arrived at Hamilton's Crossing, and had been placed at once in the open field upon Jackson's right, where might be seen the glare of their hundreds of camp-fires, and where they were busily engaged in throwing up intrenchments.
On our left wing the assault of the enemy had been renewed at dark, and had been attended with the same fatal result to them with their efforts elsewhere, and the ground in front of Marye's Heights was heaped with dead bodies, chiefly those of the brave Irishmen of Meagher's brigade, which went to the attack 1200 strong, and left 900 of their number upon this dreadful spot.
About seven o'clock the battle ceased for the day; only random cannonshots were still interchanged, the flight of the shells distinctly marked in flaming curves across the dark firmament, and the shadows of evening fell upon a battle-field, the nameless horrors of which none of us had even measurably conjectured — a battle-field where thousands of mutilated and dying men lay in hopeless a
m, but which, of course, offered not the slightest protection; and heaps of the corpses of these poor fellows filled the narrow enclosures.
On a space of ground not over two acres we counted 680 dead bodies; and more than 1200 altogether were found on the small plain between the heights and Fredericksburg, those nearest the town having mostly been killed by our artillery, which had played with dreadful effect upon the enemy's dense columns.
More than one-half of these dead had belonged to Meagher's brave Irish brigade, which was nearly annihilated during the several attacks.
A number of the houses which we entered presented a horrid spectacle-dead and wounded intermingled in thick masses.
The latter, in a deplorable state from want of food and care, were cursing their own cause, friends, and commander-in-chief, for the sufferings they endured.
As we walked slowly along, Captain Phillips suddenly pressed my arm, and, pointing to the body of a soldier whose head was so frightful