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[19] every officer except five of the Seventeenth is shot down; of the forty-six muskets thirty-five are dead, dying or struck down; three, myself among them, are run over by the line in blue, and throw up our hands in token of surrender.

Two of them stopped to take our small squad in charge, and the rest of their line hurried forward towards the village. As we turned to leave we saw our whole brigade striking for the rear at a 2:40 gait. The South Carolina brigade on our left had given away, and the enemy swept on triumphantly, with nothing to bar his progress and save the village, the coveted prize, from falling into their hands; but Toombs's Georgia brigade, which had been driven from the Antietam bridge early in the forenoon, had reformed in our rear, and covered the hamlet.

When a farewell glance of the ground was taken there was a sad sight; there rested the line of the Seventeenth just as they had fallen.

The three prisoners were hurried to the rear, and on reaching the opposite crest found that our fire had been very destructive; each man had probably killed or wounded his man. On the ground surrounded by a group of officers and a surgeon was the Colonel of the regiment that had charged the Seventeenth. He appeared to be mortally hurt, and was deathly pale. Hurrying us back a few hundred yards on the top of a hill, out of the reach of shot and shell, captured and capturers turned to look at the scene before them. As far as our eye could reach our forces seemed to be giving ground; and as line after line of the Yankee reserves pushed forward it looked dark for the Rebels—it seemed to us as if Sharpsburg was to be our Waterloo.

A frightful struggle was now going on in the woods half a mile or so to our left. It appeared to us as if all the demons of hell had been unloosed—all the dogs of war unleashed to prey upon and rend each other; long volleys of musketry vomited their furious discharges of pestilential lead; the atmosphere was crowded by the exploding shells; baleful fires gleamed through the foliage, as if myriads of fireflies were flitting through the boughs, and there was a fringe of vivid, sparkling flame spurting out along the skirt of the forest, while the concussion of the cannon seemed to make the hills tremble and totter.

But a change takes place in this panorama; a marvellous change, before our very eyes. One moment the lines of blue are steadily advancing everywhere and sweeping everything before them; another moment and all is altered. The disordered ranks of blue come rushing

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Waterloo, Seneca County, New York (New York, United States) (2)
Sharpsburg (Maryland, United States) (2)

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