my command three times, the North Carolinians once co-operating, charged the Ricketts
battery before the enemy gave up the struggle to hold it; that my flank was again left, by the withdrawal of the Mississippians and North Carolinians, exposed; that my loss was slightly in excess of that of Jackson
's brigade, which only came under fire in the afternoon, at the same time that I did, slightly more than that of Hampton
's legion, and slightly less than that of Bee
's brigade, as 40 to 43; while in the afternoon's fight, during which we were engaged together, my command suffered a much larger percentage of loss than any other in the field, except Jackson
's, and slightly in excess of that.
And I now mention these illustrious commands for the special purpose of showing that, however high the standard they have established for the qualities of the true soldier, my command may justly and proudly claim to have come fully up to it--par nobile fatrum
In view, then, of these facts, it can but excite surprise that Dr. Dabney
should, in his life of Jackson
, have claimed for his brigade the whole merit of capturing the Ricketts
battery, &c. It is the more remarkable, as General Jackson
did not do it. In his official report, speaking of a charge he had ordered, he says “he pierced the enemy's centre, and by co-operating with the victorious Fifth and other forces
[the italics are mine], soon placed the field essentially in our possession.”
Again, he says: “The brigade, in connection with other troops
, took seven field pieces, in addition to the battery captured by Colonel Cummings
also says: “The enemy, although repulsed in the centre, succeeded in turning our flanks.”
If the General
meant his left flank, he was under a mistake.
I was on his left, and know that no effort was made to turn mine but once, and that failed, as heretofore stated.
I presume General Jackson
does not refer to the movements of the enemy west of the Manassas
road, as they were promptly arrested and the enemy was driven back.
I omitted to mention in the proper place that Lieutenant-Colonel Murray
in one of our charges upon the enemy's guns, finding that we could not hold them, spiked one of them with a nail he had in his pocket.
My next article will be a narrative of the personal incidents of the battle of the Seven Pines
, the bloodiest fight, as far as my command was concerned, in which I ever was engaged.
began the fight with the subjoined force and lost during the day as follows: