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[194] had been withdrawn from the battle-field near the poorhouse. The line extended over uneven ground, through woods and open fields, across hills and over narrow valleys, and was capable of being rendered quite strong against an attack by infantry. For this purpose strong details were made, and.all the entrenching tools that could be procured were put in the hands of the troops. The work of entrenching was pushed with vigor, night and day, till a feeling of security, and even defiance, pervaded the whole line. The enemy had established his main line parallel to and about eight hundred yards in front of ours. He was active in strengthening his position, and made frequent attempts upon our skirmish line, sometimes with partial success, but, in the main, gaining no substantial advantage by his sallies. Our own skirmishers were not idle, but made frequent reprisals upon the enemy, punishing him in many instances severely for his temerity. Our skirmish line was about five hundred yards distant from our main line, and, at first, consisted of shallow rifle-pits, hurriedly dug in the night, and at intervals of from twenty to fifty paces apart. A few nights' work, however, added much to their strength, and, in the course of ten days or a fortnight, the pits were gradually connected, and the whole became almost one continuous line of entrenchments, with head-logs and loop-holes to protect our sharpshooters and enable them to confine the enemy to his trenches. His line of skirmishers was, on an average, not much over a hundred yards from ours, and, in some places, the space between the two lines did not exceed sixty paces in breadth. His main line was about two hundred yards in rear of his skirmishers. At one point on the line in front of Deas' left and Brantley's right-being favored by the conformation of the ground-he established his skirmish line within sixty yards of ours, and erected on it an earthwork with embrasures for six guns. We had no guns upon my main line bearing directly upon this position, but a rifle battery on the line occupied by the troops of Loring's division (on my right), being situated favorably for the purpose, by a few well-directed shots on several occasions, put a stop to labor on the work, and, although it was eventually completed under cover of night, a.wholesome dread of Featherston's Parrott guns and Deas' sharpshooters, I have no doubt, deterred the enemy from ever attempting to put more than one piece in position. With this, however, he threatened

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Loring (1)
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