more than once, if that.
Three times was it taken and retaken before the enemy gave up the struggle to retain it. I bad a number of men wounded at the guns--two of them, James
and John Wells
, brothers, wounded on one of the guns; and James, although shot through the lungs, is still living and able to do a day's work as a post and rail fencer.
Indeed, such was the impetuosity of one of these charges — the first, I think — that two of my men, Kirkpatrick
, penetrated so deeply into the enemy's lines that they could not fall back with their comrades when repulsed, but remained in the confused masses of the enemy, unnoticed I presume, until another charge, which almost immediately followed, extricated them.
Shortly after this bloody strife began, looking to my left, I saw a heavy mass of the enemy advancing from the direction of the Sudley
road, on a line parallel with and equi-distant between my line of battle and the Henry house
For a moment I thought I must be doubled up, but had resolved to stand my ground, cost what it might, when, to my great relief, the Sixth North Carolina, Colonel Fisher
, and the Second Mississippi, Colonel Falkner
, came up from the direction of the Lewis house
, and formed in much confusion on my left, relieving me, however, in a great degree from my perilous position.
I had three times stopped these regiments as previously described, and now they came up so opportunely to my relief that it almost seemed to be an act of Providence
By the time they had formed in tolerable order, the enemy nearly covered their front without seeming to have discovered them.
Being on my extreme left, one of the North Carolinians, recognizing me, called to me from his ranks: “That is the enemy; shall we fire?”
I replied: “Don't be in a hurry; Don't fire upon friends.”
At the instant a puff of wind spread out the Federal
flag, and I added, “There is no mistake; give them h — l, boys!”
thus giving orders most strangely to a regiment which was not under my command to begin the fight.
The enemy was soon scattered and disappeared from the field.
I have not been able, after much investigation, to discover his name or number.
, of the Sixth North Carolina, claims that his regiment united with us in one of the charges on the enemy's guns and to have suffered severely.
It was on this charge, I presume, that Colonel Fisher
was killed, as he fell some one hundred and fifty yards in advance of his original line of battle.
When driven back from the enemy's guns neither the North Carolinians nor Mississippians remained to renew the charge, but incontinently left the field.
I was thus again on the left of our line of battle, with no enemy in sight.