Soon after he was wounded, General McLaws
observed the enemy massing a final effort, and ordered General Kershaw
to move his brigade into the cut also.
Hardly had he done so when the enemy rushed at our line; then it was that hundreds of them fell almost in front of the cut, and numbers fought their way to our lines, to be driven back in defeat.
When the last charge was made the dead and wounded were lying so thick in our front that the enemy stumbled over them in their desperation.
The enemy retired to the river and remained along the bank until the 15th, then recrossed, leaving 15,000 dead and wounded behind.
The Confederate loss did not exceed 5,000.
Looking back on the scenes of Fredericksburg
, and remembering the conduct of General Barksdale
and his men, we are forced to believe that the defense of the city was one of the greatest achievements of the war, and the behavior of the men unsurpassed by any troops in any field.
Their courage and endurance challenges comparison with any soldiers in history.
No one who did not participate in the defense of Fredericksburg
can form an idea of the terrible scenes of destruction and horror, and if hell be more dreadful than that bombardment men had better halt and consider.