deep ravine ran along our front, and no troops could have reached us without an exhausting climb down and up its steep sides. But we got no opportunity to fire at them, and had to be content to see our skirmishers and artillery shoot them down as long as they stood up and advanced. But farther down towards Fredericksburg they were making ground. They came out of the timber in great masses, and charged our infantry and artillery with fierce intrepidity. Here was posted General Howes division, White Cross men, among which were the Green Mountain boys, the Vermont Brigade. A portion of our line gave way down near Fredericksburg, and shortly there was the rush of hurrying battalions, with batteries on the dead run to strengthen the threatened point. The yelling and cheering of charging thousands. The continuous rattle of musketry, broken by heavy volleys, and the increasing roar of the artillery indicated deadly, desperate work. The fever of battle began to communicate itself to us. Our officers were eagerly scanning the point of danger. Colonel Upton among the guns of the battery giving directions and advice, seemed to be very much concerned as his practiced ear detected the movement of the battle, and as darkness began to make more distinct the flash of our guns, the quick daubs of light they belched forth at rapid intervals grew brighter, and the little streaks of light from the rifles grew more distinct, he said, “Thank God, they will have to light candles soon.” And so it was. A great peril had been passed. The Rebels had massed a picked division of troops and hurled it at “Pop” Howe's division, intending to crush his left and interpose between us and the river and make us fight our way to and across it, or surrender. But our gallant troops had successfully
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