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[384]

Gettysburg — positions held before the final assault, July 3.

of the eve before — some of them coming over from our left and annoying our soldiers on the right. For nearly two hours, this hill was gashed and seamed by round-shot and torn by bursting shells, while perhaps 100 guns from our side made fit reply. But the enemy had concentrated their batteries for this trial, while we had not; and here was no broad river valley, like that of the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg, to render the fire of guns from bluff to bluff an idle squandering of ammunition. The range was excellent; the Rebel batteries as well posted as ours, while superior in number and in average caliber; so that, gradually, the fire on our side slackened, and at length nearly ceased. Meade or Howard, finding that our guns had become heated, gave the order to cease firing and cool them; though the Rebel balls were still decimating our gunners, while our infantry, crouching behind every projection and nestling in each hollow, awaited patiently the expected charge. And now from behind the enemy's batteries emerged their infantry in line of

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