Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 39.djvu/222

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210 Southern' Histokical Society Papers.

no capture, and no Confederate works with troops behind them were captured this day. About 8 A. ]\I., attention was attracted to the commotion of the enemy in and near the old deserted works, apparently about to advance, and the pickets and skirm- ishers of the Confederates were cahed in. All were astonished at this and could not believe a serious attempt would be made to assail such a line as Ewell had, in open day, over such a distance. Every one on the Confederate side felt that such an attack was reckless, and hopeless in the extreme. So when it was found that a real assault was to be made, it was welcorried by the Confederates as an opportunity to pay ofif old scores. The Confederate artillerymen were ordered to take their places at the guns and to fire on those troops first with solid shot through the woods and with shells through the cleared open- ings. Soon the enemy's guns opened on ours, but scarcely a response was made to them from us on this front, his purpose with the masses of Federal infantry in view showing clearly where our fire should be concentrated. This infantry in the column formations as they are described in the reports, stepped out rapidly, with their muskets at a "right shoulder shift," in successive lines, apparently several brigades deep, well aligned and steady, without bands, but with flags flying, a most magni- ficent and thrilling sight, covering Ewell's whole front as far as could be seen. As this host got well under way orders were given to change fire to case shot (Schrapnel) and shells. By this time the assaulting columns' increased their gait to a double quick, and on they came, shells and case (Schrapnel) shot tear- ing great gaps in their ranks, the roaring guns and wavering lines of Federal infantry still advancing, the scene was won- derfully inspiring to the Confederates.

Orders were given to be ready with canister, the enemy still advancing, but shaky. Soon his front columns came within canister range, and under this fire of combined canister and case (Schrapnel), he could not stand, and broke in confusion, leaving the field in disorder and his dead in front of our works. A5 soon as the Federal infantry had been driven from the