Approaching from the James River, Union soldiers of Stannard's division suffered their greatest loss in crossing the open ground behind you. Confederate cannon along this wall delivered mighty blasts that knocked horrible holes in the attacking formations. But once they reached here, survivors used the slopes for protection before climbing up and over Fort Harrison's wall.
After the attack, killed and wounded soldiers covered the ground between the camera and the fort. By the time this photograph was taken, Federal soldiers had already begun to demolish the old Confederate wall—the wall that the Federals assaulted was almost twice as tall as seen today.
"The men nobly responded to their officers' call and pour over the edge of the ditch into the dry moat, and then, scrambling up the bank, some on hands and knees, some stepping on their bayonets thrust into the clay, some on each other's shoulders, the blue column mounts the parapet, lingers a moment in a fierce blaze of musketry on its crest, and finally, overflowing all barriers, pushes across the parade ground." William S. Hubbell, 21st Connecticut Infantry