Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/307
Grant 9 s Change of Base. 291
attacking our thin line with heavy columns, and all our rifle pits be- tween Hatcher's Run and the Weldon railroad are in his possession. They are now within seventy-five yards of the position this division occupies, and an attack is momentarily expected.
April 3 About dark last night Captain Torsch, in command of the battalion, received orders from General McComb to prepare to assault the trenches in our front, in conjunction with three other bat- talions. We failed to carry them, and what were left of us had a devil of a time in getting out of an ugly predicament.
April 5 This is the last entry I will ever make in my diary. At daylight the enemy made two spirited attacks about a mile on our left, both of which were repulsed, but a third succeeded. Moving then to the right and left, they carried everything before them. Down they came like the waves of the ocean. We fought our best, but it was no use, and McComb, finding himself almost surrounded gave orders for the whole brigade to fall back on Hatcher's Run. This was no easy matter so far as we were concerned, for the enemy were all around us, and, therefore, but a small part of the battalion under Captain Torsch succeeded in extricating itself, although the boys fought like devils. When Torsch reached Hatcher's Run he found the Boydton plank road bridge in the hands of the enemy, when he and his few followers plunged into the stream and swam to the opposite bank, and joined the forces on that side. Torsch had but one officer left, Adjutant McCullough.
The rest is soon told. In the retreat we assisted in bringing up the rear. What we suffered until we reached the vicinity of Appo- mattox Courthouse can never be known, because words cannot ex- press it. On the gth, in obedience to the last command we were ever to receive from our beloved leader, Captain Torsch surrendered his command of sixty-three men, all that was left of our once splen- did battalion. The end had come.
W. W. GOLDSBOROUGH.