Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/102

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98 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Captain E. M. Morrison. Of the non-commissioned officers and privates ten (10) were killed and fifty-eight (58) wounded.

General Paul J. Semmes' Brigade of McLaws' division consisted of two Georgia and two Virginia regiments. In his report, General Semmes says: "The loss in killed and wounded was of the Fifiy- third Georgia, 30 per cent. ; 32d Virginia, 45 percent.; Tenth Geor- gia, 57 per cent.; Fifteenth Virginia, 58 per cent."

As to the colors, he says: "The colors of the Fifty-third received two shots; that of Fifteenth Virginia ten, and the pike was once cut in two; two color-bearers were wounded, and one of the color guard was killed and one wounded."

The colors of the Thirty-second Virginia received seventeen shots, and the pike was once cut in two, and one of the color guard wounded.

McLaws' division came to the aid of Jackson on the Confederate left at a critical time. Every one of Jackson's brigades had been forced back by the heavy assaults, saving only the brigade of Early, which was the extreme left of Lee's infantry. Early, with a remnant of Ewell's old division, under the indomitable Colonel Grigsby, of the Twenty-seventh Virginia Infantry, Stonewall Bri- gade, and with McLaws' division (after himself checking the enemy), made the counterstroke that turned the fortunes of the day. The statistics tell the terrible struggle, but it takes a soldier who was there to give vivacity to the same. Knowing Mr. C. A. Richard- son, of the Life Guard, of Richmond, which was in the Fifteenth Virginia, and having been favorably impressed by an article from his pen, I asked him to give his account of the Fifteenth in the battle. This he in turn asked his brave commander, Col. E. M. Morrison, and he has kindly done it. The colonel was a Virginia Military Institute cadet when the war came, and, like so many of the gallant boys of this illustrious school, soon became a drillmas- ter of the crude Virginia Volunteers, then a captain, and a little later a field officer of the famous Fifteenth. When the Fifteenth, with Semmes' Brigade, was flung into the crucible of battle, the fine mettle of its composition appeared, and Morrison, its com- mander, showed the stuff he was made of. The Thirty-second was its twin comrade, and with the gallant Georgians, carried high the shredded flag of Lee's Paladins in "the gamest fight of the Nineteenth Century."

I have added to the colonel's account General Ezra A. Car- man's comparison of the Sharpsburg with other great battles.