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[157] as I was not going to run. My men always told me they never would run until I did, and I believed them. The officer tried to hold his company, but could not. I saw something had to be done, and saw no officer of higher rank than myself. The time had come for no foolishness; at least half our command was giving way.

A few steps behind us there was a little lane with low fencing—an old worn rail fence. Behind this lane was the cornfield, tramped into a ‘loblolly.’ I thought that if I undertook to run my company through that muddy field we would all get killed, so I concluded to fall back in the lane and get behind the fence and the right would rally on us. I dropped my company back and tried it, but the other men failed to rally. Corporal John Wampler, of my company, a six-footer, got up and looked over the field and exclaimed: ‘Captain, the Yankees are running on the left.’ I saw some two or three hundred yards off Derrick's Battalion going toward the enemy. I gave the command, ‘Attention!’ which brought my company to their feet; then I told them to ‘Forward! Double-quick! Charge!’ My company and the whole left raised that old rebel yell, and at them we went. The right, when they saw us going forward, turned and came back with a yell. When we got half-way to them, I saw they had their horses to the artillery and were starting. I gave the comman to ‘Fire left oblique into that artillery!’ It seems that I can still see the guns of my company turned in a left oblique direction and firing. All the riders on the artillery horses who were not hit jumped off and struck the ground on a run. They turned everything loose. My company went straight forward to the right of the artillery. By the time we got half-way to the Yankee line they were running, going their best, but shooting back and hitting a good many of our men. They had a reserve line behind, but the first line ran through it and tangled it so badly that it went too.

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