A Rebel View of Chickamauga: Benjamin Williams of the 47th Georgia

This remarkable personal memoir of the Battle of Chickamauga was penned by Benjamin Stuart Williams, the former adjutant of the 47th Georgia Infantry, for the Charleston Sunday News and was published in the October 29, 1911 issue of that newspaper. 

The 47th Georgia was part of Brigadier General Marcus A. Stovall's Brigade of Major General John C. Breckinridge's Division of Lieutenant General Daniel Harvey Hill's Corps. Benjamin Williams moved to South Carolina after the war and lived to the ripe old age of 87, passing away May 13, 1931. He is buried at Beech Branch Baptist Cemetery in Allendale Co., South Carolina. 


        At the close of day Saturday September 19, 1863, Breckinridge’s Division, weary, worn and hungry, was on the edge of the battlefield of Chickamauga. Close in our front on the ground fought over during the day were many dead men and artillery horses. Lying dead very near each other at one place, I noticed six large gray horses and close around were many dead blue artillerymen. I learned afterward that the fire from a Federal battery posted there was very annoying and destructive to W.H.T. Walker’s division while forming into line of battle, shelling his columns as they came up into line. Walker ordered a battery into position and opened fire on the Federal guns; after a short but very hot artillery duel, the Federals quickly changed position and harassed Gen. Walker from a new point. Gen. Walker then send a select detail of sharpshooters at double quick through a wood to a point where they could reach the Federal battery, with orders, not as customary, to ‘pick off the gunners,’ but to kill the horses harnessed to the caissons of the battery. This proved excellent tactics as in the hurried effort to move their guns after the killing of the horses, they lost many of their men, their caissons, and two of their field pieces which fell into our hands. Many of our wounded passed us in ambulances on their way to the field hospitals in the rear. Longstreet’s corps had been sent hurriedly from Virginia to reinforce Bragg in Tennessee; many of the wounded were newly arrived soldiers of the Virginia army.

          A wounded officer gave me very discouraging news of the day’s fight. He said, “You can’t break their lines; they dispute and fight over every inch of ground and don’t mind the bayonet; you’ll catch hell when you strike them tomorrow.” Cold comfort for us.

          Gen. Breckinridge was ordered by Bragg to move to the right and farther front. In this movement we passed over many dead Confederates and a few Federals. We rested under orders to sleep in line on your arms. Very early Sunday morning we were up and awaiting orders. We were very hungry. Very near our line, where we had slept, at regular intervals of space on the ground were small quantities of shelled corn, evidently where artillery horses had been fed and moved before they had eaten all their feed. This corn was hastily raked up and small fires kindled in which the corn was parched and greedily eaten by the men of my command. Just as orders came to fall in, Lt. James Cheshire, Co. H (now an aged citizen of Putnam Co., Florida) ran up the line and gave me a double handful of this then delicious and heartily relished breakfast food.
"You ain't fighting Dutch and 'Downeasters such as you have been
used to up in Virginny..." Above is an image of a typical
Western theater Federal; this soldier being a veteran from
Wood County, Ohio.

          Into line we were ordered to advance in line of battle 300-400 yards. We emerged from this wooded tract into open meadow-like ground. As we reached this glade we encountered a hot fire from a line of skirmishers in the wood beyond. They retired hastily before our advance and the Federal batteries in their rear opened fire with solid shot and shell, firing high above their advanced lines, their shot cutting and crashing through the tree tops above us, many limbs large and small falling around. We were now in the wood, through which the blue skirmishers retreated. Here we were halted and allowed to rest in line while some of Longstreet’s brigades moved to our left that we might take position on the right and open the battle by an attack on the heavily-massed columns of the Federal left wing. Those passing brigades of Longstreet’s corps had suffered severely and met with repulse the evening before. The raillery, almost insuppressible, between commands in the field not actively engaged began. “Oh yes,” said a Longstreet man, “you are a fine set when Uncle Bob has got to send Longstreet from Virginny to advance Bragg’s picket lines.” “Yes,” said a wiregrass man of the 47th Georgia,” you played hell advancing them yesterday evening, didn’t you? And I say sonny, before sundown this evening, you’ll strike the durndest picket lines you ever hit. You ain’t fighting Dutch and ‘Downeasters,’ such as you have been used to up in Virginny.”

          Hushed was the friendly gibe and stilled the rising jest for ‘Attention’ rang out down our line and we knew that our time has come that like the 600 at Balaklava, we were move into the jaws of death, into the gates of hell, that some of us would soon have fought our last battle and ere the morrow sleep our last sleep somewhere on the field before us. We moved to the right and then forward into another opening, apparently a corn field. Here we must have surprised completely a line of Federal skirmishers as without firing they rose up, apparently panic-stricken, some fleeing precipitately to their rear, while others throwing down their guns ran up to us with arms thrown up, begging for mercy. We were holding our fire and hurt not one of them who surrendered, thought I had considerable difficulty in preventing gigantic Lt. Cheshire from sabering a poor fellow who, too frightened to drop his gun, ran toward us with it in his hands.

          Their commanding officer, a captain of Co. B, 42nd Indiana Infantry, handed me his sword, saying he was completely cut off from their army. I gave his sword to our regimental commander who ordered a detail of two men to conduct the prisoners to the rear. Beyond the field through which we were passing, directly in front of the 47th, was a heavily timbered wood; on reaching this, we were ordered to advance cautiously as the Federal battle lines were thought to be on an elevation just beyond this wood. Company E, Capt. DeWitt Bruyn, was deployed as skirmishers at intervals to cover front of the regiment and ordered to feel the way in advance of the regiment. The right of the regiment rested near a public road, our skirmishers on right of line moved along and near this road in the edge of the woods. When near the field in front, a Federal officer, mounted on a fine cream-colored horse, was seen rising along the road approaching our skirmish line, apparently carefully reconnoitering; instantly a shot rang out from the right of our skirmish line; the Federal officer, throwing up his arms wildly, fell from his horse. “Oh what a fall!” said the brave but tender-hearted Capt. Bruyn, commanding the line. “Yes,” said the skirmisher. “I hated it captain, but we’ve got to do that way to keep from being done that way.”

          Capt. DeWitt Bruyn, captain of Co. E, 47th Georgia, was born and reared in the state of New York, made Savannah his home in early manhood, and took up arms for the South. His parents appealed to him by letter to return North and enlist if he would under the stars and stripes. He replied that he made his home there, admired the people, loved the South, and deemed our cause just. He was an anathematized a Rebel, denounced as a traitor, and ostracized by his entire family. Cultured and refined, he was as modest as a virtuous woman, true as steel of the Damascus blade, brave and gallant as Ney or Murat. He was my messmate in camp, my close companion on the march, and side by side we fought in the battle. About five years ago he became an inmate of the Home for Confederate Veterans in Atlanta, Georgia. Two years ago he crossed over the river and I pray that his pure and noble soul is at rest with our God.
General Marcus A. Stovall

          Breckinridge’s division formed the right wing of our army. Adams’ Louisiana brigade was on the extreme right of our division, the 47th Georgia, next to the left of Adams’ brigade. At the farther edge of the wood, our skirmishers met with a galling fire from the enemy’s skirmishers in front of their main line and their batteries opened fire on us in the wood. Moving into the open field, we were closed and in full view of the parked batteries and massed columns of Rosecrans’ left wing. The order was given to charge after our first volley and with fixed bayonets we swept on into the field. Under the terrible fire of grape, a regiment on the immediate left of the 47th gave way and fell back into the woods; this caused some confusion in our brigade and for a short time the 47th was halted in the open field under the terrible fusillade of shot and shell from the batteries and rapid fire from the lines of supporting infantry. The brigade of Louisianans, unaware of this break on their left, swept on and up to the guns in their front. Seeing that the regiment on our left did not rally and come into line and that Adams’ brigade unsupported was being cut to pieces on our right, our regimental commanders ordered the 47th to charge to the support of Adams. Into the blaze and crash and smoke the 47th dashed, but too late; troops could not live in such a fire. The large bay horse of Gen. Adams dashed back through the lines, rider less. Adams was down and his gallant men strewed the ground.

          The gallant Louisiana brigade was almost annihilated. The remnant of that splendid command and the 47th Georgia were hurled back, broken and bleeding, and Breckinridge’s whole division, defeated and crushed, fell back in disorder. Twice on this first assault the flag of the 47th went down and two color bearers lay upon the field. Our flagstaff was cut in two and our colors riddled, but a young officer of our command caught up the flag, bore it safely to the rear where a temporary staff replaced the old and polished one and around it the 47th again rallied, but the field was lost and strewing it over were some of the flower of the command. In this first charge on Sunday morning, the 47th lost in killed and wounded two officers and 74 non-commissioned officers and privates. The whole division sustained heavy loss. In my possession today is the same tattered old flag that waved on that day on that field, recalling vividly to my memory the scenes of those days.

As where the rude Trosach’s dread defile,
Opens on Katrine’s lake and isle

          “Clan Alpine’s best were backward borne, fighting without their chief.’ So fighting for the first time without their trusted chief on Sunday, September 20, 1863, the 47th Georgia was backward borne in the tangled wood and dank defiles close by the dark side of the River of Death, deep, sluggish Chickamauga.

          During some time of our unsuccessful assault before referred to I was only a few minutes, I think ‘hors de combat,’ and utterly unconscious of all surroundings. When the color-bearer Jack Newberne fell clutching to his brave, broad bosom the flag and I caught it up, the Federal batteries were firing at very short range grape, shrapnel, and shell, the shells exploding in front above and around us. One of these exploded so close in my front that I was thrown forward and shocked into insensibility by the force of the concussion. A fragment of the shell cut and shattered the flagstaff just above my hand hold. When I recovered consciousness, I was laying face downward on the field. My first sensation on awakening into semi-consciousness was that I was dead, as thousands of thinking tiny bells seemed ringing in my ears and I felt neither weariness nor hunger then. I felt that I had dreamed but was sinking and lapsing into sweet, peaceful, dreamless sleep again; then it seemed that someone had tenderly raised my head off the ground and I heard someone say “the adjutant is killed” so I must be dead. I thought of my lately widowed mother and wondered if I would soon meet my father, the late colonel of the 47th. I wondered where I was.

          I caught, as if in an echo, a low-sounding “thud, thud” reverberating continuously and seemingly growing clearer, louder, and more and more distinct until I recognized the familiar booming of cannon. Then I seemed to be falling and struggled to rise. On my hands and knees I looked around me and saw dead and wounded men wherever I looked. I then thought of our flag, and then I remembered our charge. I remembered Adams’ brigade was being cut to pieces. I remembered our charge to the rescue. I remembered the confusion, because of a break in the line on our left, the wavering of my regiment and then-nothing more. Again I looked and close beside me within arm’s reach lay one of the finest officers of my regiment and although my senior by many years, my fast firm friend- First Lt. William A. Carswell, commanding Co. D, 47th Georgia. I looked close in his face and saw that he was dead. I crawled up to him and called his name and took his hand. It was yet warm. I remembered then that I had seen him fall close by my side. I must have gone down the instant after.

          Carswell was only 35 years of age but his hair and mustache were white. He was tall, erect and handsome, cool, brave, and courteous in manner, but in speech terse and curt without being rude. He was esteemed and admired as an efficient officer but had few friends in the regiment. He had a near kinsman in the cabinet at Richmond and was influential at headquarters. Proud and of inflexible honesty, as a friend he was true as steel; as an enemy, he was unbending, vindictive, and aggressive. Officers of the army, even of the same command, were not always friends. Quite often a spirit of rivalry made them antagonistic and often bitter enemies. Lt. Carswell died with his heart filled with hatred- bitter as gall- of the captain of his company J. Lawton Singleton. Capt. Singleton was a smooth, resourceful, brilliant lawyer; keen deviser, plausible expounder, and an ambitious, daring adventurer. He loved his curt, independent, defiant lieutenant about as much as his satanic majesty is reputed to love holy water and there was no love lost between them. Upon an occasion while off duty and Singleton and Carswell met, by chance, in my tent, it was only by the quick exercise of all the tact and coolness I possessed that I averted a clash between them after reference by the one to ‘presumptuous impotent subalterns” and by the other to “arrogant, asinine superiors.”

          The high-spirited, sensitive, and proud Maj. Gen. W.H.T. Walker fell dead from his horse in battle at Atlanta, Georgia with the declaration scarcely off his lips that his superior officer, Gen. Hardee, should account to him personally for language used by him (Hardee) in an order to Walker to move his division to a designated point, after sane and earnest protest by Walker. Capt. Singleton remarked to me as we started from Savannah, Georgia to join the Western army, “Now adjutant, by God, sir, for me a yellow sash or a graveyard.” Officers below the rank of brigadier general wore red silk sashes; a yellow sash was insignia of the rank of general. Capt. Singleton never attained to rank higher than captain and continued to wear his red sash so long as he remained in the service, but Carswell, the Christian gentleman and gallant soldier, had fought his last battle and Singleton had need no more to dread his lieutenant, in whom he knew an alert, unyielding rival and a dangerous influential enemy.
Kurz & Allison print of the Battle of Chickamauga

          In substantiation of my belief that there is an undefinable, unimaginable occult source from which, through some inconceivable mystical medium of transmission are on occasion conveyed to the brains and minds of men inspiratory impressions of presentiments, a momentary vague insight or glimpse of futurity, is the fact that the brave, practical, unwavering irony Carswell confided to me before the beginning of the battle of Chickamauga his firm conviction that he would soon fall in battle, never to rise, and in our strictly private interview expressed severe regret that his early fall would end his aid in his country’s service and his opportunity to crush Singleton.

          Where I had fallen in front of those smoke-enveloped Federal guns and lay for some time among the dead and wounded was comparatively safe as the gun muzzles were elevated and shot and shell were going far above us into the woods beyond where our lines were reforming. Sitting up, I noticed my coat front and one sleeve very much blood-stained and I began to question if I had been hit and if so where as I felt no pain except in my head. Reaching my hand to my head I felt no pain but discovered that I was bare-headed. My hat and sword lay close to me, these at once I secured. I then rose and tried to stand up but fell forward again on my hands and knees. I saw down and tried to locate myself. A dense smoke was over the field and men were lying around in all attitudes and I could not tell whether I had fallen with my head or my feet to the foe. I could hear cannon in front of me and cannon in the rear of me. I quickly concluded that those nearest, smoke-veiled, quick-firing guns must be the Federal batteries so I began to crawl in an opposite direction and toward the noise now in front. Going thus some distance I stopped to rest and instinctively crawled to and laid down behind a little stump near which were two dead men. Resting a few moments, I got onto my feet and walked, falling several times to my hands and knees as my right side seemed partially paralyzed or benumbed.

          Reaching the woods, I saw our troops forming into battle line. Shot and shell were hurtling around and above and our batteries to left us of us were replying hotly. Officers were giving their commands for formation in loud tones and rallying their shattered commands in an excited manner. Rejoining my command, I found my regiment apparently more demoralized than I had ever seen it. This gave me great concern and mortification and I determined to remain with them as long as I could stand, though I was by this time suffering severely with racking pains in my head. Our regimental line was about one company shorter than an hour before. Somebody had blundered. We should not have made that charge unless strongly supported and I wondered why we attacked them as we did. I learned afterward that our premature advance was because of a persistent request by Brig. Gen. Adams of the Louisiana brigade to be allowed to charge and capture the batteries in our front which were so furiously cannonading us. “Ours not to why but to charge and die.” Many very brave and gallant officers and men were sacrificed in that desperate encounter.

          Rallying and reforming, we were ordered to rest in line while other troops were coming up. The battle was raging on our left and center. While lying on the ground, big, athletic Lt. James S. Patterson of Co. F and tall broad-shouldered Sergeant Major John R. Mines (Scotch and Irish) were telling me how they raised me up to being me off the field in front when Miniss cried out ‘No use, the adjutant is dead,” and both proceeded to get themselves off for a large shell struck and exploded in the earth very near us, leaving a longitudinal opening. Jack Williams, private in Co. F, by rolling over about twice, dropped into the fissure and appeared quite pleased. “Jack, I asked, “why do you tumble into that hole that way?” “Why Adjutant,” he replied. “a damned bombshell is like lightning. It never strikes twice in the same place.” I did not argue with Jack, his philosophy was generally as incredible and irrefutable as “What is to be will be.” We were held idle in those woods for fully two hours while the battle in front trebly thundering shook the gale. It is a severe strain on troops to keep them on the edge of a battlefield, within hearing of the fray and range of fire. Illustrative of this was the exclamation of Lt. Doyle of Co. A. “Adjutant, why the devil do they hold us here to be hot without even being shot at?” There were two lieutenants Doyle in my regiments, both Irish. This one was known as “Red” Doyle. He was more than six feet tall, powerfully built, with red hair, red beard, and red skin- ferocious as a tiger. He went through the war and was post bellum sheriff of a county in upper Georgia. Heavens, what a sheriff Red I imagine.

          At about 4 P.M. came the order ‘fall in and be ready to move quickly to the left.’ As we stood in line awaiting the passage of some batteries moving to the left where the battle seemed to be terrific and into which I knew we were going, an incident, slight, unimportant in our proceeding and scarcely heeded at the time, occurred which always appears to my memory-picture of the battle of Chickamauga. A battery of Tennessee artillery halted for a moment in front of our line. At the halt, the driver on the rear horse of the first gun was not more than eight feet in front of me and about two feet on the right from a straight line. He was a fine, handsome young fellow and sat on his horse so ‘a la chevalier’ as to attract my attention and excite my admiration. I thought ‘what a superb cavalryman he would be. At that instant, a small conical shell from the enemy whizzed across and just above the back of the horse on his right and struck the young soldier squarely in the side, completely disemboweling him, passed the distance of about 30 feet, struck a large tree, and exploded. He was not jolted in his saddle and as I observed him closely, his eyes closed as gently as if he were falling asleep, his arms dropped by his side and he began to sink forward. Before I could step to his side, two gunners of the battery sprang from the gun chest and caught him in their arms as he swayed slowly forward.  Laying him on the ground, almost at my feet, one sprang into the saddle, the other back onto the chest, and the batteries moved quickly forward as the bugle was sounding forward.

          The artillery out of the way began one move at quick time to the left. Instead of moving right oblique thus nearing our line in action, we swept around almost at a right angle nearing the Chickamauga River, halted, fronted, and double-quicked forward through a wood bordering the stream into the edge of a large opening which extended far in our front. Here we formed a line of our batteries, guns unlimbered, loaded, pointed, and gunners standing with fuse inserted and lanyard in hand, ready to fire. Close in rear of this line of field pieces was a line of infantry standing with fixed bayonets. Through these lines we passed and halted ten paces in front of the artillery, fixed bayonets, and laid down in closed rank in line- front line as ever seemed our forte. Our line of battle engaged in front was suffering severely and being pressed slowly backward by overwhelming numbers, but they were stubbornly fighting over every inch of ground, giving way only as they were pressed and borne backward. They were Cleburne’s regiments than which no better ever marshaled on any field on earth. In the momentary lull that occurred and always occurs in battle, we could hear the cheering of the men engaged and knew by experience how the battle went. Now the fierce yell of the Confederates told of their onslaught as aggressors; then the hoarse sounding hurrahs of the Federals told of their forward movement but all coming nearer steadily told that we were gradually giving ground. We were to hold our fire until our engaged line had fallen back, under orders, and was safe in the rear, then at the first cannon broadside, we were to deliver our fire and charge everything in our front with the bayonet.

          Never through my four years of service did I experience such suspense, subdued excitement, intense anxiety, fearful anticipations, and prayerful hope as in those 15 minutes of waiting. I knew that victory was trembling in the balance and upon us then and there devolved the great responsibility of turning the mighty tide of battle, deciding the issue that was perhaps to shape our destiny. For two whole days the battle had lasted, fought with skill, valor, desperation, and ferocity and now the critical moment had come which was to decide for the one victory, for the other defeat. Generals of divisions and brigades rode back and forth in front of our phalanxed lines waving high their swords and exhorting their men for God’s sake to stand firmly and at the word of command to charge and let nothing between heaven and earth stay them and that victory was theirs. A general officer on the immediate right of my command rode at full speed up and down his line with plumed hat held high on the point of his sword inciting his command to the greatest enthusiasm. The troops caught the spirit of their leaders and panted in almost breathless suspense for the movement of action; in fact, it is difficult to restrain and prevent them from singing out in their Rebel yell and dashing pell-mell into the smoke-enshrouded fray in front.

          Our regimental commander of the morning had been wounded in the morning’s fight (Capt. William S. Phillips) and the senior captain had succeeded to the command. No braver man than he wore sword and bars in Breckinridge’s command, but he was unpopular and very much disliked by the men (Capt. Joseph S. Cone). I feared his leading on this account. He appealed to me to sustain him in the coming ordeal. Personally, we were unfriendly and had his reputation alone been at stake, I, as did the famous warrior in the siege of Troy, might have sulked in my tent but cherishing fondly in my heart the reputation of my command and dear to me was our cause, I was willing and ready to sacrifice all, even life, for victory in this hour. Passing down the line of the 47th, I said to the company commanders “We are well supported and victory is within our reach this hour. I will never come off the field alive if every man in the regiment falls back. I appeal to you, officers and men; we will shout in victory or sleep in death on the field in front of us. “Living or dead, adjutant, we will stay with you. We will go and stay with you, so help me God. We’ll bite the dust before we’ll turn our backs.” “God damn the Yankee host, we will rout them now and pay them for this morning’s work. Lead us now, adjutant,” and other like responses came thick and fast to me.  I said to the captain commanding, “The regiment is all right. Do your duty.”

          I had scarcely regained my place in line when our advanced and struggling line came falling back under orders to fall in our rear. They came in perfect order and more defiantly than I ever saw troops fall back, for they would face about, fire, yell, and load again. Seeing our supporting line, they wanted to rally and charge again, but the men were exhausted. As we let them through our ranks, many of them would fall, pitching forward like wounded or dead. Others would fall to a sitting posture and then away backward in collapse to the earth. Then could be heard the cheery and loud hurrah from thousands of throats rising and swelling like the mighty roar of a tempest-tossed seas and out from under the battle smoke clouds and beyond the smoke line of the ensanguined field came the serried, charging lines of blow like the mighty waves of an ocean sweeping in all their power and majesty towards a crag-bound shore Officers on rearing steeds waved their swords gallantly and cheered their columns on. On our side was a deathly stillness-silent as the soundless crags.

          Into the open, suddenly, they are confronted by our lines; their cheering dies upon their lips or in their throats and for an instant, they halt in startled surprise. In that instant, there rings out the command ‘Fire!” And as if a thousand thunder bolts from heaven, our cannon crash and our rifles rings, and then from 10,000 throats range out the Rebel yell. “As all the fiends from heaven that fell, and pealed the banner cry of hell,” and our double line of gray dashed forward with the bayonet. The blue columns wavered an instant, delivered a straggling fire, then broke and fell back in confusion and disorder, a few surrendering, but the greater number fleeing to their rear, many of them throwing down their arms and stripping off their accoutrements. Some of their officers acted magnificently and displayed great gallantry in their efforts to rally their shattered, routed, and fleeing columns. Our line swept forward not waiting to load and dire and the rout becomes general. Far on our right and left we could hear the victorious shouts of our troops. Rosecrans’ splendid army, all save Thomas’ corps, was beaten, routed, and in full retreat at sundown of that fatal Sabbath day. We were in full possession of the field and of the thousands of dead and wounded of both sides. Such a sight as I witnessed in the flight of those shattered line and broken columns of thousands of the finest soldiers of the Federal army- grand, glorious, and magnificent to me then- is seldom seen in life. I pray God that it may never again be seen in this nation by posterity.

          When we halted at about twilight on the farther edge of the field, next to Chattanooga, we were on the ground which the 47th had fought in the morning and that night we slept, after the day’s separation, with our comrades, the victorious living with the immortal dead of the regiment. The whole field of broad extent was strewn with the dead and wounded, thousands, of blue and gray, and the men of my regiment broke their long fast with food with food from the haversacks of some of the dead. When I had, after dark, opportunity to rest I was too hungry to sleep so I started out to hunt rations. I felt in the dark of many a dead man’s haversack before I found one containing anything. Finding one at last on a Federal corporal with a small piece of meat and a few hardtack, I cut the strap so as to pull it from around him without disturbance of the dead body. Haversacks of food and canteens of water were all and everything that I ever took from the person of a dead soldier and that only when I was actually suffering.

          We were up early in the morning of the 21st Monday. Heavy details of men were made from each regiment to bury the dead. As soon as possible, I hastened to look after my dead friend Carswell. He was lying as I had last seen him, at full length on his back, but his sash, sword, and belt were gone, also his hat and costly new shoes. The eagle staff buttons had been cut and taken from his coat and his pockets rifled of everything their contained, among which was a very handsome valuable watch. The orderly sergeant of Co. D was a nephew of the dead officer. To this young sergeant, I gave a special detail to bury his uncle and my friend. We marked the grave and not long afterwards, the body was taken from the narrow rocky grave at Chickamauga and now rests among his loved and living ones in Scriven County, Georgia.

          After viewing Carswell’s dead body in the early morning, as I turned toward the road opposite, a group of officers from the 47th was standing in the road where Adams’ brigade had fought on our right in the morning. Several of these officers were of South Carolina stock- Aiken, Singleton, Hazzard, Kennedy, Cone. Capt. Singleton beckoned me and as I approached the group he said, pointing to a dead man lying in the road, “Adjutant, there lies a scion of the noble stock of your and our old Palmetto State.” I saw at a glance that the dead man was an officer, that he was young, of medium size, finely formed, or dark complexion, evidently in life a very handsome man. He had been robbed as had been Carswell but I saw on his collar the imprint of a single star. I said, “Was he a major? Of what name and command?” Singleton replied, “Major Loudon Butler, commanding the 19th Louisiana regiment, Adams’s brigade, and you well know that he led his command on this field as gallantly as did ever his noble ancestor lead his on the fields of Mexico.”

          The litter corps and burying detail were hard at work; surgeons and nurses were busy on the field and in the improvised hospital under tent flies and trees; bugles were sounding amid drums beating the call ‘to arms’ which was ringing from right to left. We, who heard, took our places in line, turning our backs on and marching away from those who, on yesterday morning, had fallen in and fought beside us. We left them with only ‘glory to guard the bivouac of our dead.’


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