Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/72

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66 Southern Historical Society Papers.

It is not my desire to enter into any lengthy discussion regarding the gallant infantry defenders of Fort Greggone of the crowning acts of the war but I will speak for the artillery, for, of its actors, it so happens that I am tolerably familiar, and will be as brief as possible.

On the 3ist of July, 1864, while serving in the trenches before Pe- tersburg, Va., with the Washington Artillery, of New Orleans, I received an order from General Pendleton, the chief of artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia, detaching me from that command and placing me in command of Gibbes' battalion of three batteries, then in position just to the right of the crater caused by the explo- sion of the mine on the previous day Major Gibbes having been severely wounded and rendered unfit for duty.

Here we remained until November 6th, when we were relieved by Lieutenant-Colonel Moseley's battalion, and were ordered to a position on the Boydton plankroad, between the city and Hatcher's Run. We were assigned to do the light artillery work of A. P. Hill's corps; and several times during the winter we were moved out in snow and sleet to counteract Grant's flanking movements around our right.

After Early 's misfortunes in the Valley, and the return to the main army at Petersburg of the remnant of his troops under Gor- don, two of my batteries were broken up, and the guns taken to equip those of Gordon, who had left theirs at Fisher's Hill. I was then promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of artillery, and assigned, March 25, 1865, to a battalion commanded by Colonel Mclntosh, as second field -officer, and placed in command of the lines in the vicinity of Fort Gregg, making my headquarters in what was known as the Gregg House, within a hundred yards or so of the fort.

Between Fort Gregg and the lines immediately around the city was a deep ravine with a small creek flowing through it. To utilize this ravine and water a large dam was built, which caused, by an accumulation of water in front of the line of works, an additional obstruction to the advance of an enemy.

But this dam broke, and the waters went with a roar and a rush, carrying houses and bridges before it to the Appomattox river. This necessitated the strengthening of the line of works in front of Gregg, and I received an order from General Lee, in person, after dark on