Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 20.djvu/88
82 Southern Historical Society Papers.
" The gallantry of this officer on that occasion is as vivid to me now as if it had been but yesterday. I do not remember to have seen during the whole period of the war a finer exhibition of prowess than I witnessed that day in Colonel Sorrel, in the Battle of the Wilderness. During the charge of Mahone's brigade on the 6th, and just a few minutes before it reached the plank-road, the writer received a slight, but very painful wound on the ankle of his right foot, which disabled him for two or three days, and hence cannot speak from personal observation as to what occurred during the remainder of the fight. Soon after reaching the field infirmary, how- ever, which I found about three-fourths of a mile to the rear from where I was wounded, I was informed by a member of my company, who had been brought from the front wounded, that the left of the Twelfth Virginia regiment had become detached from the regiment of the brigade on its left (I think it was the Forty-First Virginia) during the charge, and the Twelfth Virginia was far in advance of the brigade when it was discovered, and that in returning to resume its proper position, the Forty-First Virginia, supposing it to be a part of the enemy, had fired into the Twelfth Virginia, killing and wounding quite a number of its members.
" I can recall the name of but one only who was killed by this unfortunate mistake, and that was John Mingea, who was a member of my company. A more gallant and faithful soldier, or a more per- fect gentleman, was not known in the ranks of the Twelfth Virginia regiment. He was a resident of this city (Nashville, Tennessee), at the commencement of the war, and in company with the writer left this city April 2Qth, 1861, for the purpose of enlisting in a company in his native State. Together we returned to Petersburg in 1861, and together we went to Norfolk and enlisted May loth, 1861. He was my personal friend, and in camp one of my constant companions. It is not strange, therefore, that his death, and the circumstances attending it, should be so readily recalled while writing my recollec- tions of the Battle of the Wilderness. My recollection is there was very little fighting, if any, after 2 o'clock P. M. of the 6th, on that part of the line in which Mahone's brigade had been engaged before 12 o'clock. I was at the infirmary, not over three-quarters of a mile distant from where I was wounded, and where the brigade had its hottest fire, lying in a tent bathing my foot, which had become very much swollen, and I remember distinctly there was very little firing during the afternoon after 2 o'clock on the right of the plank- road.