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[534] cover until the artillery opened, and then to advance as rapidly as possible to the assault with three regiments in front and the two others following a short distance in rear, as soon as he should discover that the enemy was sufficiently demoralized by the artillery fire. The artillery under Jones was divided so as to put twelve pieces in the old orchard mentioned, and eight pieces near the edge of the corn-field on the north of the woods. The 57th N. C. regiment was detached and so posted as to protect these latter pieces from an attack in the direction of the Pughtown road, which ran not far from there, and the rest of Hoke's brigade, and the whole of Smith's, were placed in line ready to support him. The enemy's works on the front presented to me, consisted of the bastion-front on the high hill which has been mentioned, another smaller breastwork between that and the Pughtown road, and a more extensive, but incomplete, work on the north side of the Pughtown road. He had evidently been making recent preparations against an attack from this quarter, and had commenced felling the timber in the woods under cover of which I operated, but strange to say, on this occasion he failed to keep a lookout in that direction. About an hour by sun, everything being ready, Jones ran his pieces by hand into position, and opened almost simultaneously from the whole of his twenty guns upon the enemy, before he was aware of our presence in his vicinity.1 The cannonading was kept up briskly about three-quarters of an hour, when Hays advanced as directed, ascended the steep slope of the hill leading to the enemy's works, through a brush-wood that had been felled to answer the purpose of abattis, and drove the enemy from his fortifications in fine style, capturing in the assault six rifled pieces, two of which were immediately turned upon the enemy, thus preventing an effort to recapture the works before reinforcements could arrive, for which a portion of the enemy's main force commenced preparing. As soon as I saw Hays's men entering the works, I ordered forward Smith's brigade to the support, and also ordered Jones to advance with the pieces that were posted on our left, leaving Colonel Avery with that part of Hoke's brigade with him to look out for the rear. On reaching the captured work, which proved to be open in the rear, I found that it overlooked and commanded, as had been anticipated, the enemy's main work near the town, and also a redoubt to the north of the main work, which was also occupied by infantry and artillery, and that all the works on the left (north) of the captured

1 This was the remarkable case of a surprise of a fortified position by artillery in broad daylight.

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Pughtown (West Virginia, United States) (3)

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J. William Jones (3)
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Clark M. Avery (1)
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