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our happiness was cut short by the enemy's artillery, whose aim pursued the buggy as tenaciously as ourselves, till at last we took refuge in a deep ravine, completely screened from the keen eyes of the Yankees, who, as we completed our meal, came in for a fire of maledictions for their want of common courtesy and consideration. Thus did the day wear on to its close without any event of importance; and it becoming evident as the evening advanced that the attack would not be renewed on the 14th, we returned after nightfall once more to our short night's rest at headquarters. Things looked very little changed when, on the cold, clear morning of the 15th, we rode up to Jackson's Hill; and General Stuart deciding to remain until serious fighting should commence, we had an opportunity of having a good look at the devastations caused by the tremendous artilleryfire of the 3th. The forest was literally torn to pieces-trees more than a foot in diameter were snapped in two, large branches
shing assailants, who had run up within fifteen paces of our lines, could have survived this terrific fire long enough to do so. Many of the Federal soldiers had found death seeking shelter in the small courtyards of the houses behind the wooden plank fences surrounding them, but which, of course, offered not the slightest protection; and heaps of the corpses of these poor fellows filled the narrow enclosures. On a space of ground not over two acres we counted 680 dead bodies; and more than 1200 altogether were found on the small plain between the heights and Fredericksburg, those nearest the town having mostly been killed by our artillery, which had played with dreadful effect upon the enemy's dense columns. More than one-half of these dead had belonged to Meagher's brave Irish brigade, which was nearly annihilated during the several attacks. A number of the houses which we entered presented a horrid spectacle-dead and wounded intermingled in thick masses. The latter, in a dep
December 16th (search for this): chapter 18
Chapter 17: The events of the 14th, 15th, and 16th December. The events of December 14-16. Darkness still prevailed when we mounted our horses and again hastened to Jackson's Hill, the summit of which we reached just in time to see the sun rising, and unveiling, as it dispersed the hazy fogs of the damp, frosty winter's night, the long lines of the Federal army, which once more stood in full line of battle about half-way between our own position and the river. I could not wi16. Darkness still prevailed when we mounted our horses and again hastened to Jackson's Hill, the summit of which we reached just in time to see the sun rising, and unveiling, as it dispersed the hazy fogs of the damp, frosty winter's night, the long lines of the Federal army, which once more stood in full line of battle about half-way between our own position and the river. I could not withhold my admiration as I looked down upon the well-disciplined lines of our antagonist, astonished that these troops now offering so bold a front to our victorious army should be the same whom not many hours since I had seen in complete flight and disorder. The skirmishers of the two armies were not much more than a hundred yards apart, concealed from each other's view by the high grass in which they were lying, and above which, from time to time, rose a small cloud of blue smoke, telling that
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