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[431] shock reached Captain Patten. He had a regiment which never had learned to break. Changing front with the greatest rapidity and skill, he disposed his scanty band of heroes to meet the shock. It was met and stayed. For the first time that day the Rebel column was checked, and all that was left of the division and of the day was saved. Thus Captain Patten plucked up drowning honor by the locks, and snatched personal glory from a day of utter and disastrous defeat.

Of this action Major Finley Anderson, soon after of General Hancock's staff, wrote to the New York Herald, and depicting the universal rout and destruction, especially on the capture of McKnight's batteries, said:—

At this point, however, the tide was turned in our favor by the coolness, courage, and skill of a good line officer. It was Captain H. L. Patten, commanding the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment, who, taking advantage of an angle of the zigzag line of breastworks, executed a change of front, poured some well-directed volleys into the enemy, and checked his further progress. It is a prevalent opinion that, had other commanders acted as he did, the enemy would have been repulsed in the commencement.

General Morgan wrote afterwards:—

When nearly all the other regimental commanders seemed to have lost their wits, Major Patten may be said to have saved his regiment from the fate that overtook those adjacent to it.

After this crowning exploit, Patten still commanded his regiment, through battle, march, and skirmish, until the 14th of August, when he was relieved by Colonel Macy. Meanwhile, he had been adjudged worthy of the rank of Major, the assurance of which he received just before his death,—antedated to May i, 1864. Soon after occurred the series of sanguinary feints at Deep Bottom. Major Patten took his regiment into the fight of the 17th of August, at Deep Bottom, where Gibbon's division suffered greatly, and soon, rushing in to the front, as he always did, he received a rifle-ball in the left knee, —his fifth and final wound. He was carried from his last field, and the surgeons amputated the leg above the knee,—

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