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[119] with varied fortune and unabated fury. Our troops were compelled by overpowering numbers to fall back a short distance, abandoning several rifle-pits and an advantageous position to the enemy, who, haughty over his advantage and made desperate by defeat in other quarters, then made a last struggling charge against that division of our right wing commanded by General Geary. General Geary's troops immortalized themselves by their resistance to this attempt. They stood like adamant, a moveless, death-dealing machine, before whose volleys the rebel column withered and went down by hundreds. After a slaughter inconceivable the repulse of Ewell was complete, and he retired at ten o'clock P. M., to the position before referred to. The firing from all quarters of the field ceased soon after that hour, and no other attack was made until morning.

The battle of Friday.

As one who stands in a tower and looks down upon a lengthy pageant marching through a thoroughfare, finds it impossible at the close to recall in order the appearance and the incidents of the scene, so I, who sit this evening on a camp-stool, beside the ruins of the monument against which I leaned listening to the robin of yesterday, find it impossible to recall with distinctness the details of the unparalleled battle just closed. The conflict, waged by one hundred and sixty thousand men, which has occupied with scarce an interval of rest the entire day, from four A. M. until six o'clock this evening, contains so much, so near, and such voluminous matter of interest as one mind cannot grasp without time for reflection.

This last engagement has been the fiercest and most sanguinary of the war. It vas begun at daylight by General Slocum, whose troops, maddened by the loss of many comrades, and eager to retrieve the position lost by them on the preceding evening, advanced and delivered a destructive fire against the rebels under Ewell. That General's entire force responded with a charge that is memorable even beyond those made by them yesterday. It was desperation against courage! The fire of the enemy was mingled with yells, pitched even above its clangor. They came on, and on, and on, while the National troops, splendidly handled and well posted, stood unshaken to receive them. The fire with which they did receive them was so rapid and so thick as to envelope the ranks of its deliverers with a pall that shut them from sight during the battle which raged thenceforward for six dreary hours. Out of this pall no straggler came to the rear. The line scarcely flinched from its position during the entire conflict. Huge masses of rebel infantry threw themselves into it again and again in vain. Back, as a ball hurled against a rock, these masses recoiled, and were re-formed to be hurled anew against it with a fierceness unfruitful of success — fruitful of carnage, as before. The strong position occupied by General Geary, and that held by General Birney, met the first and hardest assaults, but only fell back a short distance before fearful odds, to readvance, to reassume and to hold their places in company with Sykes's division of the Fifth corps and Humphrey's (Berry's old division) of the Third, when, judiciously reenforced with artillery, they renewed and continued the contest until its close. It seemed as if the gray uniformed troops, who were advanced and readvanced by their officers up to the very edge of the line of smoke in front of our infantry, were impelled by some terror in their rear, which they were as unable to withstand as they were to make headway against the fire in their front. It was hard to believe such desperation voluntary. It was harder to believe that the courage which withstood and defeated it was mortal.

The enemy gradually drew forward his whole line until in many places a hand-to-hand conflict raged for minutes. His artillery, answered by ours, played upon our columns with frightful result, yet they did not waver. The battle was in this way evenly contested for a time, but at a moment when it seemed problematical which side would gain the victory, a reenforcement ar rived and were formed in line at such a position as to enfilade the enemy and teach him at last the futility of his efforts. Disordered, routed, and confused, his whole force retreated, and at eleven o'clock the battle ceased, and the stillness of death ensued. This silence continued until two P. M. At this moment the rebel artillery from all points, in a circle radiating around our own, began a terrific and concentrated fire on Cemetery Hill, which was held, as I have previously stated, by the Eleventh and Second corps. The flock of pigeons, which not ten minutes previous had darkened the sky above, were scarcely thicker than the flock of horrible missiles that now, instead of sailing harmlessly above, descended upon our position. The atmosphere was thick with shot and shell. The storm broke upon us so suddenly that soldiers and officers — who leaped, as it began, from their tents, and from lazy siestas on the grass — were stricken in their rising with mortal wounds and died, some with cigars between their teeth, some with pieces of food in their fingers, and one at least — a pale young German, from Pennsylvania--with a miniature of his sister in his hands, that seemed more meet to grasp an artist's pencil than a musket. Horses fell, shrieking such awful cries as Cooper told of, and writhing themselves about in hopeless agony. The boards of fences, scattered by explosion, flew in splinters through the air. The earth, torn up in clouds, blinded the eyes of hurrying men; and through the branches of the trees and among the grave-stones in the cemetery a shower of destruction crashed ceaselessly. As, with hundreds of others, I groped through this tempest of death for the shelter of the bluff, an old man, a private in a company belonging to the Twenty-fourth Michigan, was struck scarcely ten feet away by a cannon-ball, which tore through him, extorting such a low,

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