Ninth Louisiana Regiment, succeeded in capturing a battery on the right. No supports were at hand, and the approach of the enemy in overwhelming force compelled him to retire. The scattered fragments of the brigade now withdrew, and were reformed near the position which it had occupied through the day. Here I learned for the first time that our brigade commander (Colonel Isaac E. Avery), had been mortally wounded. In his death the country lost one of her truest and bravest sons, and the army one of its most gallant and efficient officers. In the desperate struggle through, which we had just passed, the officers and men of Hoke's brigade fulfilled all the expectations which their gallantry on former occasions had excited. No body of men of equal number could have accomplished greater results against such overwhelming odds. The command of the brigade now devolved upon me, and before daylight, by order of
Major-General Early, I moved into position in the railroad cut on the outskirts of the town. Later in the day, I was ordered to form on the left of Hays' brigade, in one of the upper streets of the town, and in advance of the position on the railroad. At 2 a. m. on the morning of the 5th, the brigade moved of with the division in the direction of Hagerstown. I respectfully beg leave to call your attention to the action of the Fifty-fourth North Carolina Regiment in the engagement at Williamsport, Md., on July 5. A full report of the operations of this regiment by Colonel [Kenneth M.]Murchision is herewith submitted. For a list of casualties in the late campaign, reference is respectfully made to the reports heretofore submitted. *
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. C. GODWIN,
Colonel Commanding Brigade.
Major JOHN W. DANIEL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Early's Division.
No. 474. Report of Major Samuel McD. Tate, Sixth North Carolina Infantry.
IN BIVOUAC, NEAR HAGERSTOWN, MD., July 8, 1863.
MY DEAR GOVERNOR:Excuse the necessity of writing with pencil, and the familiarity with which I address you; but moments are precious, and while I am yet spared I must hasten to perform a sacred duty to you as the honored head of North Carolina, and to her brave citizen soldiers, especially those under my command. The who succeeded in entering the enemy's works at Gettysburg; that our brigade commander was slain, and we have no fiends who will fell for our success on the night of July 2, because all but the Sixth Regiment failed.
*See also p. 340.