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[186] the left of the line, thus bringing me with the Thirty-fourth New York Regiment. This regiment became first engaged with the enemy, and partly from the deadly fire, and partly from the breaking of the regiment on its left (of another brigade), the Thirty-fourth gave way itself. With other officers, I did my best to rally the men, and only with partial success. General Sedgwick, who was at this part of the line, had his horse shot, and was wounded in two places. I looked at his wounds, and advised him to go to the rear; but he would not, and I then offered him my horse, but his wrist was broken, and he could not well ride. . . . .

During this time the rest of the brigade had become separated, and were far to the right. I rode hither and thither all over the field, trying in vain to find the Fifteenth. At last I stumbled upon all that was left,—about one hundred and seventy-five men. [They went into battle with five hundred and eighty-three men, and lost three hundred and twenty-one killed and wounded, and twenty-four missing.]

. . . . The Colonel desired me to try and get the body of Captain Simonds, which had been brought part way back. Taking an ambulance, I found it, and while putting it in was called some way to the front to see Colonel Wristar of the California Regiment. . . . . While hastily dressing their wounds, word was brought that the Rebel skirmishers were close upon us. Colonel Wristar thought he could walk, but while helping him out he fainted, and I had just brought him to, when his own surgeon appeared.

. . . . The fight was expected to be renewed the next morning, but both sides rested on their arms. A lot of our killed and wounded lay beyond our lines, and within those of the Rebels. I made several vain efforts to get at them, and particularly to find Tom Spurr, riding even beyond our own pickets, and within halfgunshot distance of the Rebel pickets, who were in plain sight. Towards night I went, with Colonel Lee of the Twentieth, and a flag of truce, over to the Rebels to get permission to bury our dead and carry off the wounded. We parleyed some time with several staff officers, and finally with General Fitz-Hugh Lee himself; but permission would not be given, unless an arrangement had been made between the commanders of the two forces themselves.

During the night the enemy retreated, and early in the morning we went over and found our dead and wounded,—an awful sight. The Rebels, however, had been kind to our wounded, and got them in and around a barn with large haystacks.

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Wristar (2)
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