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[188] fought with great heroism through the morning of the 17th. The Thirty-first, under Lieut.-Col. J. T. Crowder, was on picket duty during the previous night. Lawton's brigade, under Col. Marcellus Douglass, and Trimble's under Colonel Walker, of Virginia, sustained a destructive artillery attack at daybreak, followed by an assault of infantry, and after a short time General Lawton received a severe wound which compelled his withdrawal from the field. Gen. Jubal A. Early then for the first time assumed command of the division. The latter reported of the fight:
Colonel Walker, by moving two of his regiments, the Twenty-first Georgia and Twenty-first North Carolina, and concentrating their fire and that of the Twelfth Georgia upon a part of the enemy's line in front of the latter, succeeded in breaking it; and as a brigade of fresh troops came up to the support of Lawton's and Hays' brigades just at this time, Walker ordered an advance, but the brigade which came up having fallen back, he was compelled to halt, and finally to fall back to his first position. His brigade (Trimble's) had suffered terribly. . . . Colonel Douglass, whose brigade had been hotly engaged during the whole time, was killed, and about half of the men had been killed, wounded and captured.

The terrible nature of the conflict in which these brigades had been engaged, and the steadiness with which they maintained their position, are shown by the losses they sustained. Lawton's brigade suffered a loss of 554 killed and wounded out of 1, 500, and five regimental commanders out of six. Hays' and Walker's brigades, together hardly equal in numbers to Lawton's, suffered the same loss, including all of the regimental commanders but one. ‘In the death of Colonel Douglass,’ said Early, ‘the country sustained a serious loss. He was talented, courageous and devoted to his duty.’ Maj. J. H. Lowe, Thirty-first Georgia, succeeded to the command of Lawton's brigade, being the senior officer present not disabled. He reported the gallant conduct

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E. P. Lawton (6)
John G. Walker (4)
Marcellus Douglass (3)
Trimble (2)
R. Hays (2)
Jubal A. Early (2)
John H. Lowe (1)
John T. Crowder (1)
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