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[133] the division, who was an eye-witness of the assault and lost three horses in the charge, riding just on the right of the brigade.

Perhaps I may be permitted to relate a circumstance that occurred on another field, and that will illustrate the metal of this regiment. At the battle of Nashville, where the army met with a disaster and was in retreat, Fenner's battery was placed in position on the pike and ordered to fire over the heads of the retreating troops for moral effect. When it was observed that the enemy was pressing close, General Stephen D. Lee desired infantry to drive him back. It was found that this regiment, with those associated with it, were formed in regular order just in the rear of the battery. He rode up to the color-bearer of the Thirteenth Louisiana and said, “Give me those colors, I wish to lead this regiment and brigade to drive back the enemy.” The color-bearer and officers replied, “No, general, it is not necessary to expose yourself in that way; point in the direction you desire these colors to be borne, and we will carry them forward as long as there is a shred of them or a man left.” General Lee turned to the writer and said: “These are the best men I have ever seen.” The enemy was checked.

This regiment was one of the first to cross the Tennessee river on the advance of Hood's army to Nashville, and was the last, as the rear guard of that army, to recross it on the retreat, and fired the last volley in regular line of battle in the last ditch of the Confederacy at Mobile. Its record is too well established to need defense at this late day.

If General Anderson were living he would be glad of the opportunity to expunge even the hypothetical criticism which he makes, and would recall with pride the many occasions on which this regiment had received warm encomiums from his lips.

Very respectfully, R. L. Gibson.

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