previous next

[459] part as needed; all, from the outset, displaying that marvellous capacity of our people as artillerists, which has made them, it would appear, at once the terror and the admiration of the enemy.

As was soon apparent, the Federalists had suffered severely from our artillery, and from the fire of our musketry on the right, and especially from the left flank, placed under close cover, within whose galling range they had been advanced. And we are told in their official reports how regiment after regiment, thrown forward to dislodge us, was broken, never to recover its entire organization on that field.

In the meantime, also, two companies of Stuart's cavalry (Carter's and Hoge's) made a dashing charge down the Brentsville and Sudley road upon the Fire Zouaves, then the enemy's right on the plateau, which added to their disorder wrought by our musketry on that flank. But still the press of the enemy was heavy in that quarter of the field, as fresh troops were thrown forward there to outflank us; and some three guns of a battery, in an attempt to obtain a position, apparently to enfilade our batteries, were thrown so close to the 33d regiment, Jackson's brigade, that that regiment, springing forward, seized them, but with severe loss, and was subsequently driven back by an overpowering force of Federal musketry.

Now, full 2 o'clock P. M., I gave the order for the right of my line, except my reserves, to advance to recover the plateau. It was done with uncommon resolution and vigor, and at the same time Jackson's brigade pierced the enemy's centre, with the determination of veterans and the spirit of men who fight for a sacred cause; but it suffered seriously. With equal spirit the other parts of the line made the onset, and the Federal lines were broken and swept back at all points from the open ground of the plateau. Rallying soon, however, as they were strongly reinforced by fresh regiments, the Federalists returned; and, by weight of numbers, pressed our lines back, recovered their ground and guns, and renewed the offensive.

By this time, between half-past 2 and 3 o'clock P. M., our reinforcements pushed forward, and, directed by General Johnston to the required quarter, were at hand just as I had ordered forward to a second effort for the recovery of the disputed plateau, the whole line, including my reserve, which, at this crisis of the battle, I felt called upon to lead in person. This attack was general, and was shared in by every regiment then in the field, including the 6th, Fisher's, North Carolina regiment, which had just come up, and taken position on the immediate left of the 49th Virginia regiment. The whole open ground was again swept clear of the enemy, and the plateau around the Henry and Robinson houses remained finally in our possession, with the greater part of the Ricketts and Griffin batteries, and a flag of the 1st Michigan regiment, captured by the 27th Virginia regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Echolls), of Jackson's brigade. This part of the day was rich with deeds of individual coolness and dauntless conduct, as well as well-directed, embodied resolution and bravery, but fraught with the loss to the service of the country of lives of inestimable preciousness at this juncture. The brave Bee was mortally wounded at the head of the 4th Alabama and some Mississippians, in the open field near the Henry house; and,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Jackson (Tennessee, United States) (3)
Fort Fisher (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Brentsville (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. E. B. Stuart (1)
Joseph E. Johnston (1)
Hoge (1)
Echolls (1)
Carter (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: