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[269] little to the left of the left front of the regiment, and about one hundred and fifteen yards south of the R. R. cut where it had its greatest depth.

In this position our flags were plainly visible over the standing wheat, to the battery west of us, but the rail piles and the men lying behind them were hid from their view; and, evidently thinking that the regiment had changed front, they now diverted their fire in that direction. Stone's ruse had succeeded.

Half an hour or so later, we were approached from the north-north-west by Daniel's brigade, of North Carolinians, and our regiment was ordered across to the cut to meet them.

It is not my object to describe the battle, but only to tell the story of our colors. Suffice it to say that up to about 3:15 P. M. the regiment did heavy fighting on that part of the field, including charges and counter-charges and several changes of front, and, incredible as it may seem, it fought without its colors during all that time; and when the brigade was forced out of its position in the vicinity of the McPherson farm buildings by Brockenbrough's and Scales' Confederate brigades, the latter enveloping its left flank, our precious standards still remained planted in their isolated position.

The deep R. R. cut to the north had proved a barrier to the advance of the enemy from that direction. But at an early stage of the fight the right of Daniel's brigade crossed the R. R. bed west of the cut and advanced obliquely up through the wheat field. Had its advance not been checked, our colors would then have been captured, unless its custodians had made a timely escape to the regiment.

Some may think that now was the time for Brehm to run. Not so in the judgment of men noted for their thorough study of the fight. There is ground for belief that it was of great service to our cause that Brehm stuck to his post. True, he might then have left with a good excuse and saved the flags; but the results attained by his remaining, far outweigh in importance the loss of the colors. This is what Stone believed after reading Daniel's report, and such was the view taken by Col. Batchelder, who stands pre-eminent as the historian of the battle.

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John W. Daniel (3)
Roy Stone (2)
Henry G. Brehm (2)
Scales (1)
John W. Brockenbrough (1)
Batchelder (1)
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