Southern Historical Society Papers.
save my brigade, for Colonel O'Neal's Alabama brigade had in the meantime advanced on my left and been almost instantaneously driven back, upon which the enemy, being relieved from pressure, charged in overwhelming force upon and captured nearly all that were left unhurt in this regiment of my brigade. When I saw white handkerchiefs raised and my line of battle still lying in position, I characterized the surrender as disgraceful, but when I found afterwards that five hundred of my men were left lying dead and wounded on a line as straight as at dress parade, I exonerated, with one or two disgraceful individual exceptions, the survivors, and claim for the brigade that they nobly fought and died without a man running to the rear.
No greater gallantry and heroism has been displayed during this war. I endeavored, during the confusion among the enemy incident to the charge and capture of my men, to make a charge with my remaining regiment and the Third Alabama, but in the noise and excitement I presume my voice could not be heard.
The fighting here ceased upon my part. The Twelfth North Carolina still retaining its position until Brigadier General Ramseur coming up, I pointed out the position of the enemy to him, and as soon as I observed his troops about to flank the enemy, I advanced the Twelfth North Carolina and fragments of the other regiments (which Captain D. P. Halsey had already prepared for a forward movement) into the woods overlooking the town and took posses- sion of them. Going out to the front to stop General Ramseur's men from firing into mine who were in their front, I observed that the enemy were retreating along the railroad, and immediately hastened the Twelfth North Carolina forward to cut them off. The Fifty-third North Carolina regiment, of General Daniel's brigader joined in the pursuit, and the Twelfth and Fifty-third North Carolina were the first to reach the railroad along which the enemy were retreating. Numberless prisoners were cut off by us, but I would not permit my men to take them to the rear, as I considered them safe. Arriving in the town, and having but very few troops left, I informed Brigadier-General Ramseur that I would attach them to his brigade and act in concert with him, and we formed on the street facing the heights beyond Gettysburg occupied by the enemy, where we remained till the night of July 2d, when I was informed by General Ramseur that anight attack was ordered upon the posi- tion of the enemy to the right of the town. I had received no instructions, and perceiving that General Ramseur was acquainted