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[129] time, and when night came on we were afforded no rest, as several efforts were made to storm our line, all of which were successfully repelled with great slaughter.

About daylight, on the morning of the 17th, the troops in our front, having been largely reinforced during the night, made a charge in three lines on our position, overlapping us on the right, and carrying our works by storm. A large portion of Johnson's Brigade was captured, including myself and about half of my regiment.

The prisoners, in charge of an officer and detail of men, were quickly marched through the Federal lines to General Burnside's headquarters, located in a field about half a mile to the rear. The General had dismounted, and was seated on a camp-stool, and was surrounded by a line of negro guards.

The prisoners were halted at the line of guards, and the officer in charge announced to the General that they had captured the colonel of a regiment, many officers and men, three flags, and several pieces of artillery. Rising from his seat, General Burnside approached us, and, addressing me, enquired what regiment I commanded, and being informed that it was a Tennessee regiment, he asked from what part of the State. From East Tennessee, I replied. With an expression of astonishment, General Burnside said: ‘It is very strange that you should be fighting us when three-fourths of the people of East Tennessee are on our side.’ Feeling the rebuke unjust and unbecoming an officer of his rank and position, I replied, with as much spirit as I dared manifest, ‘Well, General, we have the satisfaction of knowing that if three-fourths of our people are on your side, that the respectable people are on our side.’ At this the General flew into a rage of passion, and railed at me, ‘You are a liar, you are a liar, sir, and you know it.’ I replied, ‘General, I am a prisoner, and you have the power to abuse me as you please, but as to respectability that is a matter of opinion. We regard no man respectable who deserts his country and takes up arms against his own people.’ To this General Burnside replied, ‘I have been in East Tennessee, I was at Knoxville, I know these people, and when you say that such men as Andrew Johnson, Brownlow, Baxter, Temple, Netherland, and others, are not respectable, you lie, sir, and you will have to answer for it.’ At this point I expected he would order me shot by his negro guards, but he continued, ‘not to any human power, but to a higher power.’ With a feeling of relief I answered, ‘O. General, I am ready to take that responsibility.’

“Take him on, take him on,” the General shouted to our guards,


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