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Trouble ahead.

Our next was alarm at the situation; for veterans as we were we could see the seriousness of the disaster. It seemed that a whole corps, massed on a division front, had broken our line right in the centre, and were now pouring into the position that would enfilade both sides, and with small advance take our forces in the rear and compel the retreat of Lee's army, and that, too, at day break, with all day to complete the disaster and turn the retreat into a rout. The situation produced alarm but not fear. It was a great emergency to be promptly and heroically met. Our officers were not wanting. In a few minutes our brigade was thrown almost to right angles to the breastworks we had been set to defend, and marching to the right, made, with Gordon's Georgians, who were on our right, [212] the bar of an A across the angle. It was an hour of destiny. The thin line stood confronting the massing enemy in our trenches only some two hundred yards away; obscured they were, it is true, by the underbrush and in some cases by the contour of the land, but ready to push forward to the capture of the parked reserve artillery ammunition just behind us.

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Robert E. Lee (1)
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