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“ [104] less than that from either of the other two. The most of Harris's brigade was sent to Battery Whitworth.”

I have recently seen General Thomas, who says that some of his men were in Fort Gregg, including his Adjutant General, Captain Norwood, and he authorizes me to state that Harris's brigade of Mahone's division has no right to the exclusive or chief honors of the defence of that fort.

Were it necessary, I could furnish letters upon this subject from Captain E. J. Hale, Jr,, and Lieutenant E. B. Meade of my staff, Major Thomas J. Wooten, of the Eighteenth North Carolina, Lieutenant Thomas M. Wiggins, of the Thirty-seventh, and others.

When I made my last official report at Appomattox Court-house, in obedience to General Lee's order, I made no allusion whatever to any other command in Fort Gregg; but after stating that a part of my brigade retreated to that fort, I spoke of the gallant defence in general terms. I expected Generals Harris, Thomas and Walker to do the same, and that as we had all done our best for our lost but just cause, we, as old comrades in arms, would, in after years, brag together, as we had fought together, and not quarrel about relative numbers. Had it not been repeatedly stated that “the infantry garrison of Fort Gregg was composed entirely of the Mississippi brigade of Harris, Mahone's division,” and had not “all the honors” of the defence of that fort been repeatedly claimed for that brigade of Mahone's division, I would have remained silent, and would not claim now, as I justly do, that the largest part of that “infantry garrison” was composed of brave North Carolinians.

As my winter quarters were a short distance in front of Fort Gregg, and I rode by that fort almost daily, I think I have the right to claim some knowledge of the positions of the detached forts, the interior and exterior lines, the dams, ponds, winter quarters, &c., in that locality.

When my line was broken, on the morning of the 2nd April, I sent Lieutenant Snow, as my staff were absent on duty, to division headquarters, to let General Wilcox know of the disaster, and to inform him that I was gradually falling back. I was opposed to a forward movement, and wanted to abandon the detached forts and fall back at once to the interior lines, because I knew, from personal observation, that the works, where my line had been broken, were held by an overwhelming force. I so informed General Wilcox on his arrival at Fort Gregg. He, however, ordered Thomas and myself forward, with instructions to me to occupy Fort Gregg, when I was forced to retire. I

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N. H. Harris (4)
George Thomas (3)
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