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Advance of Pegram's brigade.

The brigade was fronted to the left and the advance started. The gun immediately retired to the works as a decoy and no resistance was made to our advances then. Presently we came to a level, open field, one-half mile across, and could see on the opposite side at the edge of another strip of timber behind which artillery was massed—heavier than I had ever seen, unless it was at Malvern Hill, although I had been in every battle of the war, from First Manassas down, fought by the Army of Northern Virginia; and bayonets bristling as thick as ‘leaves of Vallambrosa,’ supported by three distinct lines of battle, as will hereinafter appear.

They had evidently taken the exact range to the edge of the woods. As soon as the brigade was well into the open fields the enemy opened with the heaviest and most murderous fire I had ever seen with grape, canister and musketry. Our veterans of a hundred fights knew at a glance that they were marching up to die, rather than to waver. Our line melted away as if by magic— [60] every brigade, staff and field officer was cut down, (mostly killed outright) in an increditably short time.

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