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[327]

Capt. Adams' memoirs cite the fact that ‘at noon the officers withdrew a little to the rear for dinner and in the conversation Major Dunn said, ‘I fell asleep a little while ago and had a queer dream. We were lying just as we are here, and the rebels came in our rear and captured the entire regiment.’’

The others laughed at his dream, saying they ‘guessed they would not go to Richmond that way’ and returned to the line. The firing in front increased, with the batteries doing good work, for the rebels.

At 3 P. M. the Second and Fifth Corps were ordered to advance. Barlow's and Gibbon's divisions being formed in line of battle, it is claimed that Barlow's men fell back on receiving the attack of the enemy. The nature of the ground was such that this movement was not perceived by Gibbon, it being uneven and covered with thick underbrush. Gibbon's men stood their ground and before they were aware of the fact, the bayonets of the enemy were at their back.

In a moment the rebels had captured the majority of the Nineteenth Massachusetts, together with the Fifteenth Massachusetts, the Forty-Second and Fifty-Ninth New York, part of the Eighty-Second New York and a few men from the Twentieth Massachusetts, from the same brigade.

Colonel Ansel D. Wass had been ill for some time, but rode up in an ambulance, arriving just in time to see it gobbled up by the enemy.

About 30 men escaped from the general misfortune, being mostly men in the ranks, clerks, quartermasters, department cooks and sick men.

The captured officers and men were hurried to the rear and were promptly relieved of hats, belts and personal property, despite their protests. ‘I had received that morning,’ says Lieutenant Joseph E. Hodgkins, of Co. K, ‘a little hat, weighing only an ounce, from home and had just placed it on my head when I was taken. A big rebel grabbed it and threw me this old one,—a very heavy one, so I got no comfort from my new cap from home.’

Michael Scannell, the color sergeant, had, with another color bearer, been standing at the rear of the line with the colors.

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