Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/735

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sippi volunteers. At First Manassas Barksdale's regiment was with Early's command, which by its flank attack assisted in completing the discomfiture of the Federals. One company of this regiment was engaged in the battle of Leesburg (Ball's Bluff). With the rest of his command Colonel Barksdale, at Edwards' ferry, held in check a considerable Union force which otherwise would have gone to the help of their friends at Leesburg. At Savage Station and Malvern Hill Barksdale commanded the Third brigade of Magruder's division, and in August, before Second Manassas, he was commissioned brigadier-general. In the Maryland campaign he was in McLaws' division, which did some of the heaviest marching and fighting of that campaign. At the battle of Fredericksburg Barksdale's brigade of Mississippians was posted along the river front to prevent the crossing of the Union troops until Lee should be ready to let them come. His brigade kept up such a hot fire that it defeated nine attempts of the Federals to construct their pontoon bridges. Then the powerful artillery of the Union army from Stafford poured a terrific iron hail upon the gallant Mississippians and the town of Fredericksburg. But the defense was kept up until all the Confederate troops had been able to take their proper positions, and then Barksdale's men were withdrawn from their perilous post. This heroic fight had long delayed the crossing of Sumner's grand division and had caused Franklin's grand division, which had crossed farther down, to return to the Federal side of the river to await the result of Sumner's efforts. Thus Lee secured twenty-four hours to prepare for the assault and also had full notice of the points of attack. During the battle of Chancellorsville Barksdale was again fighting at Fredericksburg with Early, whose task was to hold Sedgwick in check and prevent him from falling on Lee's rear. In the second day's battle at Gettysburg this intrepid brigade sustained an irreparable loss in the fall of its gallant leader, and the