Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/320
308 Southern Historical Society Papers.
certainty, only one company on the left opened its fire, and con- tinued it doubtingly at intervals. Unfortunately, Captain Feagan, who was on the right, believed them to be our men, and took no prompt means to discover their character, and thus lost the oppor- tunity of delivering a destructive fire upon them.
The Twelfth Georgia advanced to the fence, opened fire rapidly against a force in front, receiving a galling fire in return, and held their ground until the close of the action. Neither the Twelfth Georgia nor Fifteenth Alabama heard the command to charge.
The left of the brigade was exposed during the whole action to the rapid discharge of a small piece of ordinance, or 6-pounder lightly charged, throwing balls and slugs and case shot, which, if well aimed, would have swept our men from the field but the hail of projectiles passed mostly above us, like blasts of a hurri- cane.
I cannot refrain from the remark, that I have never known so terrible a fire as raged for over an hour on both sides. The dead and wounded bore next morning melancholy evidence of its se- verity. The Twenty-first Georgia had that afternoon called the rolls in my presence, and found two hundred and forty-two men in ranks ; the next day, at noon, but sixty-nine men could be found for duty. The same fearful proportion was lost by the Twenty-first North Carolina. But three captains in both regiments escaped death or wounds. In this action General Ewell was wounded.
I cannot omit to mention here the truly gallant and heroic bearing of Lieutenant-Colonel Fulton in this as in former engage- ments. He fell in the desperate charge mortally wounded, and died the same night, requesting in his last moments that the Con- federate flag he had himself borne should be displayed before his failing sight.
The Confederate States army had no braver officer or kinder hearted gentleman. His State should cherish his memory, and tell her sons in all time to emulate his patriotic virtues.-
The Twenty-first Georgia and Twenty-first North Carolina regi- .ments, or the shattered fragments left unhurt, were left next day to bury their dead.
August 29th I took the Fifteenth Alabama and Twelfth Georgia into the action on Friday at 10 o'clock, and by order of General Lawton posted them on his left. I selected the line of the railroad excavation and embankment, a good position, as the events of that and the next day proved, and awaited the advance of the enemy,