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[49] division and Weitzel's brigade, under Weitzel, started promptly.

These two divisions were to make two separate assaults. In front of Gen. Paine, two hundred yards, were thrown out as skirmishers the Eighth New-Hampshire and Fourth Wisconsin regiments, both then very much reduced and almost without officers, from the affair of the twenty-seventh. These were followed by the Fourth Massachusetts, bearing hand-grenades, which were to have been thrown over the works as soon as they got near enough; then the Fifty-third Massachusetts, each man carrying a sack stuffed with cotton, with which to fill the moat, that the main body might pass easily over.

Then came the column, company front, until they could deploy on the open space before the works. This would have been a dangerous experiment if it had not previously been ascertained that the enemy had no artillery bearing on this point. At the head of the column was Colonel Currie, with the One Hundred and Thirty-third New-York regiment, as fine a body of soldiers as are in the department. Scarcely had the brave fellows of the two regiments, little more than companies, deployed, when the musket-balls and buckshot of the enemy commenced to whistle their requiems about their heads.

They heeded them not, never even stopping to bind up the wounds of their comrades or carry off their dead, but rapidly loaded and discharged their faithful rifles and hurried on to almost certain death. It was but a short distance across the space they had to go — an old cotton-field, selected because it was more easily passed over — but when they arrived at the enemy's works, so as to be sheltered by them, they found that they had left two thirds of their numbers on the field, either killed or wounded.

The hand-grenades had not come up, with the exception of a dozen or so; the cotton-bags were not in sight, and the column, which should have been but two hundred yards behind, was not visible, except Col. Currie, with a part of his regiment in good order. Then Lieut. Jewett, of the Fourth Wisconsin, one of the bravest of the brave, drew his sword, and calling upon his men to follow him, leaped into the ditch, followed by about thirty men, climbed the work, and jumped down on the inside.

Then, if there had been five hundred men to have followed, the work could have been carried; but for some cause, unaccountable except on the hypothesis of the want of pluck of some of our regiments, there was nobody to go in, and this brave band of heroes were murdered; so that when Col. Currie came up in a few minutes, the work was bristling again with bayonets and belching lead like hail. He fell badly wounded in each arm, and his men took position under a slight hill and waited for assistance.

Previous to this time, Gen. Paine, at the head of his column, and while cheering on his men by word and action, had been wounded by a ball, which broke both bones of his leg just below the knee. He fell on the field, and his column withered before the shower of balls. If they had followed sooner the line of skirmishers, they would have suffered less, for the enemy took advantage of our delay to mass their forces to receive us. The column became broken. A part went no further, and a part forced its way on till it was around by the hill spoken of.

But the bags of cotton were gone, so there was no easy way of crossing the ditch, and the enemy now could send from their safe place an irresistible storm of bullets. Thus ended Gen. Paine's charge. If he had not been wounded so soon, I think he would have forced his way through.

In the mean time, Gen. Weitzel's skirmishers had advanced to the very ditch, but for some unaccountable cause the cotton-bags had been intrusted to those who cared not to risk their lives for fame.

Weitzel's old brigade, then commanded by Col. Smith, of the One Hundred and Fourteenth New-York, was at the head of his column, but Colonel Smith being mortally wounded very early, it had fallen into confusion, and although a fighting brigade, it became powerless, yet it was badly cut up. General Weitzel's assault was to have been made in the woods, so the Seventy-fifth New-York and Twelfth Connecticut, his skirmishers, were not so badly cut up as Paine's, though they lost nearly one half their men. Weitzel, finding it impossible to carry the works without losing nearly all his command, rested them in the numerous ravines.

For some cause the charge on the left was not vigorously sustained, and the loss there was very trifling. I was unable to ascertain the cause of their failure.

Many of the wounded on the right had to remain on the field of battle all day, suffering from loss of blood, for want of water, and the hot sun pouring down on them. They were in easy musket-range, and if one approached to carry them off or relieve their suffering, they were shot. Gen. Paine, wounded early in the morning, was not brought off till after dark, when his wound was alive with maggots.

This was also the condition of many others. He lay between two rows of an old cotton-field, on his back, and he said if he attempted to cover his face with his cap, a shower of balls would fall around him. His wound is now doing well, and it is hoped his leg may be saved. He is cared for most tenderly by his wife, who is fortunately here, and by the Sisters of Charity, in whose hospital, the Hotel Dieu, he is treated. Just across the hall from him is Gen. Sherman, wounded on the twenty-seventh, who has just had his leg amputated to save his life, and who is now doing very well.

Our forces remained in the position I have described till after dark Sunday night, when they were withdrawn, and occupy the same places they did for the eighteen days previous.

Our whole loss, killed, wounded, and missing, was about seven hundred and fifty. But a very small proportion were killed, and many are very slightly wounded, the enemy not opening at all

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