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[357] of the battery, where I saw in my front the formation of the troops —the eye, as far as it could distinguish the glistening bayonets of
Pickett's men,
who are now marching up in good order, many of whom, alas, will never return. Presently the signal gun is heard on our right. The charge is on! Oh, what a scene! The troops have gained the heights. Little Round Top is in our possession! But stop! The enemy is strengthened from another point. Our ranks, already thinned by the heavy fire of the enemy, begin to waver. Then, oh then, for a Jackson with his noble band. But I must stop here. These are only my impressions as I witnessed the falling back of this Spartan band.

How many sad hearts! How many broken hearts! But, courage! Soon after the fight the rain came as a blessing to the noble fellows suffering upon the field, and it seemed as though a ministering angel had sent it to soothe the thirsty and parched tongue and give relief to our now sorely distressed troops. The battalion upon the whole got off with only a slight list of killed and wounded. The army had been repulsed, but not discouraged—we still hoped on. After remaining here until the night of the 4th (July 4th), we silently withdrew from the heights and turned our faces towards Virginia. And now we find that the once imperious Hooker, too, has played his part and retired to more inviting pastures, and that Meade, another officer of the Federal army, was in command. It rained hard the night of the 4th of July as we started on our march, and everything looked terribly dark, but the troops were in good spirits, and though the Federal army had achieved their first victory, they had not the nerve to attempt to follow it up by an onward movement. They knew too well the troops they were opposing, and that Lee had taught them too often the necessity of prudence, which they were not slow in acknowledging at this time as was illustrated in the quietude enjoyed by the Federal army, succeeding this great battle, as they never attempted to follow us until the next day, and then only with the cavalry, under Kilpatrick, who came up with our wagon train, attacked it, and was beaten off by Stuart. We moved on over the roads, which were in a horrible condition, the men discussing the battle and its effect, occasionally being interrupted by the report that the Federal army was marching to intercept us and cut us off from the main force, which was moving on another road.

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