and almost look down the throats of the enemy's missiles, so close to us in front. Thus matters continued until yesterday, when the Commanding General, deeming the time had arrived to give the rebels another strong dose, gave the order for one more simultaneous attack. It was as late as ten P. M., of Saturday, June thirteenth, that General Augur, who had just returned from the headquarters of General Banks, told his staff that they were to be in motion at three A. M. of the next day. We all immediately hurried off to snatch a few hours' rest, and when I awoke at three o'clock, I found the General and his staff already at breakfast. In half an hour afterward they were all off to the field, whither I speedily followed them. Before dawn the most terrific cannonading commenced along our whole line that ever stunned mortal ears. The shells bursting over Port Hudson, mingled with their own firing and that of our fleet, and the dense clouds of our artillery, gave the place the appearance of one vast conflagration just about to burst into flame. After two hours of this dreadful cannonading there was a comparative lull, and the sharp and continuous rattle of musketry told. where the work of death was going on most furiously. This was at the right, where General Grover's division was placed, and under him those gallant and fearless soldiers, Generals Weitzel and Paine. If Weitzel had the larger share in the work of the twenty-seventh, that duty seemed to-day to fall upon the command immediately under General Paine. The forces of the latter consisted of the Eighth New-Hampshire, Captain Barrett, and the Fourth Wisconsin, under Captain Moore, who were in advance as skirmishers. Behind these came five companies of the Fourth Massachusetts and the One Hundred and Tenth New-York, under Captain Bartlett, followed by four companies of the Third brigade. Closely upon these came the Third brigade, under Colonel Gooding, and composed of the Thirty-first Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel Hopkins, Thirty-eighth Massachusetts, Major Richardson, Fifty-third Massachusetts, Colonel Kimball, One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York, Colonel Sharpe, and One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New-York, Colonel Bryan, who was killed. Then the Second brigade, under Colonel A. Fearing, and composed of the One Hundred and Thirty-third New-York, Colonel Currie<*> and the One Hundred and Seventy-third New-York, Major Galway, the rest of this brigade being detailed as skirmishers. After the Second came the First brigade, under Colonel Ferris, of the Twenty-eighth Connecticut, and composed of the Twenty-eighth Connecticut, the Fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Walker, and four companies of the One Hundred and Tenth New-York, under Major Hamilton. These were all followed up by the necessary number of pioneers and Nim's Massachusetts battery. At half-past 3 A. M. of Sunday, June fourteenth, the column formed.on the Clinton road and commenced moving. At about four A. M. the skirmishers moved right up to the scene of action, General Paine being with them in advancing, and the deadly work commenced, the enemy pouring in upon them the most terrible volleys, and our dauntless men combating their way right up to the enemy's breastworks. For hours the carnage continued furiously; our determined soldiers, in spite of their General being seriously wounded, and in spite of the fearful odds against them of fighting against men snugly screened behind their barriers, keeping up the fight with the most indomitable bravery. It was impossible for any men, under their circumstances, to show more reckless disregard of death. But Port Hudson was destined not to be carried this time — at that point — at any rate. Owing to the horrible inequalities of the ground, and the impediments which the overwhelming slaughter of our advance had created, the whole column was not able to come up as expected, and late in the afternoon our troops had to be withdrawn. During the intensest part of the struggle, it is only fair to say that Colonel Kimball, of the Fifty-third, and Colonel Currie<*> of the One Hundred and Thirty-third New-York, advanced most gallantly with their men to reenforce those in front. It is impossible to overrate the courage and endurance which General Paine showed on this occasion. Although so severely wounded in the leg as to be quite disabled, he would not consent to leave the field, but remained there during the long sultry day, to cheer on his men, at the momentary risk of being killed by some rebel shot. Various efforts were made by his men to get him off the field, or at least to get refreshment to him, and two gallant fellows, on two separate occasions, lost their lives in the attempt. One was E. P. Woods, private, of company E, Eighth New-Hampshire, and the other John Williams, company D, Thirty-first Massachusetts. I happened to be at the hospital when the latter poor fellow was brought in. He had been shot clean through the breast, and lingered but a few minutes after his arrival there. While at this hospital, witnessing the horrible spectacle of the wounded being brought in — something more painful to contemplate than the battle-field itself — a personal incident occurred to me which was deeply impressive. I was dismounting from my horse, when a soldier, who was gazing at me most intently, said, “The owner of that saddle is dying within a few feet of you, over there” --pointing to where two or three dozen men were lying on the shady greensward, in all forms of mutilation. “Do you know me?” I asked. “No; but I know that saddle was Lieutenant Bond's. I've sat in it too often not to know it.” Hurrying to the spot indicated, I found it was indeed too true. There lay the young and gallant Lieutenant N. F. Bond, of company D, Thirty-first Massachusetts, flat on his back, and — as if proud of his wound, as he well may be — with his broad, manly bosom bared, and showing a rifle-shot wound in the centre of his right breast.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.