Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/600

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
117
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

Gen. R. Griffith’s Mississippi brigade, the Thirteenth, Col. William Barksdale; Seventeenth, Col. W. D. Holder; Eighteenth, Col. Thomas M. Griffin; and the Twenty-first, Lieut.-Col. William F. Brandon, pursued the enemy on June 29th down the York river railroad, in the movement General Griffith falling with wounds from which he died on the next morning. Colonel Barksdale now assumed the brigade command. In the evening the Seventeenth and Twenty-first regiments supported Kershaw's brigade, and were actively in battle.

On July 1st, at Malvern Hill, the brigade, after being held under fire for several hours, participated in the desperate and bloody assault on McClellan’s last position. One-third of the brigade fell upon the field, including the regimental commanders, who were each severely wounded. The command of the Thirteenth, which had been in the hands of Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, devolved upon Major McElroy; of the Seventeenth upon Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser; of the Eighteenth upon Lieutenant-Colonel Luse; and of the Twenty-first upon Captain Brooks. The total loss of the brigade in killed was 91, in wounded 434. This was the heaviest of any brigade engaged at Malvern Hill, and is a sufficient testimonial to the desperate courage of the men.

In the fight at Gaines’ Mill, the Sixteenth Mississippi and Twenty-first North Carolina were for a time cut off from their brigade by a stream of men going out of action. General Trimble soon found them and led them up to the front. They were passed by two regiments, who cried out, "You needn't go in; we are whipped; you can’t do anything." But the brave men answered: "Get out of our way; we will show you how to do it." And they did, receiving without answer the enemy's fire, and pushing on through felled trees and up the hill, from which they swept the enemy. One regiment of Federals surrendered in a body. General Trimble declared that this charge, "sustained from the first move-