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[205]

Referring to the battle of the Crater, in which both of these distinguished Confederate officers won fame, The Times said:

The Virginia brigade and the Georgia brigade of Mahone's Division were brought during the morning from the far right to recapture the Confederate lines by assault. The Virginia brigade advancing in front, came up a covered way to within two hundred yards of the crater, and then debouched to the right and formed line of battle directly in front of the crater. General Mahone remained in the covered way directing the movement and he ordered Weisiger to hold his brigade after it was formed, until the Georgia brigade, following him, got formed on his right. After Weisiger's formation was complete and the Georgia formation was going on, Weisiger saw the Federal officers jumping out of their works and motioning their men to do the same and form. He saw it was only a question of a moment whether he should charge them or be charged by them in overwhelming numbers. Despatching a message to Mahone that he could wait no longer but must charge at once, he gave the command, led his men, and in a moment was hand to hand in a desperate encounter with the enemy. His triumph was complete, and with his 800 men he killed, wounded, and captured many thousands. Weisiger himself was shot through the body and being borne back to the covered way he found General Mahone still there. Mahone said to him: “Weisiger, you and Joe Johnston are always getting yourselves shot.” In telling it Weisiger said he thought he was a dead man and was indifferent, therefore, about insubordination, and he replied: “Yes, General Mahone, and if you would go where General Johnston and I go, you would get shot, too.”

The Virginia Brigade.

The statements here made are in several particulars inaccurate.

The Virginia Brigade, after emerging from the covered way, did not form ‘directly in front of the crater,’ but with the right of its line of battle as it faced eastwardly towards the Confederate breastworks (then in the possession of the enemy), considerably—probably over a hundred yards—to the left and rear of the crater. General Mahone's purpose was to have the Georgia Brigade form on the right of the Virginia Brigade, and, as The Times correctly says, his order to General Weisiger was to hold his brigade until this formation, that is to say, the placing of the two brigades in continuous line of battle, should be completed. Had this plan been carried out,


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David A. Weisiger (7)
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