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[207]

What Captain Atkins says.

My Dear Sir: Your letter, with a copy of the Richmond Times of the 27th of September, containing General Dabney H. Maury's account of the fight at Staunton river bridge in June, 1864, came duly to hand.

Of course it was unintentional, but nevertheless the account does you a great injustice in giving to others the credit of planning and directing what General Maury correctly terms ‘the most remarkable fight of the war.’

I was an active participant in the fight, and probably knew more about its details than any other person except yourself, and very cheerfully give you my recollection of its main features.

From the time I reached the bridge until I left, you were unquestionably in command of all the troops on both sides of the river, directing in person every movement, disposition of the troops and other details of the fight, every officer present looking to you for and obeying your orders.

Colonel H. E. Coleman did not reach the bridge until the morning of the 25th, when he reported to you for duty, and you assigned him to the immediate command of about one hundred and fifty men then placed at the foot of the bridge on the north side of the river.

General Maury also misunderstood Colonel Flournoy as to where he was stationed during the fight. The Colonel, with some mounted men he had raised, was guarding Cole's Ferry, two or three miles above the bridge, to prevent the Federal forces crossing there.

Yours truly,


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