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[95] top of the hill, found several batteries waiting for orders, among them Pegram's, Crenshaw's, the Dixie Battery and others.

The fighting in the woods to the right of the road and about 150 feet therefrom, was terrific. Fitz John Porter, as true and gallant a soldier as ever fought, was holding the right of McClellan's line with some of the best troops in the army, among them Sykes' Brigade of regulars. Just after we halted, General R. E. Lee and staff rode up and stopped, evidently regarding this point as the most critical along the whole line. Several efforts were made to get General Lee to retire, as now and then one of our men or horses would be shot. He refused, however, to leave and it was well he did not, for about that time a South Carolina brigade commenced coming out of the woods perfectly panic-stricken. General Lee ordered our guns unlimbered, then turning to the men around him, among whom I recall Major Lindsay Walker and Captain Hampden Chamberlayne, his adjutant, remarked: ‘Gentlemen, we must rally those men.’ Immediately galloping forward himself, he called on the South Carolinians to stop and for the sake of their State go back to their work. The panic stopped and the men gallantly rallied, and led by General Maxey Gregg and the equally gallant A. C. Haskell, the line was reversed and the thunder of musketry grew as loud as ever. At this time there was no cheering—every man was fighting with his mouth closed and standing his ground with all the courage he could command—and never anywhere do I recall a heavier fire than on the left of our line, General A. P. Hill, that magnificent fighter of the Light Infantry Division, showing himself the man he always was. Just about that time a very distinguished and well known lawyer of Richmond, one of the most dignified men in Virginia, a man of fine appearance and elegant manners, whose dignity would not on any occasion cause him to proceed out of a slow walk, rode up to our battery on a little pony. Captain Johnson, knowing him well, called him by name and asked what he was doing at that place at that time; his reply was: ‘I have always wanted to see a great battle, it has been the ambition of my life, and now that I have an opportunity, I intend to witness it.’ Captain Johnson begged him to return, but could not induce him to alter his mind. Finding that the old gentleman was determined to see the battle, he advised him to take his position on the hill about a quarter of a mile in front of our battery and on the left side of the road. Just in front of him there was an open space containing probably five or six hundred acres, beyond on the other side of the creek was posted General

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R. E. Lee (2)
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