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[201] when we were ordered to fall back to a more tenable position, about one mile to our left rear—the withdrawal of troops on our left making such order necessary. Indeed, the enemy had well-nigh gained our left flank before it was known that we were without supports there to meet him. Owing to a misunderstanding of orders as to the point aimed at and as to the manner in which the retreat should be conducted, considerable disorder attended its inception; but the regiment was formed again upon the first favorable ground, and good order soon restored. The loss on this retreat was seventeen men, some of whom are known to have been killed and others wounded. I have had no means of ascertaining whether any unwounded men fell into the enemy's hands. The men generally were almost worn down by hard marching, harder fighting, constant watching, loss of sleep, hunger and almost intolerable heat. Nevertheless, buoyed up by the unconquerable spirit of men who deserve to be free, they bore it all with the fortitude, constancy, uncomplaining devotion and patriotism which have distinguished them in so many campaigns and avouched their soldierly character and merit upon so many fields of triumph and glory.

Upon reaching the hill designated, hasty breastworks were constructed, and the command kept under arms, but the enemy did not choose to attack us, and the struggle terminated here.

Instances of individual valor and gallantry were many and splendid; the coolness and courage of every man seemed equal to his opportunity, and where all, so far as I could observe, performed their full duty manfully and well, I should do injustice to many by specially commending a few whose conduct and bearing happened to fall within the scope of my own observation.

By reference to the accompanying list of casualties it will be seen that our losses in the battle of Thursday were, in killed, two officers and twenty-one men; wounded, officers, four; men, seventy-three; missing, four, and on Friday the total missing is seventeen, making an aggregate loss of one hundred and twenty-one.

It may be proper to add that our battle-flag is marked with eighty-seven holes, thirty-eight of which seem to have been made by minie-balls, the remainder, from the character of the rents, by fragments of shell.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

I. W. Waddell, Colonel Twentieth Georgia Regiment.

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