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[265] the shells were dropped with such precision upon the huddled mass of Federals that numbers of them preferred to run the gauntlet back to their lines. Wright's battery of four guns, admirably situated and protected, on the left of Elliott's salient, poured its whole volume of fire, with astonishing rapidity and effect, directly into their right flank; while one gun of Davidson's battery, in Wise's line, threw its canister and grape at short range into their left flank, both batteries, as occasion required, sweeping the ground in front of the crater. Major Haskell's battery of four 8 and 10 inch mortars, under Captain Lamkin, in rear on the Jerusalem plank road, and one Coehorn and two 12-pounder mortars of Lamkin's, in the ravine, about 200 yards to the left and rear of the crater, and two 8-inch mortars, were served with unremitting and fatal execution; while a battery of three 8 or 10 inch mortars, on the right of the Baxter road, under Lieutenant Langhorn, fired at intervals with very good effect.

The order for the Federal column of attack was to advance and seize Cemetery Hill. In all subsequent orders of General Meade this was the main objective; but upon their attempt to form for that purpose outside of the crater they were swept by such a fire from the batteries and infantry, including Colonel Smith's force, in the ravine in rear, and the 59th Virginia, under Captain Wood, formed in a ditch on the right of the crater and perpendicular to the main trench, that they rushed back and clung to the protection of the crater, continuing the contest for the possession of the trenches.

About 7.30 o'clock Ferrero's negro division was ordered to push through the breach and carry Cemetery Hill. They moved across the open space between the Federal and Confederate lines into, out of, and beyond the crater; but at this point they broke under the fierce artillery and musketry fire there concentrated upon them; and, after having been partially reorganized, broke again, now fleeing in wild disorder into and out of the crater, back to General Burnside's rearmost lines, within the Federal intrenchments. They carried back, on their way, Bell's brigade,1 of Turner's division, which, having been pushed across from

1 General Ord's report, dated August 3d, 1864, in ‘Conduct of the War’ (1865), p. 102.

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