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[147] was passed amid constant skirmishing and firing. In the morning the Rebel corps advanced, three lines deep, to the attack. The Second stood its ground for an hour and a half of hard fighting. Lieutenant-Colonel Cogswell was wounded early and carried from the field, and his duties then devolved on Major Mudge, who handled the regiment with the utmost bravery and success, and finally broke all three lines of the enemy. In doing so they fired sixty rounds, and exhausted their ammunition. In this helpless condition, however, they stood fast for some time longer, until relief came, and they were at last ordered to the rear. But the route was no peaceful one; they were obliged, still with empty cartridge-boxes, to halt at Chancellor House. The enemy's fire came from three sides, and was very fatal and of increasing severity. At last the regiment was removed to a less dangerous position, where the men enjoyed a short rest, had their cartridge-boxes replenished, and were then again sent into the battle on the left, marching over ground where the underbrush was fiercely burning, and where the black dust from the smouldering patches blinded and stifled them painfully.

On the night of the 6th they were ordered to cross the river, preserving the strictest silence; for the artillery had been withdrawn, and their position was one of extreme danger. But these orders were again suddenly countermanded; and they passed a cold, wet, and most trying night in the trenches, until, just at dawn, they were again ordered to ,cross. Three weary miles they dragged their chilled limbs in the cold, gray morning, to where a throng of infantry and artillery was confusedly massed upon the banks of the river, whose swollen and tumultuous tide was spanned by two small and weak pontoons. They came across, however, in safety, and thankful for their safety, and marched back thirty miles to their old huts at Stafford Court-House. During the whole of this harassing period Major Mudge preserved a decision and coolness which never allowed the men to swerve from their discipline. After it was all over, he wrote to his father the following unassuming account of the perils he had so honorably passed through:—

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