General Lee Makes a Joke

Colonel Charles W. Fields
Colonel Charles W. Fields

The North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online site (NC ECHO) send some interesting things my way once in a while. This arrived yesterday: it is from the Greensboro Patriot, June 23, 1864, and is apparently reprinted from the Richmond Sentinel, from June 20.

I thought I would share it with ECW readers:

 Straggling into a fight

We have heard an incident of the charge on Friday night for the recovery of the works near Petersburg which deserved to be mentioned.

The line of battle was formed, and the charged ordered out afterwards a delay being considered desirable, it was countermanded.  The countermand reached only a part of the troops. The rest accordingly moved forward. The Texans of Field’s division were among those that were halted; but seeing the other part of the line move on, they became restless, and finally impracticable. By ones, and twos, and squads, they broke ranks and went forward. The contagion spread, until soon the whole command, officers and all, took up the well-known yell, and rushed on like a storm. The works were everywhere carried, and what is extremely gratifying, with but little loss.  Gen. Lee is reported to have remarked, that he had known of men straggling to the rear, but had never before heard of them straggling to the front.



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