Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/290

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286 Southern Historical Society Papers.

After the war he devoted his life to teaching the youth of the South, and died in Amherst county, Va. , in June, 1896.

Yours very truly,

THOMAS BALLARD BLAKE,

late Captain, etc.

ST. Louis, December 29, To the Editor of the Dispatch :

While on a visit to Richmond last spring I gave some reminis- cences of the evacuation, retreat, Sailor's creek, &c., which ap- peared in your issue of May 22d.

I had to rely entirely on memory, and was, therefore, very careful in my statements. I have recently been looking over the " Records of the Union and Confederate Armies," published by the govern- ment, and in Series i, Volume xlvi, Part i, found the official reports of commanding officers of both armies, which confirm, in a striking degree, my recollections. These reports make special mention of the conspicuous part borne by the "Artillery Brigade" at Sailor's creek. I quote as follows: Major-General G. W. C. Lee, command- ing the divisions, composed of Barton's and of Crutchfield's Artil- lery Brigade, says:

" Before my troops got into position across the creek the enemy opened a heavy fire of artillery upon our line, which was continued up to the time of our capture. After shelling our lines and skir- mishing for some time an hour or more the enemy's infantry advanced and were repulsed, and that portion which attacked the Artillery Brigade was charged by it and driven back across Sailor's creek.

"This brigade was then brought back to its orginal position, under a heavy fire of artillery. Finding that Kershaw's, which was on my right, had been obliged to retire, in consequence of the enemy having turned his right flank, and that my command was entirely surrounded, to prevent useless sacrifice of life, the firing was stopped by some of my officers, aided by some of the enemy's, and the officers and men taken as prisoners of war. I cannot too highly praise the conduct of my command, and hope to have the opportunity of doing it full justice when reports are received from the brigade commanders. Among a number of brave men killed or wounded, I regret to have to announce the name of Colonel Crutch- field, who commanded the Artillery Brigade. He was killed after gallantly leading a successful charge against the enemy."