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[195] battle would be fought, but somehow the morning passed and the real struggle had not begun. In the evening the fighting again began on the left of our line.

At about 4 o'clock the battle was taken up along our centre and right, and at 4:30 the Texas Brigade was ordered to charge. The troops moved at a rapid pace some 300 or 400 yards before the enemy was encountered, and here a strange scene occurred. The 5th and 10th New York Zouaves, clad in their splendid red uniforms, opposed the advance of the 5th Texas Regiment. They were posted in the edge of a wood, with an open country sloping to a creek some 200 yards in their rear. As the regiment neared the enemy in a rapid charge, they delivered one deadly volley, and then, before they could reload, the Texans were upon them, and the Federals turned and fled, and it is no exaggeration to say that hillside was strewn thick with the flower of those two regiments. An observer said that it was possible to walk on corpses from the edge of the wood to the creek, so thickly were they strewn. Our troops did not pause, but swept forward like a cyclone. They passed the creek pursuing the Federals up the hillside beyond, and when they neared the crest, they found themselves confronted by a line of blue, standing in a declivity, and beyond them and over their heads played upon the Confederates shot and shell from a battery. There was no time to pause in such a crisis, he who hesitates is lost, and the regiment pressed boldly forward. Time after time the flag of the regiment went down, but as fast as one standard-bearer fell another seized the colors, and the regiment pressed bravely on until this line of battle was broken and fled incontinently from the field, and the battle was ours. And still another line of battle of the enemy was broken, until this regiment, which, as General Hood says, ‘Slipped the bridle and pierced to the very heart of the enemy,’ found itself almost surrounded, when it had to make a flank movement in order to shelter itself in the timber. To show how severe and deadly was this conflict, the regiment lost seven standard-bearers killed; the flag-staff was shot in two, and the flag itself was pierced with twenty-seven bullets, and had three bomb scorches on it.

It is not claimed here that the 5th Texas was the first to breach the enemy's lines, as is claimed for the 4th at Gaines'

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Andrew Hood (1)
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