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[301] of infantry, chiefly North Carolinians of Lane's brigade, and a score of artillerymen, in all 250 men. Thrice Gibbon's columns, above 5,000 strong, surged against the devoted outpost — thrice they recoiled, but about noon a fourth assault was ordered, and the assailants, rushing in, front and rear, discovered with surprise and admiration that of these two hundred and fifty brave men, two hundred and twenty had been struck down, yet were the wounded loading and passing up their muskets to the thirty unhurt and invincible veterans, who, with no thought of surrender, still maintained a biting fire from the front. A splendid feat of arms, which taught prudence to the too eager enemy for the remainder of the day, for nearly six hundred of Gibbon's men lay dead and stricken in front of the work, and the most daring of the assailants recognized that an army of such metal would not easily yield the inner lines.1

1 The detachment from Lane's brigade was commanded by Lieutenant George H. Snow, 33d North Carolina. There were also in the fort some supernumerary artillerymen, armed as Infantry, a section of Chew's Maryland battery, and small detachments from Harris' Mississippi brigade (under Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan), and from Thomas' Georgia brigade (under Captain William Norwood). The error of attributing this brilliant defence to Harris' brigade alone, doubtless arose from Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan of that brigade being the ranking officer in the fort. The incident of the wounded men loading and passing up the muskets to their comrades, is attested by officers in the fort, but I learn from General Lane's Ms. Report that, the ammunition giving out, the men used rocks with great effect. General Lane's report should by all means be published.

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