The Battle of New Market. 157
as I was not going to run. My men always told me they never would run until I did, and I believed them. The officer tried to hold his company, but could not. I saw something had to be done, and saw no officer of higher rank than myself. The time had come for no foolishness; at least half our command was giving way.
A few steps behind us there was a little lane with low fencing an old worn rail fence. Behind this lane was the cornfield, tramped into a "loblolly." I thought that if I undertook to run my company through that muddy field we would all get killed, so I concluded to fall back in the lane and get behind the fence and the right would rally on us. I dropped my company back and tried it, but the other men failed to rally. Corporal John Wampler, of my company, a six-footer, got up and looked over the field and exclaimed : "Captain, the Yankees are running on the left." I saw some two or three hundred yards off Derrick's Battalion going toward the enemy. I gave the command, "At- tention!" which brought my company to their feet; then I told them to "Forward ! Double-quick ! Charge !" My company and the whole left raised that old rebel yell, and at them we went. The right, when they saw us going forward, turned and came back with a yell. When we got half-way to them, 1 saw they had their horses to the artillery and were starting. I gave the comman to "Fire left oblique into that artillery !" It seems that I can still see the guns of my company turned in a left oblique direction and firing. All the riders on the artillery horses who were not hit jumped off and struck the ground on a run. They turned everything loose. My company went straight forward to the right of the artillery. By the time we got half-way to the Yankee line they were running, going their best, but shoot- ing back and hitting a good many of our men. They had a reserve line behind, but the first line ran through it and tangled it so badly that it went too.
A FIGHTING PARSON.
After we had run them a good way, Sergeant Wampler, than whom a better soldier never fought, now a Southern M,ethodist preacher, threw his hand to his shoulder and said : "Captain, I