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[88]

The awful explosion.

Captain George L. Killmer, of Marshall's Brigade, says: ‘The awful explosion, when it came, confused our men more than it did the Confederates, except the few Confederates who were blown up. We were in a state of expectancy, awaiting orders, when suddenly the ground rocked under foot and an immense mass of earth, timbers, cannon and soldiers in gray, enveloped in dust and powder smoke, leaped into the air, and hung there, as it seemed, ready to fall and bury our lines in the ruins. Hundreds shrunk back, appalled and unmassed. Colonel Elisha C. Marshall, who was also colonel of my regiment, sprang upon the wall in front, and waving a signal, shouted “Forward.” Officers and soldiers, to the number of a couple of hundred, joined him instantly, climbing the barrier by the help of bayonets and upon one another's shoulders. Without looking to see how many followed, the party dashed forward to the pit, and there found a great hole encircled by a wall made of the falling earth and debris. We struck the left flank of the breach and planted our flag there.’

Then after describing intervening events, Captain Killmer says:

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