Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/269

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Return of a Confederate Flag to its Original Owner. 263

that gallant little band of Mississippians were posted behind the stone wall at the foot of the heights, within front of Meagher's Irish bri- gade, which charged up through Fredericksburg and completely decimated them. The slaughter at this point was fearful, and I could walk upon dead bodies the entire distance in front of this position.

Night stopped this memorable battle, and the vanquished Federals withdrew from the front of the victorious Lee.


Those that were not killed in front of Marye's Heights, with the remnants of Warren's and other corps, were huddled in the streets of Fredericksburg, demoralized and panic stricken, and it was at this time that General Jackson proposed to General Lee to turn the coats of his men inside out, so that they could distinguish each other, enter the town, and drive the Federals into the river. General Lee's consideration for the women and children that were compelled to remain within the Federal lines prevented this movement, and during the night Burnside withdrew his defeated army to the north side of the Rappahannock. I have heard it claimed by the Federals that there were no non-combatants in the town during the bombardment, but this is not true. My uncle, an old man over sixty years of age, was killed at the time. A cannon ball carried away one of his legs, and he died shortly after being shot.

G. McG.


The Washington Post December 20, 1891 published the corre- spondence which is here subjoined. In an editorial headed " Litera- ture for Patriots," in its issue of the following day, a sentiment is sounded which should find universal echo. After an expression that the correspondence "makes instructive and encouraging reading," the Post continues :

General Colby, now a prominent and distinguished assistant to the Attorney- General, was among the most gallant officers of the Union army during the war between the States. On scores of des- perate and bloody fields he made good his title to the respect and admiration of his countrymen. That he is as magnanimous in peace as he was intrepid in war the tone of his letter to General