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[116] fire. The alternative was adopted to push the regiments forward through the abatis against the enemy, which was done — the Second Florida on the left and in advance; the Thirty-eighth Virginia now next on its right, only a little behind. I have mentioned the reasons which caused the other regiments to be not quite so far up at this time. But they were readily reformed (stragglers excepted), and went forward either by themselves or with other regiments now coming up to their support. I should have sent back earlier for the supporting brigade to hurry up to our support, but, as already mentioned, had no messenger to send, and could not leave for that purpose myself. I trusted to Colonel Anderson's intuition as an accomplished soldier to perceive that we were hotly engaged, and, as I anticipated, he arrived upon the field just at the proper time.

Meanwhile, my regiments had advanced more or less into the abatis — the Second Florida and Thirty-eighth Virginia up to the fence and driving away the gunners and killing the horses from a section of artillery near the road. We were losing heavily, especially in field and company officers. Within the space of a few minutes the Twenty-fourth Virginia had lost its only field officer wounded (Major Maury); the Twenty-third North Carolina all its field officers wounded or disabled and eight out of ten company commanders, and seventeen out of twenty-nine officers killed or wounded; the Second Florida two field officers and ten out of eleven company commanders killed or wounded; the Thirty-eighth Virginia, its colonel temporarily disabled, but who again took the field. The entire brigade of five regiments and a battalion was in front of the fight receiving the first shock of the enemy's force with only six field officers--two regiments without any--two more with one apiece. Add to this the list of casualties amongst company officers, shown in the returns, and it is not surprising that regimental lines were not accurately preserved. Yet nothing occurred to the disparagement of the general reputation of the troops. There were stragglers, few or many, as upon all other occasions, of course. The supporting brigade advancing at this opportune moment, and the passage of lines being a fete in tactics which had never been practiced by any of us, large fragments of those regiments, who were left without field or company officers, were joined in and continued forward with that brigade. The regiments with field officers remaining (the Second Florida and Thirty-eighth Virginia, especially) preserved a more distinct organization. I assisted

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Dabney H. Maury (1)
Joseph R. Anderson (1)
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