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[121] of the smoke-cloud, and away they go across the open field to a point near the upper redoubt, where they are again unlimbered and play away. Further back also go the skirmishers. And now for a moment the Rebels had the partial cover of the farm and out-buildings, but they saw that they had all their work to do over, and so came on again. Once more they are in the open field, exposed to both artillery and musketry, but this time the distance they have to go is not so great, and they move rapidly. There is thus another dangerous line of infantry; they are near to us, but we are also near to them. Scarcely a hundred yards were between them and the guns, when our skirmish line became silent. The lines of the Fifth Wisconsin and the Thirty-third New York formed up in close order to the right of the battery, the long range of musket barrels came level, and one terrible volley tore through the Rebel line. In a moment more the same long range came to another level, the order to charge with the bayonet was given, and away went the two regiments with one glad cheer. Gallant as our foes undoubtedly were, they could not stand that. But few brigades mentioned in history have done better than that brigade did. For a space, generally estimated at three-quarters of a mile, they had advanced under the fire of a splendidly served battery, and with a cloud of skirmishers stretched across their front, whose fire was very destructive, and if, after that, they had not the nerve to meet a line of bayonets that came towards them like the spirit of destruction incarnate, it need not be wondered at. *

This was the fight of the day—a fight that was in itself a hard-fought and beautiful battle—a battle in which each side must have learned to respect the courage of the other, and which shed glory on all engaged in it. Different statements have been made as to the enemy's force. * * * * It is probable that there were two brigades, or part of two. One of them was Early's, and comprised the Fifth North Carolina and Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiments and a Georgia regiment, and dead were found on the field in the uniform of the Lousiana Tigers. It would probably be safe to state their force at three thousand.

In General Hancock's official report he says the retiring regiment abandoned a flag, which his men found and brought in, but this was not the Twenty-fourth's colors. He also says that Captain William A. Bugh, of Company G, Fifth Wisconsin, in command of the skirmishers where the enemy emerged from the wood, behaved with great coolness and bravery, and was disarmed by the foe. Doubtless he was brave and gallant, but the Virginians were better, for I


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Winfield Scott Hancock (1)
Jubal Anderson Early (1)
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