Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/178

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174 Southern Historical Society Papers.

against 8,500 infantry and 3,000 mounted gun-men. The thing be- gan at daylight and kept on until dark, when flanked and worn out, Early retreated, to escape being surrounded.

" This is the story (given only in part here) of the thin grey line of North Carolina and the cavalry charge, a feat of arms before which that of Sir Colin Campbell fades into insignificance. ' '

The brigade had a severe fight at the Monocacy river, near Fred- erick City, in entering Maryland. Captain W. C. Wall, command- ing Company F, was severely wounded in this fight. While General Gordon's Division crossed the river and attacked the line of battle in the flank, Johnston's Brigade was ordered to capture a block- house on the other side of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. A considerable number of the enemy were in the railroad cut and per- fectly protected. The brigade charged across the railroad on the bridge, under a raking fire from a heavy battery on the other side of the river. Seeing it could not carry the block-house in that way, a company of soldiers passed under the culvert and opened fire on the enemy in the railroad cut from the flank, drew them out of the cut, and captured the block-house. When the first attempt to take the block-house, made by Colonel Blacknall with the 23d Regiment, had failed, by reason of an enfilade fire from a line of battle behind the railroad, which caused the regiment to fall back, General Johnston sent a message to Colonel Davis to take the i2th Regiment and cap- ture it. Colonel Davis says:

"General J. was not in a very good humor and I was suffering (sick) so that I could hardly walk. However, I went forward to the ravine (not knowing the cause of the falling back of the 23d), and here halted and had picked men as videttes to reconnoitre and see all they could. Finding out about the line of battle behind the rail- road, I sent General J. a message that if I advanced I would expose my men to an enfilade fire, and that if he would dislodge the line of battle behind the railroad I could take the house without loss of men. I never heard from General J. In the meantime, the fight was going on on the other side between Wallace (of Ben Hur fame) and Gor- don. Three lines of battle engaged Gordon's one, and now Wallace begins to retreat. His men on our side then had to cross over quickly or be taken. I moved forward, and as we struck the bridge on our side the enemy was clearing it on the other side. The re- treat and pursuit began, which continued for about two miles. We