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[264] the scene of combat. Returning soon afterwards to Johnson's headquarters—where, he had been told, General Lee was now awaiting him—he reported the situation, and learned that General Mahone's division had been ordered up. Generals Lee and Beauregard afterwards repaired to the Gee House, where they remained till the end of the action.

Meanwhile, and within ten or fifteen minutes of the explosion, General Elliott had ordered his regiments on the left of the crater to form on the brow of the hill, beyond the gorge-line which crossed the summit, and charge the Federals out of the mine; but he had no sooner reached the open ground, followed by Colonel Smith, of the 26th South Carolina, and half a dozen men, in execution of this movement, than he fell, severely wounded, and was immediately borne to the rear.1 Colonel F. W. McMaster, on whom now devolved the command, despatched Colonel Smith, with the 26th and three companies of the 17th, by the trench and covered way on the left, to hold a shallow ravine in rear of the hill of Elliott's salient, there to resist any direct advance by which the enemy might seek to fall on the rear of the Confederate lines.2

The Federals now attempted to force their way along the trenches. Numbers of them, emerging from the crater, got into the ditch of the gorge-line, where a hand-to-hand fight ensued; while others, creeping along the glacis of the exterior line, got over the parapet into the main trench.3 The troops on the right and left of the crater fought them from behind the traverses connecting with the sinks, and from barricades thrown up at the angles of the trenches; while the adjacent brigades, from their main parapets, the covered ways, and ravines running to the rear, and from piles of earth at their bomb-proofs, concentrated a deadly fire on such of the Federal forces as were moving across from their lines, and on those in and near the crater, whenever they exposed themselves.

The Confederate front and flanking batteries, so judiciously located, swept the ground in front and rear of the crater, so that the Federals found themselves obstructed from direct advance or retreat. These batteries also played into the crater itself, where

1 General Johnson's and Colonel McMaster's statements. See Appendix.

2 Colonel McMaster's statements. See Appendix.

3 Ibid.

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F. W. McMaster (3)
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Robert E. Lee (2)
Bushrod Johnson (2)
Stephen Elliott (2)
William Mahone (1)
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