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TICONDEROGA   75

the maze of withering branches spread over the ground, but as yet no idea of its diabolical character had dawned upon them. The order had been to carry the barricade with the bayonet, and the troops were advancing at the double, when suddenly a long line of smoke gushed from the loopholes, followed by the ripping, screaming crash of thousands of bullets. The execution was terrible, the ranks pitiably thinned as the men, struggling to drag themselves from the pitfalls of the abattis, became every moment more entangled. For hours the furious fusillade raged, the thousands of attacking troops all the time floundering up to their shoulders among the masses of broken branches. Some of the Highlanders and others fought their way to the foot of the breastwork, and, mounting on each other's shoulders, seized the loopholes from the outside, or clambering over the top jumped down to meet death on the inner side. Time and again they fell back, only to re-organise and dash forward with greater spirit than ever. "The scene was frightful," says Parkman; "masses of infuriated men who could not go forward and would not go back, straining for an enemy they could not reach, and firing at an enemy they could not see; caught in the entanglement of


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