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[418] the impression of a stampede. By that time, however, I had gathered and formed my twenty-four men and wheeled them by fours, left in front, the four Georgia Hussars in front, to face the column of cavalry that I saw advancing.

My mind was too fully occupied\by affairs in front to notice what was in my rear, but as General Hampton knew I had but a handful of men opposed to General Burnside's army, it is reasonable to suppose he ordered some support, and I think it likely the Second South Carolina was that reserve, as Colonel Butler, from the rear, sent me word through my Lieutenant, William W. Gordon, to charge. Not being under his jurisdiction, but under the direct orders of General Hampton, I considered that I was acting on my own responsibility, and as the enemy were climbing a long and high hill, I calculated that by the time they reached its brow they would become spent and disordered, and an easy prey.

My calculations were not far out of the way. When we started for them they commenced firing ‘criss-cross’ in their own ranks, and probably killed some of their own men. Before our charging column got within a hundred yards of the head of their column, their column broke and they ran over each other, upsetting cannon and horses, and firing off the cannon in their own midst, with not a Confederate within fifty yards of them.

As to the Second South Carolina running over guns and horses, it is all a mistake, and will be denied by that gallant regiment, which earned too much honor and glory to claim what does not belong to them.

Lieutenant Gehan, if there was any such person, did not ‘lead the fight,’ nor to my knowledge, follow it. If there were any members of the Second South Carolina engaged in that dash, they did not legitimately belong there, but had ‘straggled to the front,’ as our gallant boys had a habit of doing.

Lieutenant Gordon captured Colonel Moore, of Ohio (commander of the advance), and his coal-black steed, but, as the brigade of infantry were firing upon us, he gathered what men he could find in the confusion and confronted the infantry brigade in order to retard them and allow us to reap the harvest of our charge in arms, equipments and prisoners.

We retreated with our prisoners under fire of a brigade, by orders from General Hampton, through his gallant son Preston, who was afterwards killed, that we were being flanked. The killed, wounded and captured numbered more than our force.


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