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[277] and 20th the Washington artillery was put in position at Batteries 34 to 38.

Petersburg will be forever associated with the last act of the tragedy. Life in the faithful city under that tremendous clamor of hundreds of guns loses its sense of security. As the din goes on from day to day, Petersburg becomes like Vicksburg and all beleaguered cities. The hills, with their dry, firm soil, are honeycombed with places for shelter for the poor and timorous. Women, ignorant of tactics, grow to know them by the sound of heavy roar of cannon, friendly or hostile. Each battery is daily the center of a gallant fight, the aggregation of forts and batteries joining their voices in chorus to make up a battle such as Gettysburg, or a passage of the forts such as Farragut's. Little by little the Confederate lines are reduced in size, never wholly withdrawn. Abruptly coming to our ears without are the firing of the cannon on our extreme left and right; the smothered hum of new men arriving; the sudden blare of trumpets, and the deeper beat of drum.

On February 5th the Louisiana brigade, under Colonel Peck, marched out to where the Federals were pushing their fortified line westward at Hatcher's run. Part of Gordon's division, under Gen. C. A. Evans, they moved to the support of Pegram, and on the same day were engaged in skirmishing, Lieut. R. B. Smith, Second Louisiana, commanding the sharpshooters in front. Peck's effective force was only about 20 officers and 400 men, a heroic remnant of two brigades. Colonel Peck and his handful of men made three desperate charges against the enemy in his front, fighting for a sawdust pile in the field which was the momentary strategic point, gaining it each time, but compelled to let go for want of support. Only after firing their last round, and losing 6 men killed and 17 wounded, did they retire from the field. Lieutenant John S. Dea, Eighth regiment, acting as adjutant of the

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W. R. Peck (3)
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