Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 18.djvu/30

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30 Southern Historical Society Papers.

seventy-five yards distant. The men were in it and around it in great confusion; they were lying down, seeking shelter from the fire of the enemy, which at that time had become exceedingly warm. The enemy had succeding in getting a cross fire of artillery and and musketry over the ground lying between our line and the Crater.

  • * My idea was that the gth corps would pene-

trate the enemy's line and double them up to the right and to the left, and then I was to pass out and cover the right flank of the assaulting column ; but the enemy still held possession of their lines up to within one hundred yards of the Crater when I arrived, which surprised me. It left me no alternative of going out anywhere but directly opposite the Crater, where the Qth corps went out. I could see no movement taking place beyond the Crater towards Cemetery Hill * The troops lay very thick in and around the

Crater, evidently more than could find cover from the enemy's fire. The Crater was full of men; they were lying

all around, and every point that would give cover to a man was occupied. There was no movement towards Cemetery Hill; the troops were all in confusion and lying down. I asked one or two officers there if an attempt had been made to move to Cemetery Hill. They said the attempt had been made, but it had failed. I then said, ' You ought to entrench your position here, and you have too many troops here already to intrench. There are so many troops here that they are in each other's way; they are only exposed to this terrific fire of the enemy,' which was then growing warmer and warmer, and was a very severe fire. While I was talking to an officer we had sought shelter in the Crater the head of the colored division appeared at the crest of the Crater, and the division com- menced piling over into the Crater and passing across it on the other side as well as they could. I exclaimed, ' What are these men sent in here for ? It is only adding confusion to the confusion which already exists.' The men literally came falling over into this Crater on their hands and knees; they were so thick in there that a man could not walk. Seeing that I was going to be covered up, and be entirely useless, I thought I would go out. As I had no control over these troops, and supposing there were officers in command, I said, ' If you can get these troops beyond this line so that I can get out, I will move my division right out and cover your right flank ' ; and I went back for the purpose of doing so. I met General Ord on our line at the head of my division. I said, ' Genera!, unless a movement is made out of the Crater towards Cemetery Hill, it is murder to send