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[624] which had advanced to Colonel Douglas's support, had also suffered terribly, having more than half killed and wounded, (both of General Hays's staff officers being disabled,) and, General Hood having come up to their relief, these three brigades, which were reduced to mere fragments, their ammunition being exhausted, retired to the rear.

The terrible nature of the conflict in which these brigades had been engaged, and the steadiness with. which they maintained their position, is shown by the losses they sustained. They did not retire from the field until General Lawton had been wounded and borne from the field; Colonel Douglas, commanding Lawton's brigade, had been killed, and the brigade had sustained a loss of five hundred and fifty-four killed and wounded out of eleven hundred and fifty, losing five regimental commanders out of six. Hays's brigade had sustained a loss of three hundred and twenty-three out of five hundred and fifty, including every regimental commander and all of his staff; and Colonel Walker and one of his staff had been disabled, and the brigade he was commanding had sustained a loss of two hundred and twenty-eight out of less than seven hundred present, including three out of four regimental commanders. I am sorry that I am not able to do justice to the individual cases of gallantry displayed in this terrible conflict, and must content myself with calling attention to the reports of General Hays and Colonel Walker, brigade commanders, and of Major Lowe, who succeeded to the command of Lawton's brigade after the death of Colonel Douglas, and the disabling of all the other ranking officers. In the death of Colonel Douglas, the country sustained a serious loss. He was talented, courageous, and devoted to his duty.

After receiving the order from General Jackson to go to the support of General Stuart, as before stated, I proceeded to do so, moving my brigade through a piece of wood a little back from the left of our line, and then through some fields; but, as I was passing through these fields, I discovered some of the enemy's skirmishers moving around our left, and I sent some from my own brigade to hold them in check until I had passed. I found General Stuart about a mile from the position I had moved from, with several pieces of artillery in position on a hill, and engaged with some of the enemy's guns. At his suggestion, I formed my line in rear of this hill, and remained here for about an hour, when General Stuart, having discovered a body of the enemy's troops making their way gradually between us and the left of our main line, determined to shift his position to an eminence nearer our line and a little to the rear. He gave the instructions accordingly, and I moved back, taking a route in rear of the one by which I had moved out, and, by General Stuart's direction, my brigade was moved into the skirt of woods through which I had marched in going out. Just as I was getting into line, General Stuart informed me that General Lawton had been wounded, and that General Jackson had sent for me to carry my brigade back and take command of the division.

Leaving the thirteenth Virginia regiment, numbering less than one hundred men, with General Stuart, at his request, I then moved to the rear of this wood around a cornfield, as the enemy had got into the woods to my right, and as I came near the position at which my brigade had been posted the night before, I found Colonel Grigsby and Colonel Stafford, of Jackson's division, rallying some two or three hundred men of that division at the point at which Starke's brigade had been in position the night before. A body of the enemy, perhaps only skirmishers, had got into the woods to the left, and was firing upon our men, being held in check by a scattering fire. This was the same body of woods at which the Dunkard Church, before mentioned, is located, This wood runs along the Hagerstown road for several hundred yards entirely on the left hand side as you proceed from Sharpsburg; then there is a field, the edge of which runs at right angles to the road for about two hundred yards, making thus an elbow in the woods, and then turns to the right and runs along the woods parallel to the Hagerstown road for a quarter of a mile; and the woods, again turns square to the left, and extends back about half a mile, making at this point again an elbow with the strip of woods running along the road from the church. The church itself is at the end next to Sharpsburg, and near the road. The wood is about four hundred yards through where it runs along the road, and back of it is a plantation road running by a house and a barn, and through the long elbow in the woods on the left. The field between the woods and the Hagerstown road forms a plateau nearly level, and in higher ground than the woods, which slopes down abruptly from the edge of the plateau. This wood is full of ledges of limestone and small ridges affording excellent cover for troops. A portion of the enemy, as before stated, had got into the farther end of this wood, where the field is between it and the road, and as I came up, Colonels Grigsby and Stafford commenced to advance upon this body, and I immediately formed my brigade in line and advanced along in their rear, the enemy giving way as the advance was made. I halted my brigade on a ridge in this wood, and Colonels Grigsby and Stafford, at my suggestion, formed their men on my left. My line, when thus formed, was perpendicular to the Hagerstown road, and the right rested near the edge of the plateau above mentioned, but was concealed and protected by the rise in the ground. A considerable body of the enemy's troops was seen in the fields in my front, as thus presented, which was evidently endeavoring to make a movement on our flank and rear. I directed Colonel Smith, of the Forty-ninth Virginia regiment, to take command of the brigade, and to resist the enemy at all hazards, and then rode in the direction of the position at which the rest of the brigade had been engaged, for the purpose of taking command of them and ascertaining their condition. I ascertained that these brigades had fallen back some

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