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[50] and musketry that seemed to make the old hills tremble and quake, a cheer was heard, and into the deadly breach, over the dead bodies of the fallen, came on the double-quick Robinson's brigade, who advanced to the assault with desperate determination to drive back the solid columns of the enemy, and save the army from disaster. Nobly they met the enemy, and when the shock came, reeling like drunken men, the line of the enemy was broken and sent back, smarting under the shock. The contest was of short duration, but, while it lasted, the roar of artillery and the roll of musketry told that this was one of the most critical moments of the day — a period when the heart of the listener seemed to stand still in suspense. The Fourth corps will never forget Hooker and the noble. brigade which, at a moment when the fate of the army, and perhaps of the nation, hung upon a slender thread, which the enemy would have severed, came up and turned the tide of battle. A nation's thanks are due to Joe Hooker, and may it never forget Robinson's brave brigade, whose gallantry to-night is on every tongue.

In summing up the results of the day, I am pained to say that, while we have driven the enemy at every point where he presented himself in force, our losses are heavy. Probably two thousand will not cover the killed, wounded, and missing. Nearly all of the killed and wounded are in our hands, as we were not driven a foot, except in those instances already recorded. Our line on the left centre and centre has advanced over a mile from its position of the morning. We have made heavy slaughter in the enemy's ranks — whose loss must be larger than ours. We have lost but a few prisoners, and taken about two hundred, among whom is the Colonel of the Nineteenth Alabama regiment, a very intelligent officer, who estimates the rebel forces, including Polk, who is here, at fifty-five thousand. He informs me that their only loss in General officers is Brigadier-General Tucker, slightly wounded. So far, all goes well. The enemy is hemmed in between our lines and the river, which is not now fordable, and will hardly get off without giving us a general engagement. When the student of military strategy takes up a map and examines the country of this region of Georgia, he cannot but feel impressed with the masterly movements of Sherman, which have placed us in so favorable a position.

Sunday, May 16.
During last night quiet reigned along the whole line, the enemy being very quiet and rarely firing a shot. The falling of trees and the sound of axmen, however, convinced our commanders that the rebels were erecting stronger fortifications upon the innumerable hills that rise out of the valley. At half-past 7 in the morning our skirmishers opened fire upon the rebel line, which was as vigorously returned upon the left and left centre. The enemy, however, did not seem disposed to attack with their main line, after the fearful slaughter and repulse that Hooker administered to them last night. . It was not until nine or ten o'clock in the morning that the Twentieth corps arrived from the right, and got into position on Stanley's left. The Twenty-third corps was immediately withdrawn from the right of the line and thrown in on the left. As our line was nearly fourteen miles long, these necessary changes occupied nearly the entire morning, so that mid-day arrived ere we were ready to make the assault on the enemy's works.

Hooker threw forward Butterfield's division against the enemy's strongest position, supported by Williams' and Geary's divisions, and the battle opened vigorously on both sides. Hooker fought for three or four hours and made steady headway, carrying line after line of rifle-pits, until Butterfield's division encountered a lunette of formidable size. Several attempts were made to carry it, and capture its four guns, which were pouring a destructive fire into our lines, but the attempt was futile. The troops fought with great desperation, but as often as they advanced upon the lunette the terrific volleys of musketry from the enemy in the fortification hurled them back in confusion. At last Butterfield charged forward and took a position under the protecting works of the fort, so close to the guns within that they could be touched by the men's hands. In the effort to gain this unexposed position, the contest was a bloody one, Geary's division supporting Butter-field. Ward's brigade, which were participating in their first battle, fought with marked determination, and contributed much to secure the position.

After vain efforts to capture the lunette, from which the enemy poured into our ranks grape, canister, and sharpnel, Hooker's forces gave up the unequal contest, and during the balance of the day lay under the breastworks protected from the enemy's fire, and picking off every rebel who showed himself above the works. Darkness found him in this position, and he at once matured plans for capturing the works by strategy, under cover of the night. The pioneers were brought up; the ends dug out of the works, and the guns drawn out by the aid of ropes, under a destructive fire from the occupants of the works, who were driven out or captured, as our troops swarmed in through the opening in overwhelming numbers. The guns were four twelve-pound brass pieces; a number of battle-flags, including those of the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-fifth Alabama, were captured, with over two hundred prisoners. Prisoners report General Walthall (rebel) killed, and General Tucker wounded.

The losses in Hooker's corps were very heavy, especially in the repeated charges upon the enemy's works. Butterfield lost about five hundred; Geary one hundred; and Williams' division about one hundred and fifty, making Hooker's loss about seven hundred and fifty in the battle of the afternoon. The Twenty-third

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