Thursday, April 13, 2017

Diary of 1st Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, September 19, 1864 – Part 7

At noon in the midst of a perfect bedlam caused by the roar of artillery, shrieking, bursting, hurtling shells, and the voices of many officers pitched high so as to be heard above the din, giving orders, the assault was made through the thin strip of timber in our front toward Winchester when we briefly halted and laid on the ground, and then across an open field beyond the woods in all about two hundred and fifty yards where I was, midst a perfect storm of solid shot and shell, rattling musketry on my right and front, and whizzing minie balls without being able to fire a rifle at first so well was the enemy in my front protected by the lay of the ground and its rail breastworks. We persistently advanced, though, but it took a great deal of nerve and will power to do it in an open field without the slightest cover, all the time midst a perfect storm of iron and leaden hail and the cries of the wounded and dying which were disconcerting, until we drove the enemy back pell mell from its works in my front in the utmost confusion — yes, in a perfect stampede for they were old soldiers and knew when they were whipped, and when it was necessary to run with all their might to save themselves from slaughter and ignominious capture. (See Nos. 3 foreground and Nos. 5 and 6 illustrations).

No. 7 – Ravine looking southerly from where the pike crosses it in front of most of the First Brigade, Third Division, and the right of the Second Division, Sixth Corps, mentioned by Col. A. F. Walker. Only about a regiment of the enemy was here which crossed the pike to the front of the right of the Tenth Vermont, early. 

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 162-3

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