Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/208

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200 Southern Historical Society Papers.

The brigade belongs to Anderson's division, Hill's corps; Wilcox held the right of the division, Mahone the left, Wright the centre, Perry (Colonel Lang in command), the right centre, and Perry the left centre.

Wilcox was to advance first, to be followed by the other brigades in their order to the left. It appears, for reasons given in a former communication, that only three brigades became fully engaged Wilcox's, Perry's and Wright's. Colonel Jayne's 48th Mississippi, of Perry's brigade, which had been thrown forward as skirmishers and lost heavily, supposing that the brigade proper would follow on in support; but for some reason it did not, nor did Mahone' s on the left. While marching through a piece of woods to his proper place, on the 2d, Wilcox became engaged with the enemy, and soon re- pulsed him. About 6 P. M. (too late to co-operate with McLaws and Hood, though no blame can attach to the brigadiers), the sev- eral brigades in the division were ordered to advance to the attack, in the order given above. Wilcox moved forward promptly, followed by Lang, who, in his turn, was followed by Wright. Each fought bravely and desperately, drove the enemy back to its front, and ran over several batteries and heaps of slain; but each, in its turn, was compelled, after almost unparalleled losses, to abandon the enter- prise of carrying the impregnable position of the enemy, and retrace its steps to the point from whence it had started. Had the attack been made simultaneously along the whole line at the time Long- street engaged the enemy, or, even, when the three brigades went in, the historian might have been called on to record a different re- sult.

" On the 3d, Wright was not engaged, but Wilcox and Lang were ordered to co-operate with Pickett and Pettigrew in the assault on Cemetery Hill. The Floridians and Alabamians fought with distin- guished courage, as on the previous day, and again forced the enemy to yield to their desperate charges; but, for the second time, the assault was not made simultaneously, and when position after position had been carried, it was found that three others still, which, with their weary and wasted forces, it was impossible to storm. First, Pickett retired, and then Wilcox and Lang each having suffered frightful losses, and leaving their dead and wounded in the hands of the foe.

" The second Florida was commanded on the first day by Major Moore, who was wounded and left on the field, as was'Captain Bal- lantine, second in command. On the third day Captain Fleming