advance. The Twentieth North Carolina, of this brigade, under Colonel Iverson, had attacked a Yankee battery, killed all the horses, and driven off the cannoneers. This battery was used no more that day by the Yankees. Anderson's brigade arrived in time to take the place of the much demoralized troops of Garland. There were two mountain roads practicable for artillery, on the right of the main turnpike. The defence of the farther one had cost Garland his life. It was now intrusted to Colonel Rosser, of the cavalry, who had reported to me, and who had artillery and dismounted sharpshooters. General Anderson was intrusted with the care of the nearest and best road. Bondurant's battery was sent to aid him in its defence. The brigade of Colquitt was disposed on each side of the turnpike, and that, with Lane's battery, was judged adequate to the task. There was, however, a solitary peak on the left, which, if gained by the Yankees, would give them control of the ridge commanding the turnpike. The possession of this peak was, therefore, everything to the Yankees; but they seemed slow to perceive it. I had a large number of guns from Cutt's artillery placed upon the hill on the left of the turnpike to sweep the approaches to this peak. From the position selected, there was a full view of the country for miles around. But the mountain was so steep that ascending columns were but little exposed to artillery fire. The artillerists of Cutt's battalion behaved gallantly, but their firing was the worst I ever witnessed. Rodes and Ripley came up soon after Anderson. Rodes was sent to the left to seize the peak already mentioned, and Ripley was sent to the right to support Anderson. Several attempts had been made previous to this, by the Yankees, to force a passage through the woods on the right of, and near, the turnpike. But these were repulsed by the Sixth and Twenty-seventh Georgia, and the Thirteenth Alabama, of Colquitt's brigade. It was now past noon, and the Yankees had been checked for more than five hours. But it was evident that they were in large force on both sides of the road, and the signal corps reported heavy masses at the front of the mountain. In answer to a despatch from General Longstreet, I urged him to hurry forward troops to my assistance. General Drayton and Colonel G. T. Anderson came up, I think, about three o'clock, with one thousand nine hundred men, and I felt anxious to beat the force on my right before the Yankees made their grand attack, which I feared would be on our left. Anderson, Ripley, and Drayton were called together, and I directed them to follow a path until they came in contact with Rosser, when they should change their flank, march in line of battle, and sweep the woods before them. To facilitate their movements, I brought up a battery and made it shell the woods in various directions. Anderson soon became partially, and Drayton hotly, engaged. But Ripley did not draw trigger — why, I do not know. The Fourth North Carolina (Anderson's brigade) attempted to carry a Yankee battery, but failed. Three Yankee brigades moved up in beautiful order against Drayton, and his men were soon beaten and went streaming to the rear. Rosser, Anderson, and Ripley still held their ground, and the Yankees could not gain our rear. Affairs were now very serious on our left. A division of Yankees was advancing in handsome style against Rodes. I had every possible gun turned upon the Yankee columns; but, owing to the steepness of the acclivity, and the bad handling of the guns, but little harm was done to the “restorers of the Union.” Rodes handled his little brigade in a most admirable and gallant manner, fighting, for hours, vastly superior odds, and maintaining the key-points of the position till darkness rendered a farther advance of the Yankees impossible. Had he fought with less obstinacy, a practicable artillery road to the rear would have been gained on our left, and the line of retreat cut off. Colonel Gordon, the Christian hero, excelled his former deeds at Seven Pines, and in the battles around Richmond. Our language is not capable of expressing a higher compliment. General Rodes says the men and officers generally behaved well; but Colonel Gordon, Sixth Alabama, Major Hobson, Fifth Alabama, and Colonel Battle, Third Alabama, deserve especial mention for admirable conduct during the whole fight. We did not drive the enemy back, or whip him; but, with one thousand two hundred men, we held his whole division at bay for four hours and a half, without assistance from any one, losing, in that time, not more than half a mile of ground. He estimates his loss at four hundred and twenty-two, out of one thousand two hundred taken into action, but thinks that he inflicted a threefold heavier loss on the Yankees. Colonel Gayle, of the Twelfth Alabama, was killed; and Colonel O'Neal, Twenty-fourth Alabama, and Lieutenant-Colonel Pickens, of the Twelfth, severely wounded. Major-General Longstreet came up about four o'clock with the commands of Brigadier-Generals Evans and D. R. Jones. I had now become familiar with the ground, and knew all the vital points; and, had these troops reported to me, the result might have been different. As it was, they took wrong positions, and, in their exhausted condition after a long march, they were broken and scattered. Our whole left was now fairly exposed, and the Yankees had but to push down to seize the turnpike. It was now dark, however, and they feared to advance. All the available troops were collected behind a stone wall, to resist an approach upon the turnpike from the left. Encouraged by their successes in that direction, the Yankees thought that it would be an easy matter to move directly up the
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