Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/46

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4-2 Soittlttrn Historical ,S'or/V// Papers.

F. Tupper, pursuing too far, fell mortally wounded on the bank of the creek, about ?oo yards from our position.

I hope I did not commit an error in taking this course. The safety of the brigade was at stake. If my brave fellows had flinched or given way, the enemy would have thrown himself on our flank, and the general loss must have been much greater than it \v;is.

I had scarcely reassembled the remnant of the battalion in its origi- nal position, with but one officer unwounded besides myself, when you passed by and reassured me as to my apprehensions of further molestation from that quarter by the information that other troops had been sent to guard that approach. They probably never reached their destination; for in a very few minutes another but smaller body of the enemy came on over the same ground. Supposing them to be some of our own troops giving way, I took my men out to rally them and discovered that they were enemies only when within a few paces. I attempted, as our only recourse, to repeat the attack which has just terminated so well; but overpowered by superior num- bers, though fighting to the last, all the rest of the command were killed, wounded or taken. Sergeants R. Millen and S. Morton stood to the last before their colors, keeping at bay a party of about fifty men, and were the last to fall.

Seeing then but one officer and the non-commissioned staff remain- ing, I displayed my handkerchief in token of surrender. As I did so, the enemy, hitherto sheltering themselves behind the trees, rushed into the road, and fired upon my wounded who lay in the gully be- fore mentioned. It was with the greatest difficulty they could be induced to cease from this barbarity. I mention this closing incident as one more of the numerous atrocities which indicated the relentless spirit in which the war was waged against us.

The loss in the i8th Georgia Battalion was thirty killed, including those who subsequently died of their wounds, and twenty-two wounded; in all sixty-one per cent, of the number engaged.

Major Stiles conjectured the loss in his command to have been about loo in killed and wounded. I do not know of any attempt to estimate the loss in the rest of the brigade.

Having subsequently re-visited the field and passed some days in its immediate vicinity, I was informed by one of the neighboring residents that the troops encountered by my battalion were Hamb- lin's Brigade of the 6th Corps, consisting of three regiments, of which one-half were ordered forward at each time.