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[86] demoralizing. When Lieutenant Graham's gun, from Earle's Battery, came thundering down the road, unlimbered and went quickly into action, the confusion in the long lines of soldiers in blue, as the two guns distributed their favors along the causeway, was plainly visible. But there was all the while a slow yet steady forward movement of the columns in blue; finally solid ground was reached, and a deployment began, which, of course, would have in a short time enveloped the guns and the small infantry support unless checked. Colonel Colcock appeared at this point, and led his personal staff and force of couriers up to the front line in support of Captain Peeples. The enemy were rapidly closing in—some effective measure was imperative. The field through which the enemy was approaching was overgrown with tall broom grass; this was set on fire, and the wind being favorable, carried flames and smoke in a dense, stifling cloud into the faces of the enemy, who retreated precipitately in some confusion. I have evidence claiming that Captain Peeples directed the firing of the grass, and I have just as positive statements that Colonel Colcock ordered it done; the fact remains that it certainly secured an important delay, and saved two guns and the infantry supports. Colonel Colcock and Captain Peeples have both ‘crossed over the river’ since, but if both had been spared until now, I think the Colonel would have waived this honor in favor of his gallant captain and his brave comrades, who certainly were faithful and true those two days. The half hour gained enabled Captain Peeples' entire command to retire to the breastworks at Honey Hill, and take their positions where the line of battle had just then been formed, guns in place and every arrangement made to repel the enemy.

Quoting from a very fair and interesting account of the battle by Captain C. C. Soule, U. S. A., and originally published in the Philadelphia Times, he says:

During the action there seems to have been very bad management—the irresolution which allowed one piece (2) of artillery and one company of dismounted cavalry to hold in check for three hours an entire brigade—these faults cannot be overlooked.

I served with Captain Peeples on the coast and knew him well. He rode a handsome horse, which he loved as well as he did himself, and his saddle, bridle, bit and housings were very fine for those hard times in horse trappings, and were always kept bright and in order. At every point, in the bivouac, or on the march, he showed his fondness for the mounted service; even so far as to be thought

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W. B. Peeples (5)
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W. E. Earle (1)
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