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[482] them on the road which led directly north. A rail fence was right in front of the enemy, running east and west, behind which was a deep ditch, which answered the very excellent purpose of an intrenchment, all made to hand. The fence, which was only separated by this road from the grove, answered the purpose of shelter, and also enabled the enemy to rest their muskets and thus secure a steady aim, giving them the advantage of us in every particular.

One of the enemy's batteries, of four field-pieces, was located at the head of the road in our front, enabling it to rake the whole road for a great distance. This battery was playing upon our howitzers. The other battery, of four guns, belonging to the enemy, commanded the open field which our regiments were obliged to cross in order to reach the open field on the right. An incessant fire from this battery was kept up on the Twenty-first Massachusetts and Fifty-first Pennsylvania as they were crossing the field for the woods, almost within musket-range of the rebels, to get their position. In these woods there was a thick underbrush, which made it almost impossible for our troops to advance. And furthermore, they could not penetrate the woods far enough to shelter them from the enemy's guns; they nevertheless pushed bravely forward in the face of a severe fire, eager to get as near the enemy's right wing as possible before the time came for the charge.

About one hour and a half was thus consumed before Hawkins arrived, with but a slight loss on either side, no musketry having been fired up to this time. Only the batteries were engaged.

At three o'clock Col. Hawkins came up with the Ninth New-York, (the Hawkins Zouaves,) the Eighty-ninth New-York, and Sixth New-Hampshire, with Col. Howard's other two howitzers. Lieuts. Gerard and Avery of the Union Coast Guard, were the captains of these guns.

Gen. Reno ordered Col. Hawkins with the Ninth New-York and Eighty-ninth New-York to the right in the woods to the support of the Twenty-first Massachusetts and Fifty-first Pennsylvania, and to work around the right wing of the enemy and get into his rear, so as to cut off his retreat if it was possible. The Sixth New-Hampshire was ordered by Gen. Reno to the woods on the left, to keep possession of the road that led to the east, and thus prevent the enemy's escape in that direction. To secure this position, the Sixth New-Hampshire would be obliged to come within musket-range of the enemy's left wing and also face his batteries, but a few hundred yards in front of them. It was asking almost too much of little New-Hampshire, and I must confess I had some misgivings in regard to their ability to carry out an undertaking so perilous.

Gen. Reno detailed Lieut. Reno of his staff to accompany the Sixth New-Hampshire on to the field, with orders to execute this movement with all possible despatch, as it would doubtless decide the fate of the day.

The brave sons of New-Hampshire reported themselves in readiness for the work, and said they would go wherever they were led. Off they started with fixed bayonets on a double-quick, up the road commanded by the enemy's batteries, which opened a rapid fire on them as they wheeled to the left to execute the order.

By this time, the Twenty-first Massachusetts, closely followed by the Fifty-first Pennsylvania, had worked their way well up to the extreme right of the enemy, who had sent pickets out to annoy this advance, but they were soon driven in by two companies of the Massachusetts Twenty-first, who were some distance ahead.

At this particular juncture, Col. Hawkins came out in the open field in front of — the enemy, with the Ninth and Eighty-ninth New-York volunteers, with the intention of charging bayonets on their centre, a movement which Gen. Reno says was entirely unexpected and unauthorized by him. Col. H. formed his Zouaves in line of battle, supported by the Eighty-ninth New-York volunteers, and started with fixed bayonets at a double-quick on the charge. The enemy, on seeing them approach, turned at once all of their field-pieces and musketry upon the Zouaves, giving them a sweeping broadside from their masked batteries and covered intrenchments, which cut the regiment up at a fearful rate, and when they saw their Colonel and a large number of their officers fall, together with some sixty odd of their companions, throwing them into confusion for the time being.

Adjutant Gadsden, a very worthy young man, who had only been with the regiment a few days, was killed. Colonel Hawkins received a severe wound in the arm, and many of his officers were also severely wounded. The regiment, however, was soon rallied again by Lieut.-Col. Kimball and Major Jardine. The former has distinguished himself in many engagements, and in this charge had a horse shot under him. Major Jardine behaved equally as brave. Both are fine officers, and there can be no question of their gallantry. The regiment was quickly formed, ready for another charge, when Col. Hawkins revived and came up to lead them on again. The Eighty-ninth New-York volunteers now dashed forward in fine style with fixed bayonets on a doublequick to meet the enemy, with Col. Fairchilds at their head, and the other officers in their places.

By this time the Twenty-first Massachusetts had secured a good position within musketrange of the enemy, upon whom they had just opened a deadly fire, and were driving him to the left, when they discovered the other regiments getting ready for a charge. So Col. Clark of this regiment, a brave and accomplished officer, resolved to charge with the rest. The Fifty-first Pennsylvania, like the Massachusetts Twenty-first, had steadily advanced under cover of the woods and worked their way well up to the right wing of the enemy in the face of a raking fire, without flinching, eagerly waiting for the signal to spring upon the foe. The rebels saw that our force was in earnest and that they were

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