Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 28.djvu/225
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" The Virginia Brigade being now in position, and the head of the Georgia Brigade having now left the mouth of the covered way and filing up the depression to take its place on the right of the Virginia Brigade, the left of the Virginia Brigade being not more than eighty feet from where I stood and Girardey about midway, Girardey sang out, ' General, they are coming! ' whereupon, turning my head to the left at the moment I was instructing the Georgia Brigade as it was filing along up the depression I saw the Federals jumping out of the Confederate breastworks and coming forward in a desultory line, as if to charge us, and in a tone of voice so raised that the whole of the Virginia Brigade might hear me, I said to Girardey, ' Tell Weisiger to forward.' Captain Girardey, like the brilliant officer he was never failing to do precisely the right thing at the right time rushed with uplifted sword to the front of the brigade himself, repeated the command ' Forward ' and led the brigade which, as if on dress parade, and with the steadiness and resolution of regulars and regulars they were in every sense that makes the soldier effective -moved forward to meet the advancing enemy.
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" The Virginia Brigade having made its charge, I put the Georgia Brigade in position to meet any possible reverse to which the Vir- ginia Brigade might be subjected, and then hurried across the field to the works the Virginia Brigade then occupied, and, after making a thorough examination of the situation, so disposed the same as to increase the ability of the brigade to hold the works retaken, at the same time causing sharpshooters to be so posted as to make death the penalty to those of the enemy who were attempting to escape and get back to their lines. It was whilst here that I remember young Butts, of your company, being killed in my immediate pres- ence. He had just cautioned me, whilst I was looking through an opening in the works, not to expose myself. I told him I would look after that, and almost immediately afterwards he received a bullet in his head, which killed him instantly, and he fell on the floor of the trench at my feet.
" I hurried back to the Georgia Brigade and explained to the men and officers the situation of affairs, and how they must make the move to retake that part of our main line still occupied by the enemy to the left of the traverse. They moved forward for the charge, but, unfortunately, obliqued* too far to the left and came in behind the Virginia Brigade. The terrific fire of the enemy to which this brigade