finally making their way back without a bayonet thrust or a sword stroke.
The accuracy of this is in keeping with his claim of four thousand prisoners, who actually numbered 1,101.
He gives no credit to the men of the three brigades, who charged up this hill two hundred yards, and fought hand to hand, foot to foot, with bayonets and butts, pistols and swords, as desperately and daringly as ever recorded in the annals of war; and took from Burnside
nineteen flags (Mahone
1.) Then that voluminous ‘Confederate Military History,’ in giving its account, leaves out entirely the charge of the Alabama
brigade under the chivalrous Saunders
I shall always remember the splendid manner in which that glorious brigade did the final act which enabled General Lee
to re-establish his line ‘without interruption.’
's brigade had recaptured the works on the left up to the excavation, and I could look back and see the Alabama
brigade form in this valley, and charge in beautiful array up to the rim of the Crater, held by Bartlett
, where, after a short struggle, the white flag went up and Bartlett
and his men came out as Saunders
' prisoners of war. No troops ever acted more brilliantly on any field than Alabama
's faithful sons under the lead of gallant Saunders
on that day. While speaking of the infantry, I am not unmindful of the wonderful work of our artillery: and you saw the gallant Haskell
with two little cohorts help to force the capitulation of the Crater.
I must pause to pay tribute to the bravest Federal general officer
, William F. Bartlett
, who fought in their front line, with the admirable desperation that made him the foremost hero of all the officers who commanded the 70,000 Federal troops in our front on that day. Massachusetts
never sent out a braver and more dashing soldier to uphold her honor than Bartlett
, the Federal
hero of the Crater.
Stung by the unfairness of such treatment from our own historians, I conceived a plan for a reunion of the survivors of Mahone
's Brigade, who participated in the charge of the Crater, to correct the injustice to you and our dead comrades, and it resulted most successfully on the 6th day of November, 1903.
I have collected many personal narratives from those who charged with muskets in their hands and laid them aside to be read by those