The February number of these Papers
(page 94) contains a communication from Colonel J. R. Winston
, calling in question the accuracy of certain statements made by me in my narrative of Steuart
's brigade at Gettysburg
Allow me first to assure my critic that I have been unfortunate in conveying my meaning if anything I have written seems to imply a slur either on General Daniel
or his brave men. My meaning was that for such
a charge to be made by a single brigade, unsupported, was proof that “somebody blundered” --not General Daniel
, because “it is to be presumed that he acted in obedience to orders.”
I simply stated the fact that a charge which, to some of Steuarts
' regiments, was as fatal as Balaklava
was to the Light brigade, was made by that brigade without support, though help was at hand in General Daniel
's gallant brigade, which moved up and took our position when we left the Federal
works to make the charge.
So much for my animus
. Now, as to the facts.
questions the statement that Daniel
's command “remained in the breastworks during and after the charge,” and gave no support to Steuart
, and says: “I know that Daniel
's brigade went into the fight on General Steuart
As we went in I passed General Steuart
, and as I came out (badly wounded) I again passed him.”
This in no way disproves my assertion that “during the charge
held the Federal
line of works which Steuart
vacated in order to make the charge.
The incident referred to by Colonel Winston
must have occurred at some other time.
I was not wounded (though struck four times), assisted in forming the line for the assault, was in the charge, and know whereof I affirm.
It was the last charge made, and it is certain Colonel Winston
did not pass General Steuart during that charge
. I can assure him there was no time for exchanging salutations then and there, within twenty-five yards of two flame-breathing breastworks.
In support of my assertion I respectfully refer to the surviving officers and men of the First and Third North Carolina regiments, which constituted part of Steuart
They will substantiate the only point at issue, viz: that Steuart
's men made that charge
without aid from any quarter.
The accuracy of my estimate of the loss in Steuart
's brigade is also called in question.
I stated the loss at 680, killed, wounded and missing; my critic, relying on the consolidated reports, says it was 301.
Now, through the kindness of a friend, I have obtained from the Confederate
archives at Washington
a copy of the tabulated report of Major R. W. Hunter
, Assistant Adjutant-General
to Major-General Edward Johnson
This document gives the following table of casualties:
|Johnson's staff|| ||1||1||2|
It appears, then, that my estimate of loss (680) was less than the loss as stated officially by General Johnson
's Assistant Adjutant-General
, viz: 682.
The losses in Daniel
's brigade were heavier, but were incurred chiefly in the first day's battle, as may be seen from General Rodes
' report (September number, 1876, Historical Society Papers
, page 149, compared with ditto, page 172). Rodes
' division lost 2,869 in the entire three days battle, of which number 2,500 were lost on the first day.