Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/231

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


Defence and Fall of the Spanish Fort. 223

than two thousand men, contending for two weeks against two corps d'armee and a large fleet, with over seventy-five cannon on land and nearly as many on water. We had no means of estima- ting the exact loss or strength of the enemy, but from every indi- cation he largely exceeded twenty thousand muskets, and his loss must have reached twenty-five hundred.

Among the killed were Colonel Burnett, Chief of Artillery of the District of the Gulf, who fell while examining the enemy's lines. His loss was greatly lamented by all of us, who knew and admired him as a skilful soldier and accomplished gentleman. Lieutenant A. G. Clark, of my staff, commandant of the post, was killed while charging at the head of the garrison guard to dis- lodge the enemy when he had turned the left flank. Louisiana has not lost during the war a truer man or a more thorough-going soldier.

The list might be prolonged; for, with the position, we left be- hind, filling soldier's graves, many of the bravest and best; and if any credit shall attach to the defence of Spanish Fort, it belongs to the heroes whose sleep shall no more be disturbed by the can- non's roar.

I have the honor to remain your obedient servant,

R. L. GIBSON, Brigadier- General, Commanding.

P. S. I have been constantly occupied most of the time on horseback, and some, of the officers have been absent. This may account for any inaccuracies.

R. L. GIBSON, Brigadier- General.

Farewell Address of Brigadier- General R. L. Gibson to the Louisiana Brigade after the Terms of Surrender had been Agreed upon between Lieut. -Gen. Richard Taylor, C. S. A M and Major- Gen. E. R. S. Can- by, U. S. A.

HEADQUARTERS GIBSON'S BRIGADE, NEAR MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI, May 8th, 1865. FELLOW-SOLDIERS :

For more than four years we have shared to- gether the fortunes of war. Throughout all the scenes of this