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[165] rifle-pit. The whole constitutes a more glorious and magnificent result than has attended the victories of entire armies in this war. And this result was obtained by a brigade whose numerical strength was but one thousand five hundred and forty-nine, officers and men, assisted by two regiments only of another brigade, and opposed to a force of more than double their number.

The success of this operation is entirely attributable to the personal bravery, labor, and supervision of the commanding General, David road A. Russell. No more modest, unassuming man serves in this army, and for himself he claims and asks no credit. Only for his regiments here, as in camp, is he solicitous; and for those regiments, the Fifth Wisconsin and Sixth Maine, composing the party that stormed the redoubt, and the Forty-ninth and One Hundred and Nineteenth Pennsylvania, who so promptly and bravely supported the storming column, is he jealous. Yet his post, as a division commander, was well to the rear of his troops. In place of that position, he accompanied the skirmish line, was with them in the assault, rode over every inch of the battle-field, did the business of a dozen aids, rode fearless and triumphant amid the storm of bullets, provided for every contingency, and when, finally, the day was ours, was perhaps the least exultant man upon that hill.

Too much praise cannot be given to any regiments engaged in this fight; but the meed of honor is more especially due to the men and officers of the Fifth Wisconsin and Sixth Maine. The help rendered by our artillery must not be forgotten. A battery of the Fifth corps, planted in a piece of woods to the left of the railway, (I am informed the battery was formerly Griffin's and afterward Hazlett's,) made some splendid shooting. On a hill running to the right of the storming party, from which hill the enemy's skirmishers were driven by Howe's skirmishers of the Second division, were planted Martin's and Waterman's batteries, and four twenty-pound Parrott guns from the reserve artillery, The rebels say that the shells from all these guns were dropped directly over their works, and were thrown with more precision than they ever before witnessed.


A rebel narrative — capture of Hoke's brigade.

at our old camps on the Rapidan, November 10, 1863.
To the Editor of the Examiner:
A history of the misfortune which befel our brigade on the afternoon of Saturday, the seventh instant, is due to the friends of the unfortunate officers and soldiers at home. I therefore beg leave to offer, for the information of such, only such information as I have been able to gather from the officers who escaped. On Friday the Louisiana brigade, under Brigadier-General Hayes, was sent across the Rappahannock to act as a picket-guard at the point where the railroad from Culpeper Court-House to Manassas crosses the Rappahannock. Whilst the enemy held this road, during the latter part of the summer, he had thrown up a line of breastworks from a point a short distance below the end of the railroad bridge, on the other side, which works faced from the river and extended some distance up, and diverging from the river. The Louisianians occupied the lower part of these works; the pontoon-bridge, the only place of crossing for infantry, being upon their left, and about one hundred yards above where the rail-bridge had been burned. At half-past 2 o'clock P. M., the long-roll was beat in our encampment, and every man fit for duty called upon to fall in — we knew not why, as we had no artillery, the day being quite windy, and our camp being about six miles from the river. The whole of Early's division was marched rapidly to the river. Brigadier-General Hoke's brigade of three regiments, the Sixth, Fifty-fourth, and Fifty-seventh, now commanded by Colonel A. C. Godwin, formerly first provost-marshal of Richmond, was ordered over the river to occupy the extreme left of the breastworks. This brigade crossed the river under a heavy fire of artillery, (for the Louisianians were already sustaining a furious fire from several batteries.) This fire from the artillery and sharp-shooters was kept up until after sunset. The other two brigades of General Early's division, commanded by Brigadier-Generals Gordon and Pegram, were held in position on this side the river. By sunset the enemy had extended his lines, in the form of a half-moon, so as to envelop our forces entirely, his right and left resting on the river above and below. At the same time he had formed three lines of attack, one behind the other, to assault the works held by General Hayes and the right of Hoke's brigade. The sun had gone down when this terrible onset was made. Although the odds were greatly against us, and we had only four pieces of artillery on that side of the river, our men received the shock as brave men only do. The Louisianians fought with a desperation. The enemy's front line was torn to pieces, and scattered in confusion. Being reenforced by the second and third lines, the enemy again advanced upon the works, and, by overpowering numbers, leaped the works into the ditch, and came to a hand-to-hand fight.

Our brave men, being thus so greatly outnumbered, were compelled to yield. Some surrendered, others rushed to the pontoon and escaped, some others, being cut off from that, plunged into the river below and swam across, a few being drowned; General Hayes escaped after he had surrendered; Colonels Monaghan and Peck swam the river. More than half this brigade are missing. The extreme right of General Hoke's brigade fought with equal valor, and shared a similar fate. The possession of the works held by the Louisianians gave the enemy possession of the pontoon-bridge, and thus cut off General Hoke's brigade from any escape, except by swimming. Our extreme right being thrown back, the brave Colonel Godwin, although surrounded on all sides, except on the river-side,

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Hoke (5)
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