and John G. Mitchell. As though the emotions and impelling principles within worked the character in lineaments not to be mistaken on the facial front, you may read there that they know the work and appreciate its bloody import. The word is spoken, the plan digested, and to-morrow's sun will wake to life and health for the last time many a noble fellow that slumbers in the forest around. Morgan, the old weather-beaten farmer General, who is as stern and fearless as he is grim and rough, with his placid features is reassuring. Let what will come to pass, you can but ruffle his equanimity. It is self-adjusting; and when duty and the responsibilities of his position are in one scale, they outweigh every personal consideration that would deter or impede. He thinks and seems a statue in bronze. Give him an order, and you imbue the statue with life and fire and energy such as move a hero. All night the road was alive with troops and trains and horsemen. The clatter and rumble went on. A shimmer of moonlight sifted through the tree-tops, and one involuntarily reverted to the cavalcades of Boabadil's hosts that the Moorish legends describe. Four men passed my tent moving silently along, bearing something on a litter. As they approached, I saw they were carrying a wounded man. The hospital was just below us in the ravine. I had almost forgotten the occurrence, and was getting drowsy, when his shrieks roused me again. The surgeons were at work. His agonizing cry was the only sound that broke the stillness, and it penetrated and impressed me. I remember the shudder with which I sank to sleep, and, as I recur to it, it comes again. Blair was to press his lines forward on the west slope of Kenesaw, protect Dodge's flank, and, closing in as cautiously as possible, engage the enemy's attention by menacing his right. Dodge was to have taken the western division or peak of Kenesaw, while Logan was to push a strong column up the eastern. That the operations against Kenesaw may be better understood, and the difficulties to overcome in prosecuting an assault appreciated, let me devote a few lines to Kenesaw and its contour. Seen from our lines the day of the assault, this solitary mountain, that lifts its bald summit to the clouds, looks a dark, grim sentinel that guards the beautiful little treasure — Marietta — that nestles so closely under its mighty shade. The mountain is elliptical in shape and two miles in length, running east and west, and its average height above the level of the sea is eighteen hundred feet. It terminates at either end in peaks which slope gradually toward the center, presenting a depression that gives it the general appearance, as described against a background of clear blue sky, of a grand natural redoubt. The depression which represents the embrasure apparently divides the mountain into equal parts. The west half we will call the first peak, and the east the second. Remember we are facing southward. On the first peak the enemy has well-manned batteries that sweep the valley in which we stand. Through the wooded strip in front our works follow the course of the mountain. In front of the first peak lie Blair and Dodge, the former circling the point, and the latter's right touching Logan's left just where the gorge marks the dividing line I have already mentioned. Logan is to ascend, therefore, the eastern half or second peak, swinging around the point to the southern slope as far as prudence will permit. The troops composing the assaulting column are Lightburn's and Giles A. Smith's brigades, of M. L. Smith's division, and Walcutt's, of Harrison's division. General M. L. Smith, the indomitable old leader, whose name among the troops is a synonym for everything that is true and noble in a soldier, commands the column. A stranger in the army, who never heard of Morgan L. Smith, will learn to hold him in high esteem from what the common soldiers say of him. A better recommendation no man can have. Eight o'clock on the twenty-seventh, and Logan, prompt to the minute, ordered his column forward. The Forty-sixth Ohio and Fortieth Illinois--the latter commanded by the lamented Colonel Barnhill--were deployed in front as skirmishers. The enemy was never more vigilant. The movement was detected; he threw forward reinforcements to his skirmishers, and the ground was stubbornly disputed. All the while the terrible artillery on the peaks--twelve guns in all — maintained a deadly cross-fire on our troops below, and was answered by our batteries with solid shot, that powdered and crippled their rocky parapets. Emerging into the open fields, the rebel infantry essayed again behind their rifle-pits to check or hurl us back. In front of his line of rifle-pits the enemy had carefully prepared two lines of perplexing abatis. The first consisted of felled saplings, with the limbs and branches sharpened and interwoven. Through these, after some difficulty, delay, and loss, we penetrated and soon again encountered a second abatis, constructed with more care, and of a more formidable nature. Heavy piles were cut for the purpose, pointed and placed the ground, and inclined toward us. To look at these rude defences when the battle is over and the danger passed, and one might be tempted to say that these sharp sticks are insignificant obstructions that a few men in a short time would render harmless. When we reflect that a very short distance separates the abatis from the enemy's rifle-pits, that swarm with troops, that character of defence has no mean significance. The check, however, was merely momentary. The abatis was cleared and the enemy's rifle-pits at once assailed.
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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