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[181] held their ground, and continued a most galling fire upon my left. Just at this moment I discovered the regiment on my left (Forty-seventh Alabama) retiring. I halted my regiment as its left reached a very large rock, and ordered a left wheel of the regiment, which was executed in good order under fire, thus taking advantage of a ledge of rocks running off in a line perpendicularly to the one I had just abandoned, and affording very good protection to my men. This position enabled me to keep up a constant flank and cross fire upon the enemy, which, in less than five minutes, caused him to change front. Receiving reinforcements, he charged me five times, and was as often repulsed with heavy loss. Finally I discovered that the enemy had flanked me on the right, and two regiments were moving rapidly upon my rear and not two hundred yards distant, when, to save my regiment from capture or destruction, I ordered a retreat. Having become exhausted from fatigue and the excessive heat of the day, I turned the command of the regiment over to Captain B. A. Hill, and instructed him to take the men off the field and reform the regiment and report to the brigade.

My loss was, as near as can now be ascertained, as follows, to-wit: Seventeen killed upon the field, fifty-four wounded and brought off the field, and ninety missing, most of whom are either killed or wounded. Among the killed and wounded are eight officers, most of whom were very gallant and efficient men.

Recapitulation: Killed, 17; wounded, 54; missing, 90; aggregate, 161.

I am, Lieutenant, most respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

W. C. Oates, Colonel Commanding Fifteenth Ala. Regiment.

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