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[228]

The Fayetteville companies and Lincoln Stars are composed of as good grit as ever shouldered a gun; and, all in all, our regiment is composed of the finest soldiers in the world, because of their moral and intellectual qualities.

Colonel Hill deserves all the honor that can be heaped upon a noble soldier. His experience, as well as bravery, placing him in the foreground of command. Indeed, our success in putting such a powerful enemy to such a shameful defeat is to be greatly attributed to his coolness and courage. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee and Major Lane are all that we could desire them to be, qualified for their posts and strangers to fear. General Magruder commanded the whole force, and is a brave and daring officer.

One of our guns, which had been disabled by our own gunners, fell into the hands of the enemy; but they kept it only a few moments, for the Edgecombe Guards charged upon them and recaptured it, driving off fifteen hundred of the enemy.

We took only three prisoners (not having any use for them). I have just conversed with one fellow who is from Vermont. He is only a three months soldier, and says when the time expires thousands will return home from this unholy war. He reports five thousand men in Fort Monroe and five thousand at Newport News. They are dissatisfied and desert on every oppotunity.

Our force returned to Yorktown cheerful and in good spirits; the wounded being but slightly injured, had a good night's rest and are ready for the enemy again. It is thought a tremendous battle will soon be fought here.

During the battle a company of the enemy's zouaves practiced their tilting and tumbling manoeuvres up within a few yards of a masked battery of ours, hoping to scare some of us by their monkey actions; but when we opened fire the column fell like wheat-straw before a scythe-blade. Many a poor fellow tumbled over for the last time.

The people are flying from the lower end of the Peninsula in crowds, leaving their farms, stock, &c., at the mercy of the enemy, in order to save themselves.

Every man is conscious he is fighting in a just cause, and is determined to know no defeat. Besides, we are not fighting our battles alone; ‘And if God be for us, who shall be against us.’

Yours truly,

Southron.

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