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[142] message after message having gone forward, was not permitted to advance until 4 P. M. He had been finally held in reserve by General Johnston, in case Longstreet was in danger of being overpowered, and who now was supposed to be overwhelmingly engaged. But, alas, the truth of history is, that eight brigades of Longstreet's thirteen, had not even been engaged.

Colonel B. W. Frobel, of the engineers, was on Whiting's staff, and he writes (in 1868) of one of the rare mistakes made by that great soldier, Joseph E. Johnston, as follows:

Generals Johnston and Whiting were following immediately after Whiting's Brigade. As the brigade reached the road, near the railroad crossing, I was sent to halt it. On returning, after doing this, I joined the generals, who were riding toward the crossing. General Whiting was expostulating with General Johnston about taking the division across the railroad—insisting that the enemy were then in force on our left flank and rear. General Johnston replied: “Oh, General Whiting, you are too cautious.” At this time we reached the crossing, and nearly at the same moment the enemy opened an artillery fire from the direction pointed out by General Whiting. We moved back up the road near the small white house; Whiting's Brigade was gone. It had been ordered forward to charge the batteries which were firing on us.

The brigade was repulsed, and in a few minutes came streaming back through the skirt of woods to the left of the Nine-Mile Road near the crossing. There was only a part of the brigade in this charge. Pender (commanding a regiment) soon rallied and reformed those on the edge of the woods. General Whiting sent an order to him (Pender) to reconnoitre the batteries, and if he thought they could be taken, to try it again. Before he could do so, some one galloped up, shouting, “Charge that battery!” The men moved forward at a double-quick, but were repulsed, as before, and driven back to the woods.

General Whiting immediately arranged for a combined attack by the brigades of Whiting, Pettigrew and Hampton.

Alas, for the mistake in not reconnoitreing the position first, before crossing the railroad, as General Whiting had suggested, and then attacking before General Sumner's Corps could reinforce Couch, who was holding the Federal line. For by the time the three brigades could be brought into action, many, with little or no ammunition left, unknown to the Confederates in the thick woods, General

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W. H. C. Whiting (11)
Joseph E. Johnston (4)
Pender (2)
James Longstreet (2)
Sumner (1)
J. J. Pettigrew (1)
J. E. Johnston (1)
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B. W. Frobel (1)
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1868 AD (1)
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