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[153] thirty paces in rear; shot and shell tore through our ranks; not a man fell out; the wounded men were picked up by the hospital detail and attended to on the spot by our gallant medical officers, who in every action were as close to us as line or field officers. Wishing to change direction, the order was given, “Battalion, right wheel,” and they swung round like an arm; coming to a small rise which would shelter the men, they were halted, brought to a shoulder, then an order, then lie down.

Colonel Johnson went forward to reconnoitre. Instantly from the cloud of smoke in front rushed a battalion in disorder. “Halt, men, and rally!> form! Form!” cried he, as by word and sabre he tried to rally them, but precept and example were vain. “They were cut to pieces; they were flanked; their officers were all killed!” they said, and nothing could stop them. Directly two small groups came back around two battle-flags. “Who are you?” cried the Colonel. “The Fifth and----North Carolina,” said they. “Colonel McCrea ordered us to take that orchard and house, but we can't stand it.” “For the love you bear the Old North State, rally and charge!” “Yes, for her, the old North State forever” and clustering around those two little flags the gallant fellows with a cheer carried the colors of North Carolina into that hell of fire. “Up men and forward!” was our order, as an Alabama regiment formed on our right and two Virginians on our left. “Steady men, steady,” as we rose the crest and the battery became visible on a hill beyond the McGee House, the orchard and road between us, and which were filled with Yankees. Just then a disorderly, broken crowd tore back by us. “Shoulder, arms,” cried the Colonel. “Support, arms,” “Shoulder, arms,” “Right shoulder shift, arms,” were the orders he gave deliberately and slowly as the canister screamed over and around us. His object was to distract the attention of the men from the terrible fire and death around them, and to make them look alone to him for orders. Then coming within a hundred yards of the orchard road, and house, “charge” and forward we went with that old cheer which used to tell the Yankees their time had come. Over everything we went pell-mell into the road, over the fence, through the orchard, by the house. But the battery was gone, no further stand was made, and the battle of Cold Harbor or Gaines's Mill was won.

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