This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 intervals a single piece of artillery with such accuracy that the first shot struck the head of my company wounding Privates M. S. Leopard, E. J. Hudson and W. B. Lesley; another, fired on our right, cut the flag staff of the Twenty-ninth regiment in twain. By the time the Tenth got in position, Captain Watt L. Strickland, of the brigade staff, rode hastily up and said: ‘Colonel, the General orders you to charge.’ After indicating the danger and hazard of the enterprise, Colonel Smith replied in substance: ‘To charge now, before the right is ready, will draw upon me the concentrated fire of the enemy. Will I not be too soon?’ ‘No,’ replied Strickland, ‘the General says, “charge now,” ’ to which Colonel Smith made response, ‘The duty is mine, the responsibility belongs elsewhere.’ Then, pointing to the felled timber in the enemy's immediate front and to a fence standing to our side of it, Colonel Smith instructed his company commanders that as, when the order to advance would be given, it would be preceded with the command, ‘By the right of company to the front,’ he desired them in advancing to preserve well the interval, so that on reaching the fence and throwing it down, the companies, after passing through, would be in position, on the order ‘Companies into line’ being given, to promptly form regimental front. Then followed in his usual clarion tones the command, ‘By the right of companies to the front, forward, double-quick, march!’ Through an open field of a full quarter of a mile, under fire from the enemy's artillery and small arms behind formidable entrenchments, the Tenth advanced at a ‘double-quick,’ with Colonel Smith proudly leading on horseback. Passing over the intervening space without serious damage, and throwing down the fence that skirted the timber, we found the abattis of beech trees beyond so arranged as to render it impossible, on receiving the order ‘Companies into line,’ to form regimental front. Protecting themselves as well as possible, the troops were enabled, after receiving terrible damage, to silence the enemy's fire from the fortifications. In this position we remained several hours without being able, on account of the timber and the conformation of the ground, to see or hear from our brigade, center or right. It so happened that when Colonel Smith reached the felled timber he struck a narrow path, left by the enemy in the abattis, when, waiving his sword over his head and pointing to an opening in the works, cried out: ‘Follow me in!’ Then, yielding to the hazardous impulses of his knightly nature, he rode straight forward, to be shot from his horse in the narrow space between the abattis and the fortifications. Our Lieutenant-Colonel, James Bullard, a brave old man,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.