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[266] A. P. Hill and Heth called and examined the fort and its garrison, and gave some instructions to our officers. About eight or nine o'clock A. M. General Walker called and we were ordered out and formed on the right of the fort, towards Hatcher's Run, the order being given to deploy as skirmishers and charge the federal pickets, which was accomplished; having driven the Yanks as far back as a farm, on which was a two-story dwelling, in which a good many United States pickets had taken shelter, and for a time the exartillerists tried their hands as sharpshooters. The order was then given to retreat into the fort. This was accomplished in a somewhat hasty manner, for the Yanks were getting very thick and the situation hot, to say the least.

On our return to the fort we found two guns of the Third Company of Washington Artillery, two three-inch Parrot guns, which had been stationed in our front, but not having the horses, they were rolled by hand into the fort. They occupied the position looking towards Hatcher's Run. We were also re-enforced by a portion of General Harris' gallant Mississippians, the 12th and 16th Regiments, about 150 men, under command of Colonel Duncan. The writer happened to be at what was considered the weakest part of the fort, in the angle where the stockade and earthworks met. He being a small man, was ordered to go elsewhere, so he took his position between the two guns. The assault began on our right flank. They came in three lines of battle, one behind the other, with their flags floating in the center, but it was only after the fourth charge that they succeeded in entering the ditch in front of the fort. For some time we could hear the federal officers ordering their men on the top of the fort; the officers several times got on the parapet, with their colors in their left hands and their revolvers in their right, and demanded of us to surrender; but many of those brave officers were slain before we turned our musket butts up. It was then that the brave and gallant No. 4 on the gun nearest the stockade, which was double-shotted with canister, was ordered by the federals, who had by then swarmed on the parapet, not to pull the lanyard which he held, but quick as a flash the brave Berry, of the Third Company, Washington Artillery, shouted back, ‘Pull and be d —— d.’ Useless to say that all in front of that gun were swept off, and our gallant artilleryman was shot down at once, and thus the heroic Berry sold his life dearly.

After the garrison had surrendered, the federals were so elated at our capture that they discharged their muskets in the air, which

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Sue H. Walker (1)
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