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[541] buy supplies for Christmas, but the supplies fell into the enemy's hands, together with the Lieutenant and his man, being captured by a raiding party. Giles was sent to Johnson's Island, and consequently did not rejoin the battery during the war.

On the morning of the 15th the enemy charged the Confederate right wing, but were repulsed with heavy loss. They next moved a solid column against the left, with better success, causing the whole army to fall back rapidly for the distance of one mile. Lee's corps was then moved to a range of hills a mile to the left, and in rear of the old line, to support the retreating left wing, and again fortified.

By this time it was growing dark, and as the enemy's position was not accurately known, Lieutenant Ritter requested permission to ride to the front to make a reconnoissance. Their videttes were not found till he reached the foot of a range of hills occupied by Hood's army, in the morning. This information was reported to the Adjutant General of Stevenson's division.

At 11 o'clock P. M., the battalion was removed to a field to the left of the Franklin pike, and at about 8 on the morning of the eventful 16th of December, the Third Maryland was ordered to a hill in an open field, a quarter of a mile to the left of the pike. Defensive works for the battery were at once commenced, and rails to be used in fortifying were brought from a fence some two hundred yards in front. The enemy, discovering the working party, opened on them with six guns. As they fired by battery, the men were able to continue their work in the intervals of firing, lying down when the Lieutenant, guided by the smoke from the enemy's guns, directed them to do so. When the coming shells had passed over them, they renewed their work.

The horses were without cover, and suffered severely till removed to a position behind the hill. Whilst passing to the rear to attend to this, Lieutenant Ritter thought that he heard a shell coming, and on looking back, saw that it was coming straight for him. He jumped behind a tree, at the same moment the shell struck the tree on the other side, without doing much damage.

On returning to the battery, the Lieutenant was sent back to the caissons to relieve Lieutenant Doncaster, and take charge of the men engaged in supplying ammunition to the guns, and instruct them as to the distances for which the fuses should be cut.

About this time the enemy planted two more batteries, one to the right and another to the left, making a total of eighteen guns, whose

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