Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/530

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49
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

A terrible fire opened upon us of canister and musketry. My men silenced their battery and drove back their infantry. Unmolested, we moved across the field and took the battery. Posted behind the trees and logs we saw the enemy formed within forty yards of us in close order. I held my fire, believing them friends. At the command, ‘Don't shoot,’ the enemy discovered themselves and unfurled their flag. We poured into them a deadly fire. They replied fiercely and retired. Our loss was Capt. R. H. McNair, of Company E, who stood gallantly exposed, cheering his men to stand bravely and fire coolly, and two privates severely, and one sergeant and three privates slightly wounded. Afterward I heard no firing on my right or left. I knew the enemy was present near both flanks. I saw the Confederates scattered and retiring and I moved back in good order, passing around the field. When I had retired a few hundred yards I came upon Colonel Allen, who had formed some five or six hundred stragglers into a body. I formed on his left and we took post further to the rear, behind the battery, to support it. We remained there an hour, until the colonel got orders to retire. We took up the line of march in order and quit the field. In repulsing the enemy from their battery we gave an opportune check to his advance upon our retiring skirmishers. Throughout this action, on both days, the officers and soldiers of my battalion behaved bravely. No instance of distrust or dismay met my observation." Seldom has a story of bravery been more modestly or graphically told than in this report of Hardcastle's. Capt. T. J. Stanford, of the artillery, on the second day sacrificed his battery, losing nearly all his horses and 20 men in a desperate bombardment of the enemy who was pressing Breckinridge. The Jefferson artillery, under Capt. W. L. Harper, served with Swett's battery first, and later had a famous duel with a Federal battery facing Cheatham. Harper being wounded, Lieut. Put Darden was in command on the