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[247] When rising in his stirrups, General Gordon gave the command, ‘Forward! Guide right!’

Those two brigades had a herculean task ahead of them. Thirty thousand troops, flushed with victory, held formidable works. The brigades possibly at that time, for they had already lost heavily since the campaign opened, not more than ten thousand strong, were about to grapple with this force. To General Lee's practiced eye it must have seemed a forlorn hope. How they acquitted themselves the sequel will show.

Immediately in front of our brigade was a dense growth of old field pines. When the order came to move forward, our boys stepped briskly to the front in perfect order, and were soon lost to view in the pine thicket. It was not until we had emerged from the thicket, on the opposite side from us, that we saw the enemy. To make our position plainer, I will here state that we were moving in a somewhat oblique line to a line of works which were under construction, and extended from heel to heel of the horseshoe, which contained the works Johnson had lost; in other words it was a simple straightening of our line of battle, throwing off the horseshoe. As we emerged from the pines we came suddenly upon this inner line, and which was heavily manned by the enemy. I don't think I exaggerate when I say that the enemy poured a volley into our faces at not over twenty yards. It was then, and not till then, that the ‘rebel yell’ rose wild and clear upon the morning air. It makes my blood jump quicker as I recall that scene. Never pausing a second, our boys mounted the works. In a moment the blue and the gray were mixed in a dense struggling mass. What must have been General Lee's feelings then, as he heard the crashing volley of the enemy, the wild cheer of his boys, and then comparative silence, for the boys were too busy to yell? Soon his practiced ear could detect a receding fire, as the enemy broke in confusion and were driven across the line of the horseshoe, towards Spotsylvania. Here they followed the line of Johnson's work towards the famous ‘Bloody Angle,’ our boys in hot pursuit.

As we advanced up a long slope, the ground gradually rising towards the ‘bloody angle,’ we discovered a dense mass of the enemy formed behind a worm fence, which struck Johnson's works at right angles. Somebody got it into his head that they had surrendered, and officers dashed in amongst our men yelling, ‘Cease firing, they ’


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