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A great artillery duel.

The sun rose brilliantly, and the great artillery duel continued to rage in all its grandeur and fury. An occasional shell from a Blakely gun would swoop down in our camp and ricochet down the line to our right, forcing us to hug closely the fortifications for protection.

Soon after sunrise ‘CaptainTom Bernard, courier for General William Mahone, came sweeping up the lines on his white charger [79] to the headquarters of our brigade commander, Colonel D. A. Weisiger.

Then the drums commenced rolling off the signals, which were followed by the command ‘fall in’ and hurried roll calls.

A large part of General Lee's army were on the north side of the James river, no reserves were at hand, and the line of fortifications on the south had to be unmanned to meet the emergency.

So it fell to the lot of three brigades of Mahone's division to make the

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