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[247]

Flanner's North Carolina battery at the battle of the Crater.

[We only regret that the publication of the following narrative by the gallant Captain of Flanner's battery has been so long delayed by circumstances beyond our control:]

After reading Captain Gordon McCabe's artitle in the Southern Historical Society Papers on the defence of Petersburg, I think I have the right to find fault, not with what is written, but what was omitted in the article referred to.

I claim that the battery commanded by me, and composed entirely of North Carolinians, is entitled to the credit of preventing the Federal army from entering Petersburg on the morning of the springing of the mine. The facts are these: The mine was sprung about daylight of the 29th of July, and was immediately followed by the capture and occupation of our line of breast-works by the enemy. They remained in the works until 8 o'clock before making preparations for the advance. About that time they reformed line of battle and began advancing toward the city. Flanner's battery was posted in the main road near the Gee House, about two hundred yards in rear of the Confederate breast-works, immediately in rear of the mine, forming what might be considered a second line, but entirely without infantry support. Immediately upon the advance of the enemy we opened on them with shell and canister, and they soon sought shelter in their trenches. In a few minutes they again formed and commenced advancing. Again we opened on them with our six guns. The enemy pressed steadily forward, when our guns were double charged with canister, and a deadly fire poured into their ranks. Their lines were then broken, and they fled to the works and there remained until our infantry, composed of the brigades of Mahone, Girardy, and Sanders, all under the command of Mahone, arrived, and were placed in position preparatory to making the final charge, which resulted in the recapture of the works about 2 o'clock in the day.

The fire of the enemy, from nearly one hundred guns, was concentrated upon my company for two hours; but amid this terrible rain of deadly missiles these brave North Carolinians stood to their guns and repulsed every advance made by the enemy, holding


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Henry G. Flanner (3)
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