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[287]

Lieutenant-General Ewell, commanding the corps (Kershaw's and G. W. C. Lee's divisions), says that the Artillery Brigade of Lee's Division ‘displayed a coolness and gallantry that earned the praise of the veterans who fought alongside of it, and even of the enemy.’

Our dashing cavalry leader, General Fitzhugh Lee, says: ‘Though portions of the force, particularly the command of General G. W. C. Lee, fought with gallantry never surpassed, their defeat and surrender were inevitable.’

I will now quote from the report of the Federal commander, Major-General H. G. Wright, commanding the Sixth Corps, Army of the Potomac. After describing the disposition of his troops and our position on the opposite side of Sailor's creek, General Wright says:

The 1st and 3rd divisions charged the enemy's position, carrying it handsomely, except at a point on our right of the road crossing the creek, where a column, said to be composed exclusively of the Marine (artillery) brigade and other troops, which had held the lines of Richmond previous to the evacuation, made a counter charge upon that part of our line in their front. I was never more astonished.

These troops were surrounded. The 1st and 3rd divisions of this corps were on either flank; my artillery and a fresh division in their front, and some three divisions of Major-General Sheridan's cavalry in their rear. Looking upon them as already our prisoners, I ordered the artillery to cease firing, as a dictate of humanity.

My surprise was, therefore, extreme when this force charged upon our front; but the fire of our infantry, which had already gained their flanks, the capture of their superior officers, already in our hands, the concentrated and murderous fire of six batteries of our artillery within effective range, brought them promptly to a surrender.

It is needless for me to add a word to the proud record of the ‘Artillery Brigade’ at Sailor's creek. That record is now a part of the history of this great country, but by giving this a place in your Confederate column, it will doubtless reach the eyes of many to whom the voluminous government records may not be accessible.

Thomas Ballard Blake, Late Captain Co. E, 10th Virginia Battalion, Artillery Brigade.

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H. G. Wright (2)
G. W. Custis Lee (2)
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Ewell (1)
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