foot of the hill, and Humphreys
' Twenty-fifth Mississippi.
The Washington artillery's First, Second and Fourth companies were also there to defend the hill.
About light on Sunday, May 3d, Barksdale
reported that the enemy had thrown a bridge across the Rappahannock
' brigade was immediately sent from the right to Barksdale
The enemy was seen crossing, and soon known to be Sedgwick
's whole corps.
's first assaults upon the right of our line were thwarted.
One attack in force upon Marye's hill was repulsed by Hays
Then treachery did what numbers could not. A false flag of truce came to Griffin
, colonel of the Eighteenth Mississippi.
Unsuspicious of evil, Griffin
, incautiously receiving the flag of truce, gave the bearer time to spy out the thin line of defenders.
Going back to his lines—almost before he was out of sight—heavy columns were sweeping upon the position.
It was, under the guise of peace, an absolute surprise of war. The Washington
guns had been playing havoc with the columns of the enemy in front; but while the gunners were looking forward blue lines had climbed the hill in the rear, appearing like Asmodeus before their very faces.
Everywhere in force they swarmed upon the hill among the guns, capturing the gunners.
A large part of the Eighteenth Mississippi was taken prisoner, and a company of the Washington artillery with its six guns was captured.
The enemy did not stay long on the hill They seized the guns and hastily marched their prisoners (329) off. The Washington artillery, with their uncaptured guns, retired firing to the line of the Mine
Corporal L. L. Lewis
of the Fourth company was killed at this time.
The sacrifice of the Washington
guns—the result of basest treachery—had been redeemed by the courage with which they had been defended.
Surrendered only when surrounded front and rear, no blame attached to the heroic battalion for the misfortune.