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[372] hurled brigade after brigade through the breach thus effected, until the entire place was alive with them.

Three brigades (Wright's Georgia, Mahone's Virginia and Saunders' Alabama [Wilcox's old], of our [Mahone's] division) were ordered to move down quickly and retake the works at all hazards. We moved down and took our position in a little ravine in front of the works held by the enemy. The artillery from both sides was being used most vigorously. Soon Mahone's brigade and Wright's were ordered to charge the breastworks on the left of the fort. These two brigades charged in gallant style, and after a severe fight succeeded in retaking the breastworks on the left of the fort. As soon as they were safely lodged in the works the prisoners commenced coming back, and to our great astonishment a large number of negroes, as black as the ace of spades, with cartridge boxes on and in every sense of the word equipped as soldiers.

After the works on the left of the fort were recaptured, we, of Wilcox's old brigade, were then ordered to storm the fort. Everything was fully explained to the officers and men. Desperate as it seemed, when the command ‘Forward’ was given all moved up the hill as though we were on drill. As soon as we arose the hill we saw the fort, about two hundred yards distant. The ground was perfectly level.

The fort was literally covered with Yankees and bristled with bayonets as the quills of the ‘fretful porcupine.’ As soon as we became visible the infantry and the artillery opened on us a most destructive fire, then the command ‘Charge’ rang out along the line, and on we went like a terrible avalanche and as fast as possible, no man being permitted to fire until he reached the fort. In the fort the enemy were crowded, but undaunted by numbers, our boys commenced scaling the sides of the fort. The enemy kept up such a fire that it seemed like a second Vesuvius belching forth its fire. Then came the ‘tug of war.’ The enemy have shouted: ‘No quarters!’ We then gave them what they justly deserved. There we were on one side of the walls of the fort and the Yankees on the other. The fight was the bloodiest of the war considering the numbers engaged. We fought with muskets, with bayonets, with rocks, and even with clods of dirt. The fight lasted in this manner for near half an hour, when they called for quarters, and

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John W. Wright (2)
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