Griffith-Bar ksdale- Humphrey Mississippi Brigade. 273
Semmes was held in reserve. The Washington Artillery was posted on Marye's hill, just in the rear of Cobb, and behind Kershaw and Barksdale were two batteries of the Richmond Howitzers and the Rockbridge Battery of rifled guns.
Soon after the fog had cleared away Federal officers rode boldly out and examined the ground between the two armies. They rode within a hundred yards of our line, but were not fired on. No one seemed disposed to kill such bold, brave fellows.
Not long after they had retired, a strong line moved towards the right of Barksdale' s Brigade, seemingly bent on turning our flank, but were surprised and driven back by the fire of the batteries just behind us.
Line after line of infantry stood along the valley, and we could distinctly see immense columns of troops on the opposite side of the river waiting to cross on the bridges. We were in a woods, our rifle pits concealed by underbrush, which also obscured our artillery above us.
About ii o'clock the enemy moved forward, and halted about loo yards from the cut where Cobb was concealed. The line was dressed, and every man stood in his place. It was a formidable column, out for a desperate encounter.
Everything in readiness, they advanced about thirty yards when the artillery back of us opened, throwing grape and shell into their ranks. The Georgians, resting their guns on the bluff, fired a volley which almost destroyed the alignment. The enemy fell back, leav- ing their dead and wounded. The color bearers threw down their flags, and numbers of the men dropped their guns and fell out- stretched on the ground.
Quickly another line advanced and met the same disaster. A third and fourth line rushed forward, and were driven back with equal slaughter. Charge followed charge until night relieved the scene. The enemy acted with great gallantry, and rushed into our works to meet defeat and death, but others took their places and suffered likewise. There was no occasion during the war when the Federal troops displayed such determination and behaved with greater credit.
During that dreadful engagement General Cobb was seriously wounded, and died soon afterwards. General Cobb was a distin- guished man in peace, and could have won even greater fame in war had he lived.