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[180] and Captain Hudgin to go forward and make a bold and aggressive movement before discovery was made of Morrison's position, and to take the chances of success despite existing orders. It was a desperate dash against desperate odds; it was a rush for victory against orders; it was a crash for country regardless of censure or consequences.

Quickly the word went down the line, ‘Prepare for fight.’ A moment more the rebel yell rang out on the evening air, followed by the rattling roll of musketry. Morrison, Hudgin, and the brave officers of the Fifteenth regiment led the charge, and for fifteen or twenty minutes the battle raged.

Thin woods and open fields lay between the assailants and the breastworks a distance of some 500 or 600 yards, so that if the Federals sheltered behind the fortifications in their rear almost certain destruction awaited the thin and slender line of Confederates that ventured to attack a full line of battle, though the former, it is true, were unprepared for attack.

As the men rushed forward to the assault it was indeed a moment of intense and awful anxiety.

Will the Federals flee behind their own breastworks about half a mile away, or will they rally behind tile Confederate works in their immediate rear and stay the skirmish-line as it advances? The latter seemed most reasonable and rational, because they had numbers and arms and position to secure success. Cool courage on the part of the Federals would have enabled them to kill and capture every man in Morrison's command.

There was no time for timid men to think. It was short, sharp and decisive work. The enemy was surprised and demoralized at such a desperate venture.

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E. M. Morrison (3)
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