bedaubed with mud and bedraggled with water, having barely escaped the rebel rush with their liberty. Orderlies dashed up the road yelling for ammunition-trains, and teamsters climbed trees for lookouts and reported that the Johnnies were charging by the acre; that our troops were in confusion; and finally summed up the first aspect of the situation, announcing it as confounded scaly. There are some things happen in battles which go to show that Providence does not always favor the largest battalions. Napoleon's own military career disproved his favorite maxim. It falls to the lot of some men to do the lucky things at the lucky moment; and when Captain Goodspeed, Newton's chief of artillery, twenty minutes before the charge, ordered ten guns from the north to the south bank of Peach-tree creek, he probably little thought that he was to contribute so much toward crushing the rebellion — to the repulse of what many think the most reckless charge the enemy has made during the war. It was the work of a moment to hurl the ten guns, already near the destination, to the proper point on Newton's flank, the work of another to unlimber. As the enemy reached a point within seventy-five yards of our lines these ten guns open. What exquisite music was in their crash! How joyous was the whirl of the blue glamour from their throats. How fiercely flew swab and rammer. How ceaselessly the lanyards were jerked. How hotly the cartridge-bearers shot back and forth from their caissons, and how, notwithstanding, the looker — on felt like goading them to efforts still more desperate. There was something satisfying and reassuring in the ear-splitting din. We could tell from the peculiar whistle that our gunners Were firing canister, and we breathlessly waited for the smoke to lift for a moment, that we might see its effect. The moment came. With a ragged front line the rebel column had halted, and were firing wild, but tremendous volleys. Colors disappeared and alignments were lost. Colonels rallying their men became tangled up with the swaying and disordered lines, and melted out of view like Edgar of Ravenswood. Riderless horses plunged across the field with a puzzled gallop, swaying from side to side, snuffing the terror of the moment and screaming with fright. Four guns of Smith's First Michigan battery went into action hastily on Newton's right flank, and added theirs to the intermingling detonations. Portions of the assaulting lines made shivering little efforts to advance, and the next instant fell to pieces. In twenty minutes--no more — the rebel columns were routed and flying back to the forests from which they came forth, with an almost complete loss of organization. It was the last seen of them in that portion of the field, and the stirring cheers that went up from Newton's men were the charmed peroration of the history made by the unfaltering lads in blue upon that field. “Wasn't it dusty?” exclaimed General Newton, as he came riding back, his face aglow with triumph, and his horse laboring for breath. Up and down his division he had ridden during the fight, just as Phil. Sheridan used to ride when he marshalled the same battalions. Whatever of regret there may be in that division for the loss of the little corporal, now at the head of our cavaliers, and whatever of coldness a new commander experiences after replacing a universal favorite, both were dissipated that day by General Newton. Such courage as he displayed is a carte blanche to the affections of his command. He may have won it by other means. He bought it that day in good, sterling, martial coin. For once stragglers were put to some use, and distinguished themselves. General Newton caused all he could find to be placed with his batteries as a support. As such, they contributed materially to break the rebel line when it dashed nearest the guns. It was in Newton's front that General Stevens, commanding a brigade in Walker's division, Hardee's corps, fell. For every casualty in Newton's division, two dead rebels were picked up in his front the next morning; and it is safe to say that the loss in the two rebel divisions that assaulted his position cannot be less than one thousand five hundred. Among his prisoners is a rebel surgeon, who unsuspectingly drove into General Kimball's lines with an ambulance and a brace of splendid mules. He asked the first Yankee he encountered where he was captured, and could hardly credit his senses when he found the brogan on the other foot. It is superfluous to say that General Kimball gave fresh instances of his heroism; that Colonel Bradley was cool, inflexible and intrepid, or that Colonel Blake added another leaf to his laurels as a gallant man and a competent leader. Their brigades did not yield an inch; no higher eulogy can be pronounced than that. General Thomas witnessed the heavy fighting under Newton. He warmly commended Captain Goodspeed for the celerity with which he brought his guns into action. Though General Thomas face is one in which benevolence and majesty contend, those who were with him during the bloody twenty minutes on that portion of the line — under a heavy fire, be it understood — say that the majesty was a little in excess while it lasted. Ward, in command of General Butterfield's division, had left his trenches, and was advancing to close upon Newton's right. He had reached the base of a hill along which his column was resting, when he received a message from his skirmish line deployed along the summit of the ridge, that the enemy was approaching in tremendous force. From the crest of the hill the country in front is open, though broken, and in all the panoply of war, streaming banners, and even, swift-stepping ranks, came the enemy, pouring into the fields, filling them densely as he advanced, It was but the work of a moment for General Ward to form his line. The next his skirmishers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Bloodgood, of the Twenty-second Wisconsin,
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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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