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[194] infantry were advancing. Returning, I ordered the two regiments to a new position. Here I soon received an order from General Longstreet to take the Twentieth back across the creek and occupy some incomplete works that had been thrown up recently, leaving the Second to skirmish with the enemy and retard his advance as long as possible. This order was executed. The Second deployed, as skirmishers and kept the enemy's skirmishers in check for a long time, falling back slowly until they came to the hill next the creek. There they stopped and held the position all day. General Longstreet complimented them there on the field, as I was told.

The Twentieth crossed the creek and entered the works, where they received the fire of the enemy's artillery for some time. His advancing infantry began to show itself in long lines on the opposite side of the creek; but about this time, say 4 P. M., the other troops of Field's division were arriving and getting into position on my right and left and entrenching themselves. The enemy's infantry seeing this, halted; nor did it advance afterwards. A retreat for the army was secured.

The Second Georgia was commanded by Captain Thomas Chaffin; the Twentieth, by Captain Little. The number of officers and men in the former was about one hundred; in the latter, about one hundred and fifty or one hundred and sixty. What was the loss was never reported to me, but it was not large. Both officers and men evinced a perfect appreciation of the situation and of the object to be accomplished, and executed every movement with promptitude, order and decision. We were the last to leave the line on the retreat — leaving it about midnight. All was done under the immediate eye of General Longstreet, who rode “the colt” everywhere, frequently in front of the line, up and down, with grand unconcern. I never saw anything like it in the war; it was the talk of all.

Field's division in the retreat was some times in the front, some times in the rear. At Farmville it had a sharp affair with the enemy, in which Anderson's brigade made several hundred prisoners. Benning's brigade was not actively engaged. The affair was quite a success.

At Appomattox Courthouse the division was in the rear, with the enemy close up. Its organization was perfect, and it was not at all demoralized. I saw many men with tears streaming from their eyes when it was known that Lee had surrendered. They gathered in groups and debated the question whether we should

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James Longstreet (3)
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