The Twelfth of May.
This was a day of trial, danger and desperation.
The great battle of the triangle took place.
I saw General Gordon
and his A. D. C., Lieutenant Hutchinson
, ride on top of the breastworks in our front, hats off and drawn swords, calling to the men not to fire in their front, as they were shooting into Doles Georgia
brigade which had driven the enemy from our front.
This daring and gallant action won the admiration and applause of the brigade, and caused every man to cease firing.
In one of our rearward movements we stopped at an inner line of rude words, and General Battle
established his headquarters with my company.
While sitting and standing, awaiting directions, a number of Yankee foreigners, without arms or accoutrements, jumped over our breastworks, and in foreign jargon, begged for quarter.
They were evidently full of whiskey or other stimulant.
They were ordered to run to the rear, and lost no time in obeying.
While at this point Major Whiting
rode up and delivered a message to General Battle
directing a rapid advance over the breastworks and to the front.
To this order the general demurred, saying that his men had been fighting so continuously, and were so utterly exhausted, that he felt confident that it would be impossible to preserve any alignment, and that he did not believe a forward movement wise or practicable.
's reply was, ‘I will report to General Rodes
,’ but in a few minutes he galloped back and repeated his command, and in response, General Battle
ordered his brigade to ‘forward.’
For a long distance we were under constant firing, and had little opportunity to reply.
A number of men were shot down as we advanced, but the regiment and brigade maintained its line and continued moving slowly onward.
After dark we were halted in a woods not a great distance from the Federal
troops, and fronting them, were directed not to sit nor lie down, but to be ready for any movement.
came to me, as I stood at the head of the company and regiment, and said that he felt it absolutely necessary for him to have a few minutes sleep, and proposed that while he hugged an oak sapling that I remain awake and receive any orders that might come, and arouse him, adding that when he had slept a few minutes he would relieve me and I could sleep against the sapling.
In this way we spent some time, how long it is impossible for me to relate.