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[126] 12 o'clock, at which time all was quiet on the lines, the men being in remarkably good spirits, singing songs, &c., all unconscious of the fate that awaited them with the dawn.

At 12 o'clock I returned to my Headquarters at the spring and slept soundly until awakened at daylight by the dull heavy sound of the explosion and by a sensation as of being rocked in a cradle. In a moment I suspected what had occurred and ran up the line in the direction of Pegram's battery. When within a few yards of the crater, I was met by the few men of the battery that survived the explosion, and the fate of the remainder was fully revealed. At this time the enemy were pouring over our works into the crater. Immediately after the explosion the enemy opened upon our lines with all the artillery concentrated in our front. The roar of the enemy's guns, the bursting of shells and rattle of musketry was deafening; yet with all I found the men of Elliott's brigade bravely manning the works up to the borders of the crater, leaving no front for the entrance of the enemy except such as had been made vacant by the up-heaval of the earth. I immediately made my way down the lines, to the left, to Wright's battery. The battery was not in the main line, but a few yards in the rear; it bore directly upon the salient at very close range, and was erected for the purpose of defending that front of our works. It was upon the hill to the left of and very near the ravine or covered way, in rear of Ransom's right. The position was a very elevated one (more elevated than the salient) and as there was a gradual ascent from the ravine to Pegram's battery, Wright's guns were enabled to sweep the front of our works over the heads of our men in the line occupied by Elliott's brigade.

From the moment of the explosion, until my arrival in Wright's battery, could not have exceeded twenty or twenty-five minutes. Up to this time no artillery from our lines had opened that I know of. I immediately ordered the battery to open with shrapnell and canister, first sweeping the ground in front of Elliott's line and the salient. At this time the enemy were still pressing their columns from their lines over the intervening space to the crater. This fire, together with the musketry from Elliott's brigade and other troops along the line within reach, soon checked the advance of the enemy from their own lines. The crater itself could not contain the masses that had already been hurled into the breach, so that thousands were crowded over its interior rim, and stood in its rear without apparent organization in one immense crowd.

Having checked the advance of the enemy from their lines, Wright's guns were turned directly upon the crater, and the masses assembled

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Marcus J. Wright (4)
Stephen Elliott (4)
Miles P. Pegram (2)
R. Ransom (1)
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