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[44] the west, with a sight depression or ravine, running almost parallel with the base of the hill. We came “into battery” and unlimbered in this depression, being thus sheltered by a swell in the ground to our front five or six feet high. Our position commanded a beautiful open farm which rose gently from the valley in front of us, back to the woods about 1,500 yards distant. In the edge of these woods a heavy column of the enemy was marching to the southward, while we were descending the hill to our position. At the moment we wheeled into line, I observed one of their batteries of six guns do the same thing, and they unlimbered simultaneously with us. We immediately loaded with spherical-case shot, with the fuze cut for 1,500 yards. General Bee ordered me not to fire till they opened on me, as he had sent the Fourth Alabama regiment, Colonel Jones, across the valley to our right to occupy a piece of woods about 500 yards nearer the enemy, and he wished this regiment, together with one 6-pounder they had along with them, to get fairly in position before we fired. He had hardly uttered the order, however, when the enemy's battery--six long rifle 10-pounder Parrott guns, afterwards captured by our troops — within 150 yards of our first position, opened on us with elongated cylindrical shells. They passed a few feet over our heads, and very near the general and his staff in our rear, and exploded near the top of the hill. We instantly returned the compliment. Gen. Bee then directed me to hold my position till further orders, and observe the enemy's movements towards our left, and report to him any thing I might discover of importance. This was the last time my gallant, heroic general ever spoke to me. Seeing us fairly engaged, he rode off to take charge of his regiments. The firing of both batteries now became very rapid — they at first overshot us and burst their shells in our rear, but at every round improved their aim and shortened their fuze. In about fifteen minutes we received our first injury. A shell passed between two of our guns and exploded amongst the caissons, mangling the arm of private J. J. Points with a fragment in a most shocking manner. I ordered him to be carried off the field to the surgeon at once. He was scarcely gone when another shell exploded at the same place and killed a horse. About this time the enemy began to fire too low, striking the knoll in our front, from ten to twenty steps, from which the ricochet was sufficient to carry the projectiles over us; they discovered this, and again began to fire over us. After we had been engaged for perhaps a half hour, the enemy brought another battery of four guns into position about 400 yards south of the first, and a little nearer to us, and commenced a very brisk fire upon us. A shell from this last battery soon plunged into our midst, instantly killing a horse and nearly cutting off the leg of private W. A. Siders, just below the knee. He was immediately taken to the surgeon. A few minutes afterwards another shell did its work by wounding 2d Lieut. A. W. Garber so severely in the wrist that I ordered him off the field for surgical aid. We now had ten guns at work upon us, with no artillery to aid us for more than an hour, except, I believe, three rounds fired by the gun with the Alabama regiment. It ceased its fire, I have heard, because the horses ran off with the limber and left the gun without ammunition. During this time the enemy's infantry was assembling behind, between and to the right (our left) of their batteries in immense numbers, but beyond our reach, as we could only see their bayonets over the top of the hill. Two or three times they ventured in sight when the Alabamians turned them back on their left by a well-directed fire, and we gave them a few shot and shells on their right with the same result, as they invariably dropped back over the hill when we fired at them, as almost every shot made a gap in their ranks.

After we had been engaged for, I suppose, nearly two hours, a detachment of some other battery, (the New Orleans Washington Battalion, I believe,) of two guns, formed upon our right and commenced a well-directed fire, much to our aid and relief. My men by this time were so overcome with the intense heat and excessive labor, that half of them fell upon the ground completely exhausted. The guns were so hot that it was dangerous to load them--one was temporarily spiked by the priming wire hanging in it, the vent having become foul. My teams were cut to pieces, five of theo horses were killed out of one single piece, and other teams partially destroyed, so that, alone, we could not much longer have replied to the enemy's batteries as briskly as was necessary.

We were now serving the guns with diminished numbers--Lieuts. Harman and Imboden working at them as privates, to relieve the privates; the latter had the handspike in his hand directing his piece, when one of its rings was shot off the trail by a piece of a shell. After our friends on the right commenced firing, the enemy advanced a third battery of four pieces down the hill, directly in front of and about six hundred yards distant from us, upon which we opened fire immediately and crippled one of their guns by cutting off its trail, compelling them to dismount and send the piece away without its carriage. While this last battery was forming in our front, a vast column of thousands of infantry marched down in close order, about two hundred yards to its right. I did not then know where the several regiments of our brigade were posted. We heard firing upon our right and left, but too far off to protect us from a sudden charge, as we were in the middle of an open field, and not a single company of infantry visible to us on the right, left, or rear. At the moment the enemy's main column came down the lill, we observed the head of another column advancing down those valley from our left, and therefore concealed by

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Barnard E. Bee (2)
W. A. Siders (1)
J. J. Points (1)
Frank Jones (1)
John D. Imboden (1)
Harman (1)
A. W. Garber (1)
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