Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/238
Southern Historical Society Papers
in their faces at thirty yards. We kept up until every chamber of our revolvers and carbines was empty. By this time the frantic efforts of the men to get away from the telling fire from the ambush pushed on the men in front, thus driving us back. We did not run; we contested every rod of the way, loading and firing as we were slowly going back, and, the open space getting broader, with the enemy pushing around us on both flanks, we were compelled to give back again and again for about twenty-five minutes, when they ceased firing and stopped coming.
We kept within easy range, at no time neglecting them, neither showing any fear. This continued for perhaps fifteen minutes, when they started back down the hill in full run, we adding every possible inducement. A portion of the rear regiment of cavalry ran back from the ambush, and while the fight was going on above. General Elliott rallied and reformed the runaways, brought Cole's Battalion to the front, thus forming a column, and moving the infantry up nearer to supporting distance, he ordered the battery into position on our left front and advanced up the eastern side.
We were soon notified by the videttes, and hurried around to the eastern side. There we met and had a pretty sharp little fight with Cole's Battalion, who fought us harder than the Pennsylvania.
But soon the dismounted men, having been double-quicked across the top, came down the steep hillside with a yell and the impetuous charge of the Ashby Cavalry that no Yankees ever withstood. In a very short time Cole's Battalion was running from half its number of men.
The battery now opened fire on the front of the hill, and shelled slowly but regularly for three and one-half hours, during which some little movement was made, but no active demonstration. Occasionally some of the men would get permission to ride to the front of the hill, where we could see every movement and even hear the commands when given.Other than these there were only four videttes on part of the hill, and as neither of these were hurt the shelling did no harm. After three and one-half hours the battery ceased firing and a truce was started up, as we supposed, to get the dead and wounded. But just before reaching the brigade Elliott came at