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‘ [427] heroism, paid the brave fellows the rich tribute of soldiers' cheers.’ But the harder half of the task remained. This was the ordeal of marching straight through the town, and driving out the picket marksmen who, having been forced back from the bank, had taken refuge in the houses. This most severe of trials was too much even for the other fine regiments of the brigade, and the Twentieth marched alone through the town, in column of companies, with the fire of unseen rifles wasting them in front, in rear, and on either flank, from every house, till the street was strewn with their dead, and nearly one hundred officers and men, being one in three, lay killed or wounded within fifty yards. Nevertheless, they carried the town and the bridge was laid. The brigade commander reported that he ‘cannot presume to express’ what is due to ‘the Twentieth Regiment for its unflinching bravery and splendid discipline.’ Next day the regiment held the extreme right of Couch's corps, in the murderous charge up Marye's Heights; and a cross-fire of artillery and musketry ploughed lanes in the ranks of the column. The Twentieth lost sixty of about two hundred men; and many supporting regiments broke and fled from the field. In this two days attempt on Fredericksburg, it lost one hundred and fifty-seven killed and wounded, out of the scanty three hundred and seven to which the Peninsula and Antietam had brought it down. Patten was one of the two or three officers who were in the thickest of all and escaped unhurt.

But we must, henceforth, abandon details, and hurry into lines what is worthy of volumes. The next great action for the Twentieth, and consequently for Patten, was Chancellorsville, where the division (the Second of the Second Corps) was assigned to General Sedgwick's famous column on the left, which carried Fredericksburg, stormed Marye's Heights, threatening Lee's whole army with destruction, and, when Hooker had failed like Burnside, held the line of outposts till all had recrossed the river.

Meade now succeeded, and Gettysburg was fought. In that tremendous battle the Twentieth, as usual, was under the

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Colcord Patten (2)
William Sedgwick (1)
George G. Meade (1)
R. E. Lee (1)
Joe Hooker (1)
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