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[44] close of the battle. The main body, under Lyon's immediate command, made no general advance from the position first gained, but maintained that position against several fierce assaults. The enemy manifestly did not make good use of his superior numbers. He attacked us in front several times, but with a force not greatly superior to our own, and was invariably repulsed. Our men fought extremely well for raw troops, maintaining their ground, without any cover whatever, against repeated assaults for six hours, and losing in killed and wounded fully one third of their number. General Lyon received two wounds, one in the leg and one in the head, about the middle of the engagement; he then became more despondent than before, apparently from the effects of his wounds, for there appeared nothing in the state of the battle to dishearten a man of such unbounded courage as he undoubtedly possessed. A portion of our troops had given away in some disorder. Lyon said: ‘Major, I am afraid the day is lost.’ I looked at him in surprise, saw the blood trickling down his face, and divining the reason for his despondency, replied: ‘No, General; let us try it again.’ He seemed reencouraged, and we then separated, rallied and led forward the only troops then not in action—two regiments. Lyon was killed at the head of one of these regiments while exposing himself with utter recklessness to the enemy's fire.

When Lyon and I separated, he to lead the attack in which he fell, I reformed the other regiment and led it into action, giving the command ‘Charge!’ as soon as we came within plain view of the enemy, hoping to try conclusions with the bayonet, with which we were much better supplied than they. That regiment advanced in splendid style until it received the enemy's fire, then the command ‘Charge!’ was forgotten, and the regiment halted and commenced firing. Thus I found myself ‘between two fires.’ But the brave boys

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N. Lyon (5)
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