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[457] the southeastern rim of the plateau, on which the battle was now to rage so long and so fiercely.

Colonel William Smith's battalion of the 49th Virginia Volunteers having also come up by my orders, I placed it on the left of Gartrell's, as my extreme left at the time. Repairing then to the right, I placed Hampton's Legion, which had suffered greatly, on that flank, somewhat to the rear of Harper's regiment, and also the seven companies of the 8th (Hunton's) Virginia regiment, which, detached from Cocke's brigade by my orders and those of General Johnston, had opportunely reached the ground. These, with Harper's regiment, constituted a reserve to protect our right flank from an advance of the enemy from the quarter of the stone bridge, and served as a support for the line of battle, which was formed on the right of Bee's and Evans's commands, in the centre by four regiments of Jackson's brigade, with Imboden's four 6-pounders, Walton's five guns— two rifled, two guns—one piece rifled—of Stanard's, and two 6-pounders of Rogers's batteries, the latter under Lieutenant Heaton; and on the left by Gartrell's reduced ranks and Colonel Smith's battalion, subsequently reinforced by Faulkner's 2d Mississippi regiment, and by another regiment of the Army of the Shenandoah, just arrived upon the field, the 6th, Fisher's, North Carolina. Confronting the enemy at this time, my forces numbered, at most, not more than six thousand five hundred infantry and artillerists, with but thirteen pieces of artillery and two companies (Carter's and Hoge's) of Stuart's cavalry.

The enemy's force, now bearing hotly and confidently down on our position, regiment after regiment of the best-equipped men that ever took the field, according to their own official history of the day, was formed of Colonels Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions, Sherman's and Keyes's brigades of Tyler's division, and of the formidable batteries of Ricketts, Griffin, and Arnold, Regulars, and the 2d Rhode Island, and two Dahlgren howitzers, a force of over twenty thousand infantry, seven companies of Regular cavalry, and twenty-four pieces of improved artillery. At the same time, perilous, heavy reserves of infantry and artillery hung in the distance around the stone bridge, Mitchell's, Blackburn's, and Union Mills' fords, visibly ready to fall upon us at any moment; and I was also assured of the existence of other heavy corps at and around Centreville, and elsewhere within convenient supporting distances.

Fully conscious of this portentous disparity of force, as I posted the lines for the encounter, I sought to infuse into the hearts of my officers and men the confidence and determined spirit of resistance to this wicked invasion of the homes of a free people, which I felt. I informed them that reinforcements would rapidly come up to their support, and that we must, at all hazards, hold our posts until reinforced. I reminded them that we fought for our homes, our firesides, and for the independence of our country. I urged them to the resolution of victory or death on that field. These sentiments were loudly, eagerly, cheered wheresoever proclaimed, and I then felt reassured of the unconquerable spirit of that army, which would enable us to wrench victory from the host then threatening us with destruction.

Oh, my country! I would readily have sacrificed my life and those of all the brave men around me, to save your honor, and to maintain your independence

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William Smith (2)
Harper (2)
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James B. Walton (1)
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J. E. B. Stuart (1)
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Joseph E. Johnston (1)
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Barnard E. Bee (1)
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