Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/44

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40 Southei'n Historical Socirl;/

The different battalions moved up successively from right to left. No sooner were the colors of the i8th Georgia and Chaffin's Bluff troops established, than the enemy-directed his fire upon those com- mands with great rapidity and accuracy. But both battalions dressed up to their colors with as much steadiness and formality as if on parade. I observed particularly the Chaffin's Bluff companies, as I was told they had never before been engaged. There was something surprising in their perfect steadiness and order. By this time many casualties having occured, and the enemy's fire becoming remarkably accurate and severe, the troops were directed to lie down in their places. But notwithstanding this precaution, many of Major Stiles' command were killed and wounded. The i8th Georgia suf- fered not at all, as they lay in a slight depression of the ground. I do not think I had a man hurt by artillery during the engagement

Covered by his artillery the enemy moved up his infantry in three lines of battle, preceded by skirmishers. As soon as our own skirm- ishers had retired, they were received with a general discharge from our whole line, which speedily threw their first line into confusion, killing and wounding considerable numbers.

Unable to face our fire, that line fell back in disorder, which, as I was afterwards told, they communicated to their second line. Such was the eagerness of Major Stiles' men, that upon perceiving the enemy's hesitation, they sprang up from their recumbent attitude and rushed upon them, fixing bayonets as they advanced; and it was with difficulty that Major Stiles and I could check them and restore the line. I was also afterwards informed, by other officers of the bri- gade that the enemy's second line was broken in a similar manner by our fire, and that his third line was met by ours in a general advance with the bayonet, and driven back beyond the creek, when the flag of truce appeared announcing the surrender of the whole corps by General Ewell.

I communicate information received from others of what did not fall under my own observation, for the sake of the corroboration it may give to statements from other quarters. After the restoration of our line, broken, as just stated, by the precipitate charge of Major Stiles' command, my attention was confined to what took place on our extreme right, and I saw no more of the general engagement. And if I go on to recount too minutely what may be considered one of the minor events of the field, I trust it may be pardoned as a just tribute to the splendid courage and unfaltering devotion to the cause of their country of my brave battalion. No words of mine seem