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[118] temporarily, others. With this exception, the troops were kept in position, strengthening our defences nightly, without any incident requiring notice, until Saturday, the thirteenth. About one o'clock of that day, I was directed to send two regiments into the city to the support of General Cobb, then engaged with part of his brigade at the foot of Marye's Hill, and having called for reinforcements, I sent forward, at once, Colonel John D. Kennedy, with his own (Second regiment) and the Eighth regiment South Carolina volunteers, Colonel E. T. Stackhouse commanding. Within a few minutes after, I was directed. to take my entire command to the same point, and assume command there. I had just moved when I was informed that General Cobb was wounded, and was directed by Major-General McLaws to hasten forward in person immediately and take command. Leaving my staff to conduct the troops, I proceeded, as rapidly as possible, to the scene of action, reaching the position at Stevens's house at the moment that Colonel Kennedy arrived with the Second and Eighth regiments, just in time to meet a fresh assault of the enemy. The position was excellent. Marye's Hill, covered with our batteries, then occupied by the Washington artillery, Colonel Walton commanding, falls off abruptly towards Fredericksburg to a stone wall, which forms a terrace on the side of the hill, and the outer margin of the Telegraph road, which winds along the foot of the hill. The road is about some twenty-five feet wide, and is faced by a stone wall, about four feet high, on the city side. The road having been cut out of the side of the hill, (in many places,) this last wall is not visible above the surface of the ground. The ground falls off rapidly to almost a level surface, which extends about a hundred and fifty yards; then, with another abrupt fall of a few feet, to another plain, which extends some two hundred yards, and then falls off abruptly into a wide ravine, which extends along the whole front of the city, and discharges into Hazel Run. I found, on my arrival, that Cobb's brigade, Colonel McMillan commanding, occupied our entire front, and my troops could only get into position by doubling on them. This was accordingly done, and the formation along most of the line, during the engagement, was consequently four deep. As an evidence of the coolness of the command, I may mention here, that, notwithstanding that their fire was the most rapid and continuous I have ever witnessed, not a man was injured by the fire of his comrades. The first attack being repelled at a quarter to three o'clock P. M., the Third regiment, Colonel J. D. Nance, and Seventh, Lieutenant-Colonel Bland, came into position on the hill at Marye's house, with Colonel De Saussure's Fifteenth regiment South Carolina volunteers in reserve and under cover of the cemetery. James's Third South Carolina battalion, (Lieutenant-Colonel Rice commanding,) I left in position at Howison's Mill, to protect our right from any advance of the enemy up Hazel Run. While the Third and Seventh regiments were getting into position, another fierce attack was sustained, and those regiments, especially the former, suffered severely. Colonel J. D. Nance, that gallant and efficient officer, fell at the head of his regiment, severely wounded in three places. Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford, upon whom the command devolved, was almost immediately shot down, dangerously wounded, as also was Major Moffat, the next in command. Captain Todd, the senior captain, upon assuming command, was dangerously, if not mortally wounded, and his successor, Captain Summer, killed. Notwithstanding these unprecedented casualties, the regiment, without hesitation or confusion, gallantly held their position, under command of Captain John H. G. Nance, assisted by my aid-de-camp, Lieutenant A. E. Doby, and in every attack repulsed the enemy on that flank, assisted as gallantly by the Seventh regiment, immediately on their right. In the mean time, line after line of the enemy deployed in the ravine and advanced to the attack, at intervals of not more than fifteen minutes, until half past 4 o'clock, when there was a lull of about a half hour, during which a mass of artillery was placed in position in front of the town, and opened upon our position. At this time I brought up Colonel De Saussure's regiment. Our batteries on the hill were silent, having exhausted their ammunition, and the Washington artillery were relieved by a part of Colonel Alexander's battalion. Under cover of this artillery fire, the most formidable column of attack was formed, which, about five o'clock, emerged from the ravine, and, no longer impeded by our artillery, impetuously assailed our whole front. From this time until after six o'clock, the attack was continuous, and the fire on both sides terrific. Some few, chiefly officers, got within eighty yards of our lines; but, in every instance, their lines were shattered by the time they got within one hundred paces. The firing gradually ceased, and, by seven o'clock, our pickets were established within eighty yards of those of the enemy. Our chief loss, after getting into position in the road, was from the fire of sharpshooters, who occupied some buildings on my left flank in the early part of the engagement, and was only silenced by Captain Wallace, of the Second regiment, directing a continuous fire of one company upon the buildings. General Cobb, I learn, was killed by a shot from that quarter. The regiments on the hill suffered most, as they were less perfectly covered. During the engagement, Colonel McMillan was reenforced by the arrival of the Sixteenth Georgia regiment, and a brigade of General Ransom's command was also engaged; but as they did not report to me, I am unable to give any particulars in regard to them. That night we materially strengthened our position, and I more perfectly organized and arranged my command, fully expecting the attack to be renewed the next day. I sent the Third regiment in reserve, in consideration of their heavy loss. At daylight in the morning, the enemy was in position, lying behind the first declivity in front but the operations on both sides were confined to skirmishing of sharpshooters.

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