War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0294 KY., S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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firing their pieces and cheering loudly. I was at the time near the first trench at the battery recently constructed, and on hearing the rapid firing I instantly ran out into the trench, and upon seeing Major Barnes, Fiftieth U. S. Colored Infantry, asked him what has the matter. He said no orders had been received by him but that the major of the Seventy-sixth U. S. Colored Infantry had just informed him that he had orders to advance at 5 p.m. and as they were at that time forming I concluded to follow the example of other regiments, as I had no orders, and at any rate I could with propriety advance to the support of my own skirmishers and hold the ground that had so gallantly won. The companies were moved out in the advanced sap and marched up to the first line of rebel rifle-pits from which our skirmishers had already driven the enemy and as the line was considerably broken by the heavy firing of the enemy's artillery and the fallen timber, it was halted and reformed under cover of the rifle-pits fallen timber, &c. I then sent an officer to the rear to procure 100 spades and pick for the purpose of entrenching. Before they arrived an officer came up and said that it was General Steele's order that we were to advance no farther at present, but hold the ground we then had. About the time the tools arrived, Colonel Drew, commanding Third Brigade, came up to my right, and in a very ungentlemanly and un officer like manner ordered some of my companies forward, and when informed that they were there by my orders, and could not move without orders from some of their superior officers, he still continued in a perfect tirade of abuse and finally went to the rear. About this time the white troops on the left of the colored division opened fire and commenced cheering which relieved us from most of the enemy's fire, and when they advanced any my adjutant arrived with a verbal order from Colonel Scofield to advance, if I thought it expedient and hold all the ground I could we ceased digging and soon moved forward, but before we had passed over half the remaining distance to the fort my skirmishers, together with the skirmishers of the Forty-seventh U. S. Colored Infantry, had enter it, but not till after the white troops had taken the batteries farther to our left. Lieutenant Jarvis, who had charge of the skirmish line, was killed within about 100 yards of the fort. The abatis in front of and near the fort where we entered it was almost impassable,and could not have been overcome had we attempted it under fire. The enthusiasm of the men was unbonded, and they manifested their joy in every conceivable manner. The siege of Blakely was ended and we returned at about 7 p.m. picked up our wounded and buried our dead. A complete list of the casualties* from the 3rd to the 9th, inclusive is forwarded herewith, and foots up 25 killed and wounded, including two officers, Lieutenant Jarvis, killed, and First Lieutenant Hall, wounded. During the siege I am happy to be able to state the officers and enlisted men under my command did their duty nobly. The conduct of none could be criticized to their discredit, and the behavior of the men when constructing trenches under fire, than which there could scarce be a more trying position, was a convincing proof that the former slaves of the South cannot be excelled as soldiers.

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, yours,

CHAS. A. GILCHRIST,

Colonel Fiftieth U. S. Colored Infantry, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant T. SUMNER GREENE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*Nominal list (here omitted) shows 1 officer and 5 men killed and 1 officer and 18 men wounded.

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