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[113] was directed, with his accustomed intelligence and energy, by the since lamented General Thomas R. R. Cobb; that on the eminence farther to the left, and near the telegraph road, was staked off and directed by the undersigned. This point, densely wooded when first chosen, became the most important, perhaps, in the entire scene, as the position affording the best view of all the field, and therefore principally occupied by the commanding General and other chief officers during the battle. In such duties, and in designating with Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander, acting chief of artillery First corps, the various batteries to occupy assigned positions, the undersigned was engaged till the evening of December eleventh. This evening Major Nelson, who had closely reconnoitred during the day, reported to him indications of an approaching movement on the part of the enemy. He also received a reliable intimation of intelligence, said to have been sent to General Stuart by a friend across the river, that the enemy had orders to prepare rations and move at dawn next morning. On the twelfth, therefore, signal guns just before dawn were only what the undersigned anticipated. A few minutes after them he sent one aid to the front for information, and another to the commanding General to ask if the large Parrotts should not at once be taken into position — the possibility of their being needed elsewhere having caused this to be delayed. It being now approved, they were, as early in the day as practicable, taken to the works prepared for them. A dense fog more than half the day concealed the enemy, and rendered active operations nearly impossible. The morning was therefore employed by us in preparation, adjusting batteries in position, &c. Later in the day, as the atmosphere cleared up, it was known that the enemy had completed a bridge across the river near the mouth of Deep Run. Near that run, in the river road — suggested a judicious staff officer, who had some days before ridden over the ground — good positions might be chosen, which ought now to be occupied by several batteries. To test this the undersigned proceeded to the place, accompanied by Majors Nelson and Garnett. The locality was within easy range of the bridge, and was of course more or less under fire from the enemy's lines across the river. Examination soon satisfied the undersigned that the position was unsuitable, because effectually commanded by the enemy's heavy guns, and because much too far in advance of the supporting infantry line. In this view the two attending officers fully concurred; and when the case was submitted to the commanding General, his judgment sanctioned the conclusion reached. While on this tour the undersigned, satisfied that under existing circumstances it ought to be done, sent an Aid to recall Captain Ross with his battery from the post on the river, which he had so long and laboriously held, and had the satisfaction of finding that this only anticipated a direction to the precise effect from the commanding General. The four long-range guns of this battery were assigned position, under Major Garnett, on the heights near the right of McLaws's division. Saturday, thirteenth, heavy firing began early; and Patterson's six-pounder battery, with Ross's short-range section, having been assigned, under Major T. Jefferson Page, to General Hood's front, the undersigned hastened with Kirkpatrick's and Massie's batteries, under Major Nelson, to the heights near the Telegraph road, commanding Marye's Hill, with the view to sweeping that plateau in case it should be ultimately gained by the enemy. The two large guns were then visited by him, that on the right having been committed to the direction of Captain Barnwell, that on the left to the command of Captain G. W. Nelson. Directions being left for the management of these, he proceeded to the other batteries along the heights, and attended to the best adjustment of all the guns.

These duties having been discharged, and the furious fire of the enemy observed for some time, as well as the fog would permit, from the site of the left-hand large gun, the undersigned rode to the left of the line, for the purpose of determining whether Lane's heavy guns were likely to be of more service there or elsewhere. Under cover of the fog, he was enabled to pass near the works on Marye's Hill, occupied by the Louisiana Washington artillery, and those farther to the left, occupied by Maurin's and other batteries, so as to observe that all were ready. Captain Rhett's battery of heavy guns was visited, posted on the heights back of Marye's Hill, and near the plank road, for the purpose, also, of sweeping that plateau, if possibly gained by the enemy. Thence passing on towards the left, the undersigned observed the several batteries of Alexander's battalion and some of those with Anderson's division, a portion in position behind epaulements, others in reserve under cover of the hills. By the time we reached Lane's battery, on the left, distant objects could be distinguished. And from the concentration of fire there, as well as from the character of the ground and the apparent dispositions of the enemy, it seemed clear to Colonel Alexander, who rode thither with the undersigned, and to himself, that those guns ought not then to be removed from a point of such importance. Contingent provision was, however, made for supplying, by pieces of less power, the places of the Whitworth and larger rifles, in case greater need for these elsewhere should occur. The fog was now disappearing, and the firing becoming severe all along the line, so that shells were passing and exploding in considerable numbers about the undersigned and certain members of his staff on the route returning to the central point of observation. Here he remained until some time after dark, watching the struggle near and remote, occasionally directing the fire of the large gun, and from time to time receiving instructions from the commanding General concerning movements of batteries and other arrangements. This large Parrott having been used some hours with terrible effect upon the enemy, especially when, driven back by an intolerable fire from Marye's Hill, they crowded into the deep railroad cut,

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