Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/225

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Battle Flag of the Third Georgia.



On the 19th of June General Blanchard had been relieved from duty and Colonel Wright promoted to his office. Lieutenant-Colonel Reid having resigned from the Third Georgia, Major John R. Sturgis was left in command of the regiment.

The afternoon of July 1st General Wright received orders to bring his command together and charge the enemy in front, relying upon General Mahone for support. This movement of Wright's brigade drew the fire of the Federal infantry and artillery on the small column of men. The historian's description of the battle is a wonderful pen-picture:

"A short time before the Battle of Malvern Hill, General Butler, commanding the Federal forces at New Orleans, had issued that offensive order respecting the women of New Orleans that made his name infamous.

"The First Regiment of Louisiana Volunteers was a part of General Wright's brigade, and its battle-cry was 'Remember Beast Butler and our women.'"

The call rang out clear and distinct as Wright's small brigade, the leader in front, sprang forward, eager to grapple with the enemy. It was literally rushing into the jaws of death, and men fell at every step. The enemy's long and heavy lines of infantry and many well-trained pieces of artillery swept down our ranks in a harvest of death. As our lines were thinned, we came together, and, showing an unbroken front, rushed on and up an open field towards our enemy. Regiment against regiment strove to reach the hilltop. Man against man madly rushed forward, each eager to the foremost.

So charging, we went over an elevation and reached a ravine some 300 yards from the enemy's line. Here a halt was called, for a column of the enemy was seen approaching our brigade on the flank.

The Third Georgia was upon this flank; Major Sturgis changed front and met the attack.

The fight was hot and furious. Both determined and desperate sides wrested mightily for victory. Finally, we drove the Federals back, and they broke in confusion to their rear.