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[24] bushes and the orders of the officers, as they strove to preserve the alignment of the regiments advancing through the woods to our assault, could be distinctly heard, and told of the approach of the enemy still concealed by the heavy brush.

Let us see who it was that was coming so steadily and cautiously to our attack.

During the affair in front of the railroad, which I have just described, General Kearney, of Heintzelman's corps, had been ordered to the support of Sigel, and had arrived upon the ground, and some of his regiments had probably taken part in that fight, as Schurz reports that two small regiments sent to his support had slipped in between the two brigades. But, however that may be, Kearney was now in our front, ready for action, and Sigel had written, requesting him to attack at once with his whole force, as Longstreet, who was expected to reinforce Jackson during the day, had not yet arrived upon the battle-field, and it was hoped to gain decisive advantages before his arrival. Kearney seems to have found difficulty in getting into position on his right (our left), and he had to request Schurz to shorten his front and condense his line by drawing his right nearer to his left, so as to make room for him on his right. Orders were given Colonel Schimmelfenning accordingly. Schurz having seen the letter of Sigel to Kearney, ordered a general advance of his whole line, which he claims was executed with great gallantry, ‘the enemy,’ he says, ‘yielding everywhere before us.’1

Is this not a little news to you and me, my comrades? Captain Shooter, with the four companies of the First, after some very sharp skirmishing, in which we again lost some very valuable men, did fall back, as he was expected to do, having developed the line of attack, but except this, I do not know of any yielding anywhere on our line. Certain it is, they left us where they found us—behind the railroad cut.

And now began the really terrific work of the day, which ended only with the day itself From the dense growth which shielded the enemy from our view, they poured in upon us a deadly fire. Our men had seldom better direction for their aim than the bushes from which the fire came. The enemy dared not cross the railroad cut, though in superior force to ours, and, after vainly endeavoring to force us from our position by their fire, they were compelled themselves

1 Rebellion Records, volume XII, part 2, page 298.

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