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[207] Barksdale placed one of the regiments, the 6th Louisiana, Colonel Monaghan, on his right in the trenches near what was known as the Howison house, and the other four were sent to man the trenches along the crest of the hills on the left of the Plank road, where they arrived just in time to thwart the attempt to cross the canal as before stated. The enemy's guns from the north side of the river, as well as from positions on the south side above and below the town, continued to fire upon the positions occupied by Barksdale's men and our artillery, but the latter generally reserved its fire for the infantry.

An attempt to turn the right of the position by the right bank of Hazel Run was repulsed by Pendleton's artillery and every effort to get possession of the heights was baffled and repulsed until after 11 A. M., when two large attacking columns of a division each were formed, one of the divisions from below being brought up for that purpose. One of these columns moved against Marye's Hill and the other,against Lee's Hill, both at the same time, while Gibbon's division demonstrated against the heights above with storming parties in front. The column that moved against Marye's Hill, consisting of Newton's division, made its attack on the famous stone wall defended by a regiment and three companies, and its storming parties were twice broken and driven back in disorder by the gallant little band that held that position, but constantly returning to the attack with overwhelming numbers the enemy finally succeeded in carrying the work, after having sustained terrible slaughter.1 Then passing around the foot of the hill a

1 Sedgwick, in his testimony before the Congressional Committee on the War, says: “I lost a thousand men in less than ten minutes time in taking the heights of Fredericksburg.”

General Barksdale informed me that just before this final attack was made the enemy sent a flag of truce to Colonel Griffin, commanding the force behind the stone wall, asking permission to take care of his wounded lying in front under our fire, which permission was im- prudently granted by Colonel Griffin, without his knowledge, and that the weakness of the force at that point was thus discovered, and immediately afterwards the assaulting columns advanced.

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