Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/88

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84 Southern Historical Society Papers.

white flag went up, and about 500 prisoners marched to the rear and three flags were surrendered to the Alabama Brigade.

Hon. George Clark, of Waco, Texas, who was then on the staff of the gallant General Saunders, in a graphic description of the charge, says:

"When we reached the scene we were met by General Mahone, accompanied by General Bushrod Johnson, and General Mahone gave directions as to how he wished the brigade formed. It was then about ii A. M. The rifle-pits to the left of the Crater (enemy's right) were then held by the Virginia Brigade, their right resting at the Crater. I was sent by General Saunders to look over the ground, and went forward to the rim of the Crater. I there met and talked with^ Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Stewart and other acquaintances in the Virginia Brigade, including Colonel Rogers, if my memory is correct, both of whom I knew well, having served with them upon General Court-Martial the preceding winter. I found that while the Virginians had done their part of the job thoroughly, and were hold- ing their positions heroically, Wright's Georgia Brigade had failed to carry the trenches on the right of the Crater (enemy's left), and the Crater itself was still in possession of the enemy, filled not only with negro troops, but also with a much larger per cent, of white troops, as was demonstrated after the capture. I returned and re- ported the situation to General Saunders. At this time our brigade was resting on their arms just east of a little branch or marsh under the hill. I was instructed by General Saunders to pass along the line, count the men, and inform them, as well as company command- ers, that our attack would begin at 2 o'clock, upon the firing of two signal guns from the batteries in our rear that every man must be ready to rise and go forward at the signal, slowly at first, and then at a double-quick as soon as we rose the hill that our object was

TO RECAPTURE THE RIFLE PITS

on our right as well as the Crater, and for this purpose the brigade would be compelled to right oblique after starting, so as to cover the points of attack no man was to fire a shot until we reached the works, and arms must be carried at a right-shoulder shift. I was also instructed by General Saunders to inform the men that General Lee had notified him that there were no other troops at hand to re- capture the works, and if this brigade did not succeed in the first attempt, they would be formed again and renew the assault, and that