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[238] the flag, so soon to be his winding sheet, and the brigade was marched out and down the road, the Forty-ninth at its head, for some distance, and halted, General Ramseur ‘bossing the job.’

I then heard a single piece of artillery firing at intervals in a strip of woods on the left, and being at the head of the column I heard General Ramseur say to General Early: ‘General, let me take that gun out of the wet.’ General Early vigorously advised and protested against it. Ramseur insisting, General Early finally acquiesced in the move.

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 advance 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 the ‘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, but like the old guard under Cambranne at Waterloo they preferred to die, rather than to waver. Our line melted away as if by magic—every brigade, staff and field officer was cut down, (mostly killed outright) in an incredibly short time.

I brought our regiment, (the Forty-ninth Virginia), to a ‘right-shoulder shift arms’ to prevent firing and breaking ranks during the charge and pushed at a run through this maelstrom of death and carnage. The men who usually charged with the ‘rebel yell’ rushed on in silence. At each successive fire, great gaps were made in our ranks, but immediately closed up. We crossed that field of carnage and mounted the parapet of the enemy's works and poured a volley in their faces. They gave way, but two lines of battle, close in their rear, rose and each delivered a volley into our ranks, in rapid succession. Some of

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