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[95] He then briefly gave Taylor instructions to move against the battery on the plateau, and sent a young officer from his staff as a guide. The advance of the enemy was checked by an attack on his flank by two of our regiments, under Colonel Scott; this was only a temporary relief, however, for this small command was soon afterward driven back to the woods, with severe loss. Our batteries during the check were all safely withdrawn except one six-pounder gun.

In this critical condition of Winder's command, General Taylor made a successful attack on the left and rear of the enemy, which diverted attention from the front, and led to a concentration of his force upon him. Moving to the right along the mountain acclivity, he was unseen before he emerged from the wood, just as the loud cheers of the enemy proclaimed their success in front. Although opposed by a superior force in front and flank, and with their guns in position, with a rush and shout the gorge was passed, impetuously the charge was made, and the battery of six guns fell into our hands. Three times was this battery lost and won in the desperate and determined efforts to capture and recover it, and the enemy finally succeeded in carrying off one of the guns, leaving both caisson and limber. Thus occupied with Taylor, the enemy halted in his advance, and formed a line facing the mountain. Winder succeeded in rallying his command, and our batteries were replaced in their former positions. At the same time reenforcements were brought by General Ewell to Taylor, who pushed forward with them, assisted by the welldirected fire of our artillery.

Of this period in the battle, than which there has seldom been one of greater peril, or where danger was more gallantly met, I copy a description from the work of General Taylor:

The fighting in and around the battery was hand-to-hand, and many fell from bayonet-wounds. Even the artillerymen used their rammers in a way not laid down in the manual, and died at their guns. I called for Hayes, but he, the promptest of men, and his splendid regiment could not be found. Something unexpected had occurred, but there was no time for speculation. With a desperate rally, in which I believe the drummer-boys shared, we carried the battery for the third time, and held it. Infantry and riflemen had been driven off, and we began to feel a little comfortable, when the enemy, arrested in his advance by our attack, appeared. He had countermarched, and, with left near the river, came into full view of our situation. Wheeling to the right, with colors advanced, like a solid wall he marched straight upon us. There seemed nothing left but to set our back to the mountain and die hard. At the instant, crashing through the underwood, came Ewel, outriding staff and escort. He produced the effect of a reenforcement, and was welcomed with cheers. The line before us halted and threw forward skirmishers. A moment later a shell came shrieking along it, loud

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Wheeling, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (1)

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Walter H. Taylor (5)
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Ewell (1)
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