Diary of a Yankee Engineer: The Civil War Story of John H. Westervelt, Engineer, 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Corps

By John H. Westervelt; Anita Palladino | Go to book overview

Diary of an Engineer During the
Rebellion

No 47

——fort if possible, and soon we heard their yells as they came up the lines from No 6. The hill was now one complete body of fire and [shot]. The rattle of musketry, the yells of the rebs and roar of guns made it one of the most exciting moments of my life. I waited in awfull suspense the result of the first charge then the yells ceased and the musketry died away but the firing continued which meant to us that our brave boys had routed the enemy. I cannot describe my feelings during the attack nor will attempt it more than to say that I felt like rushing in among thousands of the rebs and slaying them with my single arm, But I had little time for reflection for a few minutes their infernal yells were heard in another charge but again they were repulsed. They now made charge after charge in quick succession but each time were driven back untill that side of the hill was piled up with their dead and dying when they finally gave it up for a bad job. Our loss was very few as our men were protected by the fort. Some of our men jumped outside the works and chased the rebs some distance from the fort. More of our men were lost outside the fort than in, but we captured a large number of prisoners. Had the rebs succeeded in re-capturing this fort, this expedition might have went back as it came. We lost very heavy in taking this fort. As I said before the Fort is in a very strong position but was not completed. About their charge, to avoid hitting their own men (this was to be the charge that would take the fort) as they entered the forts batterys and rams turned some of their guns in the direction of our train. One shell and several shot passed and went directly over the train cutting the branches from the trees, knocking one man from his horse and instantly killed another but singularly enough without touching a man or anything belonging to the train. The only harm done was to frighten our darkie drivers nearly

-173-

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