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“ [60] conflict. The enemy, sitting in their pits with pieces upright, loaded, and with bayonets fixed ready to impale the first who should leap over, absolutely refused to yield the ground. The first of our men who tried to surmount the works fell, pierced through the head by musket-balls. Others, seeing the fate of their comrades, held their piece's at arm's length and fired downward, while others, poising their pieces vertically, hurled them down upon their enemy, pinning them to the ground. . . . The struggle lasted but a few seconds. Numbers prevailed, and like a resistless wave, the column poured over the works, quickly putting hors de combat those who resisted and sending to the rear those who surrendered. Pressing forward and expanding to the right and left, the second line of entrenchments, its line of battle, and a battery fell into our hands. The column of assault had accomplished its task.”

The Confederate line had been shattered and an opening made for expected support. This, however, failed to arrive. General Mott, on the left, did not bring his division forward as had been planned and as General Wright had ordered. The Confederates were reenforced, and Upton could do no more than hold the captured entrenchments until ordered to retire. He brought twelve hundred prisoners and several stands of colors back to the Union lines; but over a thousand of his own men were killed or wounded. For gallantry displayed in this charge, Colonel Upton was made brigadier-general.

The losses to the Union army in this engagement at Spotsylvania were over four thousand. The loss to the Confederates was probably two thousand.

During the 11th there was a pause. The two giant antagonists took a breathing spell. It was on the morning of this date that Grant penned the sentence, “I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer,” to his chief of staff, General Halleck.

During this time Sheridan, who had brought the cavalry

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Emory Upton (4)
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