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[70]

In the mean time parties of our men were going to the front in search of the wounded, and after a demonstration by the enemy's cavalry, which was abandoned on the firing of a few shots by the Maryland regiment posted in the woods some distance to my left, the parties from both armies in search of the dead and wounded gradually approached each other and continued their mournful work without molestation from either side, being apparently appalled for a moment into a cessation from all hostile purposes by the terrible spectacle presented to their view.

Here is General Mahone's report as to the enemy appearing in our front the next morning:

At an early hour next morning a large body of the enemy's cavalry made their appearance on the line which he had occupied with his artillery, at first and for a while indicating by their movements the purpose of a descent upon our ambulance corps and details then employed on the field, the one in their legitimate duties and the other in collecting scattered arms and accoutrements.

The small body of troops now remaining upon the field and under my command were of my own brigade exclusively, and with but few exceptions of the Twelfth Virginia, the exertions and gallantry of whose colonel (D. A. Weisiger) in conducting the operations of his regiment merit high commendation. With these I continued to hold the ground which we had occupied during the night, mainly with the view of protecting our details from any onslaught by the enemy's cavalry, employing details from my own limited force to care for the wounded and to gather up the scattered arms and accoutrements in my own immediate vicinity.

As soon as the enemy had retired, what remained of our brigade was marched back to the body of the woods through which we had moved in line of battle the afternoon before, and there went into bivouac. Soon after we were dismissed, several of us returned to the field of battle and strolled over it, and I thus had a better opportunity of forming a correct idea of the great slaughter on both sides.

The enemy as well as ourselves had suffered no little. The position of their line of battle where it confronted our right was distinctly marked by a long line of thickly-strewn corpses of Federal soldiers.

After walking about the field for an hour or more I returned to our bivouac, thoroughly impressed with the severity of the conflict of the preceding day, as must have been all who participated in it or had a like opportunity of going over the bloody field so recently after the combatants ceased their fierce struggle. In this sketch of


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David A. Weisiger (1)
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