Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/183

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Brilliant Page in History of War.

our men found negro soldiers in the fort with the whites. This was the first time we had met negro troops, and the men were enraged at them for being there and at the whites for having them there.

The explosion had divided the pit into two compartments. As soon as we had possession of the larger one, the Yankees in the smaller one cried out that they would surrender. We told them to come over the embankment. Two of them started over with their guns in their hands, but, their intentions being mistaken, they were shot and fell back. We heard those remaining cry: "They are showing us no quarter; let us sell our lives as dearly as possible." We then told them to come over without their guns, which they did, and all the remainder, about thirty in number, surrendered and were ordered to the rear.

YANKEES KILL YANKEES.

In the confusion and in their eagerness to get from that point they went across the open field, along the same route over which we had charged. Their artillery, seeing them going to the rear, as we were told, under a subsequent flag of truce, thought that they were our men repulsed and retreating, so they at once opened fire on them, killing and wounding quite a number of their own men. One poor fellow had his arm shot off just as he started to the rear, and returning said: "I could bear it better if my own had not done it."

This practically ended the fight inside the fort; but the iw-* armies outside continued firing at this common center, and it seemed to us that the shot, shell and musket balls came from every point of the compass and the mortar shells rained down from above. They had previously attacked from below. So this unfortunate fort was one of the few points in that war, or any other the history of which I have read, which had the unique distinction of having been assailed from literally every quarter.

The slaughter was fearful. The dead were piled on each other. In one part of the fort I counted eight bodies deep. There were but few wounded compared with the killed.

There was an incident which occurred in the captured fort