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[279] have to pass from a formidable redoubt surrounded by an extensive abatis, and,—so it was rumored,—a wire fence also. There was a long line of earthworks and the rebel flags were flying as if inviting attack. There were rifle pits in front, with plenty of fires behind them and the Johnnies were seen to be moving about as they pleased.

At eight o'clock, General Warren, the Corps commander, who was to conduct the assault, passed through the lines, and, walking to the top of the ridge, carefully scanned the works with his field glass. All eyes were turned upon him for he was very much liked and the men had perfect confidence in his ability to lead them and they felt that if there was much doubt about the movement being a success, it would be abandoned. Presently he returned, mounted his horse and rode away. The report immediately spread that the general disapproved of the attempt to storm the works. It was clear to him that nearly all of the men who should be wounded in such weather would die, most of them upon the field, from the freezing of their wounds. General Meade, in company with General Warren, re-examined the ground in front and at half past 8 the men were informed that the proposed assault had been abandoned. General Warren, ordered to assault at 4 A. M. had taken the responsibility of delay until he could represent to General Meade the enormous strength of Lee's works in front, the impossibility of carrying them with any force at his disposal, and the terrible loss which must ensue.

The Nineteenth Massachusetts moved a little farther into the woods and it was but a very few minutes before fires were built and the men were enjoying steaming cups of coffee and bacon broiled in the grateful heat made by the burning rails and brush-wood. During the day the top of the ridge was visited by hundreds of men and all were astonished at the amount of labor which had been done by the rebels upon their works.

‘December 1st, 1863. Very cold this morning. Water in canteen froze near the fire. Ordered to pack up and move at a moment's notice.’

As a result of the decision of General Warren, at ten o'clock on the night of December 1st, the regiment, in heavy marching

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