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[543] to remain with them and work them upon the enemy to the very last.

After driving the Confederates from their works, the enemy poured in on Stevenson's left, and forming a line perpendicular to his, swept along within the defences toward the Third Maryland. At the same time another line was moving up in front, and both seemed to be aiming to form a junction at the battery to overwhelm it. The men stood at their guns and continued to pour a heavy fire of canister into the solid masses approaching in front till they mounted the works. They mounted first upon the left, planting the United States flag on the left gun and capturing sixteen men.

As they showed their heads above the works, Lieutenants Ritter and Doncaster and Sergeant Pendley, who were on the right, started and ran down the line fifty yards, then left it and struck diagonally across the field for the pike. The Federals cried, ‘Halt! Halt!’ to no purpose, and on the refusal of the fugitives to obey, pursued them about three-quarters of a mile, firing at them all the while. The enemy had a battery on the road when the three men reached it, and were firing at some Confederates ahead of them, while a section of their own battalion was replying with canister from a hill near by; so that the three found themselves in a very ugly position, under this fire from both sides. They escaped unhurt, however, and continuing some four miles to the rear, overtook the few horses that were left to the battery. It was here that Lieutenant Ritter first learned that Captain Rowan's body had been left on the field to fall into the hands of the enemy.

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William L. Ritter (2)
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