upon the flank—a pealing volley, which roared along the whole front—a stream of wasting fire, under which the adverse left fell as one man—and the bronzed veterans swept forward, shrivelling up Barlow's division as lightning shrivels the dead leaves of autumn; then, cleaving a fiery path diagonally across the enemy's front, spreading dismay and destruction, rolled up Mott's division in its turn, and without check, the woods still reverberating with their fierce clamor, stormed and carried Gibbon's entrenchments and seized his guns.
When night came down the victors returned to the main lines, guarding 1,742 prisoners, and bearing as trophies a vast quantity of small arms, four light guns, and eight standards.
In this brilliant feat of arms, co-operation, it would appear, was expected from another quarter, but though, as Touchstone says, "There is much virtue in if," I am here to relate the actual events of the defence, rather than to speculate upon what might have been.
FIRST BATTLE OF REAMS' STATION.
- Lee's official dispatch, June 22d, 1864. Swinton (p. 512) says "2,500 prisoners and many standards." It appears on close investigation that General Lee, through caution, very frequently understates in first dispatches the losses of the enemy.
- Lee's official dispatch, June 25th, 1864.
- Lee's official dispatch, June 26th, 1864.