Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/348
336 Southern Historical Society Papers.
We participated in the battle of Bristow Station, and there, on the I4th of October, General Carnot Posey was mortally wounded. We again fell back to the line of the Rappahannock, and passed the winter of 1863-64 near Orange Courthouse. Colonel N. H. Harris, of the igth Mississippi Regiment, was appointed to succeed General Posey as our brigadier.
General Grant took command of the army of the Potomac and began another " On to Richmond."
We were engaged in the battles of the Wilderness, and on the 1 2th of May, 1864, participated in the great battle of Spottsylvania Courthouse, retaking a salient angle captured from Johnson's Di- vision. Just before entering this fight a bhell exploded near a group of horsemen surrounding General Lee. He rode up to our regi- ment and asked how many rounds of cartridges have the men. He was answered, forty rounds in their boxes and twenty in their pockets. His face was flushed, and eyes sparkling with anxiety. We were ordered to march by the left flank, General Lee placing himself at our head and leading us in the direction of the heavy firing. Soon shot and shell and minie balls were crashing and hiss- ing and crashing around our ears. The men began to cry out: "Go back, General Lee! General Lee to the rear! "
Colonel Charles Scott Venable, his chief of staff, grasped the bridle of his horse and besought him to retire beyond the reach of danger. Standing up in his stirrups, and looking back upon our serried ranks, he exclaimed: " Mississippians, I go back under one condition, and that is that you go forward. Remember, you strike for Mississippi to-day! "
And they did go forward. And for twelve long hours held the enemy at bay. May God in his mercy never again permit us to be- hold such a field of carnage and death !
On the 27th of May, 1864, near Hanover Junction, on the North Anna river, we repulsed and annihilated a Massachusetts brigade, mortally wounding Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Chandler, of the 5th Massachusetts Volunteers, while gallantly leading his command against our regiment. We were again in the battles of Cold Harbor and Turkey Ridge before Richmond. About the middle of June we participated in the battle of Petersburg, where Colonel Harris was severely wounded in the head. The regimental officers were at that time M. B. Harris, colonel; S. B. Thomas, lieutenant-colonel; J. R. Bell, major, and E. Howard McCaleb, adjutant.
On the 1 8th of August we retook the position occupied by Gen-