me, and I gave the order to my men to fall back singly, as I foresaw that we should be smoked or burned out, for there were several trees felled close to my position. As soon as the first men left I countermanded the order, for hundreds of bullets were sent after him. I think, however, that he was uninjured.
During the shelling many of my men and others on the left had left their rifle-pits and fallen back. In doing this one of my men was wounded (Private Charles O. Storrs). Just before sunset the fire had extended around my rear and on my left, making so dense a smoke that our lines could not be seen. At this time the shelling was resumed, and in less than ten minutes fifteen shells were exploded inside and directly over the pit in which myself and ten men were stationed. I had my men cover themselves as best they could, and ordered bayonets to be fixed in anticipation of a charge being made. At sunset the shelling suddenly ceased and the charge was made, in which myself and 21 of my men were captured. The assaulting party was composed of Captain Wilcox [Watson], of General Gibson's staff, a lieutenant, and thirty men, fifteen of whom were picked from the sudden garrison. The remainder were volunteers. The charge was so sudden and vigorous that we could offer but little resistance. I gave the command to fire, which was obeyed by the majority of my men, but the next instant every man had at least one musket at his dead, with a summons to surrender. I found two muskets and a revolver pointing at me, with a request to come out of the pit. I accepted the alternative thus offered, and in a short time found myself before General Gibson, C. S. Army, who paid a very high tribute to the men of my command. He said he had never seen troops stand shelling as we had that day. From him I learned the plan which resulted in my capture, which is as I have described it. The fire was kindled, that the smoke might cover the assaulting party from our batteries. General Gibson informed me that no other part of the line would be molested; that mine was particularly obnoxious to them, as that forenoon we had killed his chief of artillery, Colonel Garnett [Burnet], and wounded several others. I was taken to Mobile the 1st, to Meridian, Miss., the 3rd, where i have been confined in a stockade until three days since I came to Jackson, and from there to this place; arrived here last evening. Appended is a list of the men captured.* I do not know how many got away; think some must have been killed.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. B. STEARNS,
Captain, Seventh Vermont Veteran Volunteers.
Lieutenant GEORGE W. SHELDON,
Adjutant Seventh Vermont Veteran Volunteers.
No. 40. Report of Colonel Conrad Krez, Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations March 17-April 12.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, THIRD DIV., 13TH ARMY CORPS,
Whisler, Ala., April 15, 1865.
CAPTAIN: Pursuant to orders from headquarters of the division I have the honor to report that on the 17th day of March last my command