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[126] the head by musket balls. Others seeing the fate of their comrades, held their pieces at arm's length and fired downwards, while others, poising theirs vertically, hurled them down upon the enemy, pinning them to the ground. The struggle lasted but a few seconds. Numbers prevailed, and, like a resistless wave, the columns poured over the works, quickly putting hors de combat those who resisted, and sending to the rear those who surrendered. Pressing forward and expanding to the right and left, the second line of entrenchments and the battery fell into our hands. The column of assault had accomplished its task. The enemy's lines were completely broken, and an opening had been made for the division that was to have supported, but it did not arrive.

Reinforcements arriving to the enemy, our front and both flanks were assailed. The impulsion of the charge being lost, nothing remained but to hold the ground. I accordingly directed the officers to form their men outside the works and open fire, and then rode back over the field to bring forward the Vermonters in the fourth line, but they had already mingled in the contest and were fighting with a heroism which has ever characterized that elite brigade. The 65th N. Y. had also marched gallantly to the support of their comrades and was fighting stubbornly on the left.

Night had arrived, our position was three-quarters of a mile in advance of the army, and without prospect of support was untenable.

Meeting General Russell at the edge of the wood, he gave me the order to withdraw. I wrote the order and sent it along the line by Captain Gordon of the 121st N. Y., in accordance with which, under cover of darkness the works were evacuated, the regiments returning to their former camps.

Our loss in this assault was about one thousand

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