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[205] line were negroes, who could not stand the rebel yell and cold steel, and in order to get out of the way, threw their guns down and broke for the rear. The next line were white men, and so great was their desire to keep the negroes in front of them as a sort of breastwork, they lost sight of us until we were only a short distance from them, and I believe every shot took effect, as they were as thick in the breastworks as they could stand, and it was almost impossible to miss a man; but the Yanks were determined we should not have it all our way, and before we reached the breastworks they poured a volley into us, and about one-half of our little brigade went down. Notwithstanding all this, we pushed to the front, and reaching the ditch, in we went with empty muskets, depending on the bayonet and breech of the gun, and a regular hand to hand encounter took place. The scene that follows beggars description: our men would drive the bayonet into one man, pull it out, turn the butt and knock the brains out of another, and so on until the ditch ran with blood of the dead and dying. So great was the slaughter that Lieutenant-Colonel William H. Steward, of the Sixty-first Regiment, in command, and myself, of the Forty-first, had to make a detail to pile up the dead on the side of the ditch to make room so we could reinforce to the right or left, as occasion might require.

The Yanks fought bravely to maintain the foothold they had gained, but the powers of the Southern soldier were too much for them at that particular time, knowing as we did, that if they succeeded in carrying out their designs, our friends in the city would fare but common, and with us it was to do or die; and in an incredibly short time the breastworks to the left of the Crater for some distance occupied by the enemy were taken back and hostilities for a few moments ceased, but the end is not yet, the breastworks to the right of the Crater were still in the enemy's hands, and General Lee said they must be taken back. About that time, the Georgia Brigade was on hand, and General Mahone called on them to perform that service. Accordingly the line was formed, and when the command was given they started as gallantly to the front as any set of men could, but

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