previous next
‘ [440] charge.’ , The response of the 800 present for duty was an answering cheer that gave assurance of victory when the charge should be ordered. A line of battle was promptly formed, and the men, rushing forward, passed Poague's battery, and were advancing on Hancock's men, when they heard behind them, and almost in their midst, from Lee himself, the shouted command, ‘Charge! Charge, boys, charge!’ Glancing back and discovering that Lee in person was joining in, if not leading the charge, the Texans shouted, ‘Go back, General Lee! Marse Robert, go back!’ Poague's men, from amid their guns, also called out, ‘Come back! Come back, General Lee!’ But Lee, waving his hat, rode on with the charge, while from every side, like a shout of command, the soldiers cried out, ‘Lee to the rear! Lee to the rear!’ Then a tall Texas sergeant stepped from the ranks, caught the bridle rein of ‘Traveler,’ and turned him to the rear. Lee reluctantly obeyed this order of his men, who, waving back to him a salute of gratification, rushed forward to meat the solid ranks of Hancock's oncoming host, and the most of them to meet death. Part of Poague's guns moved forward in the charge, and the men with them shouted back to their comrades, ‘Good-bye, boys!’

The Texas brigade, now led by Gregg, struck the masked front of Hancock's corps, in the plank road, and was soon fairly enveloped in a circle of fire; but it flinched not, and soon staggered the Federal column, and then, when Anderson and Benning brought up their Georgians and Law his Alabamians, in support, Hancock's line was forced to yield, not to numbers, but to courage, and was driven back toward his line of defenses, but not until the half of Gregg's men, in ten minutes of fighting, had fallen beside their successful comrades. Lee now deployed Field to the left and Kershaw to the right, and the combat surged back and forth through the tangled and marshy forest. The crisis of the engagement was at hand. Hill's rested men were again sent to the front. At 10 of the morning, Longstreet sent Mahone, with his four brigades, to turn Hancock's left, which they did, under shelter of the cuts and fills of the partially graded Orange railroad, and then, moving forward, struck Hancock's flank and rolled it up, as Hancock himself said, ‘like a wet blanket.’ By 10 o'clock, Lee's counterstroke,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
W. H. F. Lee (10)
Hancock (7)
Poague (3)
Maxcy Gregg (2)
William Mahone (1)
James Longstreet (1)
Kershaw (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
C. W. Field (1)
Benning (1)
R. H. Anderson (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: