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[267] was kept up throughout the morning, and until four o'clock P. M., without coming up with the enemy.

But between four and five o'clock our troops reached a large open field, a mile long and three quarters in width, on the farm of Dr. Carter. The enemy were strongly intrenched in a dense forest on the other side of this field. Their artillery, of about fifty pieces, could be plainly seen bristling on their freshly constructed earthworks. At ten minutes before five o'clock P. M., Gen. Magruder ordered his men to charge across the field and drive the enemy from their position.

Gallantly they sprang to the encounter, rushing into the field at a full run. Instantly from the line of the enemy's breastworks a murderous storm of grape and canister was hurled into their ranks, with the most terrible effect. Officers and men went down by hundreds, but yet, undaunted and unwavering, our line dashed on until two thirds of the distance across the field was accomplished. Here the carnage from the withering fire of the enemy's combined artillery and musketry was dreadful.

Our line wavered a moment, and fell back to the cover of the woods. Twice again the effort to carry the position was renewed, but each time with the same results. Night at length rendered a further attempt injudicious, and the fight, until ten o'clock, was kept up by the artillery on both sides. To add to the horrors, if not the dangers, of the battle, the enemy's gunboats, from their position at Curl's Neck, two and a half miles distant, poured on the field continual broadsides from their immense rifle-guns.

Though it is questionable, as we have suggested, whether any serious loss was inflicted on us by the gunboats, the horrors of the fight were aggravated by the monster shells, which tore shrieking through the forests, and exploded with a concussion which seemed to shake the solid earth itself. The moral effect on the Yankees of these terror-inspiring allies must have been very great; and in this, we believe, consisted their greatest damage to the army of the South.

It must not be inferred from the above account that the slaughter was all upon our side. We have the best reasons to know that the well-directed fire of our cannon and musketry, both before and subsequent to our efforts to storm the enemy's position, fell with fatal effect upon his heavily massed forces.

At ten o'clock P. M. the last gun was fired from our side. Each side held the position occupied when the fight began, and during the remainder of the night each was busily engaged removing their wounded.

The rumble of the enemy's ambulances and wagons, in rapid and hurried motion, did not cease even with the dawn. At ten o'clock on Wednesday morning they were still busy, and discontinued their labors, not because their wounded had been removed, but for fear of our advance. Our wounded were carried from the field directly to the farm-houses in the neighborhood, whence, after their injuries had been examined and dressed, they were brought to this city.

During the morning the enemy evacuated his position and retreated, still bearing a south-easterly direction, and apparently not attempting to lessen the distance between him and his gunboats.

The battle-field, surveyed through the cold rain of Wednesday morning, presented scenes too shocking to be dwelt on without anguish. The woods and the field before mentioned were, on the western side, covered with our dead, in all the degrees of violent mutilation; while in the woods on the west side of the field, lay, in about equal numbers, the blue uniformed bodies of the enemy.

Many of the latter were still alive, having been left by their friends in their indecent haste to escape from the rebels.

Great numbers of horses were killed on both sides, and the sight of their disfigured carcasses, and the stench proceeding from them, added much to the loathsome horrors of the bloody field. The corn-fields, but recently turned by the plough-share, were furrowed and torn by the iron missiles.

Thousands of round shot and unexploded shell lay upon the surface of the earth. Among the latter were many of the enormous shells thrown by the gunboats. They were eight inches in width by twenty-three in length. The ravages of these monsters were every where discernible through the forests. In some places long avenues were cut through tree-tops, and here and there great trees, three and four feet in thickness, were burst open and split to very shreds.

In one remarkable respect this battle-field differed in appearance from any of the preceding days. In the track of the enemy's flight there were no cast-away blue great-coats, no blankets, tents, nor stores. He had evidently, before reaching this point, thrown away every thing that could retard his hasty retreat. Nothing was to be found on this portion of the field but killed and wounded Yankees, and their guns and knapsacks.

The battle of Tuesday evening has been made memorable by its melancholy monument of carnage which occurred in a portion of Gen. Magruder's corps, which had been ordered, in very inadequate force, to charge one of the strongest of the enemy's batteries. There are various explanations of this affair. The fire upon the few regiments who were ordered to take the ememy's battery, which was supported by two heavy brigades, and which swept the thin lines of our devoted men, who had to approach it across a stretch of open ground, is said to have been an appalling sight.

It will be recollected that it was stated, with great precision of detail, that on Saturday evening last we had brought the enemy to bay on the south side of the Chickahominy, and that it only remained to finish him in a single battle. Such, in fact, appears to have been the situation then. The next morning, however, it was perceived that our supposed resources of generalship had given us too much confidence; that the enemy had managed to extricate himself from the critical

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