Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/85

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
75
"Four Years with General Lee."

of the force which had occupied it." The author is mistaken. The long protracted musketry fight occurred on the left face of the salient, which was held by the Confederates, after its recapture early in the morning, until 4 o'clock at night, when the troops near the salient were withdrawn to a line that was constructed while the fight was going on and mainly after dark. When the salient was captured, the enemy, in a confused mass, surged along the right face, swept up Steuart's brigade, and had gotten somewhat in rear of the left of Lane's brigade, when it was withdrawn promply to the short, unfinished line on the crest in rear. The enemy was caught in the angle between the two lines, and after being subjected to a close and sharp fire in flank and somewhat in enfilade, were expelled from this part of the lines with serious losses in killed and wounded. Lane was reinforced with Thomas' and Scales' brigades of my division, but after he had driven the enemy out of the lines. Two brigades of Anderson's division (Perrin's and Harris') and McGowan's brigade of my division were sent to recapture the salient. The first to reach the vicinity of the salient was the Alabama brigade of Perrin. This was rushed ahead under a terrible fire of musketry, drove the enemy from the short, unfinished line in rear of the salient, and General Perrin fell shot dead from his horse as he leaped the unfinished breastwork. The Adjutant General of the brigade, Captain Walter E. Winn, was wounded near the same place. The Mississippi brigade (Harris') was the next to follow. It also reached the front line under a heavy fire, much of it from the salient, the enemy occupying traverses at and near it. The South Carolina brigade (McGowan's) was the next to reach the main or front line. It had to cross under a heavy fire also. Its commander, General McGowan, was seriously wounded, and did not personally reach the front line. Colonel Brockmar, Thirteenth South Carolina, senior colonel of the brigade, was killed before reaching the front or outer line. General Harris was the senior officer of these three brigades from early in the morning until they were withdrawn, about 4 A. M.

Page 139. "The Federal loss in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, North Anna, Cold Harbor," is put at "above sixty thousand men" by Mr. Swinton in his "History of the Army of the Potomac," and the author of "Four Years with General Lee" probably intends this to be his estimate of Federal losses during that period. The report of the Surgeon-General of the army, and which must be regarded as official, states the losses