The Fifty-third and Fiftieth Georgia did not join in this charge. The order was sent to them, but they failed to receive it. During this time these regiments were still hotly engaged with the enemy, and exhibited unsurpassed stubbornness, and gallantry under repeated assaults of greatly superior numbers, driving the enemy entirely from the field and closing the fight, the Fifty-third Georgia capturing the national colors of the Second Rhode Island Volunteers.
The Fiftieth Georgia, to get into position, was compelled to mount a wattle fence within not more than 60 yards of the enemy's line, which it accomplished in the most gallant style. This regiment exhausted nearly or quite 60 rounds of ammunition. Lieutenant-Colonel Kearse, its gallant commander, notified me during the battle that his ammunition was running low. Immediately Captain Ellis, assistant adjutant-general, bore him an order to replenish his ammunition if possible from the ordnance train, and if this could not be done, still to continue the fight, and exhaust what ammunition he had, and then retire immediately in rear of Mahone's right, which was some 50 yards, in rear of that part of my line. Captain Ellis was also instructed to notify Brigadier-General Mahone and the regimental commander of his right regiment that the Fiftieth Georgia might have to retire after exhausting its ammunition, in order that there might be no confusion. The enemy was signally repulsed, however, and the Fiftieth Georgia retired about 30 yards in rear of Mahone's right, to a sheltered position, after which there was little or no firing, the enemy having disappeared and the combat ceased.
The loss of the brigade in this battle was severe, a detailed statement of which has already been forwarded.
By the enemy's own confession his loss was heavy. Of the 5,000 lost by Sedgwick, which is admitted by the enemy,after counting liberally for his losses at Fredericksburg and in his retreat across the river and elsewhere, not less than nearly one-half must have occurred in my front. During the operations of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd instant, 595 prisoners were captured by the brigade, and 1,489 small-arms, with a number of accouterments, &c., 1,136 of which arms, together with the accouterments, &c., having been previously reported by Lieutenant Semmes, brigade ordnance officer.
After the details herein given, it is deemed unnecessary to dwell upon the heroic conduct of both officers and men, who covered themselves with glory, fully sustaining the high reputation to which my old brigade was fairly entitled by its uniform good conduct and valor displayed on many bloody fields. Upon no field of the war in which the brigade has been called to participate has it ever found itself behind any other. It has always kept pace with the foremost, moving forward with steadiness and coolness, under an inspiration which rendered every man capable of heroic deeds, with no though of defeat, but always confident of victory. It may be well imagined that such regiments contributed little to swell the number of skulkers and fugitives.
Captain Ellis, assistant adjutant-general, although not well, and Lieutenant Cody, volunteer aide-de-camp, deserve special mention for services rendered and coolness and gallantry displayed throughout the entire operations. Although much exposed, I am gratified to say that they escaped unharmed. Lieutenant W. S. Davis, Tenth Georgia, acting assistant inspector-general, was not so fortunate. I regret to report that Lieutenant Davis, while bearing an order, received a frightful would in the face, which will disable him for months. With this regret it mingled the pleasure felt in bearing testimony to his uniform good conduct and