Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 04.djvu/38
Southern Historical Society Papers.
before it and Whitworth; at the latter place but few. The enemy remained at Gregg; advanced no nearer to Petersburg from that direction; but a corps (6th) approached on the Cox road; were confronted by Field's division; did not attack; artillery only was placed in position, and shelled at intervals for several hours without inflicting loss.
Much has been said and written about the Battery Gregg fight, it being witnessed by many standing on the Petersburg breastworks; among this number was Gen. Lee himself; and while all the praise that has been awarded the little Spartan band that held it against such comparatively vast odds is justly due, there was yet another collision later on the same day, not often referred to, but in which the Confederates displayed, as usual, that courage known to be common to the rank and file of the Army of Northern Virginia. This contest, and the last between any of the fragments of our little army and the enemy near Petersburg, took place at Sutherland's depot, on the South side railroad. When the lines were broken a little after day-light, the greater portion ot the attacking force turned to their left, and made a clean sweep of the lines to Hatcher's run. Those of our men that escaped being captured were either driven or retreated to Burgess' mill, crossed the run and filed to the right. From this part of the lines the troops were withdrawn, and successfully, by Gen. Heth, moving to the rear by the right flank, and then marching to the depot. There were four brigades that retired from this point: Cook's and McCrae's, of Heth's division, and McGowan's and Scale's, of my division.While the troops were being withdrawn from Burgess' mill, Scale's brigade, commanded by Col. Hyman, Thirteenth North Carolina, held the bridge, not quitting it till the enemy were close upon his rear, left flank, and in his front. McGowan's brigade being formed in line, preparatory to moving, the enemy rushed foward and opened fire upon it, but our men were not unprepared, and returned instantly a prompt and effective fire, breaking their line at once, leaving the brigade