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[67] to fire fast upon the enemy. ‘Fire fast, men. Fire fast. Give it to 'em. Give it to 'em, boys,’ he would say. Just then some one cried out, ‘Boys, we are firing into our friends!’ Brandishing his sword with considerable energy at the man who volunteered the information, he exclaimed, ‘Firing upon our friends! They are damned Yankees. If you say we are firing on our friends, God damn you, I will cut you in two with my sword.’ Turning to the men around him, he continued to urge them to ‘fire fast.’ ‘Give it to 'em, boys,’ he repeated. ‘Give it to 'em. Fire fast. They are nothing but damned Yankees.’ Lieutenant John R. Patterson, of our regiment, enthused with admiration at the old officer's conduct, exclaimed, ‘Go it, colonel! I'll stand at your back,’ or words to that effect. Hearing Lieutenant Patterson's hearty, but rather familiar endorsement, and struck, as he had been, with the conduct and words of the old gentleman, turning to Lieutenant Patterson, I said: ‘Who is that old officer you are speaking to so familiarly?’ ‘Don't know,’ energetically replied Patterson, still enthused, ‘I just know he is a colonel.’

Night coming on, some of our men actually got in among the enemy before discovering their position, so close were the contending forces on the extreme right of our line. A member of our regiment, private Henry B. Cowles, thus came very near being captured, but before being discovered made his way back to our line.

Let us now take an extract from General Wright's report. This officer says:

The firing had now become general along the left and center of our line, and night setting in, it was difficult to distinguish friend from foe.

Several of my command were killed by our own friends, who had come up on our immediate left, and who commenced firing long before they came within range of the enemy. This firing upon us from our friends, together with increasing darkness, made our position peculiarly hazardous; but I determined to maintain it at all hazards as long as a man should be left to fire a gun. The fire was terrific now beyond anything I have ever witnessed-indeed, the hideous shrieking of shells through the dusky gloom of closing night, the whizzing of bullets, the loud and incessant roll of artillery and small arms, were enough to make the stoutest heart quail. Still my shattered little command, now reduced to less than three hundred, with about an equal number of General Mahone's brigade, held our position under the very muzzles of the enemy's guns, and poured volley after volley with murderous precision in their serried ranks.


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