War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0644 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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ters of mile in width. In moving off, there was some confusion in the line, owing to the fact that it had been ordered to close in on the right on Pickett's division, while that command gave way to the left. This was soon corrected, and the advance was made in perfect order. When about half across the intervening space, the enemy opened on us a most destructive fire of grape and canister. When within about 250 or 300 yards of the stone wall behind which the enemy was posted, we were met with a perfect hail-storm of lead from their small-arms. The brigade dashed on, and many had reached the wall, when we received a deadly volley from the left. The whole line on the left had given way, and we were being rapidly flanked. With our thinned ranks and in such a position, it would have been folly to stand, and against such odds. We therefore fell back to our original position in rear of the batteries. After this day's fight, but one field officer was left in the brigade. Regiments that went in with colonels came out commanded by lieutenants. We remained in this position until the night of the 4th, when we took up line of march for Hagerstown, Md. We remained there and in the vicinage until the night of the 13th, for some days in line of battle. e On that night, we took up line of march for the Potomac. After traveling all night in mud and rain, about 8 o'clock on the morning of the 14th we took position in a wheat-field as a portion of the rear guard, while the rest of the troops crossed the river at the pontoon bridge (about 1 1/2 miles) at Falling Waters. The men stacked arms, and most of them were asleep, feeling perfectly secure, as our cavalry were out in front. We had been here probably two hours when the enemy's cavalry dashed in upon us, causing some confusion, as the men were just aroused from sleep. Soon as they saw what was the matter, they seized their guns, and soon made way with the cavalry; all but 3 of them were killed or wounded. General Pettigrew was here mortally wounded. He had received a severe contusion on the hand on the 3d, but would not report off duty. I was informed of his condition, and that I was senior officer of the brigade, subject to the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel [S. G.] Shepard, commanding General Archer's brigade. Soon after this, I received roaders to fall back gradually to the river. I did so, fighting the enemy, who had now brought up an infantry force, all the way. In this I lost a few men killed and several taken prisoners, most of whom gave out from exhaustion. I could have saved most of those lost by a more hasty retreat along the road, but in that event would have left a brigade on my left completely in the hands of the enemy. We crossed the pontoon about 12 m., just as the bridge was being cut loose. The brigade was marched next day to Bunker Hill, where it remained until I was relieved from command by the arrival of Lieutenant-Colonel [W. J.] Martin, of the Eleventh. The brigade deserves the highest praise, not more from its conduct on the battle-field than its soldierly bearing on the march. Where every one did his duty, it would be invidious to mention names. For list of casualties, see reports before sent in. I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major Twenty-sixth Regiment North Carolina Troops.

Major R. H. FINNEY, Assistant Adjutant-General.