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[163] regiments. The brigade commander is Brigadier-General David A. Russell, of the regular army, formerly well known to Massachusetts as the able colonel of one of her best regiments, the Seventh.

The late operations on the seventh instant were conducted on the left, at Kelley's Ford, by the First, Second, and Third corps, under command of Major-General French, and on the right, at Rappahanock Ford, by the Fifth and Sixth corps, under command of Major-General Sedgwick. In this corps, Brigadier-General Wright place, had command of the corps in Sedgwick's place, while General Russell assumed the command of the First division, vacated by General Wright.

At daybreak, on the morning of the seventh instant, this corps left its pleasant camps in and around Warrenton, and moved rapidly on toward Rappahanock Station, this division leading the corps, while this brigade had the advance in the division. After marching about six miles, we arrived at Fayetteville, where all the companies but one, of the Forty-ninth Pennsylvania volunteers, were thrown out as flankers and skirmishers. Thus we advanced, unmolested by the enemy, and arrived about noon at Rappahanock Station. Here we halted in the edge of a piece of timber, distant about a mile and a half from the river. We at once formed a line of battle, the left resting on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and the right of our division line connecting with the left of the Second division of this corps, commanded by Brigadier-General Howe. To our left, on the other side of the railroad, extended the lines of the Fifth corps. The Forty-ninth Pennsylvania, Fifth Wisconsin, and One Hundred and Nineteenth Pennsylvania formed our brigade front. The Sixth Maine were posted about a hundred paces in advance of our centre, and shortly after we had halted, the skirmishers of the Forty-ninth were relieved by five companies of the Sixth Maine, who were rapidly thrown forward to the crest of a hill half a mile to our front. About three o'clock P. M., the skirmish-line was advanced to the foot of a hill rising from the river. This hill is in reality a part of the river-bank, which here rises up so as to command the front for a mile or more, and was further strengthened by an elaborate redoubt, containing two twelve--pound Parrott guns, taken originally from Milroy at the capitulation of Winchester. On the rebel right, and near the railway, was another smaller redoubt, (also containing two three-inch ordnance guns taken from us, the one at Antietam, the other at Chancellorsville,) which crowned a hill but little lower than the one just described, from which it was distant some six hundred feet. To the enemy's left of the larger fortification, extended a long line of formidable, carefully constructed rifle-pits. These redoubts and rifle-pits were lined with troops — in short, Stonewall Jackson's old brigade was there. The famous Louisiana Tigers were here too. There was one entire brigade (five regiments) and three regiments of another brigade, all under command of General Hayes. The regiments were well dressed, finely equipped, and splendidly armed.

Now for our position. Between us and these works lay a hill, which shut them off from our view. Descending this, and passing over several hundred yards of broken country, you come to another hill, from whose crest were visible the enemy's intrenchments and the opposite side of the river. Between this second hill and the enemy lay a distance of half a mile, flat, to be sure, but trying ground for a charge. For, in the first right across the path extended a ditch twelve or fourteen feet wide, with steep banks, some six feet deep, and filled with mud and water to an average depth of three feet. Crossing this, the field was broken for some distance with stumps and underbrush, then came a smooth, clear stretch, then a road, then a dry moat, some twelve feet wide and five deep, and above you rose the strong, defying fortifications. It was indeed a position of immense strength, and well justified the rebel belief that they could hold it against our entire army. But they reckoned without General Russell and his gallant brigade — a brigade which has been his care and pride, and which he waited but this opportunity to test the metal of. Just before sunset, our skirmish-line, under command of Major Fuller, of the Sixth Maine, lay on the other side of the dry moat above described, connecting on its left with a sister regiment, the Twentieth Maine, belonging to the Fifth corps. The railway at this point deflected slightly to the left, and some of the skirmishers of the Twentieth, commanded by Captain Morrill, found themselves on our side of the railway. At this time General Russell sent word to General Wright that the works in his front could be carried by storm, and that he desired to try it. Permission was given, and General Russell at once moved forward his brigade in two lines of battle, the front line consisting of the remaining five companies of the Sixth Maine on the left and the Fifth Wisconsin on the right, and the rear line of the Forty-ninth Pennsylvania on the left, and the One Hundred and Nineteenth on the right. As senior colonel, Colonel P. C. Ellmaker, of the One Hundred and Nineteenth, was in command of the brigade this day, and well and gallantly did he sustain himself in his new and trying position.

The rear line was halted at the foot of the second hill, and the front line moved to its top. On nearing the top, the other five companies of the Sixth Maine were deployed as skirmishers, rapidly spread out, and covered their fellows in the advance, while the Fifth Wisconsin, directing themselves in solid line of battle upon the stronger and larger fort, followed closely up. As the skirmish-line was advancing. Major Fuller, who had recognized the Twentieth Maine men, said to Captain Morrill, who had formerly been a non-commissioned officer in his own regiment, and who was in command of a skirmish detail of seventy-five men, that the Sixth Maine was on his right, and asked him if he would not charge the fort in front with them. Captain Morrill at once

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