close to Lee's infantry. As we came out of the woods into the open field that stretched down to Sailor's Creek, we could see the troops in our front, the 3d Division, deploying in line of battle to the right of the road and moving forward. Beyond on the opposite hillside we could see across the valley about a mile away, the enemy's line of battle formed and awaiting our attack. We instantly realized the work we had to do, and a tough job it looked to be. Rushing along we were soon in line of battle, with the 37th Massachusetts on our right and across the road along which we had come. The troops on our left had deployed first and we had to run to get into line with them, but we were on good ground and got along all right until we came into the vicinity of the creek and into the range of the enemy's fire, which now was rapid and heavy, but on account of the conformity of the ground not very destructive. Here after halting for a short time to reform we were ordered to charge, and drive the enemy from their works. Forward on a run we went as rapidly as the steep hill would permit, and in a moment we were up to, and over their slight earthworks, the occupants offering no further resistance, after emptying their guns in our faces. On our right the 37th Massachusetts did not get on as well. They were more exposed, had a farther distance to go and suffered very heavily. Colonel Olcott, finding the ground in front of him clear and the enemy holding on to the works on the right, half wheeled the 121st to the right and moved lengthwise and partly in the rear of the enemy's line and they immediately abandoned their works and surrendered. These last troops we encountered were Marines, or land sailors, and had never before been in battle. They were mostly boys and were commanded by G. W. Custis Lee who fell into our hands with a
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.