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[182] this order I notified General Benning that I could see nothing of General McLaws, but instead of finding his troops upon my left, that the enemy were moving around upon my left in heavy force. After this time I received no further orders or notice of the movement of our troops from any one. The enemy came on rapidly in heavy force, turning my left entirely, and also advancing in front, and moving upon my right, in the space between my right and the left of the position where I had left the balance of our brigade.

After fighting in this position until I saw the enemy had greatly the advantage of me by his flank movement, I drew my line of battle back about seventy or eighty yards, changing at the same time my front. At this position I secured my men as best I could behind rock and trees, seeing that I was compelled to fight greatly superior numbers. In this position I had a desperate fight, the enemy moving up on my right and left flanks and front. I fought them until they had gotten within twenty to forty yards of my men. Seeing no reinforcements coming to my relief, and finding that in a few moments more my whole regiment would be either killed or captured, I ordered a retreat through the only space left open to me by the enemy. After falling back three or four hundred yards, I rallied my regiment behind a stone fence, and there checked the advance of the enemy; but after fighting in this position for a time, the enemy made the same movement upon this position that he had done upon the one I had last left, by throwing a force around my left flank, and moving up on my right flank, by this means hoping to surround me, and entirely cut off all means of retreat. As soon as I saw that the position of the enemy rendered my position untenable, I again ordered my men to retire. After retreating some four hundred yards further back I again rallied the remnant of my regiment, and fought them until driven from my position by one of the enemy's batteries, which completely enfiladed my position, throwing shells among my men who were lying behind the stone fence. I again ordered a retreat and fell back to where the balance of the brigade had been ordered after I left it.

During each of the four separate fights I made that evening I looked for and expected support either upon my right or left, which did not come, nor did I retire from either position until I had ascertained that there was no support to be had. My men and officers fought bravely, but my loss was immense. How any of us escaped, I do not see. In the battle of the 2nd July I went in with 330 or 335 muskets, and lost seventy men killed, wounded and missing. In the battle of the third I lost one hundred and one, making a total loss of one hundred and seventy-one men in the two days fighting.

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McLaws (1)
H. L. Benning (1)
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