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[180] dying. Many crossed the ditch, and some leaping upon the parapet met death at the very muzzles of the Confederate rifles. The Federal commander either did not remember the existence of the creek upon the right flank of the fort, or did not estimate the short distance between it and the sea at this point; therefore, as the assaulting columns pressed forward, they became crowded into masses which created confusion and greatly augmented the loss of life. Human courage could no longer withstand the frightful blasts of the artillery, which, handled by Simkins with consummate skill and rapidity, well nigh blew them to pieces. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, leaving half their number killed and wounded on the field, broke and fled in confusion, and falling upon and forcing their way through the ranks of the advancing column threw it into confusion, and the entire brigade rushed to the rear completely routed. The loss of life was terrible; the brigade commander, General Strong and Colonel Chatfield, of the Sixth Connecticut, were mortally wounded; Colonel Shaw, of the Fifty-fourth Masachusetts, was killed outright, besides large numbers of other officers killed and wounded. In the meantime the Confederate fire was incessant and destructive, and a general repulse seemed so imminent that General Seymour saw the necessity of immediate support, and he accordingly dispatched Major Plympton of his staff to order up Putnam with his supporting brigade. To his amazement Putnam positively refused to advance, claiming that he had been directed by General Gilmore to remain where he was. Finally, after a disastrous delay, and without orders, says General Seymour, this gallant young officer, who could not stand idly by and see his class mates and intimate friends cut to pieces, led forward his brigade and fiercely assaulted the southeast angle of the fort. He was received with a galling fire for the first brigade having been repulsed, his approach was enfiladed by the centre and both flanks of the fort, which swept the glacis and ditch in front of that angle with terrible effect. It will be remembered that this southeast bastion had been left unguarded by the failure of the Thirty-first North Carolina to man the ramparts there. Notwithstanding the withering fire with which he was received, this intrepid officer crossed the ditch, which had become filled with sand, and several hundred of his brigade poured into the southeast bastion. Heavily traversed on three sides this salient secured to these troops a safe lodgement for a time. Seeing the advantage gained by Putnam, General Seymour had just sent an order to General Stevenson

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Truman Seymour (3)
H. S. Putnam (3)
G. C. Strong (1)
Stevenson (1)
John C. Simkins (1)
R. G. Shaw (1)
Plympton (1)
Q. A. Gilmore (1)
J. L. Chatfield (1)
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