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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 10. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The battle of Fredericksburg. (search)
making any further effort upon the position. The latter, however, insisted, and preparations were therefore reluctantly made by Sumner to carry out the order. Humphrey's division was designated for the assault, and it was ordered to advance with empty muskets, and rely solely on the bayonet. Its attack was preceded by an increil after sundown, but it was effectively replied to from Marye's Hill, and accomplished nothing. At length when twilight had already begun to obscure the scene, Humphrey's division moved forward. Its attack was more judiciously planned than any of the preceding, in that it relied upon the bayonet, but the Confederate position waas very nearly such as will in future be seen between the bayonet and the breech-loader. The result augurs badly for the long vaunted supremacy of the bayonet. Humphrey's charge was undoubtedly gallantly made, for the division lost 1,700 out of 4,000 men in ranks, but they did not approach within seventy-five yards of the Confed