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[365] “rushed out to stop them” as “they emerged from the woods on the charge,” or “to change their direction before they were exposed to the fire of the enemy.”

They were in the right direction — their commanding officer being in communication with his two superior officers, both on the field, and being then actually engaged in obeying the orders of both of them.

Again, Colonel Bratton says: “Two of Early's regiments were stopped in the wood and proper direction given to them (the Twenty-fourth Virginia and Hoke's North Carolina regiment). The two that charged my works were the Fifth North Carolina and a Virginia regiment commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel Early.” Having shown that such a charge by the Fifth North Carolina was impossible, I proceed to show that the statement is not accurate, as to the Virginia regiment — and this is so for two reasons: First. There was no regiment in Early's brigade, or on that field, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Early. Second. There was no such officer as Lieutenant-Colonel Early. Nor is the statement more historic that the Twenty-fourth Virginia regiment was “stopped in the wood and proper direction given to it.” The Twenty-fourth Virginia, being on the left of the brigade and nearest to the enemy, was the first to come in contact with him. It was never “stopped in the wood” by anybody. It encountered the enemy's skirmishers to the west and rear of the redoubt, where Colonel Bratton was. It pushed these skirmishers out into the field, and had a brisk fight with the right of his line, to the left of the redoubt and beyond the front of it, while the Fifth North Carolina was getting up; and in this fight General Early, Colonel Terry, commanding the Twenty-fourth, and its Lieutenant-Colonel Hairston, were all wounded. What part Colonel Bratton's command bore in that fight of course I. do not know. I am sure, however, that no portion of it reported to or was seen by me when I took command of that regiment, as part of the brigade actually in the field, which I did as soon as I reached the redoubt, and while the Fifth North Carolina was pushing the enemy beyond the two redoubts. When Colonel Bratton further says: “The Twenty-fourth Virginia had meanwhile [that is, about the time the Fifth North Carolina reached the fence] emerged from the wood on the left, nearer to the enemy than my redoubt on which Early's regiment charged, and was moving in fine style upon them. Early's.regiment never recovered from the confusion into which they were thrown by the taking of my works. They ”

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Samuel Early (7)
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