Twenty-first Mississippi Regiment. A number belonging to this and other regiments in Barksdale's brigade were killed and wounded by our fire.
On the morning of the 12th, pursuant to orders from General Howard, I took a position on the extreme right of the town, my brigade constituting the second line of battle, and threw out the Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers as skirmishers to the front. During the day the command was subjected to a heavy fire of shot and shell; but, by keeping the men well under cover, little execution was done.
On the morning of the 13th, I was ordered by General Howard to hold my command in readiness to lead the attack upon the enemy's left, and had assigned to me Captain Hazard's Firs Rhode Island Battery.
By 10 a.m. my men were in line, waiting for the signal to move forward, and Captain Hazard ready to take his position at a designated point on my right. At this juncture I received orders, through Lieutenant Charles Howard, on the general's staff, to move rapidly but he left flank toward the Plank road, in order to proceed to the front and support General French's and Hancock's divisions, which were being hotly pressed by the enemy.
At 12.20 p.m. I began to move my column, and proceeded out Hanover street in the direction of the Plank road. No sooner had the head of my column reached
street than spherical case and shell were showered upon us from a battery which completely enfiladed the street. Kirby's battery at this moment galloped up the street to support my attack, and took position on the outer edge of the town, at a distance from the enemy's works of about 1,000 yards. The support of this battery highly elated the officers and men, and they moved forward with spirit and confidence, notwithstanding the terrible fire to which they were subjected.
At 1.10 I had deployed my column, and gave the word, "Forward, double-quick, march-guide center."
At this moment my horse was shot in the right shoulder, and had to be abandoned. As quickly as possible, after dismounting, I threw myself in front of the line, and called upon the brigade to come on, which they instantly did, when, from behind a stone wall at the base of the steep declivity; from rifle-pits on my line, and from a line of infantry drawn up on top of the hill, a most terrific fire was opened upon us. To my amazement, the two lines which I was told support I found to have been almost entirely annihilated. I instantly ordered my men to halt and lie close to the ground. I dispatched Lieutenant Eneas Dougherty, my aide-de-camp, to communicate to General Howard the immense strength of the works which I was ordered to take, and the impossibility of my being successful without more artillery and infantry. Just after the departure of my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Stinson, of General Howard's staff, brought me orders to hold the position I then had, and re-enforcements would speedily by sent forward. I immediately directed Lieutenant Robert S. Seabury, on my staff, to deploy three companies as skirmishers in the houses to my right and front, which enfiladed the stone wall and some of the rifle-pits on the face of the hill, which he did stone wall and some of the rifle-pits on the face of the hill, which he did in gallant style. This disposition of my men materially checked the enemy's fire, but gradually the fire of his artillery and infantry began to converge upon the position held by my brigade.
About 3 p.m. a heavy column was sent to advance upon the railroad to my left, and, having deployed, marched gallantly toward the enemy's