War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0084 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLIX.

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as steadily as on drill. The officers in the line were giving their orders in low tones, and every man stood, his gun at the ready, his finger on the trigger, waiting to see the face of his foe. It was a marvel to me then and is now how men who almost never before had heard the rebel yell and the terrible din of the battle-field could be so entirely calm and self-possessed. Soon our men in front wee, by the confusion, cleared away, the rebel lines were plainly seen, and the battle began. Our front fire was heavy, and the artillery had an enfilading fire, under which their first line went down. They staggered, went back, and their whole advance halted. Their fire ceased to be effective. A cheer ran along our line, and the first success was ours. I gave the order to "cease firing." Just then Colonel Thoburn, brigade commander, rode along the lines telling the men to "prepare to charge." He rode by me shouting some order I could not catch, and went to the regiment on my left, which immediately charged. I supposed this to be his order to me, and I commanded to fix bayonets and charge. The men fairly sprang forward. As we neared the crest of the hill we met the entire rebel force advancing and firing. The regiment on my left, which first met the fire, turned and went back, leaving the Thirty-fourth rushing alone into the enemy's line. I shouted to them to halt but could not make a single man hear or heed me, and it was not until they had climbed an intervening fence, and were rushing ahead on the other side, that I was able to run along the lines, and, seizing the color bearer by the shoulder, hold him fast as the only way of stopping the regiment. The wings surged ahead, but, losing sight of the colors, halted. The alignment rectified, we faced about and marched back to our position in common time. I could hear the officers saying to the men, and the men to each other, "Don't run!"-"Keep your line!"-"Common time!" &c. On reaching our position the regiment was halted, faced about, and resumed its fire. The path of the regiment between our line and the fence was sadly strewn with our fallen. Just as we halted Lieutenant-Colonel Lincoln fell. The loss of his invaluable services, and the impossibility of making my voice heard in the din, rendered it necessary for me to go along the whole line to make the men understand what was wanted. The alignment perfected and the men well at work, I was able to look about the field, and saw, to my surprise, that the artillery had limbered up and was moving off the field, and that the infantry had gone, save one regiment, which was gallantly holding its ground far to the left. The rebel-line advanced until I could see, above the smoke, two battle-flags on the hill in front of the position where the artillery had bene posted. I ordered a retreat, but they either could not hear or would not heed the order. I was finally obliged to take hold of the color bearer, face him about, and tell him to follow me, in order to get the regiment off the field. They fell back slowly, firing in retreat, and encouraging each other not to run. But the rebels were coming on at the double-quick and concentrating their whole fire upon us. I told the men to run and get out of fire as quickly as possible, and rally behind the first cavalry line found to the rear. The colors were halted several times by different officers in positions where it was impossible to make a stand, and would only start again at my direct order. I felt much relieved on receiving an order from General Sullivan, who was conspicuous on the field, that the line would be formed on the ridge and no stand made before it was reached. I directed the