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The Forty-Ninth Va. Charges at ‘right-shoulder Shift.’

I brought our regiment (the Forty-ninth Virginia), to a ‘right-shoulder shift arms’ to prevent firing and breaking ranks during the charge and pushed at a run through this maelstrom of death and carnage. The men who usually charged with the ‘rebel yell’ rushed on in silence. At each successive fire, great gaps were made in our ranks, but immediately closed up. We crossed that field of carnage and mounted the parapet of the enemy's works and poured a volley in their faces. They gave way, but two lines of battle, close in their rear, rose and each delivered a volley into our ranks, in rapid succession. Some of our killed and wounded fell forward into the enemy's trenches—some backward outside the parapet. Our line already decimated was now almost annihilated. The remnants of the regiment formed and sheltered behind a fence partly thrown down (to shoot over) just outside of the parapet, and continued the unequal struggle, hoping for support that never came.


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