Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 4.djvu/106

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

sion, reinforced by Caldwell's brigade . . . and finally the left of Kearny. . . . As soon as they [Hill's troops] passed beyond the edge of the forest, they were received by a fire from all the batteries at once, some posted on the hills, others ranged midway, close to the Federal infantry. The latter joined its musketry fire to the cannonade when Hill's first line had come within range, and threw it back in disorder on its reserves. While it was reforming, new battalions marched up to the assault in their turn. The remembrance of Cold Harbor doubles the energies of Hill's soldiers. They try to pierce the line, sometimes at one point, sometimes at another, charging Kearny's left first and Couch's right . . ., and afterward throwing themselves upon the left of Couch s division. But here, also, after nearly reaching the Federal position, they are repulsed. The conflict is carried on with great fierceness on both sides, and for a moment it seems as if the Confederates are at last to penetrate the very center of their adversaries and of the formidable artillery, which was but now dealing destruction in their ranks. But Sumner, who commands on the right, detaches Sickles' and Meagher's brigades successively to Couch's assistance. During this time, Whiting on the left and Huger on the right suffer Hill's soldiers to become exhausted without supporting them. . . . At 7 o'clock, Hill reorganized the debris of his troops in the woods . . . his tenacity and the courage of his soldiers have only had the effect of causing him to sustain heavy loss.

General Webb says of the same advance: "Garland in front (with a North Carolina brigade) attacked the hill with impetuous courage, but soon sent for reinforcements. The Sixth Georgia and the brigade of Toombs of Jones' division went to his assistance. General Hill in person accompanied the column. They approached the crest in handsome order, but discipline was of no avail to hold them there, much less to make them advance further. They soon retreated in disorder. Gordon had made a gallant advance and some progress, as also had Ripley