General P. R. Cleburne. 267
detached line was immediately in front of Cleburne' s left and Chea- tham's right. When all was ready the " charge" was ordered. With a wild shout we dashed forward upon this line. The enemy delivered one volley at our rushing ranks and precipitately fled for refuge to his main and rear line. At this juncture the shout was raised, " Go into the works with them." This cry was taken up and vociferated from a thousand throats as we rushed on after the flying forces we had routed killing some in our running fire and capturing others who were slow of foot sustaining but small losses ourselves, until we arrived within about one hundred paces of their main line and strong- hold, when it seemed to me that hell itself had exploded in our faces. The enemy had thus long reserved their fire for the safety of their routed comrades who were flying to them for protection, and who were just in front of and mingled with the pursuing Confederates. When it became no longer safe for themselves to reserve their fire, they opened upon us (regardless of their own men who were mingled with us) such a hailstorm of shot and shell, musketry and canister that the very atmosphere was hideous with the shrieks of the messen- gers of death. The booming of cannon, the bursting of bombs, the rattle of musketry, the shrieking of shells, the whizzing of bullets, the shouting of hosts and the falling of men in their struggle for victory, all made a scene of surpassing terror and awful grandeur.
" Such a din was there, As if men fought on earth below, And fiends in upper air."
It seemed to me if I had thrown out my hand I could have caught it full of the missiles of death, and it is a mystery how any of us ever reached the works. Amid this scene General Cleburne came charg- ing down our lines to the left, and diagonally toward the enemy's works, his horse running at full speed, and if I had not personally checked my pace as I ran on foot, he would have plunged over and trampled me to the earth. On he dashed, but for an instant longer, when rider and horse both fell, pierced with many bullets, within a few paces of the enemy's works. On we rushed his men of Gran- berry's brigade and mine having mingled as we closed on the line, until we reached the enemy's works; but being now so exhausted and so few in numbers, we halted in the ditch on the outside of the breastworks, among dead and dying men both Federals and Con- federates. A few charged over, but were clubbed down with muskets