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[130]

Letter from General S. D. Lee.

Columbus, Miss., January 28, 1878.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, Secretary Southern Historical Society.
My dear sir: In the November number of the Southern Historical Society Papers is General Patton Anderson's report of the battle of Jonesboroa. There was no more gallant and honorable soldier in the Confederate Army than Patton Anderson. He was the peer of any in chivalry and honorable bearing, and would have given his life rather than intentionally have wronged an individual or a regiment of troops.

As to his implied reflection on the Thirteenth Louisiana, I have just this to say: About the time of the incident related of the color-bearer of the Thirteenth Louisiana, General Anderson was terribly wounded in the face and passed immediately by me being borne from the field. A more painful sight was seldom seen.

I cannot but believe the general was in error is to the Thirteenth Louisiana, and believe that his absence and distance from the army on account of his painful wound alone prevented a further enquiry and correction of this matter, and, knowing him as I did, I take the liberty of writing this letter, believing that no injury can possibly befall the memory of the lamented Patton Anderson.

I know that Gibson's brigade (the Thirteenth was one of the regiments of that brigade) was as gallant as any on the field of Jonesboroa. They reached and for some time staid in the works of the enemy, and the list of killed and wounded (about one-half) attested their heroism and should vindicate their record on that field. Possibly the incident might have occurred after the withdrawal of the brigade from the works of the enemy, where they lost half of their number. All troops, under such terrible circumstance, are a little scattered, and it requires time to rearrange them, and the color-bearer, from excessive gallantry or excitement, was no doubt separated a short distance from his regiment. But I do state most emphatically that the incident (implied) related is the first and only time I ever heard aught against any man of Gibson's gallant Louisiana brigade.


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