under protest; but the enemy were too close to permit the withdrawal of the guns from Gregg
It was owing to my proximity to that battery, no staff officer could have entered it without my seeing him. It seems not a little strange that General Harris
could have supposed such orders could be properly given without my knowledge, and without passing through me. He further says, “it was a glorious struggle; Louisiana
represented by the noble artillerists, and Mississippi
by her shattered bands, stood side by side together, holding the last regularly fortified line around Petersburg
No reference to any other command but his own brigade and the artillery, and “holding the last regularly fortified line around Petersburg
The line he held was an unfinished line, and was not the last, for he fell back from it to the main Petersburg
lines, near a mile in the rear.
I have previously expressed an opinion of General Walker
's letter; it is certainly the most remarkable of any to be found in all the Battery Gregg literature.
One more quotation will be made from it. “The message to General Harris
was delivered and he accepted the suggestion.”
This was for him to retire from Whitworth
, but the order never reached Gregg
, hence the sacrifice of its gallant defenders.
certainly claims to have been in command.
In his letter he does not refer to his most important order, the one to General Harris
to withdraw the artillery.
was not at Battery Gregg about sun up, when I took personal control and direction of the movements of the troops engaged.
As soon as the different bodies — very small — of troops could be brought together they were ordered forward, as has already been stated, to recover the lines, and about one mile was regained.
I did not see General Walker
in this advance.
If he was as conspicuous as his letter would make us believe, in the recovery of the artillery, I ought to have seen him. I do not say that he was not present; he may have been; but I do say, what all soldiers know to be true, that I being on the field, he could not have given the orders he claims to have given — his memory, like that of many others, is defective.
And his ordering the four guns to be withdrawn from Whitworth
, without either my knowledge or consent, was not only an unofficer like, but an unauthorized and thoughtless act, that no one could have believed possible in an officer of intelligence, who had near four years of active field service, and had been present and a participant in many great battles, and who was at the time chief of artillery of a corps of the army of Northern Virginia.
When the guns were withdrawn from Whitworth
the huge forces of