continued during the night; they (mostly mounted) having made a forced march of thirty-five miles by a circuit, to cut us off. The next day (12th) we were attacked, first having severe skirmishing with their van, and afterwards a three and a half hours cannonading,—we behind some hasty intrenchments; at evening they retired. We lost four killed and twenty-five wounded; they, about fifteen killed and thirty-five or forty wounded. From this time we worked assiduously at the trenches, which, however, were unfortunately situated, being below the top of the hill, so that the inside could be only partially protected by traverses from the cannonading and sharpshooting, and having no water inside the lines. Still we did the best we could. Colonel Mulligan, of Chicago, was in command (a good officer and a brave one), with a total of two thousand seven hundred men and about one thousand head of mules and horses; but seven hundred of our men were armed only with horse-pistols and sabres. On Wednesday last (18th), after constant skirmishing in the interval, the main attack commenced, and continued without intermission until five o'clock Friday evening, when Colonel Mulligan surrendered. During all that time our men had not in all a full meal of food or a pint of water to the man; of course there was no sleep. The enemy were receiving large reinforcements, and at the time of attack claimed to be thirty thousand strong, and were I think, fully twenty thousand. Still we should have held out two or three hours longer, had it not been for cowardice or treason on the part of one of the Home Guards officers, (a butcher or stage-driver, I believe,) who, after one charge had been repulsed, and just as another was coming on, put out the white flag. Colonel Mulligan supposed it to be hoisted by the opposite side, and sent to General Price to know the meaning; and vice versa. Meanwhile they had surrounded us in enormous quantities, and were even in our ditches. The surrender was unconditional, and as the place had been kept eight days (ample time for reinforcements), and as, owing to the exhausted state of the men, we could not have held out over night, I am not certain that we could have done better. The loss is about equal,—between forty and fifty killed. We have one hundred and five wounded. On the second day of the three days fight, toward evening, I had had some hot words, about a company of mine, with an officer of the Irish Brigade, and we had drawn our sabres, but postponed it at Colonel Mulligan's request; and I went off to look after the company, which had just charged a building outside the intrenchments,
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Ode recited at the Harvard commemoration, July 21 , 1865 .
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