Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/94

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90 Sottf/nnt Historical Society Papers.

DEAD BODIES SEVERAL LAYERS DEEP.

On Monday morning a truce was granted, and the Federals sent out details to bury their dead between the lines. They dug a long ditch and placed the bodies crosswise, several layers up, and then refilled it. After they had finished burying their dead and were moving off, General Mahone noticed that they had left the dirt piled high enough for breastworks on the slope of the hill, midway be- tween the two lines of battle. He quickly discovered the danger of this, as it would have afforded shelter for another assaulting column. He stopped the burial detail and made them level the ground, as they found it.

General Pendleton, Chief of Artillery of General Lee's army, was standing near, and paid a high compliment to Mahone' s foresight.

THE LAST ACT IN THE GREAT BATTLE.

This was the last act in this celebrated battle a battle won by the charge of three small brigades of Virginia, Georgia and Alabama troops, numbering less than 2,000 muskets, with the aid of the artil- lery, which rendered effective service to the charging columns, over an army of 70,000 men behind breast-works, which surrendered to this small force nineteen flags.

General B. R. Johnson, who commanded the lines which were broken by the explosion and upheaval of the Crater, in his report of the battle, said : " To the able commander and gallant officers and men of Mahone' s Division, to whom we are mainly indebted for the restoration of our lines, I offer my acknowledgments for their great service. ' '

Secretary of War James A. Seddon said: "Let appropriate ac- knowledgment be made to the gallant general and his brave troops. Let the names of the captors (of the flags) be noted on the roll of honor and published."

Nowhere in all the history of war were greater odds driven out of fortifications and defeated. The charge of the three brigades of Mahone' s Division is a record of triumph unsurpassed in warfare.