War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0360 KY.,S.W.VA.,TENN.,N. & C.GA.,MISS.,ALA., & W.FLA.

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of the works from left to right for the purpose of satisfying myself entirely as to the true point of attack and the probable chances of success. I directed General Long to assault the enemy's works by moving diagonally across the road upon which his troops were posted, while General Upton at his own request with a picked force of 300 men was directed to penetrate the swamp upon his left, break through the line covered by it, and turn the enemy's right, the balance of his division to conform to the movement. The signal for the advance was to the discharge of a single gun from Rodney's battery, to be given as soon as Upton's turning movement had developed itself. Before this plan cold be put into execution, and while waiting for the signal to advance, General Long was informed that a strong force of rebel cavalry had begun skirmishing with his rear, and threatened a general attack upon the pack train and led horses. He had left a force of six companies well posted at the creek in anticipation of this movement, afterward ascertained to have been made by Chalmers in obedience to the instructions of Forrest. This force was at Marion the day before, and was expected on the road from that place. Fearing that this affair might compromise our assault upon the main position, General Long (having already strengthened the rear by another regiment), with admirable judgment, determined to make the assault at once, and without waiting for the signal gave the order to advance. The troops dismounted, sprang forward with confident alacrity, and in less than fifteen minutes, without ever stopping, wavering, or faltering, had swept over the works and driven the rebels in confusion toward the city. I arrived on that part of the field just after the works were carried, at once notified General Upton of the success, and ordered him to push in as rapidly as possible; directed Colonel Minty (now in command of the Second Division) to gather his men for a new advance; ordered Colonel Vail, commanding the Seventeenth Indiana, to place his own regiment and the Fourth Ohio in line inside the works; hurried up the Fourth U. S. Cavalry, Lieutenant O'Connell, and Board of Trade Battery, Captain Robinson commanding, and renewed the attack. The rebels had occupied a new line but partially finished in the edge of the city. A most gallant charge by the Fourth U. S. Cavalry was repulsed, but rapidly reformed on the left. It was now quite dark. Upton's division advancing at the same time, a new charge was made by the Fourth Ohio, Seventeenth Indiana, and Fourth Cavalry, dismounted. The troops, inspired by the wildest enthusiasm, swept everything before them and penetrated the city in all directions. During the first part of the action the Chicago Board of Trade Battery had occupied a commanding position and steadily replied to the enemy's guns. I regard the capture of Selma the most remarkable achievement in the history of modern cavalry, and one admirably illustrative of its new powers and tendencies. That it may be fully understood, particular attention is invited to the following facts: The fortifications assaulted and carried consisted of a bastioned line on a radius of nearly three miles, extending form the Alabama River below to the same above the city. The part west of the city is covered by a miry, deep, and almost impassable creek; that on the east side by a swamp extending from the river almost to the Summerfield road, and entirely impracticable for mounted men at all times. General Upton ascertained by a personal reconnaissance that dismounted men might with great difficulty work through it on the left of the Range Line road. The profile of that part of the line assaulted is as follows: Height of parapet, six to eight feet; thickness, eight feet; depth of ditch, five feet; width, from ten to fifteen