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The opening of the fight.

The brigade was soon formed in column of regiments, the Seventh, my own, in front. Behind were the ambulance, litter-carriers, and surgeons—a grisly crew. In front the skirmishers were working their way towards a dense woods. In this they disappeared, and for awhile all was silent. Then a shot rang out, then another, then a sharp rattle, and we were ordered forward by the flank. On reaching the woods we were again put in line of battle and ordered in. Scarcely had we entered before some of our troops came running out. It was a new regiment, which being suddenly fired on had given way. They soon rallied, came up behind us, moved off to the right, and, as I heard, did well the rest of the day. As soon as the fugitives had passed we opened fire. I saw nothing, but banged away, might and main, in the direction in which the balls seemed to come. After about half an hour of pretty sharp firing we were ordered to advance, and plunged into a dense tangle of brush, undergrowth, vines, etc. As we tore through this the enemy seemed to get our range and poured in a heavy fire. The thud! thud! with which the balls bored their way into the trees was venomous. As soon as we reached better ground, we advanced firing. This was most exciting. Everybody was yelling, firing, and advancing. In this advance, I don't know that I did the enemy any harm, but, then, on the other hand, I nearly deprived the Confederacy of a soldier. While in the very act of firing, a big fellow, running up rapidly from behind, got almost in front of the muzzle of my musket, which went off within a few inches of his ear. He bent a most reproachful look upon me, but it was no time for explanation, and on he went and I after him, biting another cartridge and ramming it as I went along. The enemy must have made off before we got within sight of them, for the firing ceased and we were halted along a fence.

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