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[191]

On the 29th the battery was ordered to the right, near where Granberry's Texas brigade repulsed the enemy on the 27th.

About 1 o'clock in the morning of the 30th, Captain Rowan ordered Lieutenant Ritter to go with the officer of the day to the picket line, to get the range of a working party of the enemy, about six hundred yards in front of his position. They went within a hundred yards of this party, near enough to hear the men speak, but not to distinguish their words. As they returned to the battery, Lieutenant Ritter marked the trees with his eye that he might be certain of the range. He called the cannoneers, who were asleep, to the guns, and opened upon the intruders, who ceased working, and did not return to that place again.

It was a calm, starlight night, no breeze was stirring, and the booming of the Napoleon guns was echoed and re-echoed among the distant hills. The infantry, who lay in the ditches, were aroused from their slumbers by the sudden firing, and sprang up at once along the line, muskets in hand, and ready for action.

On the 31st, Corporal Thomas Jones was killed by a random picket shot, and Private A. Lee wounded by the same ball. These men belonged to first detachment of the battery, the same that had suffered so severely at the battle of Resaca. The body of Corporal Jones was buried on a small ridge three hundred yards in rear of the line, and Lieutenant Ritter cut his name on a small piece of board, and placed it at the head of the grave.

Early in the afternoon of the same day, Lieutenant Ritter went to a spring about a hundred yards in front of the line, to get some water. While there, he concluded to wash his feet, and took a seat on a stone, near the bank below the spring, and pulled off his left boot and sock. Very soon he heard a minnie ball pass over his head and strike the bank behind him. He paid no attention to it, thinking it was a random shot, but a second, third and fourth one came, striking the bank about the same place; but the last one came so very near his head that he concluded to beat a retreat, being convinced that a picket in a tree top, not far distant, was taking deliberate aim at him.

When, on the 4th of June, the New Hope line was abandoned for the Lost Mountain line, and that afterwards for the Noonday Valley line, the Third Maryland took part in every movement. On the 22d, at Marietta, the battery was ordered out on the field with General Stevenson's division, to charge the right wing of the enemy's line. It was placed on a hill half a mile from the Federal force, there to await further orders; but it was not sent forward. Stevenson's


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