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[244] and fired, and the battle lost, with many prisoners, for, although the battle raged around this angle all day and until 10 o'clock at night, we never drove them out, and they never gained an inch more.

This grievous loss was the result of a combination of unfortunate circumstances which sometimes happen wherever war is waged. These were: First, the falling mist, which rendered so many muskets unserviceable. Second, all the space in the salient occupied by the artillery and all that occupied by the Forty-eighth regiment was vacant, with neither musket nor cannon in it to fire a shot, and the enemy simply walked over the works without hindrance. The Forty-eighth, it is true, was a small regiment, for on the 5th of May more than one-half the men present, with the colors, had fallen in the gloomy depths of the Wilderness. There were enough left, however, to have held the salient if they had been in it with dry powder.

W. S. Archer, Lieutenant Forty-eighth Virginia Regiment.

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