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Two notable charges.

The advance charge was made by Colonel Allabach's brigade, closely followed by the First Brigade, under General Tyler, the whole commanded in person by General Humphreys. The aggregate number of the two brigades engaged in this assault was about 4,000 men, and fully one-fourth of them were numbered among the dead and wounded, although neither was in action over thirty minutes. Hopeless as it seemed to the soldiers who made this assault with the officers in advance of the men, either to gain the heights or to hold them if gained, these Pennsylvania brigades started with hearty cheers to face the grim reaper of death. Next to Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, it was the most bloody and disastrous assault of our Civil War.

We are not here to discuss the wisdom of army commanders. Only what were accepted as supreme military necessities made Pickett's charge at Gettysburg and Humphrey's charge at Fredericksburg, but they both stand in history, and will ever so stand, as high-water marks of the heroism of American soldiery.


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