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[259] salient of the north-west bastion, the point assailed. Two of these were blown into the ditch by our fire; the other, that of the Fifty-first Georgia regiment, was heroically captured by First Sergeant Francis W. Judge, company K, who, on seeing it, sprang on the ramparts, and seizing it and its bearer, brought them into the fort. From both flanks of the bastion a terrific and deadly fire was poured into the enemy's ranks, and hundreds fell wounded, others to rise no more. The enemy was repulsed and driven from the work, hundreds of prisoners were taken, and hundreds killed and wounded; the carnage was fearful, and cannot be described; the eye dimmed and the heart sickened at the sight.

Every man had forty rounds of ammunition when the assault was made, and I furnished them with twenty additional rounds each while the action was in progress; there could not have been less than fifty rounds per man consumed. Besides the stands of colors captured on the ramparts, my command is entitled to be credited with a large share of the captured arms and accoutrements, with a large number of prisoners.

The casualties were few, wonderfully few, and must be accounted for by the cool and careful manner in which the officers and men moved themselves. Had the officers been less careful, and allowed the men to expose themselves unnecessarily, the consequences might have been fearful. It is pleasing, and it affords me unmingled gratification to be able to record the gallant conduct of every officer and man in the command; I would be doing myself and them an injustice did I fail to do so.

Numerous instances of individual heroism were noticeable, but it would be invidious to mention names when all behaved with so much bravery.

I cannot close without paying a tribute to the good conduct and cheerful demeanor of the men, all throughout this trying time, on short rations, and continued duty by night and day. They never complained, but, on the contrary, have performed every duty, and suffered the privation and exposure without a murmur.

Subjoined is a list of casualties.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Wm. S. Montgomery, Captain Commanding Regiment.

Twenty-third, private W. J. Coyle, wounded in left forearm. Twenty-fourth, Malcolm Sinclair, head. Twenty-fifth, Lieutenant Charles Watson. Privates Henry Pikel, thigh; Pat. Carlin, thigh. Sergeants Thomas Denham, killed; Robert Atherly, killed; privates, John Burgess, killed; David Schultz, killed. Sergeant Alfred Luce, wounded in the head; privates, Robert Paterson, thigh; Roderick McKenzie, shoulder; James Mitchell, breast; Wm. Smith, head.

Knoxville, Dec. 2.
Seventeen days of siege. We have no butter, chickens, eggs, vegetables, or other luxuries of that kind, and have only one quarter rations of coffee, but so far we have had plenty of pork, beef, flour, and meal. Every one is confident, and the best of spirits exist among all classes, citizens and soldiers. Up to last Saturday, an assault has been a matter of dread by many; but since the terrible storming of Fort Sanders on that memorable morning, and its disastrous and bloody results, even assaults have lost their terrors. The rebels seem still to surround us, and their pickets are quite as strong and vigilant as ever, but no demonstration of a serious nature has been made by them since Sunday. We are in the dark as to the rebel movements altogether, and can but theorize upon the little we know. I confess I am a subscriber to the proposition that places Longstreet in the position of the gentleman who caught the Tartar, having invested, threatened, and besieged Knoxville, in so far as he was able. He is now more anxious concerning a method of escape, and is doubtless straining every nerve to accomplish so desirable a result. Nevertheless, we are told to hold Knoxville at every hazard by a man who seldom gives an order without an object, and thus far we have done so. We could rally from our works and ascertain more of Longstreet, but he might not be so much gone off as we think, and we can afford no unusual risks; so we watch the pickets day and night, and every time we see a rebel head we shoot at it, and they generally return the compliment. As these memoranda of current events may probably never reach you, and might reach the enemy, I make no details. If no attack is made to-night, Longstreet will have irretrievably lost his opportunity, and should he have procrastinated his departure, will probably be lost himself, since we have tolerably sure evidence that we shall be relieved within thirty-six hours from our present predicament.

Dec. 3.,--No attack last night. The rebel pickets are still vigilant, but nothing further can be ascertained. We begin to wonder what he means and why he goes not. No news of our reenforcements. One rumor comes to us that Granger had an engagement with the enemy near Clinton, and captured three guns. A deserter reports a battle near Loudon, between our reenforcements and Longstreet. A party of citizens from Sevierville report no appearance of the enemy in that direction. It is rumored to-day that Lee is advancing with the bulk of his army — having abandoned Richmond and removed the capital to Montgomery. Amid all these rumors we are quietly awaiting orders. The desperate straits to which rebeldom is driven by the summer and fall campaigns, give plausibility to any story, however improbable. Should Lee be able to aid Longstreet by any concatenation of military circumstances, we will, probably, be obliged to make different arrangements. Till then, we feel quite comfortable in the hope of capturing Longstreet.

To offset the rumor, we have another quite as likely, if not more plausible, that Willcox is marching from the Gap along the valley into Virginia, to destroy their salt-works and demolish any scattering rebs that may still infest those regions.


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