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[296] but not absolutely necessary. Yet was it not yielded without much desperate fighting, as was witnessed by the sharp “affair” of August 18th, favorable to the Confederates, who were commanded by Gen. Harry Heth; by the brilliant action of Aug. 19th, in which the troops were immediately commanded by Heth and Mahone (the brunt of the fighting falling on Heth's division and Pegram's artillery), and in which the enemy sustained a loss of many standards and above 2,700 prisoners; by the battle of August 21st, in which Mahone failed to dislodge the enemy, for, attacking with six small brigades, and twelve guns under Pegram, he encountered, instead of the weak flank his scouts had led him to expect, a heavily-entrenched front manned by an army corps, the approaches to which were swept by a powerful artillery;1 finally, by

1 In this action, the gallant Saunders, who led the Alabamians at the Crater, was killed. Immediately on the repulse of his first attack, Mahone carefully reconnoitred, under sharp fire, the whole front, and told General Lee that with two more brigades he would pledge himself to dislodge Warren before night-fall. The division from which Lee at once consented to draw the additional support, arrived too late to make the projected attack advisable.

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