Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/187

This page has been validated.
171
Brilliant Page in History of War.

on Saturday, he replied that they had lost five thousand men. While we were talking-a remarkably handsome Yankee general in the crowd came near us. I asked General Potter who he was, and was informed that he was General Ferrerro, who commanded the negro troops. I said: "I have some of his papers which I captured in the fort," and showed them to General Potter. He then said: "Let me call him up and introduce him, and we will show him the papers and guy him." I replied, however, that we down south were not in the habit of recognizing as our social equals those who associated with negroes. He then asked me to give him some of Ferrerro papers. He wanted them for a purpose. I did so. The others I kept, and they are lying before me as I write. He also asked me to point out to him some of our generals, several of whom were then standing on the embankment of the wrecked fort. (I noticed that none of our generals except Saunders of the Alabama brigade, who had charge of affairs, came over and mingled with the crowd). I pointed out to him Generals Harris, of Mississippi, and A. P. Hill, and finally pointed out General Mahone, who was dressed in a suit made of tent cloth, with a roundabout jacket. Be it remembered that General Mahone was quite small, and did not weigh much, if any, over one hundred and twenty-five pounds. Potter laughingly said: "Not much man, but a big general."

When the dead were buried each side returned to its entrenchments, and soon the sharpshooters were firing at each other when and wherever seen. True "war is hell."

Saunders' Alabama brigade continued to occupy the "Crater," which they had captured on Saturday about 2 o'clock, until Monday night, August 1, when under cover of darkness, we were relieved by another brigade, as was also the gallant Virginia brigade, which had, by a charge, captured the intrenchments on the left of the "Crater." The two brigades returned to their former positions at the Wilcox farm. I do not remember when the Georgia brigade was relieved.

HISTORY IN LETTERS.

I am not writing this alone from memory, but in addition