War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0106 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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Question. From what you know of affairs that day is it your opinion that the assault ought to have been successful if the troops engaged in it had performed their duty?

Answer. Going up so late as I did was not a good judge, but I think, from what I could see at the late hour at which I got in, that if the division that went in first had gone ahead there is no question of our taking the crest on that ridge (Cemetery Hill), hardly with the loss of a man. We waited in the covered way over an hour with almost no musketry on our right. We were detained there; we could not get up.

By the COURT:

Question. Did you ever go over that ground afterward?

Answer. I did, sir.

Question. Under what circumstances?

Answer. I went over it two days afterward, the 1st of August, when the flag of truce was out.

Question. Did you see anything in the nature of the enemy's defenses that would change the opinion you formed on the day of the assault?

Answer. No, sir.

Question. Did you see any obstacles in the nature of the ground?

Answer. No,sir.

Question. Did you have an opportunity of seeing what the enemy had on the top of Cemetery Hill?

Answer. No,sir; I did not have an opportunity of seeing just what they might have had there.

Question. Did you see any works there?

Answer. No, sir; I did not think there were any.

Question. How did the colored troops behave?

Answer. They went up as well as I every saw troops go up - well closed, perfectly enthusiastic. They came back very badly. They came back on a run, every man for himself. It is but justice to the line officers to say that more than two-thirds of them were shot, and to the colored troops that the white troops were running back just ahead of them.


Colonel CHARLES S. RUSSELL, Twenty-eighth U. S. Colored Troops, being duly sworn, says to questions by JUDGE-ADVOCATE:

Question. Were you at the assault on the 30th?

Answer. Yes, sir.

Question. And what as your command?

Answer. I was a lieutenant-colonel, commanding six companies of the Twenty-eighth U. S. Colored Troops, Thomas' brigade, of Ferrero's division.

Question. Did your command participate in the assault?

Answer. Yes, sir; we left the covered way to make the assault before 8 o'clock, and 10 minutes after 8 part of my regiment, with two others, went over the outside of the enemy's line into what seemed to be a covered way beyond, to go to Cemetery Hill; mine was to have been third in order, but it became second.

Question. How far in advance did you get toward Cemetery Hill?

Answer. Not exceeding fifty yards; we were driven back.

Question. By what?

Answer. I should judge by about from 200 to 400 men (infantry) which rose up from a little ravine and charged us. Being all mixed up, and in confusion, and new troops, we had to come back.