with their gallant Colonel, Robert Trigg, and Lieutenant-Colonel John J. Wade, in front, moved forward. At this moment the enemy was about to make another charge, and were pouring a heavy fire over our works, compelling the regiment to advance under a galling fire. It, however, disregarded the storm of shot and shell poured upon it, and drove the charging column of Yankees through the woods until it reached the open field, when, to the astonishment of the Colonel, it was discovered that Stewart's division was not in sight, and consequently there was no connection with the regiment. This was most unfortunate, for the enemy perceiving the regiment “solitary and alone” in the open field, commenced pouring a galling fire into their ranks; but nothing daunted by this, Colonels Trigg and Wade, waving their swords, gave the order to charge. On the men marched, until they were not five paces from the enemy's line, when four distinct lines of battle, extending as far as the eye could reach, were seen by this command, and numbered over eight thousand men. The Adjutant of the regiment, with pistol in hand, rushed forward and seized the Yankee colors, and fired into their ranks, when a bullet pierced his brain, and he fell dead across the enemy's works. His name was Hammet, and a braver and nobler man never sacrificed his life on the altar of his country. Colonel Trigg perceiving that his men were falling fast from an. enfilade fire, as well as a fire in front, and observing them giving way in disorder, rallied them under a heavy fire, and in pretty good order brought them back to our lines, when it was discovered that in less than five minutes he had lost over a hundred men out of four hundred and fifty he had led to the charge. His conduct, and that of Lieutenant-Colonel Wade, is deserving of the greatest praise; and I do not flatter when I assert, from my personal experience, being an eye-witness to their behavior, that braver and more gallant officers never existed than Colonel Trigg and his Lieutenant-Colonel. This engagement was emphatically that of Generals Stevenson's and Stewart's divisions, for although Hindman was engaged, the part borne by the division was insignificant compared with that of the other two. The two Major-Generals behaved with the utmost coolness during the engagement, and proved themselves to be able officers. Generals Brown, Reynolds, Clayton, Baker, Gibson, and Stovall, exhibited the greatest amount of heroism, but were, perhaps, a little too careless of their persons, and exposed themselves without any actual need. General Pettus, although his brigade was not engaged, distinguished himself by the manner he encouraged the troops in the works. General Cumming's brigade of Georgians, on the left of Stevenson's division, were not charged, and had no opportunity of giving the Yankees a lesson in defence of their State. They were, however, ready for any attempt the enemy may have made, and would, I feel certain, have displayed their usual courage had the Yankees charged their line. Our total loss in this engagement could not have exceeded two thousand, while that of the Yankees is estimated at nothing less than six thousand, while there are many prominent officers who believe it to reach double that number. One thing is certain, that they were slaughtered by hundreds at every charge, and must have suffered severely. At ten o'clock last night our entire army left the works and proceeded to cross the Oostenaula River. Before the rear had proceeded a mile from the works, a sharp fire was opened between our pickets and those of the enemy, ours being driven in. The enemy must then have advanced their column for a night attack, as they opened a terrific fire of musketry on the vacated lines, cheering vociferously at the same time. Our men were then marched rapidly forward through Stewart's division, which had formed in line of battle across the railroad for the purpose of covering the retreat, which was not occasioned from any fear that the Yankees would be able to carry our line of works, as the army felt confident of holding its position an indefinite period of time, but because our stand at Oostenaula River was only to protect the withdrawal of our large wagon trains. The Yankees followed our army closely, and pressed us all the day, but Stewart's division has kept him at bay so far. This evening there was sharp firing on our right, but I have not learned what it was caused from. Our present position is around Calhoun, but the chances are that we will continue our retreat to Adairsville to-morrow. We may fight here, but I do not think it likely. In the mean-while the Yankees are reported to be massing heavy columns on our left with the view of flanking us. Let them continue; it cannot last forever. I am glad to say that the wound of Captain W..H. Claiborne is not as severe as was first supposed, and that it is mending rapidly. I trust that the gallant Captain will soon be able to return to duty as Inspector-General of Reynolds' brigade, for his services are very valuable. Captain Wise, of General Stevenson's staff, was wounded yesterday, while accompanying the Fifty-fourth Virginia in its charge on the enemy. His wound is very painful, but not severe, as the ball injured no bones whatever. He is a nephew of Governor Wise of Virginia, and is a really brave officer. In my last letter I omitted to mention a gallant son of Georgia. I allude to Captain Jossie, of Macon. This officer behaved with great heroism in the battle of Saturday, and received the thanks and compliments of our General. The Captain is, I regret to state, sick at present, but I trust he will soon recover The army is still, in fine spirits, retains un
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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