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[364] and marines retreated, I moved the whole of my available infantry some eight hundred men to dislodge the enemy, who had captured the left salient, two gun-chambers adjoining, and were busy entrenching inside my work. The heroic Whiting, who had rushed to the parapet and encouraged the troops in resisting the naval brigade, now led the van, and receiving two wounds in endeavoring to reach a Federal standard-bearer, had to be carried to the rear.

A hand-to-hand fight on the parapet and over a traverse ensued, while in the work, from behind everything that would yield the slightest protection to my men, a rapid fire was poured into the advancing column of three brigades. The enemy halted in the face of our desperate assault. I then had the two heavy guns on the mound, and two from another battery on the sea-face, turned on their column, and these, with the two guns from Battery Buchanan, seemed to have a demoralizing effect, as their fire slackened and their flags disappeared from the top of the traverses. Notwithstanding the loss of a part of the work, and of the garrison, and the serious effect of the fire of the fleet among our men, the garrison seemed in splendid spirits, and determined, if possible, to dislodge the foe. Believing that General Bragg, with the facilities at his command, was thoroughly posted as to affairs in the fort, and would now attack, I felt that a determined charge on our part, with this threatened danger in the rear, would cause a retreat by the enemy, and we would regain the work. I passed down the line, and officers and men, with the wildest enthusiasm, promised to follow me. As I sprang forward to lead them, I was shot down, several of my most gallant officers falling with me. The forward movement stopped with my fall, and afterwards the enemy, having been strongly reinforced, began an advance, which, although stoutly and even recklessly resisted for five hours (until all the ammunition was expended), resulted in the capture of the whole work. Not only were all the cartridges in the magazine consumed, but those in the boxes of the wounded and slain were gathered up by a detail and given to the men in action. My appeals to the officers and men to continue the struggle after I had fallen, were not from any disregard of the lives of my soldiers, as some have unkindly charged-but as General Lee had sent word to me that the fort was necessary to keep open the gateway to supply his army with food and clothing from abroad, I desired the resistance prolonged so long as there was a chance for General Bragg to come to our assistance and recall the enemy to their own defensive line. That this would have been the result of a determined attack upon the part of General Bragg, I am

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Braxton Bragg (3)
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