Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 37.djvu/291
The Color Episode. 283
command south of the McPherson buildings, being one of those wide-awake and observant fellows whose eyes take in more than those of the average man., he got a glimpse of both our flags, as the bearers were making the race of their lives to reach our line. Amid the smoke, hurry and confusion of battle, it appeared to him as if both flags had shot out from the barn. He and his nearest comrades at once directed their fire on Brehm ; and when he was struck down, this fleet-flooted Virginian was the first to reach him. As he hurried to the rear with his trophy, he passed near me, and though the sight was anything but pleasing, I can- not efface it from my memory.
In an address, which I delivered in after years, (embodied in the pamphlet repeatedly referred to in this paper), I alluded to this gallant Confederate in rather intemperate language, which subsequently, when my war-time animosities had finally died out, I regretted. I then reflected that had I been born and bred as far south of Mason and Dixon's line as Mr. Lumpkin, I too, would most likely have been fighting in the Confederate ranks, as sincere a rebel as any of them, and would have been proud of capturing a Federal flag.
Thinking that the pamphlet, containing said address, might possibly fall into Mr. Lumpkin's hands, I wrote to him lately, tendering an apology for the language I had used, and in reply received a charming letter bearing the impress of a cultured mind, filled with lofty ideals, and evincing a warm attachment to our common country. He entered the Gospel ministry after the war and bore aloft the banner of the Prince of Peace for many years. He is now nearly blind, the effect of an attack of la grippe.
WHOSE WAS THE FAULT?
Having now given the facts of our color episode, it is not difficult to determine who is responsible for their loss. Not a particle of blame attaches to the Color Bearers and guards, nor to the Color Company. It is the Lieut. Colonel commanding the regiment, and the officers successively commanding the brigade, who are accountable. The responsibility of ordering Brehm back to his proper place, rested on them. The major part of the blame belongs to Dwight. Next in the order named are Stone, Wister