Gen. Lafayette McLaws was not only relieved as a division commander by General Longstreet after the Fort Sanders debacle, McLaws was promptly challenged to a duel.
The challenge came from “Major Gerrold [George Bruce Gerald] of the 18th Mississippi Regiment,” according to 13th Mississippi diarist William H. Hill.
Gerald sent the challenge via the 13th’s new commanding officer Major George Lavelle Donald, who had replaced the slain Colonel McElroy.
Major Gerald was “demanding satisfaction for an insult,” Hill wrote in his diary on Dec. 18, 1863, “that General McLaws had him [sic] last summer by endorsing on his application for a furlough that he was an inefficient officer and did not give satisfaction to his men.
“General McLaws refused to accept [the challenge],” Hill concluded, “for the reason that he didn’t consider himself personally responsible for his official acts.”