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[207] the town, offered very favorable sites for Federal batteries. A cross-fire of shot and shell reached all parts of the town, showing that the position would be untenable under the fire of a powerful artillery. Such, as it was ascertained, was soon to be brought to bear upon it.

On the 11th, I described to the President, by telegraph, the weakness of the position, and the defects of the intrenched line; and explained that want of supplies, which we had been unable to collect, made it impossible to stand a siege; and therefore, unless the enemy should attack us, we must at the last moment abandon the place; for we could not make a serious attack without exposing ourselves to destruction. Brisk skirmishing was continued until night.

On the 12th, besides the usual skirmishing, there was increased fire of artillery, especially by batteries near the Canton road, and those immediately to the south of that, to Clinton. The missiles fell in all parts of the town. An assault, though not a vigorous one, was made on Breckenridge's front. It was quickly repulsed, however, by the well-directed fire of Slocomb's and Cobb's batteries, and a flank attack by the skirmishers of the First, Third, and Fourth Florida, and Forty-seventh Georgia regiments. The enemy lost about two hundred prisoners, the same number killed, many wounded, and the colors of the Twenty-eighth, Forty-first, and Fifty-third Illinois regiments. The attacking troops did not advance far enough to be exposed to the fire of Breckenridge's line.

On the 13th the Federal lines had been so extended

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