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[632] should be given. All thought of the uncertainty of battle seemed to have vanished; every one seemed to think he would prove a hero, and felt certain that promotion would follow the battle of to-morrow.

Those who witnessed the enthusiasm of our men said it was wonderful; their bearing was more like that of veterans than men who less than a year ago knew nothing of war and its horrors. They appeared determined to know no such word as fail, and felt satisfied that by their exertions a great point was to be gained in bringing this war to a successful termination.

The line of battle was formed at daybreak yesterday morning, and no better men can be found in any army than they who formed it. I refer to the division commanders — Weitzel, the young man, but old soldier; Grover, the well-known commander of a brigade in Hooker's division on the Peninsula Augur, who commanded a brigade and was wounded at Cedar Mountain; and last, though not least, Sherman, better known in the army as Tim Sherman, one of the best soldiers in the service.

The plan appears to have been to carry the enemy's positions on the right and left first, and this work consequently devolved upon the divisions of Generals Weitzel and Sherman. It was not long after the advance was sounded that our troops met those of the enemy, and it soon became evident that every foot of ground we gained was to be fought for with determination. The fight soon commenced along the entire line. On the right the sharp rattle of musketry and roar of artillery gave notice that Weitzel was at work, and as it increased in intensity it became evident that he was having no boy's play ; and he had not. Every inch was disputed; the enemy fought with the ferocity of demons; but it was to no purpose; our boys drove them slowly but steadily, using clubbed muskets and bayonets when they could not load. It was soon apparent that whatever else would be done by the army, Weitzel was bound to win; his column could not be checked, although suffering greatly; the enemy went down before them as grass before the scythe of the mower; and, although the work was tedious and bloody, no one faltered. General Weitzel, keeping his men well in hand for the last rush, put them at the enemy's works on the river side, and they went on with a will, making the air resound with their shouts. Here the fight became murderous; it was hand to hand and breast to breast, the bayonet doing the main part of the work. The rebels could not stand it, however, and were compelled to fall back.

Our people pressed them close, allowing no space to be created between the attacked and the attacker, and finally drove them into, and then out of the celebrated six-gun battery that did such terrible execution upon the steamer Mississippi the night she was destroyed. Here was a great point gained — a point that we could use to advantage against the other works of the enemy. And it did not take long for the quick eye of Weitzel to see all this and profit by it. As soon as practible, the guns were shifted and put to work, and were busy at last accounts in throwing shot and shell into and against the position of their late owners. This was decidedly the most brilliant and successful part of the day's work — not that the men fought any better, or showed more determination than those on other parts of the field, but it was the greatest point gained, and proved what we could do when resolved to accomplish certain ends. By this operation the enemy's left was turned, and in a manner to prevent the lost ground being recovered. The battery captured was the most annoying of any of the line, for it raked completely the channel-way of the river.

No more desperate fighting has ever taken place than that of the division of General Sherman, yesterday, in the attack upon the right of the enemy's position. Our men faced the storm of iron and lead that was hurled against them as if it had always been their business to do so. They moved steadily forward under the most murderous fire of shot, shell, grape, canister, and musketry, with a steadiness that was surprising. When Ciudad Rodrigo was stormed, the flower of the English army was selected for the “forlorn hope;” but they, veterans as they were, never moved with firmer step or more solid column than did the Second division of the Nineteenth army corps in the attack of yesterday upon the right of the enemy's position with an impetuous charge. The Sixth Michigan and the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth New-York carried the enemy's works at the point of the bayonet; but they were compelled to give way, as the enemy had massed its troops here, and it became necessary for our glorious fellows to fall back before overwhelming numbers. Not much ground was lost, however; we only failed to maintain our position within the main works.

The Second regiment, Louisiana Native Guard, Colonel Neilson, were in this charge; they went on in the advance, and when they came out six out of the nine hundred men could not be accounted for. It is said on every side that they fought with the desperation of tigers. After firing one volley they did not deign to load again, but went in with bayonets, and wherever they had a chance it was all up with the rebels. Although we gained much ground, and held it, still the principal object of this attack was not accomplished — namely, getting possession of and holding the batteries on the enemy's right. It was owing to some misunderstanding. The charge cost us heavily in killed and wounded. General Sherman led the attack in person, and fell severely wounded in the leg. General Neal Dow was also wounded. Colonel Clarke, of the Sixth Michigan, was killed. Colonel Cowles, of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth New-York, also, by a bayonet thrust; Lieutenant-Colonel Smith of the Zouaves, severely wounded. The Sixth Michigan and One Hundred and Twenty-eight New-York have each lost about half their effective men, and the other regiments have suffered severely.

The attack on the centre of the enemy's position by the columns of Generals Augur and Grover,


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