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[143] General hastened to the point where the greatest danger threatened — the point against which the enemy directed the mounted charge. My horse was so much exhausted by my severe ride of the morning that I could not follow him, but Captain Dorsey gave the particulars that follow.

The enemy's charge captured our battery on the left of our line, and drove back almost the entire left. Where Captain Dorsey was stationed — immediately on the Telegraph road — about eighty men had collected together, and among these the General threw himself, and by his personal example held them steady while the enemy charged entirely past their position. With these men he fired into their flank and rear, as they passed him, in advancing and in retreating, for they were met by a mounted charge of the First Virginia cavalry and driven back some distance. As they retired. one man, who had been dismounted in the charge and was running out on foot, turned, as he passed the General, and, discharging his pistol, inflicted the fatal wound. When Captain Dorsey discovered that he was wounded, he came at once to his assistance and endeavored to lead him to the rear; but the General's horse became so restive and unmanageable that he insisted upon being taken down and allowed to rest against a tree. When this was done Captain Dorseys sent for another horse. While waiting for this horse, the General ordered him to leave him alone and return to his men and drive back the enemy; said that he feared he was mortally wounded and could be of no more service. Captain Dorsey told him that he could not obey that order — that he would sacrifice his life rather than leave him until he had placed him out of all danger. The situation was a dangerous one. Our men were sadly scattered, and there was hardly a handful of men between that little group and the advancing enemy. But the horse arrived in time; the General was lifted on to him and led by Captain Dorsey to a safer place. There, by the General's order, he gave him into charge of Private Wheatly, of his company, and returned to rally our scattered men. Wheatly procured an ambulance, placed the General in it with the greatest care, and supporting him in his arms, he was driven from the field. As he was being brought off, he spoke to our men, whom he saw retreating, and said: “Go back! go back and do your duty as I have done mine, and our country will be safe. Go back! go back! I had rather die than be whipped.” * * I was hastening toward the part of the field where I heard he had been wounded, when I met the ambulance bringing him out. The General had so often told me that if he were wounded I must not leave the field, but report to the officer next to him in rank, that I did not now presume to disregard his order; and the more so, because I saw that Dr. Fontaine, Major Venable, Lieutenant Garnett, and several of his couriers, were attending him. I remained with General Fit. Lee until the next morning, when he sent me to the city to see General Bragg, and I had an opportunity to spend an hour with my General. More than any brother did I love him; greater loss I have never known.

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Telegraph (New Mexico, United States) (1)

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Dorsey (5)
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A. R. Venable (1)
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Theodore S. Garnett (1)
Edmund Fontaine (1)
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