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[68]

The firing is kept up until nine o'clock at night, when both parties, wearied with the fight, seemed to cease firing by consent. Soon after the firing ceased, numbers of the enemy could be seen in our immediate front, moving about with lanterns in their hands, looking after their dead and wounded. The crest of the hill where we now are is held by a thin line of battle, consisting mainly of the remains of the depleted brigades of Mahone and Wright.

General Mahone, in his report, says: ‘Utter darkness now covered the scene, and the tragedy closed, leaving General Wright and myself with the remnants of our shattered brigades in possession of the ground which they had at a heavy sacrifice of kindred blood, but with spirit and gallantry, won. General Wright and myself, conjointly as equals, and not as his senior, arranged and positioned for the night all the various troops which were now within the reach of our authority, first establishing our picket line, and then giving such attentions to the wants of the wounded around us as our capacity and resources would admit.’

General Wright, in his report, says:

Night had thrown her black pall over the entire field, and the firing ceased except from a few of the enemy's guns, which continued at intervals to throw shell and grape around the entire circuit of the field. Our forces had all retired and left us (Mahone and myself) alone with our little band to dispute the possession of the field with the insolent but well-chastised foe. Upon consultation we determined to remain where we were, now within one hundred yards of the enemy's batteries, and if any of the foe should be left when morning dawned, to give him battle again. We had lost too many valuable lives to give up the decided advantage which we had won from the enemy * * * *

A strong picket was advanced all around our isolated position, and the wearied, hungry soldiers threw themselves upon the earth to snatch a few hour's rest. Detachments were ordered to search for water and administer to our poor wounded men, whose piercing cries rent the air in every direction. Soon the enemy were seen with lanterns busily engaged in moving their killed and wounded, and friend and foe freely mingled on that gloomy night in administering to the wants of wounded and dying comrades.

After getting our disposition made for the night I wrote a dispatch to General Magruder informing him of what I had done and my present condition, asking that my worn-out and exhausted men might be relieved. Again at daylight I renewed the application.

General Magruder, in his report, says:

Darkness had now set


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Ambrose R. Wright (4)
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