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[76]

A part of our brigade, during the short space of hardly more than ten minutes that we were down the slope of the hill on the north side of the plank-road, had moved to their right, so as to occupy exactly the ground over which we had passed a short time before, and not knowing that we were across the road, and seeing us coming in line of battle from the direction of the enemy, naturally took us to be Federals, and greeted us with a shower of Confederate lead, most of which, fortunately, passed over our heads.

When these men saw their mistake, and knew that their fire had taken effect on some of our men, they were greatly distressed. “Boys, we are so sorry! We are so sorry!” Many of them earnestly said, “We did not know you were our friends.” No such protestations were of course necessary, but the manly fellows who had made the mistake seemed to think it necessary thus to assure us.

In my diary on the morning of the 7th of May I wrote an account of this action, from which I take the following extracts:

About ten o'clock our brigade went into action on the enemy's left flank, and Lieutenant Patterson1 was told by Dr. Pryor2 this morning that General Longstreet told him that the brigade behaved very well, and the Twelfth regiment most gallantly. We drove the enemy beautifully for a half mile or more through the woods, killing and wounding many of them. The casualties in the Twelfth were five killed—Wm. F. Pucci,3 Company A; D. McCracken, Company

1 Captain John R. Patterson, of Petersburg.

2 Rev. Dr. Theodorick Pryor.

3 Mr. W. W. Tayleure gives the following pathetic incident as to young Pucci:

Just a few days before the spring campaign opened with this battle, there was quite a religious revival going on in the camps, and many were induced to join the church. Young Pucci had written home to his mother asking her advice upon the subject. A letter was received by me for him, and one to me also, asking me to advise him to do so. On the morning of the 6th of May, when we were ordered to pack up and march, I tried to find young Pucci, and in calling for him over the camp I at last found him, all ready for the march, but with others he was kneeling on all fours, with his face in his hands, praying I did not disturb him, and soon we were on the march. Shortly afterwards we were engaged with the enemy, and through fire and smoke we pushed our way, while the enemy fled, leaving their dying and dead to the ravages of the flames. Almost the first news I received was the death of young Pucci, shot through the head while pursuing the retreating Federals.

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