Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/87

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Tin' ('In,,';/,' uf tin t',',,t,r. 83

the number we had overcome. In that supreme moment, when ex- ulting over a great victory, as our eyes fell upon the bleeding com- rades around us, our hearts sickened within for those who lay dead, dying, wounded and writhing in agonies of pain.

The wonderful triumph had been won at the price of the blood of the bravest and best and truest. Old Co. F, of Norfolk, Va., car- ried in twelve men, all of whom was killed or wounded; the 6th regiment, to which it was attached, carried in ninety-eight men, and mustered ten for duty at this time; the sharpshooters carried in eighty men, and sixteen remained for duty. Our regiment, the 6ist, lost nineteen killed and forty-three wounded; the I2th regiment lost twelve killed and twenty-six wounded; the i6th lost twenty-one killed and eighteen wounded, and the 4ist regiment lost thirteen killed and thirty -one wounded. Colonel Weisiger, commanding our brigade, was wounded and the command devolved upon Colonel Rogers. The total loss of the brigade was 258. There were many special acts of gallantry exhibited on this field, which I shall not stop to detail, for General Lee said: "All who charged from that vale crowned themselves heroes," and they need no encomiums from my feeble pen.

Although our principal task was finished at noontide, yet more heavy work remained to be done to fully re-establish our lines. Brigadier-General Bartlett, with about 600 men, was cooped up in the Crater, and their capture was the crowning event of the bloody drama.

Our wounded men were sent to the field hospital as fast as pos- sible, and after piling the enemy's dead on each side of the trenches, to make a clear pass-way, the ranks of our brigade were closed up in proper order.

General Mahone carefully examined the lines, and ordered us to keep a sharp fire on the enemy's works in front to keep them close, and on the Crater to our right to prevent Bartlett' s escape, as our position commanded his rear, while Saunders' Alabama Brigade formed in the valley and charged.

A DESPERATE STRUGGLE.

The Alabamians made a grand charge under a terrible fire, reach- ing the crest of the crater without faltering. Here a short and des- perate struggle ensued. They tumbled clubs, clods of earth, muskets and cannon balls into the excavation on the heads of the enemy with telling effect. This novel warfare lasted only a short time before the