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[302] H. Hill, having to make a detour further to our left, came later upon the field, approaching the enemy in the neighborhood of Cold Harbor. Our lines on the right were formed about 12 o'clock, and later on the left, and conformed to the enemy's in shape, but our position, aside from their fortifications, was far inferior to theirs. Our line of battle, as formed, extending from right to left, was as follows: Longstreet on the right, A. P. Hill to his left, then the divisions of Ewell and D. H. Hill to his left in the order stated. Whiting's division, composed of Hood's and Law's brigades, did not form in line, but were held in reserve near Cold Harbor. The battle began in earnest a little past 12 o'clock, and soon raged with fury on our right where Longstreet was posted. About 3 o'clock our left became engaged, and in the still, hot evening air the rattle of musketry and the roar of artillery was fearful all along our lines. We knew, from our position of safety, that a terrible conflict was going on, in which the blood of the best and bravest on both sides was being poured out like water. Still, we were being held in leash, and the Texas brigade, like the bed-ridden knight in ‘Ivanhoe,’ felt that they were destined to stay where they were while the game was being played which should bring us victory or defeat. At this juncture the Texas brigade was ordered to the front, and never did men obey such order with more alacrity.

At about 4: 30 o'clock on that hot June afternoon the Texas brigade, under the eye of Lee, led by the gallant Hood, swept forward to storm the centre of the enemy's position. The Fourth Texas on the right, to its left the Eighteenth Georgia (then forming a part of the brigade), then the First and Fifth Texas, and on the extreme left of the brigade Hampton's legion, then also a part of the command. From the nature of the ground the Fourth Texas had far more difficult task of any regiment in the brigade, for in addition to the fortified position of the enemy across the branch, which they were to storm, they were to make the attack across an open field in front of the Federal position, while the balance of the command moved to the assault under cover of the thick woods in their front.

As we moved into the fight each soldier of the brigade felt that the crisis of the battle had come; that the hour of destiny had struck. We knew that assault after assault had been made all along our lines from 2 to 4 o'clock, only to be repulsed with terrible loss, and around and before us were evidences of a fearful struggle, for the dead and dying of the commands which had preceded us lay thick upon the ground, while the remnant of that column, demoralized and

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James Longstreet (2)
T. H. Whiting (1)
Robert E. Lee (1)
Law (1)
James Hood (1)
H. Hill (1)
D. H. Hill (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Richard S. Ewell (1)
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