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[45] instant we got near them, the men on picket sprang up and began firing, and as we advanced beyond them they, the 15th N. J., which I remember as being the regiment we relieved, ran back under shelter, and we were left to face the enemy and hold the line that they had held. Nothing had been said to us, no orders had been given, and I doubt very much if our officers knew what was expected of them, or us. I stood where the Jersey men had left me for a little time. I looked in front of me. Along a sort of meadow ran a rail fence separating it from a piece of woods. From this fence sprang out puffs of smoke, and the instant hiss of a missile in our vicinity told us that we were the object of the rifleman's attention. Almost instantly I saw two on my right, Doxtater and Davis, tumble down shot, and on my left heard Delos Doxtater cry “I am shot.” I felt a fierce tug and numbness run along my left arm and side and felt I had been struck myself. Benny West sang out “Lie down,” and seeing I had been hit, I dropped down on my face and hands. In the brief time I had been standing there I saw that we were in a bare, unsheltered place, and several men of the regiment that we had relieved were lying in our front. I examined my arm and side, but found to my great relief that excepting a numbness, they were all right, and I immediately turned my attention to the fellows in our front who were seeking to assist us in shuffling off this mortal coil. We fired at them several times, but they returned our compliments with accuracy and earnestness. I got my tin plate out of my haversack for a starter and soon scooped out a hole which afforded some shelter from the sharpshooters in our front. In the meantime Delos Doxtater had crawled back to the reserve to have his wounds cared for. Word was passed down the line from my right that Levi Doxtater was mortally

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Benny West (1)
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