Page 8 – Autobiography – Benjamin Lafayette Smith
                                                                  
         waiting and watching, he kept his sharpshooters busy picking our men off when one
         unthoughtfully exposed himself, and also using using his artillery a little every day during the
         siege. Nearly every day some of our men were killed. We retaliated by doing the same
         thing. As soon as the siege was commenced, the enemy commenced to build a lane of
         breastworks with cotton bales, by which they could reach a fort on our right on the Jackson
         road. When they got it nearly completed to the fort, one night a litfle after dark our men
         began to set the cotton on fire with turpentine balls. Both rows of cotton were soon in blaze,
         lighting up everything for a good distance, and burned completely up. They then began to
         dig a deep trench in the ground in the same place and reached near enough to throw a biscuit
         in our trenches, on which was written “starvation”. Our men wrote out”plenty of rations
         and Joe Johnston in the rear” and threw it back to them. They got close to blow up the fort,
         this was a signal for a general charge. They made a grand failure, for their line did not get
         near our breastworks. Being color sergeant of the regiment, I was not expected to have a
         gun, but as soon as the siege commenced, and no flags were used, I got me a gun and kept it
         in readiness, and used it in this charge of the enemy and was struck on the side of the head
         by a glancing ball, which caused a slight fracture of the skull, producing concussion of the
         brain, rendering me unconscious at intervals for 24 hours. I was unable to retain anything
         on my stomach for two days, not much the third day. This was about the 15th or 20th June.
         On the 4th of July Pemberton surrendered• his whole army to Grant, and his army was
         paroled and allowed to go to their homes, to remain until they were exchanged. I remained
         in the hospital about ten days after the surrender, and then started home on a horse that
         belonged to our regimental surgeon, Dr. Lowe of Aberdeen Miss. It took me four or five
         days to ride home. No one charged me for entertaining me at night on my way home. I
         improved a little on my way home, but my head was still paining me some, and it continued
         to ~ive some pain until late in the Fall. Our regiment remained at home until about the 1st
         October, I received orders to go into parole camp at Columbus Miss. Not many obeyed the
         order, and it was hard to keep those that went to stay. The legislature, December 1st 1863,
         convened in Columbus, for it was not safe for it to go to Jackson. Desiring to have
         something to do, and to learn something of our public men, and their activities in the state
         legislature, became a candidate for doorkeeper of the Senate, and was elected and served out
         the whole term. This was a good education for me. I learned a good deal about
         parliamentary law, as well as to get acquainted with all of the members of the senate, of
         which James Drave of Choctaw county was president, and also to know a few members of
         the lower house. Our regiment was exchanged about the 1st of March and in about a month
         we were ordered to Montevallo Ala. Just before leaving the ladies of Columbus presented
         our regiment with a battle flag, which I had the honor of bearing. The regiment went down
         the Bigby Qfl a boat from Columbus to Selma GA and from there to Montevallo by rail, and
         remaining there two weeks. We were ordered from there to Flovilla GA, and were assigned
         to John Adams brigade, Lorings division of the army commanded by Gen Joseph E.
         Johnston. He was fighting and slowly penetrating toward Atlanta all the time he was in
         command. About the middle of June he was relieved of command and Gen. John B. Hood
         placed there in his stead, against the wishes of the army. There was some hard fighting at
         times and finally Hardees corps fought all day long about the 1st of August, and near
         Atlanta, there being a great loss of men on both sides-Hoods and Shermans. Finally Hood
         started North toward Decatur Ala., tearing up and burning the cross ties as he marched.
         When we reached Decatur, we had a skirmish with the enemy in which Adjt Sykes and