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[122] writer, ‘ran the block’ to attend a ‘starvation party’ given by some ladies in our honor in the city. We reached camp in the wee hours of the next morning. We found the camp deserted, but our blankets and rifles were in our brush tents and only a few sick and lame comrades to point, out to us the route the regiment had taken. We knew that if we did not catch up and get in line before the battle began we would be liable to arrest and court-martial for being absent without leave, so we struck out before the sun was up, in the direction indicated, and marched through the hot sun and the clouds of dust raised by the wagons and artillery that thronged and obstructed the roads to Malvern Hill.

We caught up with our comrades just before they reached the battlefield of the day before—Frazier's Farm—and were appalled by the sights, sounds and odors of that fearful contest. Hundreds of dead Federal and Confederate, as well as horses, were mingled together just as they fell, and under the fervid heat of the summer sun began to emit most sickening odors; the wounded were groaning in temporary hospitals. We were with Semmes' Brigade, consisting of the 15th and 32nd Virginia, 5th and 10th Louisiana, 10th and 53rd Georgia, moved up within 1,200 yards of the enemy's batteries and held in reserve in a ravine, and were subjected to a shelling unsurpassed for severity in any conflict during the war. The concentration of our forces was not completed until late in the day, and it was between 3 and 4 P. M. before the advance was made by Mahone's and Wright's Brigades, which met with a terrible repulse. Such was the accuracy of the fire of the enemy that the field was swept clean. One of our batteries that went in with the above named brigades did not have an opportunity to unlimber; the horses being killed and the caissons blown up and guns dismounted before they could get into action.

Soon the reserve was called for. We moved towards the right and were ordered to charge with fixed bayonets through a meadow, at a distance of about 500 yards, in full view of the guns of the enemy. Before attaining the meadow we moved through a body of woods and over a fence, the limbs from the trees cut by the shells dropping on us and the rails of the fence knocked from under us as we got over. In this body of woods

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Marcus J. Wright (1)
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