War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 1038 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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this, asked him if the order was intended for the whole brigade; he replied, "Yes," and thereupon the Fifth, and immediately the other troops on their left, retreated. I did not see their retrograde movement until it was too late for me to rally them, for this reason: Just as I was moving on after Lightfoot, I heard a shot strike Lieutenant Briney, who was immediately behind me. Wheeling, I found him falling, and found that he had been struck in the face. He found that the could walk after I raised him, though the thought a shot or piece of shell had penetrated his head just under the eye. I followed him a few paces, and watched him until he had reached a barn, a short distance to the rear, where he first encountered some one to help him in case he needed it. As I turned toward the brigade, I was struck heavily by a piece of shell on my thigh. At first I thought the wound was serious, but finding, upon examination, that it was slight, I again turned toward the brigade, when I discovered it, without visible cause to me, retreating in confusion. I hastened to intercept it at the Hagerstown road. I found, though, that, with the exception of a few men form the Twenty-sixth, Twelfth, and Third, and a few under major Hobson, not more than 40 in all, the brigade had completely disappeared from this portion of the field. This small number, together with some Mississippians (under Colonel----) and North Carolinians, making in all about 150 men, I rallied and stationed behind a small ridge leading from the Hagerstown road eastward toward the orchard before spoken of, and about 150 yards in rear of my last position, leaving them under the charge of Colonel----.

It is proper for me to mention here that this force whit some slight additions, was afterward led through the orchard against the enemy by General D. H. Hill, and did good service, the general himself handling a masked in the fight. Major Hobson and Lieutenant [J. M.] Goff, of the Fifth Alabama (the latter with a musket), bore distinguished part in the fight. After this, my time was spent mainly in directing the fire of some artillery and getting up stragglers.

In this engagement the brigade behave very handsomely and satisfactorily, and, with the exception of the right wing of the Sixth Alabama (where Colonel Gordon, while acting with his customary gallantry, was wounded desperately, receiving five wounds), had sustained almost no loss until the retrograde movement began. It had, together with Anderson's troops, stopped and foiled the attack of a whole corps of the enemy for more than an hour, and finally fell back only when, as the men and officers supposed, they had been ordered to do so. We might have been compelled to fall back afterward (for the troops on my right had already given way when we began to retreat), but, without the least hesitation, I say that but for the unaccountable mistake of Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, the retreat would not have commenced at this time, if at all. He was wounded severely in the retreat.

I saw but little of the operations of Carter's battery during the battle. I only know that it was actively engaged the whole day, and with some loss. The gallant captain received a slight wound on the foot, and one of his lieutenants (Dabney) received one from which he has since died. I beg leave to refer to his report, which is submitted herewith.

My force at the beginning of the fight was less than 800 effective men. The loss was as follows:

Killed........................... 50

Wounded..........................132

Missing.......................... 21

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Total............................203