Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 35.djvu/205
Hood's J3r(f/<tr. 101
"Ivanhoe," felt that they were destined to stay where they were while the game was being played which should bring us victory or defeat. At this juncture the Texas Brigade was ordered to the front, and never did men obey such order with more alacrity.
A HOT JUNE AFTERNOON.
At about 4 130 o'clock on that hot June afternoon the Texas Brigade, under the eye of Lee, led by the gallant Hood, swept forward to storm the centre of the enemy's position. The 4th Texas on the right, to its left the i8th Georgia (then forming a part of the brigade), then the ist and 5th Texas, and on the ex- treme left of the brigade Hampton's Legion, then also a part of the command. From the nature of the ground the 4th Texas had far the more difficult task of any regiment in the brigade, for in addition to the fortified position of the forces across the branch, which they were to storm, they were to make the attack across an open field, in front of the Federal position, while the balance of the command moved to the assault under cover of the thick woods in their front.
As we moved into the fight each soldier of the brigade felt that the crisis of the battle had come; that the hour of destiny had struck. We knew that assault after assault had been made all along our lines from 2 to 4 o'clock, only to be repulsed with terrible loss, and around and before us were evidences of a fearful struggle, for the dead and dying of the commands which had preceded us lay thick upon the ground, while the remnant of that advance column, demoralized and beaten, was retiring through our ranks in disorder and confusion, telling the soldiers of the brigade, as we neared the enemy, "not to go in there ; that it was death ; that the enemy's position could not be taken." But this only added to our determination to break the lines of the enemy or perish in the attempt. And undismayed, the citizen soldiery of Texas moved steadily forward with the majestic tread of trained veterans. The ist and 5th Regiments, with the 1 8th Georgia and Hampton's Legion, as stated before, charged the enemy through the woods, and their task was not as severe as that of the 4th, which charged across an open field under a murderous fire of the enemy's infantry and artillery for near