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Close of the day.

One artilleryman was springing to the mouth of his piece, and another tightening on the lanyard of his. Down I went as flat as possible, and I wished I was a mole. The dirt, leaves and sticks flew all about, but I was so close the position was more terrifying than really dangerous. I could see the fire leap out of the muzzle, and a very unsatisfactory sight it was. A gray wave swept up over guns and cannoneers, and the battery was taken. I got up extremely shaky, and set out to find the regiment. After wandering about a while I met the Adjutant, who directed me and exultantly showed me a magnificent dapple-gray he had got at the battery. I told him [419] I believed I would go up there and get a horse myself, but on the way met the regiment.

After cleaning out the timber we had no more fighting. The Federals brought up some fresh troops, and Colston's brigade was put in to meet them. We lay down behind Colston, ready to rise and reopen if needed, but no further close quarters ensued. The enemy contended himself with peppering away till dusk. The battle was over, and about dark we marched back into Williamsburg and slept there that night, resuming our march shortly before day.

That Williamsburg was a very stubbornly-contested action is unquestionable, and it is also true that the loss on both sides was heavy, the proportion of fatal casualties being unusually great; but there can be no question but that the Confederate troops fully accomplished the object for which the battle was fought. That object was to hold back McClellan's advance, and, despite the most strenuous and persevering efforts of his division commanders, this was done. The Federal forces were not only prevented from advancing, but were steadily driven back throughout the day.

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R. E. Colston (2)
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