Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/24
Southern Historical Society Papers.
assault, and inflicted severe loss upon the enemy. Waul's Texas legion particularly distinguished itself under its brave colonel, by its coolness and gallantry, as did also a portion of Col. Dockerie's Arkansas regiment. The Twentieth, Twenty-third, and Thirty-first Alabama regiments attracted my attention by their good conduct during the day. The above-mentioned commands are those which particularly came under my personal observation during the assault. From the 22d of May, the enemy seemed to have abandoned the idea of carrying our works by assault, and from that time commenced pushing their works gradually, but industriously, towards ours, up to the 4th of July, when the city was surrendered—at which time their trenches, at several points on my line, were within thirty feet of our works. As each of their ditches was completed it was filled with sharpshooters, who kept up a continuous fire upon our lines. The enemy had, also, from fifteen to thirty pieces of artillery in front of my line, which kept up a heavy fire both night and day. The fire from their small arms commenced generally about one-half hour before day-light, and continued until about dark in the evening. There was no relief whatever to our men, who were confined for forty-seven days in their narrow trenches, without any opportunity for moving about, as there was during the day a perfect rain of minnie balls, which prevented any one from showing the least portion of his person, while at night, in consequence of the proximity of the enemy, it was impossible for the men to leave their position for any length of time. After about the 10th day of the siege the men lived on about one-half rations, and on even less than that towards its close. During the whole time the troops under my command exhibited cheerfulness and good spirit, feeling confident that they would finally be relieved. Physically they were much weakened by their arduous duties and poor rations, and at the time of the surrender I did not consider more than one-half of my men able to undergo the fatigues of the field.