ing the lines of the Twentieth Louisiana and causing similar confusion in its ranks. Both were soon reformed, however, and the Twentieth Louisiana (Colonel Reichard) regained its proper position in line and forced its way across the swamp under a heavy fire from the enemy.
At this time the most of my right-the Seventeenth Louisiana, the Confederate Guards, and the Florida Battalion-had crossed the branch and made a charge up a hill into the edge of the enemy's camp, but his battery was playing upon them with such vigor that they were sheltered by the brow of the hill. The perceptibly demising fire from the enemy's battery was soon, by Captain Hodgson's superior practice, entirely silenced. Our infantry, which in the mean time had crossed by boggy ravine, pressed up the hill on the other side, driving the enemy from his camp, and reaching the battery in time to pour several shots into the ranks of the fleeing cannoneers and their supports, both right and left.
The action now became general, as was evidenced by the unremitting roll of small-arms and artillery along the whole line. In the attack upon the camp just alluded to and the taking of the battery my command had assumed a position in the front line, availing itself for this purpose of an interval nearly in front of us in our first of battle.
After passing their first battery and being driven through their second and third camps into the fourth the enemy made a more obstinate resistance, being favored in this by the nature of the ground. Once and again our volunteers nobly responded to the order to dislodge him. The odds in numbers were in his favor as well as the advantage in position, but as comrade after comrade fell by his side, each Confederate seemed to be inspired with fresh courage and determination to win the fight or lose his life.
At one time the lines upon my right wavered and seemed to give way for a moment, but a wave of the hat to my own brigade (the voice could not be heard) seemed well understood, and the command "Forward," which it implied, was most gallantly executed. Again the lines of the enemy gave way; but a battery to our front and left now disclosed itself in heavy fire upon our center and right.
About this time each command in the brigade lost several gallant officers and many not less gallant men. I dispatched an aide (Lieutenant Davidson) to the rear to order up a battery, and withdrew the infantry a short distance to better shelter. The artillery gained a favorable position in a few minutes (perhaps before Lieutenant Davidson had had time to deliver my order) and promptly opened fire upon its antagonist. The infantry was brought up again on the right of the battery at supporting distance, held its fire until a favorable moment arrived, when a few weld-directed volleys, followed by a shout and a charge to the front, caused the enemy again to give way in some confusion, leaving his battery behind.
It is entirely out of my power to give a circumstantial account of all the operations of the command during the remainder of this day's work. Our movements were all onward. Meeting one of General Bragg's aides about this time, I remarked to him that from the position originally assigned me (that of a reserve) I had worked my way into the front line. In a few moments he passed again and said: "No difference; the general desires you to go wherever the fight is thickest."
The enemy's fire in front and to our left was now evidently demising. Not so, however, on our right. I therefore determined to swing
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