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[307] brigade materially aided Lee to repulse and hold the enemy at bay, thus winning another victory. At this time, by the long marches of the campaign, and by the casualties of battles, the effective force of the three regiments, all told, was about 850. On our part of the field, which was the left, we constituted both support and reserve.

On this battle-ground about 35,000 Confederate troops confronted about 140,000 Federals, under General McClellan, who had again resumed command of the Army of the Potomac. The conflict on our part of the field began about sunrise, and soon raged fiercely in our immediate front. The word came that the brigades of Lawton, Trimble and Hays were being hard pressed, and Hood's division, composed of an Alabama brigade, under Law, and the Texas brigade, under Colonel Wofford, of the Eighteenth Georgia, were ordered forward. When the troops emerged from the timber and passed the old church and into the open corn-field, a herculean task lay before them. Down the slant of the hill stood the remnant of the divison before-mentioned. They still held their position, but were unable to advance. Beyond them in the open and in the timber stood a solid field of blue, at least three columns deep. To an observer it looked as if the whole of Hooker's corps was there.

As we occupied a position on the hill, and above the Confederate line in front, the fire of the enemy played havoc in the ranks of the supporting column. In vain did the officers in charge of Hays' and Trimble's brigades urge them to charge, and in vain did the Texas brigade add its entreaties to theirs. The line would neither advance nor retreat; its ranks were decimated, and its fire was ineffective. Suddenly, as if moved by a single impulse, the Texans, unable to be restrained longer by their commanding officers, charged over the line of our troops and swept upon the advancing foe like an irresistible avalanche. In the twinkling of an eye the enemy wavered, turned and fled—still the brigade pressed forward until two other lines of the enemy were broken and driven from the field and through the wood, and were routed from behind a stone wall, where they sought shelter. Not receiving an expected support, it was beyond human endurance to advance further; but here the line rested, and was held through that bloody day, resisting assault after assault of the enemy. But for this terrific and successful assault on the part of Hood's division, our left centre would have been broken, the left wing of the army turned, and the fords on the Potomac captured by the enemy, and Lee's army shut in between the Antietam and the Potomac. By members of the brigade who were engaged in nearly

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Isaac R. Trimble (2)
Robert E. Lee (2)
James Hood (2)
George W. Hays (2)
Wofford (1)
George B. McClellan (1)
Lawton (1)
Joe Hooker (1)
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