Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/15

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liuidrd nir .in order to him from ' icneral Beaurrgard at Drewry's HluflT, to the front of which point Butler had advanced. The substance of that order was that he, Whiting, was, with all his available forces on both sides the Appomattox, Martin's and Wise 1 -, Brigade, number- ing in all about 5,000 men, to cross tin Appomattox and take the road across Campbell's Bridge by the coal pits, and join his right before davSnak the next morning, when he would attack Butler. In a few hours after this order was received, another order from Beauregard, changing this, came, ordering (J. G.) Martin's and Wise's Brigades to beat Dunlop's, on the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike, before daybreak the next morning, and thence at daybreak to move to the sound of Beauregard's guns.

It is lamentable to add that, owing to causes which affect the rep- utation of a brave and accomplished Confederate commander, who died nobly in battle afterwards, General Whiting did not move as promptly as he might. The two brigades were at Dunlop' s before day- break, and there awaited his orders until more than an hour by sun. They were moved then, and found the reserve of the enemy under General Terry in barricade at the Walthall Railroad junction with the Petersburg Railroad and the turnpike. Martin's Brigade was on the right and Wise's on the left, crossing the turnpike on which the enemy had thrown up their works. They were immediately charged, driven from their breastworks, across Bakehouse creek up the hill to their artillery, and in their flight their guns barely escaped capture. All their provisions were captured, and the brigades were passing on to the rear of the army retreating before Beauregard, when they were halted by General Whiting and ordered to fall back. But for this sad hindrance, the causes of which were fully reported, the vic- tory of Beauregard would have been one of the most signal and decisive during the war. As it was, it was very decided in capturing 6,000 prisoners and in shutting Butler up, as General Grant said, in Howlett's Neck, "like a fly in a bottle." On the morning of the 1 7th the two brigades joined Beauregard's army, and from the i8th to the 28th of May, for ten days, there was heavy fighting on the whole picket lines, one-third of our brigade being required at a time to picket its front, making every day almost a general battle. At last the order came to charge and take the enemy's outer line at Howlett's, and it was captured from Ware Bottom Church on the James to the front of Cobb's on the Appomattox. The part borne by Martin's and Wise's Brigades upon the enemy in their front was without failure and a perfect success; 600 of the Wise Brigade,