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from McCartney's battery (First Massachusetts), but when they emerge the enemy is gone.
Wright's valiant Georgians circle Downman's Hill, face to the front, and, like a cyclone, rush upon the bristling foe; straight they make for Rigby's battery, scattering the covering regiment; but let Rigby speak: “The rebels attacked us with an overwhelming force, and compelled our troops to retire. I poured shell and shrapnel into them; they advanced steadily, and when about two hundred yards from the battery the regiment in my front broke and ran into the battery, frightening my horses, creating so much confusion that I could do nothing." (J. A. Rigby, captain Battery A, Maryland Artillery.) So Rigby limbered to the rear and followed Brooks.
Hoke's splendid North Carolinians and Hays's gay Louisianians were filling their canteens from the rippling Hazel when the three cannons fired;
quickly they form; spiritedly they climb Guest's Hill, “surging forward like the waves of ocean against a shaggy rock,” they dash full upon Neill's brigade. General Neill, in his report, speaks thus: “The whole of Longstreet's corps [none of Longstreet’s corps; Hoke, Hays and Gordon only] attacked my right and front,massing large numbers of his infantry in the ravines, which were held by their troops. After losing about one thousand men, I was obliged to retire,my regiments being unable to cope with the overwhelming numbers.”'
But behind Neill's was another line. Lying low upon the hill and hid by its mantling brow, Grant's brigade of Vermonters expectant wait. When Hays's and Hoke's men are but twenty paces from them they rise “fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell,” then, above the din of war, was heard the command, “Fire!” A sheet of flame burst forth dense with death, tearing our serried ranks to shreds. Our men
recoil. General Hoke was badly wounded.
“No thought of flight, none of retreat, that argued fear, each on himself relied.” Quick rallying, they form again in Guest's field, and, “like a returning tide,” rush tumultuous on the blazing foe.
Now Gordon, advancing his sturdy Georgians, galls the flank of the stubborn foe, who retires slowly, muttering lead!
Night falls and the battle ceases.
Grant, in his report, says: “The Vermont regiments remained firm and unbroken, closely hugging the crest and literally presenting a wall of fire. The enemy rushed desperately forward and nearly gained the crest, when the regiments suddenly rose and gave him a terrible volley; the ground in our front was literally covered with the rebel dead and wounded. The enemy rallied, however, pressing farther to the left, threatening to cut us off from the river, making desperate at
tempts to force our left. Darkness now came on and the firing ceased.”
GENERAL SEDGWICK'S RETREAT
“By the bridges at and below Fredericksburg, General Sedgwick and a part of General Couch's corps (First and Second brigades of Gibbon's division), some twenty-five thousand men with their artillery, passed over to the attack.
"By the two bridges at Banks' Ford, our left wing, under General Sedgwick, of about seventeen thousand men and their trains, and fifty-five pieces of artillery, repassed the river in about forty-five minutes, between two o'clock and three o'clock A. M. on the 5th (May, 1863).”_B. W. Benham, Brigadier, commanding Engineers.
These were the three closing acts of a great drama. "The Campaign of Chancellorsville" was an epic poem,