was stationed the Guard with four guns.
No position during the war was more helplessly exposed than this.
were at first the only troops north of the river—the Sixth, under Colonel Monaghan
; Eighth, Captain Gusman
; Fifth, Capt. J. G. Angell
, and Seventh, Col. T. M. Terry
, were more or less advanced, and the Ninth, Col. W. R. Peck
, was held in the works.
Col. D. B. Penn
was in command of the brigade during the early part of the fight.
About 2 o'clock p. m. Sedgwick
's two corps began to crowd about the devoted brigade, which was soon forced to concentrate behind the breastworks, where they held their position, under artillery fire, unsupported until about 4:30, when Hoke
's brigade came over and took position to assist them.
At dusk, according to Sedgwick
, an assault was made by two brigades of Russell
There were three heavy lines, as Hays
, who was in the fort by 4 o'clock, saw them.
At the center, the first Federal line was broken and some of it captured.
But the second and third lines swarmed over his right, leaving the battery in the hands of the enemy, and while he was preparing to order the Seventh and Ninth to a desperate counter charge his center was broken.
New lines of the enemy appeared, and the Seventh and Fifth regiments and Hoke
's brigade were surrounded so as to make escape impossible.
‘My men,’ says Hays
, ‘continued at their post in the works, fighting well to the last, and it was only when the command was cut in two and the enemy in complete possession of the entire hill that any thought was entertained of falling back.
Indeed, there was no effort made by any one in my command to recross the river until nothing else remained but surrender.
Many then escaped by swimming and fording the river, and some few on the pontoon bridge.
The force under my command was small, between 800 and 900.
That of Hoke
's brigade was also small.
The force of the enemy, I am confident, could not have been less than 20,000 to 25,000.’