Shooting ramrods at the enemy.
There were thousands of captured arms around us, and during the night some of our men would shoot ramrods at the enemy, just for the fun of hearing them whiz.
One that was shot over, drew from a Federal soldier the exclamation, ‘Great God!
Johnnie, you are throwing turkey spits and stringing us together over here.
A correspondent of one the New York daily newspapers, writing a description of this battle from accounts obtained from wounded officers, who arrived in Washington
on the 2d of August, 1864, says:
Two steamers arrived here yesterday from City Point.
They brought up a large number of candidates for medical and surgical attendance.
The wounds of the wounded are ghastly.
They were inflicted by the enemy in front of Petersburg, on Saturday, the 30th of July—a day that will be memorable as witnessing the failure—the utter and disastrous failure—of the great plan that was expected to scatter or destroy the army of General Lee.
A large number of the wounded are officers who participated in the assault on the enemy's lines. * * *
Statements from such sources are worthy of attention if not full faith. * * *
At forty minutes after four the earth began to tremble.
Then a great mass of clay and debris was thrown about one hundred feet in the air.
Then a heavy sound, deep and rumbling, differing from any ever before heard by the Army of the Potomac, was borne five miles around.
For a few moments the air was thick with dust, and then the great yawning gap was visible.
The mine had done its work.
Then the artillery opened.
Never on the American continent was heard such an awful roar.
It commenced on the right and extended to the left, gun after gun joining in mighty chorus.
Gettysburg, Malvern Hill, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor—these were as nothing.
It was dreadful and unparalleled. * * *
Often have the Confederates won enconiums for valor, but never before did they fight with such uncontrollable desperation.
It appeared as if our troops were at their mercy, standing helpless or running in terror and shot down like dogs.
The charge of the enemy against the negro troops was terrific.
With fearful yells they rushed down against them.
The negroes at once ran back, breaking through the lines of white troops in the rear.
Again and again their officers tried to rally them.
Words and blows were useless.
They were victims of an uncontrollable terror, and human agency could not stop them.
Such was the testimony of the Federal
wounded of the terror and carnage of the battle!
This correspondence estimated their loss at 5,000.