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[310] thunderstorm, the Federals, struggling on through the mud, struck the Confederate line. Two divisions assailed Stewart, in such deep order that their front only equaled that of the three brigades of Stewart's first line. ‘After opening their fire,’ says Johnston, ‘the Federal troops approached gradually but resolutely, under the fire of three brigades and sixteen field pieces, until within fifty paces of the Confederate line. Here, however, they were compelled first to pause, and then to fall back, by the obstinate resistance they encountered.’ Again and again they marched up against Stewart's men, who had the shelter of such hastily-constructed log works as Thomas employed at Chickamauga. Stovall's Georgia brigade, though without that protection, stoutly held its ground. This battlefield is remembered by Federal veterans as the ‘Hell Hole.’

Sherman changed his tactics at dawn of the next day, and pushed forward on his left flank, requiring Johnston to transfer Polk's corps to Hood's right toward Acworth. The Federals intrenched and allowed the day to pass without combat except a gallant cavalry episode on the right flank, in which Avery's Georgia regiment held its ground for some time unaided against a large body of Federal cavalry. Colonel Avery was desperately wounded in the outset, but supported by a soldier in his saddle, continued in command, and maintained the contest until relieved by a more adequate force.

Despite the rain, which was nearly incessant for seventeen days, Sherman pushed on his intrenched line toward the railroad, compelling the transfer of Cleburne's division in that direction. On the evening of the 27th, near Pickett's mill, Howard, thinking he had reached the extreme right of the Confederate line, sent the divisions of Wood and R. W. Johnson to attack. Kelly's cavalry, fighting on foot, bore the first attack, supported by Granbury's Texans and two regiments of Govan's brigade. Wheeler sent in part of Humes' cavalry, and Lowrey's

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