column had approached to almost an arm's length of the guns. when a volley, steady and accurate, was poured into the ranks of the foremost column. It broke and ran, having been fearfully cut up. The second column advanced over the bodies of their comrades, and endeavored to achieve what they failed to do. A second volley from the gallant Tennesseeans filled the ground with dead and wounded, and imitating the example of those before them, they fled, but not before two fresh regiments had been thrown forward under cover of their fire, and made to lie behind the four guns of Corbett's battery, at the same time planting their colors on the parapet of the redoubt. In the meantime the Yankees had advanced on Stewart's line, and made a desperate attempt to take it by storm. Clayton's and Baker's brigades of Alabamians, aided by Stovall's and Gibson's, received them with great gallantry, and poured a terrible fire into the Yankee advance. They, however, continued to move forward, and approached very near the line, when Clayton's brigade gave them another well-directed fire, and they foil down the slope of the hill until out of range of our guns. This charge was desperately made, and the masses of the enemy's dead that lay piled up before Stewart's line attested the courage and determination of our foes. A pause of nearly three-quarters of an hour elapsed, broken only by the incessant fire of the Yankee sharpshooters, who, mounted on trees and other prominent positions, made it dangerous for any one to walk erect along the line. At the expiration of the time named, a fresh column of Yankees advanced upon our lines, and in a few seconds Hindman's, Stevenson's, and Stewart's men were pouring in a well-directed fire. A second time they broke and ran, but still leaving the two regiments mentioned before, which, being ensconced behind the redoubt, were safe from the volleys poured on their comrades, although they suffered terribly from our sharp-shooters. Two charges had been repulsed, with heavy loss to the enemy, and the ammunition of the Twenty-sixth Tennessee had been half expended, when fresh columns of Yankees were seen forming in line of battle opposite Brown's works. The charges on Hindman and Stewart, who were on the right and left of Stevenson, had become feebler, while the movements of the Yankees notified the last-named officers that his division would have to bear the brunt of the engagement. Reynolds' brigade had been previously ordered up, and were lying on the ground about fifteen yards in the rear of General Brown's line, the officers with difficulty restraining the men from entering the breastworks before they were called for. The Yankee column made the third charge, and was again repulsed with heavy loss. As rapidly as I can relate it, another fresh column was thrown forward and made the fourth charge. Several volleys were thrown into their ranks by the brave Tennesseeans, and a fourth time they broke and re treated in disorder to the ridge on which their forces were massed. It was now past three o'clock in the afternoon, and in these two hours of fighting Brown's brigade had expended forty rounds of ammunition, each man. Reynolds' brigade was now ordered to relieve them, and giving a yell, the Fifty-fourth Virginia entered the evacuated works of the Twenty-eighth North Carolina and Sixty-third Virginia. Neither Hindman nor Stewart had need of their reserves, as the charges of the enemy, though made with vigor and gallantly repulsed by these men, were neither as numerous nor determined, and were intended to cover their design on Stevenson, and to prevent the reserves of these divisions from being sent to his support. The three regiments named above took their positions on the line, and General Brown's men retired about two hundred yards to the rear, for the purpose of receiving a fresh supply of ammunition. General Pettus brigade of Alabamians had been ordered up a few minutes before, General Stevenson perceiving the enemy were determined in their purpose to carry his line. The gallant brigade was formed in two lines of battle, behind the Virginians and North Carolinians, about twenty yards apart, and remained there lying close to the ground, for the moment their services were wanted. At a quarter from four o'clock a fifth charge was made, the enemy throwing forward fresh troops every time. The charge was very heavy, and was made with spirit. As the long and close column of Yankees moved swiftly through the winding ravine, every face assumed a rigid expression of unyielding determination, while the hearts of those looking on the movements of the enemy almost ceased their vibration with anxiety. It was certain from the large numbers of the enemy that this would be the heaviest charge yet made, and extreme anxiety for success was manifested. At last, with a prolonged cheer, they rushed upon our works. A volley — a terrible, death-dealing volley — was poured into their ranks, and a loud and enthusiastic yell of defiance rang out from the lips of the Virginians and North Carolinians. This was more than the men of Brown's and Pettus' brigades could withstand, and though threatened with death by their officers, numbers of the gallant Tennesseeans and Alabamians had entered the pits to assist in repelling the charge. But their services were not needed. Almost as quick as lightning, another volley had been already poured into the enemy's line of battle, and they turned and retreated in disorder to the cover of their ridge, followed by the derisive shouts of their victors. The fifth charge had now been repulsed, but still the enemy evinced neither the desire nor the intention to abandon their efforts to carry our works. They had almost ceased their attacks on Hindman, but continued to assault Stevenson's and Stewart's lines with the greatest
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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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