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[7] one man at a time; which was done for the double purpose of concealing the approach of a body of troops and of lessening the danger of passing rifle balls at these exposed points.

I should have mentioned that there was constant shelling as we moved along our route from the breastworks at Willcox's farm, but we were well protected by the shelter of intervening hills. As we passed the Hannon pond, I remember seeing a solid shot, or shell, fired from one of the enemy's guns, descend into the water but a few feet from our moving line.

Arriving at the ravine, we found General Mahone standing near the mouth of the gully into which the covered way led and along which we were filing into the ravine, now and then exchanging word of encouragement with some passing officer or man in the ranks.1

In this ravine are some artillery men, with one or more mortars in position; and I have a strong impression that I saw, skirting the slope of the hill, a slight line of breastworks which looked as if it had been made that morning for temporary shelter by men working with their bayonets.

Soon the line of battle is formed; the Twelfth Virginia on the left of the brigade, the Sixth Virginia on the right, the brigade sharpshooters on the right of the Sixth. The middle regiments were the Sixteenth, the Forty-first and Sixty-first—the Sixty-first being the centre regiment.

On the field to-day may be seen a tree that marks the position of the right of this line of battle.

The line formed, we advanced some twenty yards up the slope of the hill and lie flat on our faces. In this position we are concealed from the view of the enemy, now two hundred yards in our front.

Our brigade is under the command of Colonel D. A. Weisiger, colonel of the Twelfth, whilst the Twelfth is commanded by Captain Richard W. Jones, the Sixth by Colonel George T. Rogers, the Sixteenth by Captain L. R. Kilby, the Forty-first by Major William H. Etheridge, and the Sixty-first by Lieutenant-Colonel William H. Stewart. The sharp-shooters are commanded by Captain Wallace

1 ‘Filing down the reinforcing ditch that ran perpendicular to the works,’ says Lieutenant W. A. S. Taylor, adjutant of the Sixty-first Virginia regiment, in a statement made July 16, 1880, ‘I saw General Mahone at the angle formed by this ditch and the one that ran parallel to the works. As we filed to the right he made some encouraging remarks, adding, “Give them the bayonet.” ’

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July 16th, 1880 AD (1)
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