Page:Notes of the Mexican war 1846-47-48.djvu/132

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Shortly afterward, a blundering mistake was made on the part of Col. Haskell; before any firing was heard from Gen. Twiggs' division on our right. Col. Haskell orders a charge on the enemy's batteries, followed by the Tennessee regiment and one company (Capt. Charles Naylor), Second Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. They charged up the hill with a yell, but before reaching the batteries were repulsed with considerable loss. Col. W. J. Haskell in the retreat lost his old hat, which caused a good deal of merriment among the soldiers.

The Mexicans by this blunder were aroused, and were not long in discovering our position. Their reveille was plainly heard summoning their soldiers to arms. They sent out skirmishing parties, and of course, they were not long before they discovered some of our soldiers; after which, they returned, and the Mexicans soon opened a tremendous firing of heavy artillery with round shot, hurling a terrible storm of grape, canister and rockets through the trees, cutting the twigs and young limbs as a hail storm cuts the ripened grain. It caused for a short time, confusion and tumult. It was enough to try the staunchest nerves; sometimes a volley of musketry would be fired, but being out of range, the bullets fell short, and of course did no harm.

By this time, Brig.-Gen. Gideon Johnston Pillow, (I am giving you his title and name in full), was seen going down the hill in our rear, and was no more seen or heard from until the engagement was all over.

Here we were left standing in front of the enemy's thundering artillery, with the rattling of grape, canister, rockets and the bursting of shells, cutting the limbs of trees down over our heads, and almost rooting up the ground beneath our feet; men shot down right and left, awaiting with patience for orders from our commanding generals to charge upon these breastworks, but none comes.

The Mexicans could be heard yelling and shouting "Bravo! Bravo! De la Mexicano!" No doubt supposing that they