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[522] the enemy at bay, foiling every direct effort to drive us from it, and it was not until the enemy had passed completely around our left flank and were moving on our rear that the order was given to withdraw. So closely was the enemy pushing us at this time that I found it necessary to move out by the right flank, whilst my skirmishers held them in check in front. After moving sufficiently far to my right to uncover my rear, the command was faced to the right and moved in the direction of the pike at Middletown, with orders to halt on the crest of the hill. Up to this time both officers and men had obeyed with commendable cheerfulness and alacrity all orders, but unfortunately, in moving to the rear, a very high fence was encountered, and in clearing it my line was necessarily broken, and being without a staff officer, or courier, and my horse being shot under me, before it could be reformed a stream of flying fugitives from other commands became so mixed up with my men, infecting the latter with their own fears, that they soon became oblivious of every thing save an earnest desire to leave the enemy as far in the rear as possible. I shall say nothing of the panic and flight that ensued, so much deplored as it is by all.

I cannot, whilst alluding to the shortcomings of this brigade, forbear giving both officers and men that praise which is so justly their due, for the noble display of all the admirable and true qualities of the soldier up to the time the retreat was ordered, and no one who witnessed the advance of the brigade on that day against :he different positions of the enemy, will hesitate to bestow upon it unqualified admiration. It would, perhaps, be invidious for me to discriminate or attempt to allot to each and all a due proportion of praise, but I may say that to the commanding officers of each of the organizations I am greatly indebted, not only for prompt obedience of orders, but for skill and gallantry displayed in the handling of their men.

For a full and detailed account of the operations of each command I refer you to the reports herewith enclosed. I am also greatly indebted to Lieutenant S. J. Pope, of the Third South Carolina regiment, acting Assistant Adjutant-General, and to Cadet E. P. Harllee, acting Inspector, for the very efficient aid rendered me during the day, and for a conspicuous display of bravery on every occasion to call it forth. The former was severely wounded, losing an eye, and the latter slightly.

One of my couriers, D'Saussure Burrows, was shot through the head whilst riding by my side. Couriers Crumley and Templeton.


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