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[308] and sought refuge up the hill, breaking and throwing into confusion other troops as they passed through.

at the foot of Missionary Ridge Thomas' army had reached its goal. Its orders carried it no further. But, as General Wood has related, “the enthusiasm and impetuosity of the troops were such that those who first reached the entrenchments at the base of the Ridge bounded over them and pressed on up the ascent. . . . moreover the entrenchments were no protection against the artillery on the Ridge. To remain would be destruction — to return would be both expensive in life, and disgraceful. Officers and men, all seemed impressed with this truth. . . . without waiting for an order the vast mass pressed forward in the race for glory, each man anxious to be the first on the summit. . . . artillery and musketry could not check the impetuous assault. The troops did not halt to fire. To have done so would have been ruinous. Little was left to the commanders of the troops than to cheer on the foremost — to encourage the weaker of limb and to sustain the very few who seemed to be faint-hearted.”

midway up the slope was a small line of rifle-pits, but these proved of no use in stemming the Federal tide. In the immediate front, however, Major Weaver of the Sixtieth North Carolina rallied a sufficient number of the demoralized Confederates to send a well-directed and effective fire upon the advancing troops. At this point the first line of oncoming Federals was vigorously repulsed, and thrown back to the vacated Confederate trenches. General Bragg, noticing this, ode along the Ridge to spread his good news among the troops, but he had not gone far when word was brought that the right flank was broken and that the Federal standard had been seen on the summit. A second and a third flag appeared in quick succession. Bragg sent General Bate to drive the foe back, but the disaster was so great that the latter was unable to repair it. Even the artillery had abandoned the infantry. The Confederate flank had gone, and within an hour of the start from

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