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[315] Frazer of company H, was wounded in the right arm, and dropped his sword, but taking it in his left hand, he attempted to escape with his company, fell into the ditch, and was taken prisoner, and dragged inside again over the parapet. A guard of three men was placed over him, his sword was taken, but his revolver being overlooked, he seized the opportunity offered by a charge of the Fourth Rhode Island, and by the judicious display of his pistol, captured all three of his guard.

On being driven from the battery, Col. Clark informed Col. Rodman of the Fourth Rhode Island of the state of affairs inside, and that officer, unable to communicate with Gen. Parke in the confusion of the fight, acted upon his own responsibility, after consultation with Lieut. Lydig, one of the General's aids, and decided upon a charge with the bayonet. As the Fourth was one of the most prominent regiments in the action, it will be well to go back a little in our narrative, and trace them up to that point. Their position in the line of battle, as ordered by Gen. Parke, was in front of a battery of five guns, and the rifle-pits or redans which were situated immediately in the rear of and protected the right flank of the main battery of nine guns. Until the charge was decided upon by Col. Rodman, the regiment had been firing, like the rest of the line, by companies and otherwise. When the command was given to charge, they went at the double-quick directly up to the battery, firing as they ran, and entering at the right flank, between a brick-yard and the end of the parapet. When fairly inside, the Colonel formed the right wing in line of battle, and at their head charged down upon the guns at double-quick, the left wing forming irregularly, and going as they could. With a steady line of cold steel, the Rhode Islanders bore down upon the enemy, and, routing them, captured the whole battery, with its two flags, and planted the Stars and Stripes upon the parapet. The Eighth Connecticut, Fifth Rhode Island, and Eleventh Connecticut, coming up to their support, the rebels fled with precipitation, and left us in undisputed possession.

Gen. Reno's brigade were still attacking the redans and small battery on the right of the railroad, and the firing was very heavy. The Twenty-first was engaging the battery of five small pieces, the Fifty-first New-York the first of the redans, the Ninth New-Jersey the next two, and the Fifty-first Pennsylvania were still in reserve. Lieut.-Col. Robert B. Potter, of the Fifty-first New-York, when in advance with Capt. Hazard's company of skirmishers, was shot through the side and fell, but making light of the wound, he got his servant to put on a bandage, and in a few minutes had returned to his place and was cheering on his men. The regiment was drawn up in a hollow or ravine, from which they would move up to the top of the eminence, discharge their volleys, and retire to such cover as the inequalities of the ground might furnish. Gen. Reno, becoming impatient at the loss of life which his regiments, and particularly Col. Ferrero's, was suffering, wished the regiment to advance as soon as possible, so Lieut.-Col. Potter took a color over the brow of the hill into another hollow, and from here charged up an acclivity and over brushwood and abattis into the redan. The Fifty-first Pennsylvania, for a long time held in reserve, was ordered up to participate in the decisive charge of the whole brigade upon the line of redans, and passing through the Fifty-first New-York, as it was lying on the ground, after having exhausted all its ammunition, came under the heaviest fire, and without flinching or wavering, moved to its place, and rushed, with the other regiments, upon the defences of the enemy. The movement of Col. Hartranft's regiment was executed in the most deliberate manner, and proved a complete success.

The movement of the Third brigade was supported by a charge of the Fourth Rhode Island from the captured main battery upon the works which were being assailed, and the enemy, already demoralized by the breaking of their centre, fell back before the grand charge upon the left and front of their position, and fled in confusion. On our extreme right the brave Twenty-fourth and its supporting regiments had been advancing inch by inch, standing up against the enemy's musketry and cannonade without flinching, and at about the time when the Fourth Rhode Island charged in at the right flank, the colors of the Twenty-fourth were planted on the parapet at the left and the whole of the First brigade poured into the fortification. The whole line of earthworks was now in our hands, and the cheers of our men, from one end of it to the other, broke out with fresh spirit as each new regimental color was unfurled on the parapet.

While all the regiments engaged in the battle are deserving of high praise for their steadiness under fire, the spirit with which they surmounted the most formidable obstacles, and the fidelity with which they obeyed the commands of their generals, certain regiments, by the peculiarity of their distribution, perhaps, were made more prominent for their gallantry. These were the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, Fourth Rhode Island, Tenth Connecticut, Twenty-first Massachusetts, and Fifty-first New-York. When the charge of the Fourth Rhode Island had been made, and the colors were carried along the whole length of the main battery, Gen. Burnside asked some one what regiment that was. On being told the Fourth Rhode Island, he said: “I knew it. It was no more than I expected. Thank God, the day is ours.”

Beside the casualties already referred to in this narrative there were a vast number more, many of them of a lamentable nature. In the Fourth Rhode Island, one of the saddest cases is that of Capt. Chas. Tillinghast of company H, who was killed in the charge made in support of Gen. Reno's brigade. Only the day before the landing at Slocum's Creek he received news of the death of a favorite brother, and on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning he seemed sad and abstracted, as if a presentiment of his own death


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J. L. Reno (3)
D. C. Rodman (2)
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Parke (2)
Charles Tillinghast (1)
Lydig (1)
Hazard (1)
Hartranft (1)
Edward Ferrero (1)
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A. E. Burnside (1)
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