The enemy's artillery too was supplemented by a heavy gun mounted on a railroad car. With these accessions to his force, Colquitt
moved the Sixth and Thirty-second Georgia to flank the right of Barton
's brigade, and notwithstanding stubborn resistance, was gradually forcing it back.
throughout these events was present on the field, exhibiting great personal gallantry.
Discerning that victory was not for him, after such grievous losses, he sent to hasten the colored brigade into action, and made disposition to retire under cover of Montgomery
About 2.30 P. M. the colored brigade was resting,—the Fifty-fourth in the shade on the left of the road at a place where wood had lately been felled.
Musketry firing had been heard in the distance, but after a time there came the sound of cannon.
‘That's home-made thunder,’ said one man. ‘I don't mind the thunder if the lightning don't strike me!’
was the response.
Another remarked, ‘I want to go home!’
‘You'll stay forever, maybe!’
was the reply.
Soon an orderly rode up at full speed, calling for the commanding officer
. Colonel Hallowell
sprang to his feet, and received an order for his rapid advance.
In a few moments the regiment was moving at the doublequick, urged on by the heavier sound of battle.
When the pace began to tell on the men, knapsacks, blankets, and even haversacks were cast away to lighten their load.
At the railroad crossing, Colonel Montgomery
, who was leading, was met by a staff-officer from General Seymour
, bringing the order to move forward he had anticipated.
Nearing the battleground, resounding with cannon-shots and musketry, the dispiriting scene so trying to troops about to engage, of hundreds of wounded and stragglers, was encountered.