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[105] formed immediately in front of Fort Gregg, and Thomas formed on my left. We drove the enemy beyond the branch, near the house occupied by Mrs. Banks. Harris's brigade came up afterwards on my right. When the enemy developed his two long, compact lines of battle, and a heavy line of skirmishers, and commenced advancing, I withdrew, and sent an officer at once to Fort Gregg with instructions to let a sufficient number of my men enter the fort to man it, and to order the others to the “Dam” between Fort Gregg and Battery 45.

General Thomas authorizes me to state that he advanced with me; that he was on my left next to the outer line of works; that he witnessed no such fighting by General R. Lindsay Walker and his artillerists as that mentioned in General Walker's letter to General Harris, and that Harris's brigade, of Mahone's division, was subsequently on our right.

General Wilcox in his article says: “The enemy were seen along our captured lines and on the Plank road. Lane's and Thomas's men were reformed — in all about six hundred--moved forward in good spirits, and recaptured the lines to the vicinity of Boisseau's house, together with the artillery in the different batteries along it. This was reported to General Lee.” He further states that Harris's brigade, of Mahone's division, was afterwards “ordered forward a little beyond the Bank's house, with orders not to become engaged with the enemy's line of battle. * * * * * The fragments of Thomas's and Lane's brigades were withdrawn. * * * * The lines of battle of the enemy, imposing from their number and strength, advanced. Slowly, but steadily, our artillery — that in rear of Harris's brigade — was withdrawn, and the brigade, after a slight skirmish, retired.”

And yet General Harris insists that “there were no troops to his right or left.” And, what is still more remarkable, General R. Lindsay Walker in his letter to General Harris, after he had been to see General Mahone, and had read General Mahone's letter to General Harris, claims that he and his artillerists did all the fighting that was done by Thomas's brigade and mine; and he “does not hesitate to say, that the only assistance he received from any source whatever, was from the gallant Mississippi brigade, under General N. H. Harris,” of Mahone's division. I wonder if General Walker remembers the conversation which he and I had at Fort Gregg!

It will be seen from this that I withdrew and started for Fort Gregg, in obedience to positive orders, before Harris's brigade, of Mahone's division, had its “slight skirmish and retired,” and that I was nearer to Fort Gregg than either Harris or Thomas. Who then was most

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N. H. Harris (11)
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James H. Lane (2)
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