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[36]

Two highways run out of Baton Rouge—one above and one below,—on each side of the town; about a mile and a half a road cuts these two roads at right angles, while extending from road to road is a large cemetery, facing towards the city and looking directly into the camps of the Indiana, Massachusetts, and Connecticut regiments. The front of this cemetery is fenced with paling, while the cemetery is thickly strewn with large tombs and overgrown with high rank weeds. This was the position of the rebel center. Our center was composed of the Indiana 21st, the Massachusetts and Connecticut, drawn up on the opposite side of the roads, and not more than forty-five rods distant. The rebel right approached through corn-fields and over a rolling country, attacked with great impetuosity the 14th Maine's camp and drove them out, burning and pillaging the camp in a few minutes. The 14th Maine rallied, and, supported by the Massachusetts and Nims' Battery, returned to the attack and drove the enemy back with great slaughter.

The fiercest part of the conflict, at this tide of the battle, occurred before and within a house which the rebels obstinately determined to get possession of. The most conspicuous of the rebels at this place was a huge negro, armed and equipped with musket, knapsack and uniform; he led the rebels, and met his death at the hands of one of our men. Pressed back by our left, and our ground regained, the battle raged in front with desperate fierceness. So silently did the rebels approach, and so well were they concealed, that they were in the cemetery and drawn up in battle array without our knowing it. With a yell they rushed up to the fence, dashed through it and across the road, bearing everything before them. At one time the opposing forces were hand to hand, and our handful of men were driven out of their camps and back into the town; but, rallied on every hand by their officers, and the cool daring of General Williams, assisted by the gunboats that began to fire shell on each

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Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (1)
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Zebadiah Williams (1)
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