Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/120
The Sixth South Carolina at Seven Pines. 119
The expedition did not succeed in its mission. Why not? Hear Captain Byers s answer:
Luckily for the Merrimac and the tugs, the Monitor did not come out over the bar to give them a chance to try the experiment.
So it seems that Captain Byers holding no place either civil or military in the Confederate Government a man of no known promi- nence or character simply the master of a little trading boat, which had come from the North and had been for some time around Nor- folk, waiting an opportunity to escape into the Union lines which he did at the first opportunity was invited to join in this expedition, an expedition composed of some of the best and bravest men in the Confederacy, who were fighting for their homes, their firesides, their household gods, and their loved ones, an expedition which they had cause to believe at that time was "even unto the death" was taken into the confidence of the commander of the Merrimac, in- vited to take part in this very perilous expedition, and given full details of all his plans. Can enlightened human credulity go further than to place reliance on such statements?
Holding to these views, we respectfully report adversely to the passage of the bill.
The Sixth South Carolina at Seven Pines.
By GENERAL JOHN BRATTON.
[The following address was delivered by General John Bratton on the battlefield of Seven Pines, Virginia, on 6th August, 1885. to the survivors of the Sixth Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, Con- federate States Army:]
About the 26th May, 1862, we moved up to camp nearer Rich- mond, not far from where the Confederate Cemetery is located. At daybreak on the 3ist we moved out in accordance with orders to the Williamsburg Road, were halted near a farm or fruit-nursery, (name of owner forgotten). It was here that I learned that the Yankees were a short distance down the road, and we were expected to attack in a few minutes. We waited there, however, for hours, and it was certainly as late as one o'clock P. M. when we moved on slowly through the mud and slush, and soon evidences of conflict were ap- parent. We were told that " D. H. Hill was driving them down the