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[150] too great, or the enemy in their front too threatening, but whatever it was, we missed it, and the result was the battle of Malvern Hill next day, Tuesday, July 1st.

It is hard to write about the battle of Malvern Hill, which seems to the subordinate a perfectly useless fight. General D. H. Hill, it is said, advised against it, and it would have been well for us if his advice had been taken. But ‘Mars' Robert’ had unbounded confidence in his men, and, as at Gettysburg, thought them invincible. He had good reason for this confidence in the men, but where the field is extensive and out of view, it is hard to secure the necessary co-operation between the several parts of a large army. Certainly it was not secured that day, and the battle was fought by detachments, which were successfully repulsed.

Our brigade, consisting of the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-seventh, and Thirty-third Virginia regiments, lay under arms in the woods most of the day, losing a few men and officers from the gunboat shells, and it was late in the evening before the brigade was sent into action. We marched through a field on the right, in which was a deserted house that was supposed to be General D. H. Hill's headquarters, but if it had ever been, he and his staff were wise to have deserted it, for it seemed to be the central target of all McClellan's artillery—at least we thought so from the numbers of shot and shell that were falling around it. We could not find General D. H. Hill, to whom we were directed to report, so we marched down a hill, across a stream, and up the hill on the other side to find ourselves on the edge of a large plateau filled with Federal infantry and artillery. But it was then dusk, and perhaps it was fortunate for us that we could not see how many they were.

The bullets, shot, and shell fell thick and fast. Our men fired perfectly at random and in the air, and I heard that one man shot off the head of a comrade in front of him, but I will not vouch for the truth of the story. However, such was the danger that General Winder's aide-de-camp remarked to me: ‘You look out for me, and I'll look out for you, and let us both look out for the General.’ It was a very pertinent remark, for any one might have been killed there in the dark, and no one else would have been the wiser until daylight. When the fire slackened somewhat I moved a short distance to the right to see what might be the prospects of a flank movement, and I approached near enough to hear the commands of the Federal officers, but seeing a dark body of troops that seemed to be coming in my direction, I beat a hasty retreat. We fired

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