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[542] fire was concentrated on the Maryland battery. Indeed, all along their line their batteries seemed to outnumber ours three to one.

Their fire now became fearfully hot, and Captain Rowan, wishing to return it with the greatest vigor, called on the drivers to assist the ‘fives’ and ‘sevens’ in bringing up ammunition.

The nature of the ground was such that the horses could not be effectually sheltered from the enemy's battery on the right, and they were falling rapidly. The drivers were being wounded, and the trees cut down, while the air was resonant with the howl of passing shells, and the lighter whistle of the more searching minies. Ritter, who had charge of the horses, their drivers and the ammunition, asked leave to take the horses to a safer place, but it was not thought expedient to separate them as far from the guns as would be necessary to secure their safety.

A Parrott shell passed through the head of a wheel-horse near him and exploded, cutting the Lieutenant's sword in two, and killing his saddle-horse. The men engaged in furnishing ammunition also suffered severely. Major John W. Johnston now coming up, ordered the horses to be removed, and those that remained were thus saved.

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