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[531] very edge of the woods which concealed and sheltered the foe, so that their sharp-shooters picked off the artillerists and shot down the horses as though enjoying a sportsman's bat-tue; while our infantry, half formed, and not well armed, were pushed into the slaughter-pen with equal stupidity. Had our line been formed half a mile back from the enemy's, and there simply held while our gunners shelled the woods, we might not have achieved a brilliant success, but we could not have been beaten; but Hamilton's battery went into action, under a heavy fire of musketry, barely 150 yards from the Rebel front, and in 20 minutes had lost 40 out of 50 horses and 45 out of 82 men — when what was left of it recoiled; leaving 2 of its 4 guns where its life-blood had been blunderingly squandered. And this was a fair specimen of the generalship displayed on our side throughout.

Col. Henry's cavalry (40th Mass.), with Maj. Stevens's battalion, and the 7th Conn. (infantry), Col. J. R. Hawley, were in the advance, and drew the first fire of the mainly concealed enemy. Hawley, finding his regiment falling under a concentric fire, ordered up the 7th New Hampshire, shire, Col. Abbott, to its support; Hamilton's, Elder's, and Langdon's batteries also coming into action. The 7th N. H. was a tried and trusty regiment; but it had been lately deprived of its beloved Spencer repeating rifles, and armed instead with Springfield muskets which it pronounced in bad order and unfit for service; so it was not in good condition for maintaining a position in which it was rapidly losing at least ten men for every one of the enemy it had even a chance to hit. It was soon demoralized; when Hawley ordered up the 8th U. S. colored, Col. Chas. W. Fribley--a regiment never before under fire. It held its position in front for an hour and a half, losing 350 killed or wounded (its Colonel mortally); when Col. Barton led his brigade, consisting of the 48th (his own), 49th, and 115th New York, hitherto on the right, into the hottest forefront of the battle. Col. Sammons, of the 115th, was among the first of his regiment disabled; 7 of its captains or lieutenants were killed or wounded; one of its companies lost 32 out of 59 men. The 47th had its Col. (Moore) wounded, and 6 captains or lieutenants killed or disabled.

Our left column, Col. Montgomery, came last into the fight, just in time to stop a Rebel charge. The 54th Mass. went in first, followed by the 1st N. C. (both Black). They were of course overpowered; but the latter left its Col., Lt.-Col., Major, and Adjutant, dead on the field. It was admitted that these two regiments had saved our little army from being routed. For Seymour — who had fought with reckless gallantry throughout, rushing from point to point, wherever Rebel bullets flew thickest — profited by their charge to reestablish what remained of his batteries farther to the rear; and now, giving four parting volleys of grape and canister, he ordered a retreat; which was covered by the 7th Connecticut, and executed deliberately, and without effective pursuit.1 We brought off 1,000 of our wounded, and probably left 250 more, beside

1 Pollard says, “Just then [4 P. M.], our [Rebel] ammunition became exhausted.”

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