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[298] of fire which we had to face in front, and a battery of artillery posted on a hill to our left rear opened upon us at short range.1 What wonder, then, if Steuart was reluctant to lead his men into such a slaughter-pen, from which he saw there could be no issue but death and defeatl But though he remonstrated, he gallantly obeyed without delay the orders he received, giving the command, “Left-face,” and afterwards, “File right.” He made his men leap the breastworks and form in line of battle on the other side at right angles, nearly, to their previous position, galled all the time by a brisk fire from the enemy. Then drawing his sword, he gave the command, “Charge bayonets!” and moved forward on foot with his men into the jaws of death. On swept the gallant little brigade, the Third North Carolina on the right of the line, next the Second Maryland, then the three Virginia regiments, (Tenth, Twenty-third, and Thirtyseventh,) with the First North Carolina on the extreme left. Its ranks were sadly thinned and its energies greatly depleted by those six fearful hours of battle that morning; but its nerve and spirit were undiminished. Soon, however, the left and centre was checked and then repulsed, probably by the severe flank fire from the woods; and the small remnant of the Third North Carolina, with the stronger Second Maryland (I do not recall the banners of any other regiment), were far in advance of the rest of the line. On they pressed to within about twenty or thirty paces of the works — a small but gallant band of heroes daring to attempt what could not be done by flesh and blood.2

The end soon came. We were beaten back to the line from which we had advanced with terrible loss in much confusion, but the enemy did not make a counter charge. By the strenuous efforts of the officers of the line and of the staff order was restored, and we reformed in the breastworks from which we had emerged, there to be again exposed to an artillery fire exceeding in violence that of the early morning. It remains only to say that, like Pickett's men later in the day, this single brigade was hurled unsupported against the enemy's works. Daniel's brigade remained in the breastworks during and after the charge, and

1 Professor Jacobs seems to allude to this when he says: “In this work of death, a battery of artillery placed on a hill to the right of the Baltimore turnpike, and some distance south of the Cemetery, was found to have performed a prominent part.” --Page 40.

2 Since writing the above I have met with the following account of this memorable charge in Bates' book (page 144): “Suddenly the quiet was broken by a yell bursting from thousands of lungs, and the next instant their grey lines emerged in sight dashing madly on . . . They had scarcely come into easy musket-range when the men in blue along the line sprang to their feet and poured in a deliberate volley. The shock was terrible. The on coming force was staggered, and for a moment sought shelter behind trees and rocks; but obedient to the voices of their officers, they struggled on, some of the most desperate coming within twenty paces of the Union front. ‘It cannot be denied,’ says Kane, ‘that they behaved courageously.’ They did what the most resolute could do, but it was all in vain. . . . Broken and well-nigh annihilated, the survivors of the charge staggered back, leaving the ground strewn with their dead and desperately wounded.”

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