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[106] likely to reach Fort Gregg first, the ground between my command and the fort being perfectly clear?

When General Wilcox came to Fort Gregg, after I had occupied it with my men, I told him what I had done, and he approved of it in the presence of my staff. I then had the fort supplied with cartridges in obedience to General Wilcox's orders. Though the greater part of my brigade was at the “Dam” I did not feel that I had the right to join it without special permission, as I had been ordered to Fort Gregg against my wishes and judgment. After General Wilcox left I held a consultation with my Adjutant-General and Aid, and as we were unanimous in not wishing to remain in the fort I determined to ask permission to leave, and was about to send to General Wilcox when he visited the fort again, on foot, and for the last time. We were then lying against the end of the earth-work, Petersburg side, outside of the palisade. I assigned as my reasons for wanting to leave that I did not wish to be killed or captured in the fort, which would certainly be the case if I remained, and that I thought the proper place for me was at the “Dam” with the larger part of my brigade. Permission was granted, and General Wilcox left without going into the fort. I then sent Captain Hale into the fort to count the men of my command, but he soon returned and informed me that as the different commands were so mixed up he could not execute my order without calling my men from the banquette, which would endanger too many valuable lives. While inside of the palisade Captain Hale saw several men wounded by splinters from the palisade, and two of the gallant artillerists shot down in quick succession while attempting to fire one of the two pieces.

Before I left, I saw the artillery withdrawn from the fort in rear of and above Fort Gregg, called by some, Whitworth, and others, Anderson. It was this that caused me to state in my letter to General Wilcox, that Harris's brigade abandoned that fort before Fort Gregg was attacked in force.

After putting Lieutenant Snow in command of that part of my brigade which was in Fort Gregg, Captain Hale and Lieutenant Meade, of my staff, Lieutenant Thomas M. Wiggins, of the Thirty-seventh North Carolina, and I, started for the “Dam” at a dignified quick-step, but the enemy's infantry fire soon made us double-quick, and then forced us to run. We reached the “Dam” in saftey, but were driven to the interior line, as stated in my official report.

From the night of April 1st, to the evacuation of Petersburg, I was in a position to know something about the fighting on that part of the

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C. M. Wilcox (6)
Captain E. J. Hale (3)
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