War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0446 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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example could be seen, though words could not be heard, all the officers of the regiment rushed to the front, and without further formalities the regiment was hurried to the important spot. When they arrived there, there was a very thin line contending with the enemy, who was behind a rail fence, with the exception of a small number that climbed over, who were speedily dispatched. The enemy poured in a severe musketry fire, and at the clump of trees they burst also several shells, so that our loss was very heavy, more than half the enlisted men of the regiment being killed or disabled, while there remained but 3 out of 13 officers. Moreover, the contest round this important spot was very confused, every man fighting on his own hook, different regiments being mixed together, and half a doyen colors in a bunch, it being impossible to preserve a regimental line. Notwithstanding these adverse circumstances, the men of this command kept so well together that after the contest near the trees, which lasted half an hour or so, was ended, I was enabled to collect, with the assistance of Lieutenant Summerhayes and Lieutenant Perkins, in an incredibly short period, nearly all the surviving men of the regiment, and returned them to their original place in the pits. At the suggestion of Lieutenant Haskell, on the division staff, I prepared to move back to the trees again, having 100 men collected together. This order was, however, countermanded by Colonel Devereux, commanding the left wing of the brigade, because of the second and last advance of the enemy on our extreme left, which happened only a very short time after the completion of our own success at the clump of trees. Without meaning to reflect on other regiments at all, I think it but fair to this command to state that I observed at the time that very few other regiments had even settled on a rendezvous for their scattered members. It seems to me that great praise is due the enlisted men of this regiment for the speed with which they reorganized, for the discipline and esprit de corps which made them stick together in such a scene of confusion, where organization had been so completely broken up for the time. All the officers of the regiment behaved with the greatest gallantry, but I am enabled to select two, as their position or occupation made them more conspicuous than the rest. One of these {Captain Patten

I have already mentioned. The other is First Lieutenant Henry Ropes, who was shot dead. Never before has this regiment, in the death of any officer, received one-half so heavy a blow. His conduct in this action, as in all previous ones, was perfectly brave, but not with the bravery of excitement that nerves common men. He was in battle absolutely cool and collected, apparently unconscious of the existence of such a feeling as personal danger, the slight impetuosity and excitability natural to him at ordinary times being sobered down into the utmost self-possession, giving him an eye that noticed every circumstance, no matter how thick the shot and shell; a judgment that suggested in every case the proper measures, and a decision that made the application instantaneous. It is impossible for me to conceive of a man more perfectly master of himself; more completely noting and remembering every circumstance in times when the ordinary brave man sees nothing but a tumult and remembers after it is over nothing but a whirl of events which he is unable to separate. Lieutenant Ropes' behavior in this battle was more conspicuous for coolness and absolute disregard of personal danger than I have ever witnessed in any other man. He entered the service and