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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/239

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Picketl's Charge. 231

When we had gone about four hundred yards the General said: " Captain, you have lost your spurs to-day, instead of gaining them." Riding on the right side, I looked at once at my left boot, and saw that the shank of my spur had been mashed around and the rowel was looking towards the front, the work of a piece of shell, I suppose, but that was the first I knew of it. Then I remembered the Irishman's remark, that one spur was enough, because if one side of your horse went, the other would be sure to go.

When we had charged about 750 yards, having about 500 more to get over before reaching the stone wall, Pettigrew's Brigade broke all to pieces and left the field in great disorder. At this time we were mostly under a fierce artillery fire; the heaviest musketry fire came farther on.

General Pettigrevv was in command that day of a division and his brigade was led by Colonel Marshall, who was knocked from his horse by a piece of shell as his men broke, but he had himself lifted on his horse, and when his men refused to follow him up, he asked that his horse be turned to the front. Then he rode up until he was killed. If all the men on Pickett's left had gone on like Marshall, history would have been written another way. General Pickettsent Captain Symington and Captain Baird to rally these men.

They did all that brave officers could do, but could not stop the stampede.


General Pickett directed me to ride to General Longstreet and say that the position against which he had been sent would be taken, but he could not hold it unless reinforcements be sent to him. As I rode back to General Longstreet I passed small parties of Petti- grew's command going to the rear; presently I came to quite a large squad, and, very foolishly, for I was burning precious time, I halted them, and asked if they would not go up and help those gal- lant men now charging behind us. Then I added, "What are you running for?" and one of them, looking up at me with much sur- prise depicted on his face, said, "Why, good gracious, Captain, ain't you running yourself?" Up to the present time I have not answered that question, but will now say, appearances were against me.

I found General Longstreet sitting on a fence alone; the fence ran in the direction we were charging. Pickett's column had passed over the hill on our side of the Emmettsburg road, and could not