division corps of sharpshooters, a brave soldier and good officer, lost his life that day.
March 25th, Gordon
's corps, sent to the other wing of the Confederate
works about Petersburg
, sought by a gallant night attack to break the Federal
line at Fort Stedman
, which covered Meade
's station, an important point on Grant
's supply route from City Point
It was a forlorn hope.
But if success were possible, it might force Grant
to pause in the ceaseless pushing of his line toward Appomattox creek.
Here the heroic band of Louisianians were again in battle.
They were with the columns that seized the fort and captured the garrison before daylight.
Again and again the efforts of the Federals
to rescue their position were repulsed with bloody slaughter, but before long the inevitable happened Overwhelmed from all sides, the gallant Confederates were forced back to their own lines, leaving many brave men dead and wounded.
On the 29th Grant
westward, and April 1st was the day of battle of Five Forks
Elated, the Federal
commander opened a bombardment along the line, and ordered an assault early on the morning of April 2d.
At 2 p. m. the enemy advanced upon Forts Gregg and Whitworth.
Around these two forts, Petersburg
, hard pressed, will make her final stand.
The disproportion between assailants and defenders was appalling—214 men in Fort Gregg; about the same in Fort Whitworth.
Against these moved 5,000 men—crazed with the delirium of the new wine of success after the old wine of defeat—straight upon our right.
During the Federal
assault in the morning orders had been hastily given by Lieut.-Col. Wm. M. Owen
to withdraw to Fort Gregg.
These were only partially executed, Lieutenant Battles
in the confusion having been captured with his command, owing to the darkness and the absence of horses.
Lieut. Frank McElroy
, of the Third company, was as quick as a flash from his guns.