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[273] open fields which presented no natural line of resistance. Sheridan's plan was to push them off the crests by a turning movement of our right, and then, when they were doubled up on the pike, sling his cavalry at them across the Middletown meadows. With a solemn tranquillity of demeanor our infantry rose from the position where it had been lying, and advanced through tile forest into the open ground beyond. There was a silence of suspense; then came a screaming, crackling, humming rush of shell; then a prolonged roar of musketry, mingled with the long-drawn yell of our charge; then the artillery ceased, the musketry died into spattering bursts, and over all the yell rose triumphant. Every thing on the first line — the stone walls, the advanced crest, the tangled wood, the half finished breastworks — had been carried. The first body of rebel troops to break and fly was Gordon's Division, the same which had so perseveringly flanked us in the morning, and which was now flanked by our own first division of the Nineteenth Corps.

After this there was a lull in the assault, though not in the battle. The rebel artillery re-opened spitefully from a new position, and our musketry responded from the crest and wood which we had gained. Sheridan dashed along the front, re-organizing the line for a second charge, cheering the men with his confident smile and emphatic assurances of success, and giving his orders in person to brigade, division, and corps commanders. He took special pains with the direction of our first division, wheeling it in such a manner as to face square toward the pike, and form nearly a right angle to the enemy's front. Now came a second charge upon a

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