With the Sixteenth Massachusetts General Grover tried to turn the enemy's flank; but the break in his own, and the length of the enemy's line told against him. He was obliged to retire first to the embankment, and thence, pursued by musketry from the woods and by shell and canister from the Confederate artillery, to his first position under the hill.
The survivors rallied to their colors.
Colors? In some regiments there were no colors left—nothing but the staff; in others there were shreds of colors only.
Of the brave men of that brigade four hundred and eighty-six officers and men were killed, wounded or missing.
In the Eleventh Massachusetts regiment the loss was one hundred and twelve out of two hundred and eighty three officers, non-commissioned officers and privates carried into action.1
Now let us turn to General Jackson
's account of this affair.
‘About two o'clock, P. M., the Federal infantry, in large force, advanced to the attack of our left, occupied by the division of General Hill.
It pressed forward in defiance of our fatal and destructive fire with great determination, a portion of it crossing a deep cut in the railroad track, and penetrating in heavy force an interval of near a hundred and seventy-five yards, which separated the right of Gregg's brigade from the left of Thomas's brigade.
For a short time Gregg's brigade, on the extreme left, was isolated from the main body of the command.
But the Fourteenth South Carolina regiment, then in reserve with the Forty-ninth Georgia, left of Colonel Thomas, attacked the exultant enemy with vigor, and drove them back across the railroad track with great slaughter.
General McGowan reports that the opposing forces at one time delivered their volleys into each other at the distance of ten paces.’
I have before me the draft of the report I made as soon after the battle as I was sufficiently recovered from the wound I received to write, and I cannot better tell what happened at this time under my own immediate observation than by reading to you an extract from it:2
‘The greater portion of the day had now been spent, and we still held the ground, but none doubted that the great struggle was still to come.
The cheers were soon again heard, and the breaking of the bushes, as the enemy advanced.
Upon our left, too, this time they came in force up the railroad cut, and were soon on us with a fire both from front and left flank.
This time they were in force also to sweep around upon our right and endeavor to cross the cut. Here, as they advanced, they came upon Thomas's brigade, posted in the thicket on our right.
A short resistance, and Thomas's brigade gave way before the superior numbers of the assailants.
As the enemy followed them, they came upon the right flank of Colonel Edwards ’