previous next


Account of Colonel William Lamb.

[Published at the request of a number of officers and men of his command.]

On revisiting Fort Fisher after the war, I found that the post burial ground, where my soldiers who died previous to the battles, were buried, had been robbed of all its dead, and was told that a contractor for the government had stolen their bones in order to be paid for supplying them with coffins under an appropriation to rebury the dead of the Northern armies. I had this consolation when contemplating this act, that although their dust and ashes had been disturbed, their memories were none the less precious to the Southern heart, nor their reward for duty done less complete at the hands of Him who doeth all things well. Similar emotions filled my breast when I read the letter of General Braxton Bragg to his brother, in which he seeks to take from the dead of Fort Fisher an imperishable renown, and in which he seeks to excuse his desertion of an heroic garrison.

Nothing but an imperative sense of duty impels me to comply with the request made by many of the officers and soldiers of my old command to answer this letter. now that its author has been summoned to his final account. The letter bears date Wilmington, January 20, 1865, and was written to Ex-Governor Thomas Bragg. General Bragg wrote:

Two hours before hearing of the certain fall of the fort I felt as confident as ever man did of successfully defending it.

Further on he puts his certain information at a time which shows that the fort had fallen when he was confident of successfully defending it. To know the position of the enemy, to be informed promptly of the movements which he is executing, to gather sufficient facts from which his designs may be understood, is the first care of a commanding general, who should spare no labor or risk to arrive at such information.

No commanding general ever had such an opportunity to watch the movements of the enemy, and direct the management of his forces with such slight personal danger as General Bragg. The Cape Fear river, with its channel at least three-quarters of a mile from the open beach upon which the enemy had landed, gave him an unobstructed view from a deck of a vessel of all their movements. Besides he could see inside of the fort and with a good glass distinguish individuals. With signal officers comparatively free from danger at Battery Buchanan and on the Mound, perfectly secure on the western shore of the river and on the right flank of his camp, General Bragg could have watched the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Thomas Bragg (4)
William Lamb (1)
Braxton Bragg (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
January 20th, 1865 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: