Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/70

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60
Southern Historical Society Papers.

I could impede or paralyze the immense mass of men that was pressing steadily to his overthrow. We were standing on the flank of the advancing columns. They swept on at right angles to our line of vision. They were within easy artillery range, and I felt certain that a heavy enfilading fire, poured unexpectedly into their charging columns, would disconcert and check them. Instead of moving to reinforce Jackson, therefore, I sent dispatches for batteries to hurry to where I was. In an exceedingly short time Captain Wiley's six-gun battery came dashing up at full gallop, the horses covered with foam, and the men urging them forward. They were wheeled into position and directed against the moving flank of the enemy. The range was fair, and as the six guns flashed the heavy shot went plowing through the solid flank of the Federals, doing terrible damage.

"The result was as anticipated. The line faltered for an instant, started again, hesitated, reformed and pressed forward, and then as a rear broadside was poured into them, broke ranks and retired, slowly, sullenly and doggedly. General Jackson did not pursue, and the Federals halted after moving back a short distance, and arranged to reform their ranks and renew the charge. As soon as they started, however, they were obliged to face against General Jackson. This exposed them of course to our enfilading fire. We now had several batteries in position, and as soon as the lines had taken shape and started on their second assault we poured a perfect hail of balls into their flanks and scattered them again. Although discomfited they were not broken, but retired with their slow, angry, sullen step. When they had gone beyond the fair range of our batteries they halted, and tried to form again for the third assault. I now determined to end the matter, feeling that I had an easy victory in my grasp. I therefore ordered every battery to be in readiness, and drew my men up for a charge, designing to throw them into the broken ranks of the enemy as soon as my artillery had dispersed them. The Federals moved forward once more. When they were fairly in range every gun was opened upon them, and before they had recovered from the stunning effect, I sprang every man I had to the charge, and swept down upon them like an avalanche. The effect was simply magical. The enemy broke all to pieces. I pushed my men forward with pell-mell pursuit, hoping to reach the main Federal lines at the same time with their retreating forces. We succeeded in this, and drove the enemy back, pursuing them till fully 10 o'clock at night."

In the above General Longstreet states that about 3 P. M. he went to the position where Generals Hood and Evans had sent for him; that the battle was then being made against Jackson; that the masses of Federals, surging in solid blocks, headed directly against Jackson's lines; that he could not possibly get to Jackson in time to be of service to him, but that he could paralyze the attack by using artillery unexpectedly to the enemy, to enfilade the column