Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/374
370 Southern Historical Society Papers.
"For five hours the work of burying the dead went vigorously forward. The Yankees brought details of negroes, and we carried their negro prisoners out under guard to help them in their work. Over 700 Yankee whites and negroes were buried. A. P. Hill was there with long gauntlets, slouch hat and round jacket. Mahone, dressed in little boy fashion, out of clothes made from old Yankee tent cloth, was beside him. The gallant Harris, of the Mississippi brigade, and the gallant and intrepid Saunders, who but forty-eight hours before had so successfully retaken those works, the best look- ing and best dressed Confederate officer present, was sauntering leisurely about, having a general superintendence over the whole affair.
"Whilst the truce lasted the Yankees and the 'Johnny Rebs,' in countless numbers flocked to the neutral grounds and spent the time in chatting and sight-seeing. The stench, however, was quite strong, and it required a good nose and a better stomach to carry one through the ordeal. About 9 o'clock the burial being completed, the officers sent the men back to the trenches on each side. The officers bade each other adieu and returned to their respective lines."
CAPTAIN FEATHERSTON'S LETTERS WRITTEN IN THE TRENCHES.
"In the Trenches, Afterward Called the Crater,
"Near Petersburg, Aug. i, 1864.
"My Dear Wife. We fought a desperate fight day before yester- day (Saturday). I, through the mercy and protection of an all- powerful God, escaped with, I may say, no injury.
"Wright's and Mahone' s brigades charged and captured the works and failed to capture the fort. We were then ordered to charge the works through an open field, and the charge was the most successful one we ever made. The men clambered over the works as though there were no enemy there. The slaughter was terrible.
"Our brigade (Saunders') is highly complimented in the morn- ing papers, both in Petersburg and Richmond.
"I will write you all the particulars as soon as I have time.
"General Grant mined our works and blew a fort up, and in the confusion captured it, but it was a dear business for him.