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[744] formed successive lines across the same interval, lower down, and moved up against Godwin, at the same time moving up other forces against the trenches, which had to be abandoned by our men. Godwin's men, with the Fifth and Seventh Louisiana regiments, were thus completely surrounded — the enemy making an are of a circle around the front and flanks; and the river, which is here a deep pond, being in the rear, Colonel Godwin's efforts to extricate his command proved unavailing, as the enemy completely overwhelmed him with numbers. He continued, however, to struggle, forming successive lines as he was pushed back, and did not, for a moment, dream of surrendering; but, on the contrary, when his men had dwindled to sixty or seventy, the rest having been captured, killed, wounded, or lost in the darkness, and be was completely surrounded by the enemy, who were, in fact, mixed up with his men, some one cried out that Colonel Godwin's order was for them to surrender. He immediately called for the man who made the declaration, and threatened to blow his brains out if he could find him, declaring his purpose to fight to the last moment, and calling upon his men to stand by him. He was literally overpowered by mere force of numbers, and was taken with his arms in his hands. These facts I learn from Captain Adams, assistant adjutant-general of Hoke's brigade, who managed to make his escape, after having been captured, by slipping away from the enemy and swimming the river almost naked. They are in accordance with the character of Colonel Godwin, and the fate of this gallant officer, a prisoner in the hands of a barbarous enemy, is most deeply to be deplored; and I most respectfully, through the commanding General, call the attention of the government to his case, and ask that if any special exchanges are made, he may be embraced among them. The Fifth and Seventh Louisiana regiments shared the fate of the three regiments of Hoke's brigade, which were under Godwin. Some of all the regiments, taking advantage of the darkness and confusion, managed to escape, after they were overpowered. But I call attention to the fact that there was no flight, no giving back of my men from the trenches upon the approach of the enemy, but they maintained their position until overpowered by numbers and mere brute force. This fact was fully shown by the circumstance that there was no rush upon the bridge, and no crowd of fugitives to be seen anywhere; but the men who did escape did it quietly, taking advantage of such opportunities as were afforded.

After I was made aware of the disaster, and Pegram's and Gordon's brigades came up, steps were taken to guard the river, and prevent a crossing by the enemy. A regiment was immediately sent to the south end of the bridge, and Pegram's brigade thrown in its rear, with orders to defend the passage at all hazards. After waiting for some time, to give such of our men as might be able to do so an opportunity to slip over the bridge, and after it was ascertained definitely that Hoke's brigade and the Fifth and Seventh Louisiana regiments were overpowered, and that the enemy had a guard immediately at the northern end of the bridge, it was fired at the south end by my order, and before we moved back it had burned so far as to prevent all crossing over it. After sending back Dance's and Graham's batteries, in accordance with orders, I moved back at three o'clock next morning to the vicinity of my camp.

My loss in this affair was as follows:

Killed, officers0
Killed, enlisted men5
Wounded, officers3
Wounded, enlisted men32
Missing, officers117
Missing, enlisted men1,473

Those reported killed are those who were certainly known to be killed, and the wounded are those who were brought off — some of them were wounded while escaping. Among the missing are doubtless a number of killed and wounded. The loss in Hays' brigade was less than one-half of the men present with the army, and less than one-fourth of the entire strength of the brigade. In the regiments of Hoke's brigade, to wit: the Sixth, Fifty-fourth, and Fifty-seventh North Carolina regiments, the loss was very nearly three-fourths of the men present with the army — about two-fifths of their entire strength, and less than one-third of the entire strength of the brigade.

Near three hundred of Hays' men present at the action made their escape, and between one hundred and one hundred and fifty of Hoke's men escaped.

The loss in Green's battery, commanded by Lieutenant Moore, was as follows:

Killed, enlisted men1
Wounded, enlisted men0
Missing, officers2
Missing, enlisted men39
Rifle guns, with their caissons4

Twenty-eight enlisted men of this battery escaped. My loss in small arms and sets of accoutrements is something over sixteen hundred.

With the conduct of my brigade commanders and their men, I have no fault to find. They were not surprised, nor were they negligent in any respect, that I am aware of. They remained at their posts, and fought the enemy until overpowered. They were unfortunately in a position untenable, by so small a force as theirs, against the large force brought against them, and there was no means of retreat, by reason

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A. C. Godwin (6)
R. F. Hoke (5)
John Pegram (2)
Missing (2)
Harry T. Hays (2)
Frank Moore (1)
Killed (1)
William Green (1)
R. T. Graham (1)
George H. Gordon (1)
Dance (1)
Wirt Adams (1)
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