Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/187

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-HITS Greeks, Italians, Indians, Spaniards, and representatives !1 the M.iithern Kurupean nations. To drilling and molding this sti an M m.i>s he devoted himself with u-lling effect, and to the end th \ wt -n- amongst the most loyal to the cause.

The loth Louisiana went to Virginia and shared in all the battles of the retreat. Promotion was rapid in the regiment, where, out of the forty officers allowed it at one time, thirty-one were killed or wounded. So not many months of active service had been seen by the regiment before Captain Waggaman was made lieutenant-colonel, commanding the loth Louisiana.

On the ist of July, 1862, came the battle of Malvern Hill, and with it came glory and fame to the loth. The story of the battle is \vt-ll known, hut the account of " that charge, less famous, but equally as desperate as that of Balaklava," will bear repetition. The fol- lowing narrative of it is taken from the "Military Record of Louisiana," by the late lamented Napier Bartlett, published some fifteen years ago, viz:

"A daring attempt in the first place had been made to flank Malvern Hill, but this movement had been met by a superior flanking party of the enemy. The brigade now pressed forward across the open field fronting Malvern Hill, with the ardor of young soldiers panting for their first laurels, and ignorant of the madness which had doomed so many of their numbers to cruel wounds or certain death. As they advance the troops on the flank give way, though all of Semmes' brigade continued on gallantly, in spite of the waning light. When within 500 yards of the Federals, the brigade reformed, and the desperate cry rang out: " Fix bayonets charge! " commands almost equivalent to a death sentence. But with the natural ardor of the troops from the Pelican State, the men labored up the crest of the plateau, immediately in front of thirty-three pieces of artillery. Up the hill they go at a double-quick. Colonel Waggaman jump- ing imprudently far in advance of the regiment, but the men tearing on after him. On the last fiftv yards of the charge comes the strain. It lasts but five minutes. In that time 127 men are lost out of 272. So withering was the storm of shell and bullets with which they were received, that at one time they walked over a whole regiment who were lying down, colors and all, and who appeared in the dusky twi- light to be so many corpses. Onward still the little band pursued its way, although unsupported by other troops, until it crossed bayonets with the Federal infantry."