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[271] deceived as to our numbers, they would then in all probability have swept the ‘Key Point,’ as Gen. Doubleday called our position; and how could our Corps commander have retrieved such a disaster, hard pressed as he was at all points.

Was it chance, or destiny, that blinded Brehm and his men to the nearness of their capture at this important juncture? If the proximity of the enemy was unnoticed because they were then engaged in one of their ‘hot discussions’ over their peculiar position, and what was best to do, it was a most fortunate co—incidence. If—as Stone quotes Nicholson of the Battlefield Commission to say—every minute then gained was worth a regiment, Brehm's firmness was of priceless service. Let us honor then the intrepid Sergeant and the devoted little band that stood by him so nobly, though some of them, if not all, thought their chief should act on his own authority and return to the regiment.

In the final advance of the Confederate line, towards 3 P. M., there was one part of the enveloping semi-circle that did not move on with the rest. This was Davis' brigade, stationed down along the wheat field, west of our colors. This brigade had lost heavily in the forenoon and was instructed to follow in rear of the first line in the final onset.

Just then there was no line of Confederates in front of Davis, and all he needed to do to carry out his orders, was to delay marching, until, by the contraction of the semi-circle, further east, the right of Daniels' brigade connected with the left of Brockenbrough's.

This accounts for the fact that our colors were not driven back or captured, at, or before, the time that the two Bucktail regiments were flanked out of their position at McPherson's, and fell in on the left of the 143rd P. V., which had changed position and was now facing west, south of the pike. Our line was then about 100 yards east of the McPherson buildings. I was lying at the time in the southeast corner of the McPherson barnyard, disabled by a wound received about an hour before, in the field north of the pike. Though unable to shift my body I could turn my head, sufficiently, to get a view of part of the meadow east of the McPherson lane, but could not see our line.

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