but I have as little doubt they underrated their strength. Colonel Pegram did not see the enemy engaged after the fight, and therefore had no means of forming a correct estimate for himself. Lieutenant C. W. Statham, who commanded our artillery in the fight, and who was wounded and taken prisoner on the field, and who did have an opportunity of judging me that the enemy had six regiments engaged, under General Rosecrans, on that occasion. As it is said that Northern regiments are composed of twelve hundred men each, it is fair to presume that the six regiments, after making all allowances of r sickness, &c., numbered at least five thousand or six thousand men. According to the estimate of my adjutant, I had with me on that day five hundred and seventy. What chance I would have stood with that number, without artillery, in an attack on five or six thousand men, or even three thousand, flushed with victory, with choice of position, and in possession of artillery and fortifications, every one can decide for himself. Every officer and, I believe, every man in my regiment approved of the course I pursued, and subsequent reflection had only-confirmed my conviction that I acted wisely.
It may be said that I should have renewed the attack, with the expectation that I would be re-enforced from the fort. I had here from one who said his name was Bacon, and who styled himself Colonel Pegram's aid, and who therefore ought to have known that Colonel Pegram was killed before he (the aide) left the fight, and I concluded if his command in the camp would not or could not re-enforce a portion of their own men when engaged in the fight, and whom they knew needed their assistance, I had no reason to believe they would re-enforce me, when they did not know whether I needed their assistance or not. I believed the battle to be over, as far as Colonel Pegram's command was concerned. Had the fight, however, been renewed by any of them, I should unquestionably have gone to their assistance, and so expressed myself at the time.
It is especially unbecoming in that portion of Colonel Pegram's command who remained in the camp, and who took no part in the fight, to find fault with me, as I understand some of them have done, for not quitting my position earlier, or not renewing the attack after I went up the mountain. They knew, or had an opportunity of knowing, that the enemy in large force had come around Colonel Pegram's left flank, and were engaged with a small number of their own men, who needed their assistance. I knew none of these facts until the moment I started up the moutnain, nor whether our men who were engaged needed my assistance or not. If they say they could not leave their posts without disobeying ordered, I say I could not leave my post, where I was informed I was wanted, to go to a place where I did not know whether i was wanted or not, without equally disobeying order. If they sent no messenger to Colonel Pegram, I did send a messenger to him, to know whether my presence was wanted or not. If they say they could not leave their post because they expected the enemy int front, I say I could not leave my post because I expected the enemy by the right flank, by a road along which I was informed by the commanding officer it was almost certain they were coming. If they say that with one thousand two hundred men (for they did not lose one hundred in the fight), with artillery, they were too weak to renew the fight with so numerous an enemy to cut their way out, I say I was too weak with less than half that number, without artillery, to cut my way in.
It has been said that I should have gone to the assistance of Colonel