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“ [57] General Field approached and said: ‘this is all of my command that I can find.’ I was soon afterwards ordered to the left, passed General Perrin's brigade of Alabamians forming line on the crest, and rejoined you with the Fifteenth, Forty-fourth and the Forty-eighth. In this engagement and that which followed late in the evening, I lost considerably over half my men, among them Major W. M. Robbins wounded.”

This graphic account of Colonel Bowles explains the severe loss of the Texas and Georgia brigades on the same ground, and the impossibility of holding an advanced position on the Plank road until the Federal troops on the south of it had been driven back.

On gaining the crest with my center and left regiments, I sent a staff officer to General Lee with instructions to say that I had driven back several lines of the enemy, and had carried the heights beyond the swamp; but that in the event of an attack, which I thought probable, we should be outflanked and enveloped. I was guilty of the irregularity of reporting directly to the Commander-in-Chief, because I did not know where General Field was to be found, and was communicating knowledge that I thought General Lee ought to have at once. Word was brought back that I should shortly be relieved. Judging from this reply that General Lee supposed that my command had exhausted its strength and needed to be withdrawn, and knowing well that he would have need of every soldier at the front who could fire a gun, I sent Captain L. R. Terrell, Assistant Adjutant-General, to say that the men had supplied themselves with ammunition from the boxes of the enemy, that they were still able to do good fighting, and that I only needed to have my flanks protected.

In momentary expectation of an attack, I continued to occupy my extended line, until a staff officer of General Perrin, of Anderson's division, reported to me for advice as to where his command should be established. It was placed in position next to the road, my line contracting and moving to the left, to give room. It was then that the Fourth and Forty-seventh were sent for to rejoin their comrades. General Perrin's brigade barely had time to complete its formation before the expected attack came. The firing was heavy for a short time, especially toward the right; but the enemy were soon repulsed, and made no farther effort at this point during the day. A Florida brigade, of Anderson's division, now arrived, and I received orders to drop to the rear of the two and act as a support. The three brigades mentioned constituted from this time forward the only troops on the left of the road.

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Plank (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)

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Perrin (3)
Fitzhugh Lee (3)
C. W. Field (2)
R. H. Anderson (2)
L. R. Terrell (1)
W. M. Robbins (1)
P. D. Bowles (1)
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