Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/188

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180 Southern Historical Society Papers.


A sharp artillery duel had been in progress for some time, when the line of battle was ordered to advance. Passing up the slope of the second hill, as we reached the crest, the enemy had gotten our range and the first casualties occurred, four or five men being wounded by the bursting of a shell, one of them being Captain Hill, of Company C. The line now pressed forward, the battalion being as beautifully aligned as if on dress parade. The ground here was an open field, level or rising slightly to the north. When half way across this field a sharp musketry fire opened on our left in addition to the artillery fire, and a shrapnel shot exploding killed three mem- bers of D Company Cabell, Jones and Crockett. Just at this point the wings of the battalion became advanced beyond the center, causing a curve in the line. The cadets marked time, the line was straightened and, dressing on the center, advanced in as perfect order as if on dress parade. On the northern border of this field and to our front stood Bushong's house, beyond which was an apple orchard. The enemy had slowly fallen back and taken up a third position several hundred yards beyond this house. On reaching the house the ranks divided. A and B companies passing to the right of the house and C and D companies to the left, A and D mark- ing time until the other half came up and the line was reformed. The fire at this point was terrific, both musketry and from the battery to our left, double shotted with cannister. Passing beyond the house, the battalion laid down for a short time on the northern border of the orchard, when the order, ' Forward! ' was given, and when about half way between this point and the guns, occurred the heaviest casualties of the day, the sufferers being the cadets and the 62nd Virginia, under Colonel Smith, immediately on the cadet left. It was at this point that Colonel Shipp was wounded and Captain Henry A. Wise took command. Up to this time the cadets had not fired a shot. At this juncture the Federal cavalry was seen about to charge the line, squadron front. Breckinridge appreciat- ing the situation, ordered the guns, double shotted with cannister, to be turned on them. They were routed with great loss, only a few reaching our lines, and they as prisoners.