SOLON Z. RUFF, colonel of the 18th Georgia which followed the Phillips Georgia Legion in the attack on Fort Sanders, was a graduate of the Georgia Military Institute and a professor there until the war began, according to the web site Men of Wofford’s Georgia Brigade. Ruff enlisted and was appointed lieutenant colonel. He would lead the 18th from the beginning with the Texas Brigade until its reorganization under General Wofford.
The Eighteenth Mississippi’s Captain Gart Johnson told Confederate Veteran Magazine years after the war that Ruff was shot down at the edge of the ditch along with Col. Kennon McElroy of the Thirteenth Mississippi. Johnson said they were standing there remonstrating over how to get their entangled commands separated into recognizable units for the fight. And so they die in the novel.