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[292] ‘Look at your Colonel with the colors. Come on, boys come on’ A charge, and the battery was carried.

On the way to Petersburg he lost men by scores, and officer after officer, until one captain, nine lieutenants, and two hundred and fifty men only were left. An eyewitness thus describes the eventful day at Petersburg, July 30, 1864:—

I was at the battle of the 30th, and then for the first time met Lieutenant-Colonel Hodges, in the crater, about two hours after the explosion of the fort. His regiment, as well as mine, had advanced beyond the fort that was blown up. I advanced with my regiment, and was wounded, and returned inside of the crater of the fort. On my way to the rear, after being relieved, I saw your brother sitting and leaning back against the embankment, and also near him Lieutenant-Colonel Wright (Twenty-seventh Michigan), both of them being wounded, Colonel Hodges through the thigh, Colonel Wright through the shoulder. I stood in front of them, and talked with them about their wounds, the war, and the prospects. After a moment, they made room for me, and invited me to sit between them, we all wishing to be on the ground awhile to see the colored troops make a charge, as we had expressed a doubt as to their bravery, and wished to see them personally. After I sat down, your brother leaned lightly on my shoulder, and appeared weak. Colonel Wright spoke, and asked if we had not better go on to the rear. Your brother said, “We can't get there until the colored troops pass by.” They were then going through the exploded fort to make the charge. As the colored troops passed, the Johnnies ranged their batteries so as to throw their shells into the crater of the fort, and some twenty exploded there within half as many minutes. On the explosion of a shell some ten or twelve feet from us, while sitting in the position I have described, a piece of shell struck him on the back of the head, killing him instantly. He did not fall, as he was supported by me on one side and the bank on the other. I spoke to a soldier to assist me, and he laid him down carefully, examined his pockets, found his watch, some papers, and a pencil, which I herewith enclose. The man took a blanket, after laying him in an easy position, with one hand by his side, the other across his breast, and covered him up, where I left him, and where I doubt not he was buried, as the enemy afterward took the fort, and buried all the dead in the fort in reconstructing.

This surmise was afterwards ascertained to be correct

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Elvira Wright (3)
John Hodges (2)
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July 30th, 1864 AD (1)
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