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[407] were attached to only four pieces; the horses to the other two had been shot, consequently two guns fell into possession of the enemy. On the right of Hamilton, the Seventh Connecticut and the Seventh New-Hampshire were doing fearful execution. The Seventh Connecticut especially were standing their ground with marked valor. Every volley from their guns told splendidly on the rebel line. But between the two forces a wide difference existed; the rebels outnumbered us five to one. This crushing superiority gave the two regiments little chance for victory. After losing one fourth of their number, they were compelled to retire to the rear. At the same moment Colonel Barton's brigade, the Forty-seventh, Forty-eighth, and One Hundred and Fifteenth New-York regiments, took the field, coming up in line en echelon. On the right was Elder's battery, and on the left Langdon's and one section of the Third Rhode Island. The enemy had four pieces of artillery. On a railroad car he had mounted a heavy gun, supposed to be a thirty-two pounder, and with this he kept up a regular fire, but not destructive, as the shells passed over the heads of our men. There can be no doubt concerning the fighting qualities of Barton's brigade. On this occasion they fought like tigers; but the same difficulty which opposed Hawley's brigade, presented itself to them, namely, the mass of the enemy.

The last regiments to enter the field, were the First North-Carolina, and Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, (colored,) of Montgomery's brigade. They took a bold position at the front, and maintained their ground with commendable pertinacity. For three and a half successive hours did our brave regiments combat the enemy before them. The instances of personal daring that occurred in the mean time, are numerous. Never before did the troops in this department have such an opportunity for displaying their valor, and on no previous occasion have they exhibited such a high degree of bravery. If the enemy had presented an equal force with our own, or even if it had been only double, no doubt could have been felt as to the final result of the contest. As it was, the enemy resisted us with a force in point of numbers three times that of our own, which, taken together with the circumstances of the long and tedious march, and the ill condition of the men, it would be hardly reasonable to suppose that success would be on our side. The effect of our fire, both of musketry and artillery, was fearful. At every discharge, down went a body of rebels. The gallant Elder on the right, and the dashing Langdon on the left, made an impression on the rebel lines that will go far to offset the misfortune that ultimately overtook us. The fight was by no means a trivial encounter; it was a battle hotly contested, fought at close range, face to face and foot to foot. The commanding officers of the various regiments are entitled to unlimited credit for the heroic manner in which they led their men. At the acme of the battle, Colonel Sammons, of the One Hundred and Fifteenth New-York, was struck in the foot, and was in consequence compelled to leave the field. His horse was shot from under him. Colonel Moore, of the Forty-seventh New-York, was also wounded, a ball striking his hand and passing out at the elbow. Colonel Barton had his coat pierced in several places and his horse shot. Colonel Henry had three horses shot, but himself escaped in a most miraculous manner. Provost-Marshal General Hall had a horse shot from under him, and as for himself, no one would believe it would be possible for him to again pass through what he did on that day, and come out unscathed. Lieutenant Jackson, of General Seymour's staff, had two horses shot. If space would permit, I might fill a column of just such narrow escapes.

General Seymour was not away from the ground for an instant. At first on the right and then on the left, he seemed to be everywhere at one and the same moment. His aim was apparently to be in the thickest of the fight, and at the front of his troops.

At five P. M. the fire slackened on both sides; on ours, in consequence of the ammunition giving out, and on the enemy's, because we did not press him. A demonstration by the rebels to capture Langdon's battery, at about the middle stage of the fight, was prevented by Langdon, who poured into their line a quick and deadly fire. But in coming from the field he was obliged to leave to the enemy three of his pieces, not because the enemy charged upon them, but for the reason that he did not have horses to draw them off. At half-past 5 o'clock the heavy firing had ceased. The cessation was simultaneous on both sides. We held our ground till seven o'clock, and then the order came from General Seymour to gradually retire.

The retreat was conducted leisurely and orderly. There was no confusion, no panic, nothing that indicated hurry. Colonel Henry, with his cavalry, brought up the rear. At three o'clock Sunday morning, our troops were at Barber's. The enemy followed closely, but did not press. A few of their cavalry only kept well up to the rear of Henry's column. At Barber's, our men rested till nine A. M., and then again took up the line of retreat, reaching Baldwin at about three P. M. They halted here a short time, and then went on toward Jacksonville, arriving at the camping-ground, six miles out, Monday afternoon. On the way down many of the poor fellows could hardly drag one foot after the other.

To estimate our loss is indeed an unpleasant task, but, nevertheless, one which must be performed in giving the record of the day's events. In killed, wounded, and missing I give the number one thousand two hundred. All our killed and the severely wounded, that is, those who were unable to walk from the field unassisted, fell into the hands of the enemy. Last night, at twelve o'clock, about five hundred of the wounded had been conveyed to Jacksonville. Their names are embraced in the list of casualties which I present in another portion of this letter. At that time about two hundred wounded were


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