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[416] missiles of every kind were hurled into it; shells burst above it; rifle-balls went tearing through it; but still it remained firm.

It was certain, however, as truth itself, that unless assistance should reach it from some quarter, and that right speedily, it must at length succumb, for the rebel leaders, emboldened by the rout of McCook and Crittenden, were gathering their hosts to hurl them in a last mighty effort against the feeble band that confronted them. Whence should that succor come?

Suddenly a vast cloud of dust was seen to rise above the trees, away to the left, and a few minutes afterward long lines of men emerged from the woods, crossed the La Fayette road, and began advancing toward us over the fields. Their discipline seemed very perfect, and it was an imposing pageant when, as they came on, their banners fluttered above their heads, and their glittering arms flashed back the sunlight through the thick black clouds of dust.

Captain Johnson, of General Negley's staff, who, on being severed from his own division, had immediately reported to General Thomas for duty, had already, at great personal risk, ascertained that the advancing battalions were infantry, and now the question arose, was it our own or the enemy's. Hope and fear alternately agitated our bosoms, until at last, looking through our glasses, we could clearly distinguish the red and blue, with the white crescent! It was the battle-flag of General Granger, and the troops we saw were two brigades, Mitchell's and Whitaker's, of Steadman's strong division. These were comparatively fresh troops. True they had marched some weary miles over roads ankle-deep with dust. True, they had hurried along rapidly to succor their comrades, and participate in the fight. But they had not as yet been engaged that day, and hence they could indeed be considered help to the battle-scarred veterans who held the hill.

As soon as General Granger had reported to General Thomas for duty, he was sent by the latter to bring over an ammunition-train from the Rossville road. The train had fallen into the hands of the enemy, but the march in search of it brought Steadman at once into contact with the rebels, and a desperate conflict immediately ensued. It was now that the brilliant courage of Colonel John G. Mitchell, commanding one of General Steadman's brigades, became conspicuous. Now General Whitaker had an opportunity of baptizing in glory the star recently placed upon his shoulder; and now the troops of the reserve corps, comparatively unused to battle, had an opportunity of testing their mottle. Nobly did all pass through the ordeal, and although once thrown into confusion by the concentrated fire from a score of rebel regiments, and half as many batteries, they rallied under the fire, and drove the enemy from a hill almost as formidable as that which formed the key of General Thom as's position. The rebels made one desperate endeavor to retake this position, but were bloodily repulsed, and almost for the first time since the fight began there was a lull in the fearful storm.

An hour passed by, and it became evident that Bragg would not be foiled in his attempt to annihilate our gallant army without another effort. Polk's corps, assisted by the Georgia State troops, by Dabney Maury's division, and by various detached fragments of the rebel army, were to try their hands upon the heroic band who, as the forlorn hope of the army, still held the hill. Our feeble ranks were gathered up. The thinned battalions were brought closer together. The dozen pieces of artillery were planted to sweep all approaches to the hill; and each man, looking at his neighbor, vowed, some mentally, and others audibly, to die right there, if it were necessary, for their country, for freedom, and for mankind!

All along the woods skirting the cleared fields, at the south-eastern foot of the hill, in the hollows and ravines to the right, and away to the left, upon and beyond the La Fayette road, the rebel legions were seen gathering for the onset.

Just before the storm broke, the brave and high-souled Garfield was perceived making his way to the headquarters of General Thomas. He had come to be present at the final contest, and in order to do so had ridden all the way from Chattanooga, passing through a fiery ordeal upon the road. His horse was shot under him, and his orderly was killed by his side. Still he had come through, he scarce knew how, and here he was to inspire fresh courage in the hearts of the brave soldiers who were holding the enemy at bay, to bring them words of greeting from General Rosecrans, and to inform them that the latter was reorganizing the scattered troops, and, as fast as possible, would hurry them forward to their relief.

At last a shell came hurtling through the air, and burst with a loud explosion over the hill. This was the signal for rebel attack, and at once the bullets flew thick and fast amongst us.

The fight around the hill now raged with terror inexperienced before, even upon this terrible day. Our soldiers were formed in two lines, and, as each marched up to the crest, and fired a deadly volley at the advancing foe, it fell back a little ways; the men lay down upon the ground to load their guns, and the second line advanced to take their place! They, too, in their turn retired, and thus the lines kept marching back and forth, delivering their withering volleys till the very brain grew dizzy as it watched them. And all the time not a man wavered. Every motion was executed with as much precision as though the troops were on a holiday parade, notwithstanding the flower of the rebel army were swarming round the foot of the hill, and a score of cannon thundering from three sides upon it. Every attempt of the enemy to scale it was repulsed, and the gallant Harker looked with pride upon his lines, standing or lying just where they were when the fight began.

But our troops are no longer satisfied with the

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