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[51] soon they came in streams, some borne on litters, some supported by comrades, and others making their way alone. Close behind them were the broken masses of Heth's division, swarming through the woods, heedless of their officers, who were riding in every direction shouting to gain their attention.

The brigades, pressing on with increasing speed, lapped each other, and now in some places filled the road with a double column of march. The only encouraging feature of the situation was the manner in which the men bore up under the depressing influences around them. They were just now rejoining their old comrades and idolized commander, after a separation of eight months. They saw that this reunion had occurred at a crisis when lofty qualities were in demand and great things were to be done; and they rose with the emergency. The stronger the pressure upon them, the greater the rebound and the firmer their resolution seemed to become. They urged the retreating soldiers to reform — come back — and aid them in beating the enemy. In a tone that indicated the belief that such an announcement was of itself sufficient to inspire renewed hope and courage, they informed them that they were “Longstreet's boys,” returned to fight with them under “Old Bob.” Their stern resolution rose into enthusiasm when a retreating soldier shouted, “Courage, boys, Longstreet's men are driving them like sheep.” Kershaw then had reached the field, and gone into action, and they knew well what to expect of him. He had arrived, like De Saix at Marengo, in one of those great crises, which few men are ever called upon to meet twice in a lifetime. Heth was far to the rear; the last battalion of Wilcox had broken just as the head of his column reached the point where stood General Lee, like a pillar of cloud, the only remaining obstacle to stay the surging billows that were steadily rolling onward and now near at hand. At a double quick step, under fire and almost in the face of the foe, that four thousand men form line in the dense woods and attack with such fury that more than thirty thousand veterans recoil before them.

But the column of Field was now pressing up, Anderson's Georgia brigade in front. It was deployed on the right of the road, where the enemy were in greatest numbers, and had made greatest progress. Next came Gregg's brigade of Texans, hardly five hundred strong. It was thrown into line in the presence of General Lee on the left of the road. I shall not attempt to describe the scene — rising to the moral sublime — between this brigade and General

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Marengo, Iowa (Iowa, United States) (1)

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James Longstreet (2)
Fitzhugh Lee (2)
H. Heth (2)
C. M. Wilcox (1)
P. M. Kershaw (1)
D. McM. Gregg (1)
C. W. Field (1)
R. H. Anderson (1)
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