124 .1 SCHOOL HISTORY OF THE
o'clock p.m., while torrents of lead whizzed over their
"Dunn's House" was defended by three forts,
one in front, one north, and another south. Deep
ravines lay in front, while an almost impassable
abatis of trees impeded the way to the forts. Seven
hundred yards in front lay Hinks' black troops hun¬
gry for the fray. Thus they lay in deep suspense,
anxious for orders to go forward. Meanwhile,
shells plowed the earth around them for four long
hours, which seemed to them like days.
At Five o'clock the command "Forward!" was
greeted with a rush and a shout. The brave Negro
troops went forward at a double-quick; the skir¬
mishers were the first to reach the embankments,
and were greeted with a shower of bullets which
tumbled many headlong and lifeless into the pits.
But on came the main body as if impelled by light¬
ning ; they swept into the midst of the enemy,
grabbed their guns and" fired them upon them as
they " ran for their lives." Three hundred Confed¬
erates were taken prisoners, and several pieces of
artillery were captured.
Smith Had Petersburg now at his mercy.
Brooks and Martindale had swept the enemy in
front of them simultaneously with Hinks, and the
way was open to march immediately into the city.
Gen. Smith, however, decided to wait for the arrival