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[451] small wooden building immediately in front of the stone wall. The fatal shot came from a house some hundred and fifty yards in front and to the left, and which was occupied by the Federal shirmishers. Captain Wallace of the Second South Carolina regiment, afterwards dislodged them by devoting a whole company to pouring a constant fire upon the windows. Seeing that the enemy was preparing for another assault, General Ransom at this time ordered Cooke's brigade to move forward to the crest of the hill, on the line of the batteries, and the movement was just commenced, when Hancock's division, with what had been rallied from French's, mounted the hill, and passing over French's fatal line of flags pushed more gallantly for its goal.

Confident of his position and desirous of making his fire most fatal, Colonel Miller, of the Eighteenth Georgia regiment, who had succeeded to the command of Cobb's brigade, checked the fire of the infantry until Hancock's foremost ranks were within one hundred yards, when the murderous muskets were again turned on the line already roughly used by the guns on the hill. At the same time Cooke's brigade reached the crest above, where three regiments1 halted while one moved down into the Telegraph road, and all joined in the fire, which fast broke into fragments the Federal assault. The second and third lines were soon mingled with the first in confusion, then all were scattered in clusters to the shelter of houses and fences, and in twenty minutes, these coverts being probed by shells, the bloody field was again deserted.

In these attacks the Confederate loss was slight, while the loss of the Federals was very severe. French lost nearly 50 per cent. of his command, and Hancock lost two thousand and thirteen out of five thousand and six led into action.2 The body of one man, supposed to have been an officer, was found after the battle within twenty yards of the Confederate line. Others were scattered at various distances up to one hundred yards, at and beyond which the ground was so thickly strewn that from the base of the hill it seemed in places to be carpeted with blue. The failure of this assault is, in the first place, probably entirely due to the fact that the assaulting column stopped to fire, for its numbers were certainly four times as great as the numbers of those who drew trigger against them. The stopping to fire may have been partly

1 The Forty-sixth North Carolina, Colonel Hall, Forty-eighth North Carolina, and Fifteenth North Carolina halted on the hill, and the Twenty-seventh North Carolina ran down into the Telegraph road.

2 Swinton, Army of Potomac, p. 251.

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Wingfield S. Hancock (3)
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