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[20] few feet from us? Yes, or starve. My messmate and myself, I well remember, made our breakfast on hard-tack and fried pickle-pork. My impression is we had no coffee. I have a distinct recollection that the meal was not enjoyed.

It is in order just here to reproduce, for what they are worth as a contemporary record, the following entries in my diary, the first made during the afternoon of this day, the others on the days of their respective dates:

Sunday, July 31, 1864.

Yesterday witnessed a bloody drama around Petersburg, perhaps as bloody as any affair of the war, Fort Pillow not excepted. At this point, about half a mile southeast of the Old Blandford Church, the enemy exploded a mine under a fort in our works, blowing up four pieces of Pegram's battery with two lieutenants (Lieutenants Hamlin and Chandler) and twenty-two men, together with five companies of the 18th S. C. regiment, Elliott's brigade, whereupon they immediately rushed upon and captured that portion of our works and about two hundred yards of the works to the left of the exploded portion. This occurred soon after sunrise, soon after which our brigade and Wright's, which occupied the extreme right of our line, were put in motion for this point, approaching it cautiously by the military roads recently constructed. We were not long in learning that our brigade would be assigned the task of capturing the works, supported by Wright. Arriving opposite the works, fortunately just at the moment we were about to charge, the enemy were also about to charge, when, seizing our advantage and rising with a yell we rushed forward and got into the works about one hundred yards distant, receiving but little fire from the enemy, who turned out to be negroes! The scene now baffles description. But little quarter was shown them. My heart sickened at deeds I saw done. Our brigade not driving the enemy from the inner portion of the exploded mine, Saunders and Wright's brigades finished the work. I have never seen such slaughter on any battlefield. Our regiment lost 27, killed and wounded, the majority of whom were killed, and among them Emmet Butts, of our company. Put Stith, of our company, was wounded. Colonel Weisiger, commanding the brigade, was wounded. From what I have seen, the enemy's loss could not have been less than from 500 to 700 killed, to say nothing of those wounded, and between five hundred and one thousand prisoners. Ours probably did not exceed 400 killed, wounded


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Fort Pillow (Tennessee, United States) (1)

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Ambrose Wright (3)
David A. Weisiger (1)
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July 31st, 1864 AD (1)
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