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[571] the close of the day. They had before them an open space of about eight hundred yards. The colored troops were obliged to advance across an open field, exposed the whole distance to a deadly fire, completely enfilading their two lines of battle, to a fire from two batteries directly in front, and to a cross-fire from an intermediate battery. An hour was consumed in forming the lines of battle and advancing the first quarter of a mile. The men could move but a few rods before the rebels got range, when they were obliged to lie down and await opportunity. Soon they would rise, push forward a few rods further, and again lie down.

At about half-past 1 they gained the designated locality, and then for five mortal hours lay exposed to the strain of constant apprehension from the ceaseless shelling. Old officers declare that while they have been under a more furious cannonading, it has been under the excitement of a charge, but that they were never subjected to a severer trial under fire, considering the time during which they were exposed and the unavoidable inactivity, and add that there can be no severer test of a soldier, particularly for green troops, than Duncan's entire brigade withstood. They say that after such a long strain upon their nerves, that the troops should be able to rise, move against such a formidable line of works, and carry them triumphantly, is irresistible proof that black troops can and will fight.

At half-past 6 the charge was ordered. The first plan, to advance in two lines of battle, was changed, General Smith deeming it madness to throw full lines against such strong redoubts. Half the first line was, therefore, sent forward as skirmishers, to be promptly supported if any advantage should be gained. As the skirmishers pushed on, our batteries on the right opened, and were replied to by the rebels with equal vigor.

About half an hour of very heavy cannonading and musketry firing, a shout of victory drowning all other sounds, and plainly to be heard for two miles away, arose from our troops as they gained and dashed into the works. These works were five formidable redans, half a mile, three quarters, and a mile, severally, distant, on the other side of a deep and difficult ravine, and in a very commanding position. Colonel Kidder's regiment gained the hill. In support of this general flank movement of the first line, the second line, consisting of the Fifth and Sixth regiments of Duncan's brigade, were swung round and moved against the front of the remaining works. The rebels, assailed in flank and front, fought to the last moment, and then so precipitately withdrew that but few were captured.

It was now nine o'clock in the evening. Immediate pursuit was impossible, and General Smith deemed it prudent to rest and await reinforcements. The Second Army Corps, which had made a forced march, began arriving two hours later. General Smith showed his appreciation of the day's work by remarking that “it was one of the greatest of the war.” He said, “it will make the old Army of the Potomac open its eyes wide.” The earthworks so successfully carried are regarded as the most formidable the army has encountered during the present campaign.

The success has a peculiar value and signifincance from the thorough test it has given of the efficiency of negro troops. Their losses were heavy. In the thickest of the fight, and under the most trying circumstances, they never flinched. The old Army of the Potomrc, so long prejudiced and so obstinately heretical on this subjest, stand amazed as they look on the works captured by the negroes, and are loud and unreserved in their praise. As near as I can make it out, Duncan's brigade alone took six redoubts or redans, with their connecting rifle-pits, and captured seven pieces of artillery. General Smith, speaking of their conduct, said “no nobler effort has been put forth to-day, and no greater success achieved than that of the colored troops.” From so reticent an officer this testimony is invaluable. Subjoined is his order of the day, just issued:

To the Eighteenth Army Corps:
The General commanding desires to express to his command his appreciation of the soldierly qualities which have been displayed during the campaign of the last seventeen days. Within that time they have been constantly called upon to undergo all the hardships of the soldier's life, and be exposed to all of its dangers.

Marches under a hot sun have ended in severe battles, and after the battle watchful nights in the trenches gallantly taken from the enemy.

But the crowning point of the honor they are entitled to has been won since the morning of the fifteenth instant, when a series of earthworks, on most commanding positions and of formidable strength, has been carried with all the guns and material of war of the enemy, including prisoners and colors. The works have all been held and the trophies remain in our hands.

This victory is all the more important to us, as the troops have never been regularly organized in camps where time has been given them to learn the discipline necessary to a well-organized corps d'armee, but they have been hastily concentrated and suddenly summoned to take part in the trying campaign of our country's being. Such honor as they have won will remain imperishable.

To the colored troops comprising the division of General Hinks, the General commanding would call the attention of his command. With the veterans of the Eighteenth corps, they have stormed the works of the enemy and carried them, taking guns and prisoners, and in the

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