Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/356
340 Southern Historical Society Papers.
wounded in the battles around Petersburg, and was in a hospital at Richmond at the time of the surrender. I was in the first battle at Manassas, was at Fredericksburg, Sharpsburg, the Seven Days' battles below Richmond, Gettysburg, and the fights around Peters- burg.
Before the battle of Gettysburg our brigade, commanded by Col- onel Isaac Avery, of Burke county, was camped at Little York, Pa., where we remained two nights and a day. We were ordered to march on Gettysburg, and on the first day we met the enemy in the outskirts of Gettysburg in a big field, and captured a great many of them. Our brigade, led by Colonel Avery, marched through the streets of Gettysburg, where we captured a few more prisoners. A few Yankees were killed in the streets of the town, and from one of these I took a new canteen, of which I had need. After we marched through the town, we advanced a few hundred yards and struck camp in a deep ravine, where we remained until late in the afternoon of the second day's battle.
About 5 or 6 o'clock in the evening we were ordered to advance and charge the breastworks on the big hill in front of us, where the enemy was entrenched. There was an awful roar of big guns and musketrv, and'we charged up the steep hill between a quarter and a half mile. The enemy's batteries kept up a terrific fire, but most of the shells and grape passed over our heads. Colonel Avery fell about half way between the ravine where we had camped and the stone fence on the hill, used as a breastwork by the enemy, and Colonel S. McD. Tate, the next in rank, took command of the bri- gade. Our brigade charged in good order until we were within a short distance of the stone fence, which did not extend all the way across the face of the hill. Here the brigade spread out across the face of the hill, part of the men making for the ends of the fence, as I recollect.
About seventy-five of our brigade, led by Colonel Tate and Captain Neill Ray, charged directly on the stone fence, which we crossed and then bayonetted the Yankee gunners, and drove them back after a hard fight. About twenty men attached to the Louisi- ana brigade crossed the fence about the same time we did. We turned some of the guns on the enemy and tried to fire them, but most of them had been spiked by the Yankees. By this time it was getting dark, and the enemy we had driven back had been "heavily re-enforced, and after remaining beyond the fence some fifteen or