Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/168

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164 Southern Historical Society Papers.

turn the I3th, and Colonel Ruffin in vain urged Gen. Garland to go to the other part of his line. With him "the post of danger was the post of honor." Judge Ruffin, in a letter to General Hill, stated that he had just told General Garland to get to a safer position from which to superintend his brigade when he received the mortal wound. Says General Hill: "Upon the fall of Garland, Colonel McRae, of the 5th North Carolina Regiment, assumed command, and ordered the two regiments on the left to close in to the right." This order was not received, or found impossible of execution. The main at- tack was on the 23d North Carolina behind the stone-wall (Colonel Blacknall, its commander, was then on sick furlough). General Hill continues: "The Federals had a plunging fire upon this regiment (the 23d North Carolina), from the crest of the hill, higher than the wall, and only about fifty yards from it."

The i2th Ohio made a charge upon Bondurant's battery, and drew it off, failing, however, to capture it. The 3oth Ohio advanced di- rectly upon the stone-wall in their front, while a regiment moved upon the 23d North Carolina on each flank (a hot position for the 23d.) The result was, "some of the 3Oth Ohio forced through a break in the wall, and bayonets and clubbed muskets were used freely for a few minutes. Garland's brigade, demoralized by his death and by the furious assault on its centre, broke now in confusion and re- treated behind the mountain, leaving some 200 prisoners of the 5th, 23d and 2oth North Carolina in the hands of the enemy. The bri- gade was too roughly handled to be of any further use that day."

A half hour afterwards, according to General Hill, General G. B. Anderson, of North Carolina, arrived with "a small but fine body of men," and made an effort to rescue the ground lost by Garland's brigade, " but failed and met a serious repulse." The loss in Gar- land's brigade is put by General Hill at", killed and wounded 100; missing 200 and in concluding the account, he says:

" If the battle of South Mountain was fought to prevent the ad- vance of McClellan, it was a failure on the part of the Confederates; if it was fought to save Lee's trains and artillery, and to re-unite his scattered forces, it was a Confederate success. ' '

The latter view was the true one. On the ijth of September, the battle of Sharpsburg, as known in Southern History, was fought. Colonel D. K. McRae, of the 5th North Carolina, was in command of the brigade. The divisions of D. H. Hill and Longstreet bravely held the centre and right in this action. The 23d regiment here was able to muster but few men, comparatively, many members of the