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[181] a considerable length of time, and until late in the evening, when it became so dark that objects in the woods could not be so easily discerned. I then learned that the enemy were again moving round upon my left in heavy force. Upon learning this, I changed my line back about two hundred yards and fronted differently. I had not gotten through this movement before I discovered that the enemy were moving forward rapidly and were within two hundred yards of the left of my line. I halted, faced about and commenced fighting them, and after a few well directed volleys, succeeded in checking their advance. They then fell back, and I moved my regiment back to the stone fence in my rear, formed them in a few moments and rested in this position until General Benning ordered me to rest for the night upon the hill in my front. It was now after dark; I moved up and occupied the position he had directed me to, and also collected together all the fragments of regiments and companies from other commands, and formed them upon the same line with my own regiment, and stationed pickets in front. In this position I remained until just before daylight on the morning of the 3d of July, when I was ordered by General Benning to move my regiment back to the stone wall, from which he had ordered me the night before. I remained in position behind this wall until late in the evening of the third day of July, keeping a body of skirmishers in my front. In the latter part of the evening the enemy pressed so heavily upon my skirmishers that I was compelled to reinforce them with two additional companies, and very soon thereafter a heavy skirmish commenced.

The enemy had commenced moving around upon my left in heavy force. The troops upon my left having been withdrawn, I notified General Benning of the movement being made by the enemy. He immediately came down to my position and there received orders through a courier to move the left of his brigade so as to unite with the right of General McLaws's Division. Brigadier-General Benning ordered me to move to the position pointed out by the courier, which order I obeyed at once, calling in most of my skirmishers. The new position to which I had been ordered and occupied left a space of fully a quarter of a mile between my right and the then left of General Benning's brigade. This space was entirely unoccupied except by a few skir-mishers from my regiment. I had not gained my new position but a short time before a brisk skirmish commenced between the enemy and my left wing. At this time I received an order from General Benning by one of his couriers to hold the hill I was on and that General McLaws would support me on the left. By the courier who brought me

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H. L. Benning (6)
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