previous next

[263] Casey, having a pentagonal redoubt in which were ten guns. On each side of the redoubt were rifle-pits, which could only be reached by struggling through an abattis of from twenty to one hundred yards in width. Three Federal batteries in rear had a murderous fire upon the road and upon all the approaches to the works. The recent heavy rains had made the ground almost a quagmire. But on our gallant fellows went floundering through the mud and slush, wading through water three and four feet deep, scarcely able to advance, had there been no foe in front. But they were mown down at every step by cannon shot, shell, grape and canister; they were mown down by the musketry fire of men calmly awaiting them under the protection of earthworks and obstructions. On and on went those nameless heroes of unrecorded graves. The Fourth North Carolina regiment, with bloody loss, captured a section of artillery in the road and made way for Carter's battery, which came up to the relief of our struggling infantry. Now began that awful, that wonderful contest between five guns sinking almost to the axle at every fire against sixteen guns in position. It was a brief artillery duel, for Couch's division was coming up in massive columns to the aid of the sorely pressed Casey, and by my own express order, Carter turned his fire upon the approaching masses of infantry; every shell burst in the right place, every solid shot struck in the right place; the ranks broke and sought shelter in the woods on our right and in the abattis on our left. There was no farther advance by the Federals up the Williamsburg road after Carter turned his guns upon their infantry. All this time the sixteen guns were remorselessly pelting the five guns of the King William artillery, and his hitherto untried men were subjected to an ordeal which few veteran artillerists will stand, that of receiving, without returning, an artillery fire. But there was no flinching with these splendid fellows, and they kept steadily to their work on the infantry until their concealment in the brush enabled the King William boys to give tit for tat to the artillerists in blue. But relief now came to Carter's men for a time at least; the advance of our infantry drove Casey's men from the redoubt and the rifle pits, cut Couch's division in two, turned part of it off to join Sumner and sent the other part streaming to the rear. The fight began at one o'clock, and by three o'clock, my division, without any assistance whatever, had captured Casey's camp and earthworks, had taken ten pieces of artillery and two hundred prisoners, and had defeated or checked all the heavy reinforcements sent to Casey, at least two divisions of succoring forces. And now, for

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Williamsburg (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Casey (5)
B. F. Carter (4)
Couch (2)
Sumner (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: