“Tau”, 6th North Carolina Infantry, On the Battle, the Death of Col. Fisher, and the Aftermath

11 08 2020

Correspondence of the Raleigh Standard.
—————

Camp Bee, Near Manassa Junction, Va
July 28, 1861.

Mr. Editor: – After incredible toil and hardships, and sleeping on the ground for a week, we have at last received our tents and baggage, and are now snugly quartered. There is no news of much importance; we are simply waiting for another festival on Sunday when the Yankees come to see us again, and when they do come back again, I hope they will come by forced marches so as to tire them, and then stiffen their legs; for certainly they can outrun any race of people that I have ever seen stretch legs over terra firma. It has been said that the yankees will not fight; well, this is a bad mistake, and if any troops come from North-Carolina under the apprehension that they will have no fight, they will be mistaken; for they fought us with a bravery worthy of a better cause for ten hours, and we whipped them by hard fighting. Our men took deliberate aim, and brought them to the ground, and, moreover, we walked right up to them, and did not stand off at half mile distance. Our regiment was led up by the gallant Fisher within 40 yards, and we silenced the battery first fire. The battery was Rickett’s and not Sherman’s. We all thought it was Sherman’s, but Capt. Rickett was wounded and taken prisoner and said it was his battery, and that our first fire killed every horse, and killed or wounded the cannoneers so that he could not fire the pieces. Had it not been cried out that we were “firing on friends,” we would have swept the field.

It was near this battery, and in advance of his men, that the lamented Fisher fell. Our loss of him was a serious and irreparable one. No man ever loved his men more than he, and none labored for them as he. There was nothing that he would not do for his men, even the lowest private in the ranks. While others might pride themselves upon their rank, he felt as a man, though he acted as a soldier. He never was with the Regiment until at Raleigh, and on our way to Virginia his labors were incessant for the soldiers. On the march from Strasburg to Winchester he walked all the way, giving both his horses to sick soldiers, and when we were thrown into line of battle, hungry and thirsty, on foot he went with the men, his hands full of canteens, to show them where the water was – then went back to Winchester, helped to cook our supper himself, and then did the same again at breakfast. These things riveted the affection of the men, and death itself can never eradicate from their hearts the memory of our gallant Colonel, the lamented Fisher. – When we left Winchester on a forced march to join Beauregard, when he read the orders of Gen. Johnson, the welkin rang with cheers, and when he returned from the left wing after reading the orders there, from the whole line, as one man, there went up three cheers for Col. Fisher, that spoke for themselves. His regiment would have followed him anywhere, and did follow him to the cannon’s mouth. Others may have excelled him in the minutiae of tactics; but none excelled him in bravery. Gallant and brave, he almost courted death; but fell in the hour of victory, lamented by his men. He went to the field determined that he would.

“As victor exult, or in death be laid low.”

His last words were “fire on the battery.”

May the sod lie light on his breast; and his memory shall be cherished by his men as one who knew how to die like a soldier.

We are at present engaged only in the usual routine of camp duty, and with but little prospect of a fight, though I certainly should relish one some Sunday soon; but I think they have pills enough to last them awhile.

We have had quite a number of North-Carolinians here for the past few days, visiting their wounded friends, and others to view the battle ground. Already nearly every bullet, bomb, and every thing else have been picked up off the battle field. I visited it yesterday, with some gentlemen from the old North State; but the odor of dead Yankees hand horses was too delicious entirely for me, and I retreated precipitately, as I think every other one will who has good smellers, and better stomachs.

A detachment of Louisiana troops were burying the putrid bodies of the dead Yankees, who had been lying there, ever since the battle, and they told me they buried eighty-two before breakfast; but hundreds of them in the thickets, will furnish food to the black eagles that collect in immense quantities over the putrid carcasses they left to pollute the soil of the South.

Our wounded men are all doing well, and if properly attended, will soon recover. They have all been removed, and I understand the ladies, where they are, are untiring in their exertions to relieve them. If any body upon this earth deserves compassion and attention, it is the wounded soldier, and rich rewards lie waiting in the land of the hereafter for those angels who bound up the haggard wound, and administered to the wants of those who braved the leaden hail storm of Sunday, the 21st. God bless the ladies, we often hear of them out here, and talk about our wives, sweethearts, &c., &c., but we see the agile form of woman, with her angelic smiles, about as often as we do Abraham. But we are coming back to old Wake after a while, and them we will collect the ladies, bring out the champagne, and have a merrier support than Gen. McDowell had at Centreville, and some of us can get as drunk as he. The difference, however will be, he drank before he won his victory, we will drink after.

Some beautiful ladies near Raleigh, gave us a lot of lint before I left. They will be pleased to know that it has been used on the wounds of as brave boys as ever “shouldered arms.”

I should like to see Raleigh again, and many friends, and my humble home in the country with the loved ones there, but –

Tau.

(Raleigh, NC) Semi-Weekly Standard, 8/7/1861

Clipping Image

Charles Fisher at NCPedia 

Charles Fisher at Wikipedia 

Charles Fisher at Ancestry.com 

Charles Fisher at Fold3 

Charles Fisher at FindAGrave 


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