in regard to the garrison of the fort.”
It will be seen that General Harris
was industrious in beating up evidence — writing to those who were not present, as well as to those of the other side.
He could not accept my statement of the case, though present and having control of the whole affair.
I have omitted, unintentionally, up to this point, reference to Brigadier-General R. L. Walker
He was Chief of Artillery
He writes: “On the morning of the 3d of April, 1865, I was at Rice
's salient until about sun up, when it was reported to me that the lines in front of Fort Gregg had been broken.”
He was not at Rice
's salient on April 3d, 1865.
He repaired at once to Battery Gregg, a distance, I should think, the way he would have to go, of at least three or four miles. The lines, he says, had been broken, and “directly in front of Gregg
they had been held by Lane
This was not the case; they had been held at and near this battery by Thomas
He manned the fort with a section of the Washington artillery and two companies organized from the supernumerary artillerymen.
“I called on them to go with me to recover the line evacuated by our infantry, or at least so much thereof as had been occupied by two of my batteries, which had been left in the hands of the enemy.”
Evacuating lines, and leaving guns in the hands of the enemy, convey impressions not complimentary to the infantry that had held them, and these impressions are strengthened when we are informed that “they (supernumerary artillerymen) made a gallant charge, recapturing these batteries, left by the infantry, and bringing them out.”
Having recovered his batteries left in the hands of the enemy, he then drove back the enemy's skirmish line, &c., &c. “I then fell back to Fort Gregg, and just at this juncture the gallant Mississippians
, under the intrepid Harris
, came up to my relief.”
And did General Harris
, with his brigade, relieve him and his two companies of supernumerary artillerymen?
Up to this time General Walker
's memory was clear and distinct, but then, for an instant, it seems to have been a little clouded.
“As well as I can remember, a part of Harris
's brigade, with my men, then occupied Fort Gregg, while the main body of the brigade went to Fort Alexander,1
a few hundred yards to the north and right of Fort Gregg.”
And now his memory is again clear.
“We held our respective positions until I was informed that General Longstreet
had come to our relief on the right, when I dispatched my Inspector-General Captain Richard Walke
to General Harris