Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/670

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183
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

ranks. With great gallantry they pressed steadily forward, closed up the gaps made by the enemy's musketry and finally gained the famous stone wall, where they were met by a storm of shot and shell that ended their struggle forward and the lives of many of the brave men that had so far survived. Every field officer in the brigade was killed or wounded. In the three days' battle the brigade lost 180 killed, 717 wounded; the Second losing 232, Eleventh 202, Forty-second 265.

General Davis having to write the division report, and every field officer in the brigade participating in the battle having been cut down, there was no one to make special mention at the time of the gallantry displayed by the three Mississippi and one North Carolina regiments in that celebrated charge. Mr. Rietti (Annals of Mississippi, p. 148) writes as follows: "As it was, the Union line proved too strong for the attacking force, and remained unbroken save the place where the brigade of Gen. Joseph R. Davis pushed into it at the historic fence and there halted for breath. At this point Lieut. A. J. Baker and Lieut. Tyler Hester, both distinguished Mississippians, fell severely wounded, and Capt. J. R. Prince, of Noxubee county, after trying in vain to find a superior officer, and learning that strong reinforcements were moving up from the Federal rear, gave the order for retreat. Lieutenants Baker and Hester were left on the field and were taken prisoners and carried to the Union rear, where there was disorder and confusion at this point." Captain Prince, in a recent letter which sounds like an echo from Balaklava, says that after giving the order to retreat the brigade retired, about 300 in number, in passably good order, to their original position; and that Lieutenant Hester informed him that a reputable Federal officer told him (Hester) that dead Mississippians were found higher up the hill, after the battle, than soldiers of any other command. [1]Dr. B. F.


  1. Rietti Annals, p. 149.