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[49] enemy's fire became so heavy that it rapidly disabled the artillerists, leaving but few to the gun, when De Lagnel, who had had his horse shot under him, gallantly volunteered in person, and helped to load and fire the gun three or four times, at last with only the help of a boy, all his artillerists having been killed or wounded. Finally, receiving a severe wound and finding his command outflanked on both sides, he ordered his men to retreat into the woods and by an old road, to the northward, which led down the mountain to Beverly, after having sustained a brave fight, from 3 p. m. to 6 p. m., with his staunch 310 men of all arms, against over six times his own number, and suffered a loss of nearly one-third of his courageous men, who had held their position and fought like veterans until ordered to retreat. De Lagnel, the last to leave the field, escaped capture and found refuge in the house of a mountaineer, who, though a Unionist, secretly cared for him, until he was able to find his way toward the Confederate lines only to be captured in their immediate vicinity.

Moved by the noise of furious battle in his rear, Pegram, late in the day, took six companies from the right of the intrenchments at Camp Garnett, and hurried up the mountain to the scene of action, ordering another gun of Anderson's battery to follow. Nearing the gap he found De Lagnel's men in retreat, their gun abandoned, and the Federals in possession. The runaway horses of De Lagnel's caisson rushed down the mountain just in time to meet and overturn the second piece of artillery on its way up. Maj. Nat Tyler, with five companies of the Twentieth Virginia and one of the Twenty-fifth, continued to advance up the road to a good position for an ambuscade on its north side, about halfway between Camp Garnett and the gap, which they took to resist any Federal movement down to the rear of the camp. Pegram joined this force, and led them, as he reports, to a position from which to attack the enemy when, after a consultation of officers, all agreed that there was nothing left to do but for Tyler to march with his command either to join Garnett at Laurel hill or Scott near Beverly. It was half-past 6 in the afternoon when this conclusion was reached, and Tyler retreated and Pegram rode back through the forest down the mountain, frequently losing his way, and reached Camp Garnett about midnight.

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