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[172] up, and this time, by my orders, to retire to Gregg and vicinity. General Harris gives a letter from Captain A. K. Jones, who commanded the Twelfth Mississippi in Gregg; in this are several inaccuracies. The writer says: “General Wilcox is wrongfully informed when he says the enemy first got into the works from the rear,” &c., &c. I was not informed by others, but saw for myself, and wrote from my own personal observation. I was an eye-witness to the entire struggle, was standing about one hundred and twenty-five yards from Gregg, saw its heroic defense, sent encouraging messages into it three times — the last messenger never returned. The enemy reached the parapet in force at the right end of the palisading across the gorge; here began an unfinished trench, some thirty yards long. It was the purpose to have connected Gregg with Whitworth, but it was never done. On the embankment of this they mounted easily, and from this to the parapet of Gregg, and soon extended nearly around it in force, and poured down a fire upon what was left of the little force inside. It was when I saw this, and that the defence was virtually over, that I dispatched an order to evacuate Whitworth. It is not often we meet with one who can claim exemption from one of the three following fruitful sources of error, misunderstanding, misconception, and lapse of time weakening impressions made upon the memory. Again, this officer says: “The fort (meaning Battery Gregg) was carried about 1 P. M. We had ample time and opportunity to see the result of our defence, for when the guns in Whitworth were opened on Gregg, after it was captured,” &c., &c. No one can question the honesty of this statement, and yet it is known, and by no one better than by General Harris, that the guns in Whitworth had been withdrawn early in the action, and that Gregg had fallen before he withdrew from that battery. Gregg was captured before 11 A. M.

There is a letter from Captain R. R. Applewhite also of the Twelfth Mississippi; both he and Captain Jones speak of other men besides those of their brigade being in the battery, but they both say they were without organization; the former says, to be exact, “There may have been good and true men from other commands who aided in the defence.” General Mahone was requested, though not present, to write of the defence of the battery. Not being there, he could only repeat what he had heard. Lieutenant-Colonel Owens, Washington artillery, “can't see what General Lane had to do with Gregg,” as he had always understood that the fort was held by Mississippians. General Gibbon, of the Union army, was invited to express an opinion as to the composition of the command. He regretted he “could give no information ”

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A. K. Jones (2)
N. H. Harris (2)
C. M. Wilcox (1)
Whitworth (1)
Owens (1)
Mahone (1)
James H. Lane (1)
Gregg (1)
Gibbon (1)
R. R. Applewhite (1)
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