Infomotions, Inc.History of Kershaw's Brigade / Dickert, D. Augustus



Author: Dickert, D. Augustus
Title: History of Kershaw's Brigade
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Title: History of Kershaw's Brigade

Author: D. Augustus Dickert

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HISTORY OF KERSHAW'S BRIGADE

With Complete Roll of Companies, Biographical Sketches, Incidents,
Anecdotes, etc.

by

D. AUGUSTUS DICKERT







[Illustration: LT. COL. AXALLA JOHN HOOLE Eighth South Carolina
Volunteer Regiment Kershaw's Brigade October 12, 1822-September 20,
1863]




INTRODUCTION.


For three reasons, one purely personal (as you will soon see), I am
pleased to play even a small part in the reprinting of D. Augustus
Dickert's The History of Kershaw's Brigade ... an undertaking in my
judgment long, long, overdue.

First, it is a very rare and valuable book. Privately published by
Dickert's friend and neighbor, Elbert H. Aull, owner-editor of the
small-town weekly Newberry (S.C.) Herald and News, almost all of
the copies were shortly after water-logged in storage and destroyed.
Meantime, only a few copies had been distributed, mostly to veterans
and to libraries within the state. Small wonder, then, that
Kershaw's Brigade ... so long out-of-print, is among the scarcest of
Confederate War books--a point underscored by the fact that no copy has
been listed in American Book Prices Current in fifty years. Only one
sale of the book is recorded in John Mebane's Books Relating to
the Civil War (1963), an ex-library copy which sold for $150. More
recently, another copy, oddly described as "library indicia, extremely
rare," was offered for sale by second-hand dealer for $200. Under
these circumstances it is difficult to determine why, amidst the
ever-increasing interest in the irrepressible conflict, this unique
book has had to wait seventy-five years to make its reappearance on
the American historical scene.

My second reason is that, in company with other devotees of the
Confederacy, I consider Kershaw's Brigade ... one of the best
eye-witness accounts of its kind, complete, trustworthy, and intensely
interesting. Beginning with the secession of South Carolina on
December 20, 1860, Dickert describes in detail the formation,
organization, and myriad military activities of his brigade until its
surrender at Durham, N.C., April 28, 1865. During these four years
and four months, as he slowly rose in rank from private to captain,
Dickert leaves precious little untold. In his own earthy fashion he
tells of the merging of the Second, Third, Seventh, Eighth, Fifteenth,
and Twentieth regiments and the Third Battalion of South Carolina
Volunteer Infantry into a brigade under the command of General Joseph
Brevard Kershaw, McLaws' division, Longstreet's corps, Lee's Army of
Northern Virginia. First Manassas was the brigade's, baptism of
fire. Seven Pines, the Seven Days, Second Manassas, Harper's Ferry,
Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg followed.
And when the enemy began knocking at the back door of the Confederacy
in late 1863, it was Longstreet's corps that Lee rushed to the aid of
Bragg's faltering Army of Tennessee. After the victory at Chickamauga
and a winter in Tennessee, the corps was recalled to Virginia--and
to the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and the
Shenandoah Valley. Then, once again, as Sherman's mighty machine
rolled relentlessly over Georgia and into South Carolina in 1865,
Kershaw's Brigade was transferred "back home," as Dickert proudly put
it, "to fight the invader on our own native soil."

But Kershaw's Brigade ... is much more than a recounting of military
movements and the ordeals of battles. It is at once a panorama of the
agonies and the ecstacies of cold-steel war. Few such narratives are
so replete with quiet, meditative asides, bold delineations of daily
life in camp and on the march, descriptions of places and peoples,
and--by no means least--the raucous, all relieving humor of the common
soldier who resolutely makes merry to-day because to-morrow he may
die. Thus, to young Dickert did the routine of the military become
alternately matters grave or gay. Everything was grist for his mill:
the sight of a pretty girl waving at his passing troop train, the
roasting of a stolen pig over a campfire, the joy of finding a keg
of red-eye which had somehow fallen--no one knew how--from a
supply wagon; or, on another and quite different day, the saddening
afterthoughts of a letter from home, the stink of bloated, rotting
horses, their stiffened legs pointed skyward, the acrid taste of
gun-powder smoke, the frightening whine (or thud) of an unseen
sharpshooter's bullet, and the twisted, shoeless, hatless body of
yesterday's friend or foe.

E. Merton Coulter, in his Travels in the Confederate States: A
Bibliography (1948), called Dickert's "a well-written narrative,
notably concerned with the atmosphere of army life," adding that
"there is no reason to believe that he embellished the story beyond
the general outlines of established truth." Douglas S. Freeman
considered Kershaw's Brigade ... a reliable source for both his R.E.
Lee (1934-1935) and Lee's Lieutenants ... (1942-1944), and Allen
Nevins et al., in their Civil War Books: A Critical Bibliography
(1967), described it as "a full, thick account of a famous South
Carolina brigade," alive with "personal experiences of campaigns in
both East and West."

With these comments I agree. The book is indeed intimate, vigorous,
truthful, and forever fresh. But, as I stated earlier, there is
a third and personal reason why I am proud to have a hand in the
republication of Kershaw's Brigade.... My grandfather, Axalla John
Hoole, formerly captain of the Darlington (S.C.) Riflemen, was
lieutenant colonel of its Eighth Regiment and in that capacity fought
from First Manassas until he was killed in the Battle of Chickamauga,
September 20, 1863. (His photograph is inserted in this edition and
Dickert's tributes to him are on pages 278, 284-285.)

Two days before his death Hoole pencilled his last letter to his wife.
Previously unpublished, it frankly mirrors the esprit de corps of
the men of Kershaw's Brigade on the eve of battle. En route from
Petersburg to Chickamauga by train, the men of the Eighth Regiment
passed through Florence, just ten miles from their homes in
Darlington. Upon arrival at Dalton, Ga. on September 18 Hoole wrote
"Dear Betsy":

I don't know how long we will remain here, so I am hurrying to write
you a few lines, with the sheet of paper on my knee to let you know
that I am as well as could be expected under [the] circumstances.... I
feel pretty well. I heard yesterday that [General W.S.] Rosecrans had
fallen back, so there is no telling how far we may have to march or
how long it will take before we have a battle here.... Oh, my dear
wife, what a trial it was to me to pass so near you and not see you,
but it had to be. About 40 of our Regt. stopped, and I am sorry to
inform you that all of Company A, except the officers, were left at
Florence. That company did worse than any other.... But I know with
some it was too hard a trial to pass. There were some, however, who
left, who had seen their families in less than a month....

We left our horses at Petersburg to follow us on. I left Joe [his
servant] in charge of mine, and I don't know when they will come up.
I feel the need of Joe and the horse, as I can't carry my baggage, and
fare badly in the eating line. [We] took our two days rations and
went to a house last night to have it cooked, but I can't eat it. The
biscuits are made with soda and no salt and you can smell the soda
ten steps.... If I can't buy something to eat for the next two days, I
must starve.... I made out to buy something occasionally on the way to
keep body and soul together.... I must close, as I may not be able
to get this in the mail before we have to leave here.... Kiss my dear
little ones for me, tell all the Negroes howdy for me.... Write as
soon as you get this. Direct it to me at Dalton, as I expect this will
be our post office for the present. Do my dear wife don't fret about
me. Your ever loving Husband....

D. Augustus Dickert, the author of Kershaw's Brigade ... was born on
a farm near Broad River, Lexington County, S.C., in August, 1844,
the son of A.G. and Margaret (Dickinson) Dickert, both from nearby
Fairfield County. In June, 1861, at age seventeen, he enlisted as a
private in Company H, Third Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, made
up of men mostly from Fairfield, Lexington, and Newberry counties.
Wounded four times (at Savage Station, Fredericksburg, the Wilderness,
and Knoxville), he was gradually promoted to captain and during the
latter part of the war, according to his friend Aull, "he was in
command of his regiment acting as colonel without ever receiving his
commission as such."

After the war Colonel Dickert, as he was best known, returned to his
farm, and took an active part in community life, including leadership
in the local Ku Klux Klan. Meantime, he read widely to improve his
education--as a boy he had attended a country school for only a
few months--and by middle-age had become "better educated than many
college graduates." Well versed in history, astronomy, and literature,
he turned to writing as an avocation, producing numerous stories which
were published in the Herald and News and several magazines. One of
his stories, A Dance with Death, considered by his contemporaries "one
of the most thrilling narratives," was based on true experiences
which earned him the reputation of being a "stranger to danger and
absolutely fearless." His Kershaw's Brigade ... was written, as
he announced, at the request of the local chapter of the United
Confederate Veterans and published by Aull "without one dollar in
sight--a recompense for time, material, and labor being one of the
remotest possibilities."

Dickert was married twice. By his first wife, Katie Cromer of
Fairfield County, he had four children, Roland, Claude, Alma, and
Gussie; and by his second, Mrs. Alice Coleman, also of Fairfield, one
child, Lucile, now Mrs. A.C. Mobley of Denmark, S.C.

Dickert died suddenly at his home of a heart attack on October 4,
1917, aged seventy-three, and was buried in Newberry's Rosemont
Cemetery.

University of Alabama

W. Stanley Hoole

       *       *       *       *       *

In preparing this preface I have enjoyed the assistance of Mrs. Lucile
Dickert Mobley, Dickert's only surviving child; Mrs. A.S. Wells,
a niece, of 1120 West 46 St., Minneapolis, Minn.; Mrs. Kathleen S.
Fesperman, librarian of Newberry College; Inabinett, librarian, South
Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, and his student
aide, Miss Laura Rickenbacker; and Robert J. and Mary E. Younger,
owners of the Morningside Bookshop, Dayton, Ohio. Besides the letter
(which I own) and the books mentioned in the text I have also used The
Dictionary of American Biography, X, 359-360 (New York, 1933); Battles
and Leaders of the Civil War, ed. by Robert U. Johnson and Clarence
C. Buell, III, 331-338 (New York, 1884-1888); James Longstreet, From
Manassas to Appomattox ... (Philadelphia, 1896); The Photographic
History of the Civil War, ed. by Francis T. Miller, II, III, X, passim
(New York, 1911); W.A. Brunson, Glimpses of Old Darlington (Columbia,
1910); and Elbert H. Aull, "D. Augustus Dickert" in the Newberry
Herald and News, Oct. 5, 1917.

       *       *       *       *       *


INTRODUCTION.


More than thirty-four years have passed away since the soldiers who
composed the Second South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, the Third
South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, the Eighth South Carolina
Regiment of Infantry, the Fifteenth South Carolina Regiment of
Infantry, the Twentieth South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, and the
Third South Carolina Battalion of Infantry, which commands made up
Kershaw's Brigade, laid down their arms; and yet, until a short
time ago, no hand has been raised to perpetuate its history. This
is singular, when it is remembered how largely the soldiers of this
historic brigade contributed to win for the State of South Carolina
the glory rightfully hers, by reason of the splendid heroism of her
sons in the war between the States, from the year 1861 to that of
1865. If another generation had been allowed to pass, it is greatly
feared that the power to supply the historian with the information
requisite to this work would have passed away forever.

The work which assumes to perpetuate the history of Kershaw's Brigade
should not be a skeleton, consisting of an enumeration of the battles,
skirmishes, and marches which were participated in--with the names of
the commanding officers. What is needed is not a skeleton, but a body
with all its members, so to speak. It should be stated who they were,
the purposes which animated these men in becoming soldiers, how they
lived in camp and on the march, how they fought, how they died and
where, with incidents of bravery in battle, and of fun in camp.
No laurels must be taken from the brow of brave comrades in other
commands; but the rights of the soldiers of Kershaw's Brigade must
be jealously upheld--everyone of these rights. To do this work, will
require that the writer of this history shall have been identified
with this command during its existence--he must have been a soldier.
Again, he must be a man who acts up to his convictions; no toady
nor any apologist is desired. If he was a Confederate soldier from
principle, say so, and apologize to no one for the fact. If he loved
his State and the Southland and wished their independence, say so, and
"forget not the field where they perished." Lastly, he ought to have
the ability to tell the story well.

The friends of Captain D. Augustus Dickert, who commanded Company H of
the Third South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, are confident that he
possesses all the quality essential to this work. He was a splendid
soldier--brave in battle, clear-headed always, and of that equilibrium
of temperament that during camp life, amid the toil of the march, and
in battle the necessity for discipline was recognized and enforced
with justice and impartiality. He was and is a patriot. His pen is
graceful, yet strong. When he yielded to the importunities of
his comrades that he would write this history, there was only one
condition that he insisted upon, and that was that this should be
solely a work of love. Captain Dickert has devoted years to the
gathering together of the materials for this history. Hence, the
readers are now prepared to expect a success. Maybe it will be said
this is the finest history of the war!

Y.J. POPE. Newberry, S.C., August 7, 1899.

History of Kershaw's Brigade. By D. Augustus Dickert. (9x5-3/4, pp.
583. Illus.) Elbert H. Aull Company, Newberry, S.C.

       *       *       *       *       *


The name of Kershaw's Brigade of South Carolinians is familiar to all
who wore the gray and saw hard fighting on the fields of Virginia, in
the swamps of Carolina and the mountains of Tennessee. This was "the
First Brigade of the First Division of the First Corps of the Army of
Northern Virginia," and many of its members volunteered for service
before the first gun was fired at the Star of the West, while its
ragged regimental remnants laid down their arms at Greensboro not
till the 2d of May, 1865, nearly a month after the fateful day of
Appomattox. Its history is a history of the war, for, as will he seen,
there were few pitched battles in the East that did not call forth its
valor.

The author of the book is D. Augustus Dickert, who, at the age of
15, ran away to fight and surrendered as captain in the Third South
Carolina Volunteers. He was a gallant soldier all through, and he has
written a good book, for the broader lines of history are interwoven
with many slight anecdotes and incidents that illustrate the temper of
the times and impart to the narrative a local coloring. The following
is a good example of its style: "The writer was preparing to enter
school in an adjoining county. But when on my way to school I boarded
a train filled with enthusiasts, some tardy soldiers on their way to
join their companions and others to see, and, if need be, to take old
Anderson out of his den. Nothing could be heard on the train but war
'taking of Sumter,' 'old Anderson' and 'Star of the West.' Everyone
was in high glee. Palmetto cockades, brass buttons, uniforms and gaudy
epaulettes were seen in every direction. This was more than a youthful
vision could withstand, so I directed myself toward the seat of war
instead of schools." Although somewhat theatric, this is an accurate
presentation of those early days.

The chief merit of Captain Dickert's book is that it presents the gay
and bright, as well as the grave side of the Confederate soldier's
experience. It is full of anecdote and incident and repartee. Such
quips and jests kept the heart light and the blood warm beneath many a
tattered coat.

The student of history may wish a more elaborate sketch. But the
average man who wishes to snatch a moment for recreation will be
repaid as he takes up this sketch. There are some faults of style and
some of typography; but, all in all, this is a hearty, cheery, clean
book. It extenuates some things, maybe; but it sets down naught in
malice. As a local history it is an interesting contribution to the
chronicle of the period. R. MEANS DAVIS. S.C. College. 10-31-01


CAPT D. AUGUSTUS DICKERT. Company H 3d S.C. Regiment.

       *       *       *       *       *



AUTHOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT.

Comrades: Years ago I was asked by the members of a local camp (James
D. Nance Camp, United Confederate Veterans, Newberry, S.C.,) of
Veterans to write a history of Kershaw's "Old First Brigade in the
Civil War," in order that the part taken by you in that memorable
struggle might be transmitted to posterity through the instrumentality
of a proud and loving participant in all the events that went to make
up the life of an organization second to none, that has ever stood
face to face with an invading foe upon the face of earth.

This request was not based upon a supposition of superior educational
qualifications on my part, for the parties who made it know that my
school days ended at twelve, and that the time usually devoted to
instruction of youth was spent by many of us, from '61 to '65, on the
northern side of Richmond. Consequently, to the love that I treasure
in my heart for the "Old First" is due whatever of distinction attaches
to the position of recorder of actions which prove the worth and
heroism of each constituent part of the brigade. In accepting this
trust I shall repress all desire for rhetorical display. I will not
even attempt to do that justice, which is beyond the power of mortals;
but shall simply try to be your faithful chronicler or recorder of
facts as they appeared to me and others, who have so kindly assisted
me in the compilation of these records, and shall confine myself to
the effort to attain my highest ambition--absolute correctness. It is
true that inaccuracies may have crept in; but these will be found
to be mostly among proper names--due in a great measure to the
illegibility of the manuscripts furnished me by correspondents. Again,
apparent errors will be explained, when it is recalled to your minds
that no two men see the same circumstance from the same standpoint.
Honest differences will appear, no matter how trivial the facts are
upon which they are based.

I have endeavored to be fair and just, and in so doing have laid aside
a soldier's pardonable pride in his own regiment, and have accorded
"honor to whom honor was due." Despite all that maybe alleged to
the contrary, ours was not a "War of the Roses," of brother against
brother, struggling for supremacy; but partook more of the nature of
the inhuman contest in the Netherlands, waged by the unscrupulous and
crafty Duke of Alva at the instance Philip (the Good!), or rather
like that in which the rich and fruitful Province of the Palatine was
subjected to fire and rapine under the mailed hand of that monster of
iniquity--Turenne.

How well the men of Kershaw's Brigade acted their part, how proudly
they faced the foe, how grandly they fought, how nobly they died, I
shall attempt not to depict; and yet--

  Could heart and brain and hand and pen
  But bring to earth and life again
  The scenes of old,
  Then all the world might know and see;
  Your deeds on scrolls of fame would be
  Inscribed in gold

I am indebted to many of the old comrades for their assistance, most
notably Judge Y.J. Pope, of the Third South Carolina; Colonel Wm.
Wallace, of the Second; Captain L.A. Waller, for the Seventh; Captains
Malloy, Harllee, and McIntyre, of the Eighth; Captain D.J. Griffith
and Private Charles Blair, of the Fifteenth; Colonel Rice and Captain
Jennings, of the Third Battalion, and many others of the Twentieth.
But should this volume prove of interest to any of the "Old Brigade,"
and should there be any virtue in it, remember it belongs to Y.J.
Pope. Thrice have I laid down my pen, after meeting with so many
rebuffs; but as often taken it up after the earnest solicitation of
the former Adjutant of the Third, who it was that urged me on to its
completion.

To the publisher, E.H. Aull, too much praise cannot be given. He has
undertaken the publication of this work on his individual convictions
of its merit, and with his sole conviction that the old comrades would
sustain the efforts of the author. Furthermore, he has undertaken it
on his own responsibility, without one dollar in sight--a recompence
for time, material, and labor being one of the remotest possibilities.

D. AUGUSTUS DICKERT.

Newberry, S.C., August 15, 1899.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER I

SECESSION.

Its Causes and Results.


The secession bell rang out in South Carolina on the 20th of December,
1860, not to summon the men to arms, nor to prepare the State for war.
There was no conquest that the State wished to make, no foe on her
border, no enemy to punish. Like the liberty bell of the revolution
that electrified the colonies from North to South, the bell of
secession put the people of the State in a frenzy from the mountains
to the sea. It announced to the world that South Carolina would be
free--that her people had thrown off the yoke of the Union that bound
the States together in an unholy alliance. For years the North had
been making encroachments upon the South; the general government
grasping, with a greedy hand, those rights and prerogatives, which
belonged to the States alone, with a recklessness only equalled by
Great Britain towards the colonies; began absorbing all of the rights
guaranteed to the State by the constitution, and tending towards a
strong and centralized government. They had made assaults upon our
institutions, torn away the barriers that protected our sovereignty.
So reckless and daring had become these assaults, that on more than
one occasion the States of the South threatened dissolution of the
Union. But with such master minds as Clay, Webster, and Calhoun in
the councils of the nation, the calamity was averted for the time. The
North had broken compact after compact, promises after promises, until
South Carolina determined to act upon those rights she had retained
for herself in the formation of the Union, and which the general
government guaranteed to all, and withdrew when that Union no longer
served the purposes for which it was formed.

Slavery, it has been said, was the cause of the war. Incidentally it
may have been, but the real cause was far removed from the institution
of slavery. That institution existed at the formation of the Union, or
compact. It had existed for several hundred years, and in every State;
the federation was fully cognizant of the fact when the agreement of
the Union was reached. They promised not to disturb it, and allow
each State to control it as it seemed best. Slavery was gradually but
surely dying out. Along the border States it scarcely existed at all,
and the mighty hand of an All-wise Ruler could be plainly seen in the
gradual emancipation of all the slaves on the continent. It had begun
in the New England States then. In the Caribbean Sea and South America
emancipation had been gradually closing in upon the small compass of
the Southern States, and that by peaceful measures, and of its own
volition; so much so that it would have eventually died out, could not
be denied by any who would look that far into the future, and judge
that future by the past. The South looked with alarm and horror at a
wholesale emancipation, when they viewed its havoc and destruction
in Hayti and St. Domingo, where once existed beautiful homes and
luxuriant fields, happy families and general progress; all this
wealth, happiness, and prosperity had been swept away from those
islands as by a deadly blight. Ruin, squalor, and beggary now stalks
through those once fair lands.

A party sprang up at the North inimical to the South; at first only a
speck upon the horizon, a single sail in a vast ocean; but it grew and
spread like contagion. They were first called agitators, and consisted
of a few fanatics, both women and men, whose avowed object was
emancipation--to do by human hands that which an All-wise Providence
was surely doing in His own wise way. At first the South did not look
with any misgivings upon the fanatics. But when Governors of Northern
States, leading statesmen in the councils of the nation; announced
this as their creed and guide, then the South began to consider
seriously the subject of secession. Seven Governors and their
legislatures at the North had declared, by acts regularly passed and
ratified, their determination "not to allow the laws of the land to be
administered or carried out in their States." They made preparation to
nullify the laws of Congress and the constitution. That party,
which was first called "Agitators," but now took the name
of "Republicans"--called at the South the "black Republicans"--grown to
such proportions that they put in the field candidates for President
and Vice-President of the United States. Numbers increased with each
succeeding campaign. In the campaign of 1860 they put Abraham Lincoln
and Hannibal Hamlin forward as their standard bearers, and whose
avowed purpose was the "the liberation of the slaves, regardless of
the consequences." This party had spies all over the Southern States,
and these emissaries incited insurrection, taught the slaves "that by
rising at night and murdering their old masters and their families,
they would be doing God's will;" that "it was a duty they owed to
their children;" this "butchery of the sleeping and innocent whites
was the road to freedom." In Virginia they sent down armed bands of
whites, roused the negroes at night, placed guns, pikes, and arms of
every kind in the hands of the poor, deluded creatures, and in that
one night they butchered, in cold blood, the families of some of the
best men in the State. These cold blooded butcheries would have done
credit to the most cruel and blood thirsty of the primeval savages of
the forest. These deeds were heralded all over the North as "acts of
God, done by the hands of men." The leader of this diabolical plan and
his compeers were sainted by their followers and admirers, and praises
sung over him all over the North, as if over the death of saints. By
a stupendous blunder the people of the South, and the friends of the
Union generally, allowed this party to elect Lincoln and Hamlin. The
South now had no alternative. Now she must either remain in a Union,
where our institutions were to be dragged down; where the laws were
to be obeyed in one section, but not in another; where existed open
resistance to laws in one State and quiet obedience in another; where
servile insurrections were being threatened continuously; where the
slaves were aided and abetted by whites at the North in the butcheries
of their families; or secede and fight. These were the alternatives
on the one part, or a severance from the Union and its consequences
on the other. From the very formation of the government, two
constructions were put upon this constitution--the South not viewing
this compact with that fiery zeal, or fanatical adulation, as they
did at the North. The South looked upon it more as a confederation
of States for mutual protection in times of danger, and a general
advancement of those interests where the whole were concerned. Then,
again, the vast accumulation of wealth in the Southern States,
caused by the overshadowing of all other commodities of
commerce--cotton--created a jealousy at the North that nothing but
the prostration of the South, the shattering of her commerce, the
destruction of her homes, and the freedom of her slaves, could answer.
The wealth of the South had become a proverb The "Wealthy Southern
Planter" had become an eyesore to the North, and to humble her haughty
pride, as the North saw it, was to free her slaves. As one of the
first statesmen of the South has truly said, "The seeds of the
Civil War were sown fifty years before they were born who fought her
battles."

A convention was called to meet in Columbia, in December, 1860, to
frame a new constitution, and to take such steps as were best suited
to meet the new order of things that would be brought about by this
fanatical party soon to be at the head of the government. Feeling ran
high--people were excited--everywhere the voice of the people was for
secession. The women of the South, who would naturally be the first
sufferers if the programme of the "Agitators" were carried out, were
loud in their cries for separation. Some few people were in favor of
the South moving in a body, and a feeble opposition ticket for the
delegates to the convention was put in the field. These were called
"Co-operationists," i.e., in favor of secession, but to await a union
with the other Southern States. These were dubbed by the most fiery
zealots of secession, "Submissionists" in derision. The negroes, too,
scented freedom from afar. The old cooks, mammas, house servants, and
negro eavesdroppers gathered enough of "freedom of slaves," "war,"
"secession," to cause the negroes to think that a great measure was
on foot somewhere, that had a direct bearing on their long looked for
Messiah--"Freedom." Vigilance committees sprung up all over the South,
to watch parties of Northern sentiment, or sympathy, and exercise a
more guarded scrutiny over the acts of the negroes. Companies were
organized in towns and cities, who styled themselves "Minute Men," and
rosettes, or the letters "M.M.," adorned the lapels of the coats worn
by those in favor of secession. The convention met in Columbia, but
for some local cause it was removed to Charleston. After careful
deliberation, a new constitution was framed and the ordinance of
secession was passed without a dissenting voice, on the 20th of
December, 1860, setting forth the State's grievances and acting upon
her rights, declaring South Carolina's connection with the Union at
an end. It has been truly said, that this body of men who passed the
ordinance of secession was one of the most deliberate, representative,
and talented that had ever assembled in the State of South Carolina.
When the news flashed over the wires the people were in a frenzy of
delight and excitement--bells tolled, cannons boomed, great parades
took place, and orators from street corners and hotel balconies
harangued the people. The ladies wore palmetto upon their hats or
dresses, and showed by every way possible their earnestness in the
great drama that was soon to be enacted upon the stage events. Drums
beat, men marched through the streets, banners waved and dipped,
ladies from the windows and from the housetops waved handkerchiefs or
flags to the enthusiastic throng moving below. The bells from historic
old St. Michael's, in Charleston, were never so musical to the ears of
the people as when they pealed out the chimes that told of secession.
The war was on.

Still with all this enthusiasm, the sober-headed, patriotic element
of the South regretted the necessity of this dissolution. They, too,
loved the Union their ancestors had helped to make--they loved the
name, the glory, and the prestige won by their forefathers upon the
bloody field of the revolution. While they did not view this Union as
indispensable to their existence, they loved and reverenced the flag
of their country. As a people, they loved the North; as a nation,
they gloried in her past and future possibilities. The dust of their
ancestors mingled in imperishable fame with those of the North. In the
peaceful "Godsacre" or on the fields of carnage they were ever willing
to share with them their greatness, and equally enjoyed those of
their own, but denied to them the rights to infringe upon the South's
possessions or rights of statehood. We all loved the Union, but we
loved it as it was formed and made a compact by the blood of our
ancestors. Not as contorted and misconstrued by demagogueism and
fanaticism. We almost deified the flag of the Union, under whose folds
it was made immortal by the Huguenots, the Roundheads, the Cavaliers,
and men of every faith and conviction in the crowning days of the
revolution. The deeds of her great men, the history of the past, were
an equal heritage of all--we felt bound together by natural bonds
equal to the ties of blood or kindred. We loved her towering
mountains, her rolling prairies, her fertile fields, her enchanting
scenery, her institutions, her literature and arts, all; all were
equally the South's as well as the North's. Not for one moment would
the South pluck a rose from the flowery wreath of our goddess of
liberty and place it upon the brow of our Southland alone. The
Mississippi, rising among the hills and lakes of the far North,
flowing through the fertile valleys of the South, was to all our
"Mother Nile." The great Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada chained our
Western border together from Oregon to the Rio Grande. The Cumberland,
the Allegheny, and the Blue Ridge, lifting their heads up from among
the verdant fields of Vermont, stretching southward, until from their
southern summit at "Lookout" could be viewed the borderland of
the gulf. In the sceneries of these mountains, their legends and
traditions, they were to all the people of the Union what Olympus was
to the ancients. Where the Olympus was the haunts, the wooing places
of the gods of the ancient Greeks, the Appalachian was the reveling
grounds for the muses of song and story of the North and South
alike. And while the glories of the virtues of Greece and Rome, the
birthplace of republicanism and liberty, may have slept for centuries,
or died out entirely, that spirit of national liberty and personal
freedom was transplanted to the shores of the New World, and nowhere
was the spirit of freedom more cherished and fostered than in the
bright and sunny lands of the South. The flickering torch of freedom,
borne by those sturdy sons of the old world to the new, nowhere took
such strong and rapid growth as did that planted by the Huguenots on
the soil of South Carolina. Is it any wonder, then, that a people
with such high ideals, such lofty spirits, such love of freedom, would
tamely submit to a Union where such ideals and spirits were so lightly
considered as by those who were now in charge of the government--where
our women and children were to be at the mercies of a brutal race,
with all of their passions aroused for rapine and bloodshed; where we
would be continually threatened or subjected to a racial war, one of
supremacy; where promises were made to be broken, pledges given to be
ignored; where laws made for all were to be binding only on those who
chose to obey? Such were some of the conditions that confronted South
Carolina and her sister States at this time, and forced them into
measures that brought about the most stupendous civil war in modern or
ancient times.

To sum up: It was not love for the Union, but jealousy of the South's
wealth. It was not a spirit of humanity towards the slaves, but a
hatred of the South, her chivalry, her honor, and her integrity. A
quality wanting in the one is always hated in that of the other.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER II

ENROLLMENT OF TROOPS.

Troops Gathered at Charleston--First Service as a Volunteer.


The Legislature, immediately after the passage of the ordinance
of secession, authorized the Governor to organize ten regiments of
infantry for State service. Some of these regiments were enlisted for
twelve months, while Gregg's, the First, was for six, of, as it was
understood at the time, its main duties were the taking of Sumter.
The first regiments so formed were: First, Gregg's; Second, Kershaw's;
Third, Williams'; Fourth, Sloan's; Fifth, Jenkins'; Sixth, Rion's;
Seventh, Bacon's: Eighth, Cash's; Ninth, Blanding's; besides a
regiment of regulars and some artillery and cavalry companies. There
existed a nominal militia in the State, and numbered by battalions
and regiments. These met every three months by companies and made some
feeble attempts at drilling, or "mustering," as it was called. To the
militia was intrusted the care of internal police of the State. Each
company was divided into squads, with a captain, whose duties were to
do the policing of the neighborhood, called "patrolling." They would
patrol the country during Sundays, and occasionally at nights, to
prevent illegal assemblies of negroes, and also to prevent them from
being at large without permission of their masters. But this system
had dwindled down to a farce, and was only engaged in by some of the
youngsters, more in a spirit of fun and frolic than to keep order
in the neighborhood. The real duties of the militia of the State
consisted of an annual battalion and regimental parade, called
"battalion muster" and "general muster." This occasioned a lively
turn-out of the people, both ladies and gentlemen, not connected with
the troops, to witness the display of officers' uniforms, and bright
caparisoned steeds, the stately tread of the "muster men," listen to
the rattle of the drums and inspiring strains of the fifes, and horns
of the rural bands.

From each battalion a company was formed for State service. These
companies elected their captains and field officers, the general
officers being appointed by the Governor. Immediately after the call
of the Governor for troops, a great military spirit swept the country,
volunteer companies sprang up like magic all over the land, each
anxious to enter the service of the State and share the honor of going
to war. Up to this time, few thought, there would be a conflict. Major
Anderson, U.S.A., then on garrison duty at Fort Moultrie, heard of the
secession of the State, and (whether by orders or his own volition, is
not known and immaterial,) left Fort Moultrie, after spiking the guns
and destroying the carriages; took possession of Fort Sumter. The
State government looked with some apprehension upon this questionable
act of Maj. Anderson's. Fort Sumter stood upon grounds of the State,
ceded to the United States for purposes of defence. South Carolina
now claimed the property, and made demands upon Maj. Anderson and the
government at Washington for its restoration. This was refused.

Ten companies, under Col. Maxey Gregg, were called to Charleston
for the purpose of retaking this fort by force of arms, if peaceful
methods failed. These companies were raised mostly in towns and
cities by officers who had been commissioned by the Governor. College
professors formed companies of their classes, and hurried off to
Charleston. Companies of town and city volunteers offered their
services to the Governor--all for six months, or until the fall of
Sumter.

On the 9th of January, 1861, the State was thrown into a greater
paroxism of excitement by the "Star of the West," a Northern vessel,
being fired on in the bay of Charleston by State troops. This steamer,
laden with supplies for Sumter, had entered the channel with the
evident intention of reinforcing Anderson, when the Citadel guards,
under Captain Stevens, fired several shots across her bow, then
she turned about and sped away to the sea. In the meantime the old
battalions of militia had been called out at their respective "muster
grounds," patriotic speeches made, and a call for volunteers made.
Companies were easily formed and officers elected. Usually in
selecting the material for officers, preference was given to soldiers
of the Mexican war, graduates of the military schools and the old
militia of officers. These companies met weekly, and were put through
a course of instructions in the old Macomb's tactics. In this way
the ten regiments were formed, but not called together until the
commencement of the bombardment of Sumter, with the exception of those
troops enlisted for six months, now under Gregg at Charleston, and a
few volunteer companies of cavalry and artillery.

The writer was preparing to enter school in a neighboring county when
the first wave of patriotism struck him. Captain Walker's Company,
from Newberry, of which I was a member, had been ordered to Charleston
with Gregg, and was stationed at Morris' Island before I could get
off. Two of my brothers and myself had joined the company made,
up from the Thirty-ninth Battalion of State militia, and which
afterwards formed a part of the Third S.C. Volunteers (Colonel
Williams). But at that time, to a young mind like mine, the war looked
too remote for me to wait for this company to go, so when on my way to
school I boarded a train filled with enthusiasts, some tardy soldiers
on their way to join their companies, and others to see, and if need
be, "take old Anderson out of his den." Nothing on the train could be
heard but war, war--"taking of Sumter," "Old Anderson," and "Star
of the West." Everyone was in a high glee--palmetto cockades, brass
buttons, uniforms, and gaudy epaulettes were seen in every direction.
This was more than a youthful vision could withstand, so I directed my
steps towards the seat of war instead of school. By this time the city
of Charleston may be said to have been in a state of siege--none could
leave the islands or lands without a permit from the Governor or the
Adjutant and Inspector General. The headquarters of Governor Pickens
and staff were in the rooms of the Charleston Hotel, and to that
place I immediately hied and presented myself before those "August
dignitaries," and asked permission to join my company on Morris'
Island, but was refused. First, on account of not having a permit of
leave of absence from my captain; secondly, on account of my youth (I
then being on the rise of 15); and thirdly, having no permission from
my parents. What a contrast with later years, when boys of that age
were pressed into service. The city of Charleston was ablaze with
excitement, flags waved from the house tops, the heavy tread of
the embryo soldiers could be heard in the streets, the corridors of
hotels, and in all the public places. The beautiful park on the water
front, called the "Battery," was thronged with people of every age and
sex, straining their eyes or looking through glasses out at Sumter,
whose bristling front was surmounted with cannon, her flags waving
defiance. Small boats and steamers dotted the waters of the bay.
Ordnance and ammunition were being hurried to the island. The one
continual talk was "Anderson," "Fort Sumter," and "war." While
there was no spirit of bravado, or of courting of war, there was no
disposition to shirk it. A strict guard was kept at all the wharves,
or boat landings, to prevent any espionage on our movements or works.
It will be well to say here, that no moment from the day of secession
to the day the first gun was fired at Sumter, had been allowed to pass
without overtures being made to the government at Washington for a
peaceful solution of the momentous question. Every effort that tact
or diplomacy could invent was resorted to, to have an amicable
adjustment. Commissioners had been sent to Washington, asking, urging,
and almost begging to be allowed to leave the Union, now odious to
the people of the State, without bloodshed. Commissioners of the North
came to Charleston to treat for peace, but they demanded peace without
any concessions, peace with submission, peace with all the chances of
a servile war. Some few leaders at the North were willing to allow
us the right, while none denied it. The leading journal at the
North said: "Let the erring sisters depart in peace." But all of our
overtures were rejected by the administration at Washington, and
a policy of evasion, or dilly-dallying, was kept up by those in
authority at the North. All the while active preparations were going
on to coerce the State by force of arms. During this time other States
seceded and joined South Carolina, and formed the "Confederate States
of America," with Jefferson Davis as President, with the capital at
Montgomery, Ala.

Being determined to reach my company, I boarded a steamer, bound for
Morris' Island, intending, if possible, to avoid the guard. In this I
was foiled. But after making several futile attempts, I fell in with
an officer of the First South Carolina Regiment, who promised to pilot
me over. On reaching the landing, at Cummings Point, I was to follow
his lead, as he had a passport, but in going down the gang plank we
were met by soldiers with crossed bayonets, demanding "passports." The
officer, true to his word, passed me over, but then my trouble
began. When I reached the shore I lost my sponsor, and began to make
inquiries for my company. When it was discovered that there was a
stranger in the camp without a passport, a corporal of the guards
was called, I was placed under arrest, sent to the guardhouse, and
remained in durance vile until Captain Walker came to release me. When
I joined my company I found a few of my old school-mates, the others
were strangers. Everything that met my eyes reminded me of war.
Sentinels patrolled the beach; drums beat; soldiers marching and
counter-marching; great cannons being drawn along the beach, hundreds
of men pulling them by long ropes, or drawn by mule teams. Across the
bay we could see on Sullivan's Island men and soldiers building and
digging out foundations for forts. Morris' Island was lined from the
lower point to the light house, with batteries of heavy guns. To the
youthful eye of a Southerner, whose mind had been fired by Southern
sentiment and literature of the day, by reading the stories of heroes
and soldiers in our old "Southern Reader," of the thrilling romances
of Marion and his men, by William Gilmore Simms, this sight of war was
enough to dazzle and startle to an enthusiasm that scarcely knew any
bounds. The South were "hero worshipers." The stories of Washington
and Putnam, of Valley Forge, of Trenton, of Bunker Hill, and Lexington
never grew old, while men, women, and children never tired of reading
of the storming of Mexico, the siege of Vera Cruz, the daring of the
Southern troops at Molino del Rey.

My first duty as a soldier, I will never forget. I went with a detail
to Steven's Iron Battery to build embrasures for the forts there. This
was done by filling cotton bags the size of 50 pound flour sacks with
sand, placing them one upon the top of the other at the opening where
the mouths of cannons projected, to prevent the loose earth from
falling down and filling in the openings. The sand was first put upon
common wheel-barrows and rolled up single planks in a zig-zag way to
the top of the fort, then placed in the sacks and laid in position. My
turn came to use a barrow, while a comrade used the shovel for filling
up. I had never worked a wheel-barrow in my life, and like most of my
companions, had done but little work of any kind. But up I went the
narrow zig-zag gangway, with a heavy loaded barrow of loose sand. I
made the first plank all right, and the second, but when I undertook
to reach the third plank on the angles, and about fifteen feet from
the ground, my barrow rolled off, and down came sand, barrow,
and myself to the ground below. I could have cried with shame and
mortification, for my misfortune created much merriment for the good
natured workers. But it mortified me to death to think I was not man
enough to fill a soldier's place. My good coworker and brother soldier
exchanged the shovel for the barrow with me, and then began the first
day's work I had ever done of that kind. Hour after hour passed, and
I used the shovel with a will. It looked as if night would never
come. At times I thought I would have to sink to the earth from pure
exhaustion, but my pride and youthful patriotism, animated by the acts
of others, urged me on. Great blisters formed and bursted in my hand,
beads of perspiration dripped from my brow, and towards night the
blood began to show at the root of my fingers. But I was not by
myself; there were many others as tender as myself. Young men with
wealthy parents, school and college boys, clerks and men of leisure,
some who had never done a lick of manual labor in their lives, and
would not have used a spade or shovel for any consideration, would
have scoffed at the idea of doing the laborious work of men, were
now toiling away with the farmer boys, the overseers' sons, the
mechanics--all with a will--and filled with enthusiasm that nothing
short of the most disinterested patriotism could have endured. There
were men in companies raised in Columbia, Charleston, and other towns,
who were as ignorant and as much strangers to manual labor as though
they had been infants, toiling away with pick and shovel with as much
glee as if they had been reared upon the farm or had been laborers in
a mine.

Over about midway in the harbor stood grim old Sumter, from whose
parapets giant guns frowned down upon us; while around the battlements
the sentinels walked to and fro upon their beats. All this preparation
and labor were to reduce the fort or prevent a reinforcement.
Supplies had been cut off, only so much allowed as was needed for the
garrison's daily consumption. With drill every two hours, guard
duty, and working details, the soldiers had little time for rest
or reflection. Bands of music enlivened the men while on drill,
and cheered them while at work by martial and inspiring strains of
"Lorena," "The Prairie Flower," "Dixie," and other Southern airs.
Pickets walked the beach, every thirty paces, night and day; none
were allowed to pass without a countersign or a permit. During the day
small fishing smacks, their white sails bobbing up and down over
the waves, dotted the bay; some going out over the bar at night with
rockets and signals to watch for strangers coming from the seaward.
Days and nights passed without cessation of active operations--all
waiting anxiously the orders from Montgomery to reduce the fort.

General G.T. Beauregard, a citizen of Louisiana, resident of New
Orleans, a veteran of the Mexican War, and a recent officer in the
United States Engineering Corps, was appointed Brigadier General and
placed in command of all the forces around Charleston. A great many
troops from other States, which had also seceded and joined the
Confederacy, had come to South Carolina to aid in the capture of
Sumter. General Beauregard was a great favorite with all the people,
and the greatest confidence felt in his skill and ability by the
soldiers. The State officers and troops obeyed him cheerfully, and had
implicit faith in his military skill. As he was destined to play an
important part in the great role of war that was soon to follow, I
will give here a short sketch of his life. General G.T. Beauregard was
born near the city of New Orleans, May 18th, 1818. His first ancestors
were from Wales, but engaging in an insurrection, they were forced to
flee from their country, and sought an asylum in France. In the last
of the thirteenth century one of them became attached to the Court of
Philip the IV, surnamed the "Fair." He then married Mademoiselle de
Lafayette, maid of honor to the sister of Philip. When Edward, King of
England, married the sister of Philip, he followed with his wife the
fortunes of the English King, and became a member at the Court of St.
James. He was afterwards assigned to a British post on the continent.
And again this family of the early Beauregards, then called Toutant
Beauregard, became citizens of France. Jacques Beauregard came
to Louisiana from France with a colony sent out by Louis XIV. The
grandson of this Jacques is the present Gustav Toutant Beauregard.
At the early age of eleven years he was taken to New York and placed
under a private tutor, an exile from France, and who had fled the
Empire on the downfall of Napoleon. At sixteen he entered West Point
as a cadet, and graduated July 1st, 1838, being second in a class
of forty-five. He entered the service of the United States as Second
Lieutenant of Engineers. He served with distinction through the
Mexican War, under Major General Scott, in the engineer corps. For
gallant and meritorious conduct he was twice promoted--first to the
Captaincy and then to the position of Major. For a short time he was
Superintendent of the West Point Military Academy, but owing to the
stirring events just preceding the late war, he resigned on the first
of March, 1861. He entered the service of the Confederate States; was
appointed Brigadier General and assigned to the post of Charleston.
Soon after the fall of Sumter he was made full General, and assigned
to a command on the Potomac, and with J.E. Johnston fought the
memorable battle of Bull Run. He was second in command at Shiloh with
A.S. Johnston, then the "Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and
Florida." With J.E. Johnston he commanded the last remnant of a once
grand army that surrendered at Greensboro, N.C. He returned to his old
home in New Orleans at the close of the war, to find it ruined, his
fortune wrecked, his wife dead, and his country at the feet of a
merciless foe. He took no further part in military or political
affairs, and passed away gently and peacefully at a ripe old age,
loved and admired by his many friends, and respected by his enemies.
Such, in brief, was the life of the man who came to control the
destinies of South Carolina at this most critical moment of her
history.

On March 6th he placed Morris' Island under the immediate command of
Brigadier General James Simonds, while the batteries were under the
command of Lieutenant Colonel W.G. DeSaussure. Sullivan's Island was
under the command of General R.G.M. Dunovant, and the batteries of
this island were under Lieutenant Colonel Ripley. Captain Calhoun
commanded at Fort Moultrie, and Captain Thomas at Fort Johnston. A
floating battery had been constructed by Captain Hamilton, and moved
out to the western extremity of Sullivan's Island. This was under
command of its inventor and builder. It consisted of very heavy
timbers; its roof overlaid with railroad iron in a slanting position,
through which trap doors had been cut for the cannon to project.
The Stevens' Battery, as it was called, was constructed on the same
principle; was built at Cummings' Point, on Morris' Island, and
commanded by Captain Stevens, of the Citadel Academy. It was feared
at this time that the concussion caused by the heavy shells and solid
shots striking the iron would cause death to those underneath, or so
stun them as to render them unfit for further service; but both these
batteries did excellent service in the coming bombardment. Batteries
along the water fronts of the islands were manned by the volunteer
companies of Colonel Gregg's Regiment, and other regiments that had
artillery companies attached.

On the 8th of April a message was received at Montgomery to the effect
that a fleet was then en route to reinforce Sumter, "peaceably if they
could, but forcibly if necessary."

General Beauregard was instructed to demand the immediate evacuation
of the fort; Anderson failing to comply with this demand, he was to
proceed to reduce it. The demand was made upon Major Anderson, and was
refused. General Beauregard had everything in readiness, only waiting
the result of the negotiations for the surrender or evacuation, to
give the command to fire. The night of the 11th was one of great
excitement. It was known for a certainty that on to-morrow the long
looked for battle was to take place. Diplomacy had done its work, now
powder and ball must do what diplomacy had failed to accomplish.
All working details had been called in, tools put aside, the heating
furnaces fired, shells and red-hot solid shot piled in close proximity
to the cannon and mortars. All the troops were under arms during the
night, and a double picket line stretched along the beach, and while
all seemed to be life and animation, a death-like stillness pervaded
the air. There was some apprehension lest the fleet might come in
during the night, land an army on Morris' Island in small boats, and
take the forts by surprise. Men watched with breathless interest the
hands on the dials as they slowly moved around to the hour of four,
the time set to open the fire. At that hour gunners stood with
lanyards in their hands. Men peered through the darkness in the
direction of Sumter, as looking for some invisible object. At half
past four Captain James, from Fort Johnston, pulled his lanyard; the
great mortar belched forth, a bright flash, and the shell went curving
over in a kind of semi-circle, the lit fuse trailing behind, showing
a glimmering light, like the wings of a fire fly, bursting over the
silent old Sumter. This was the signal gun that unchained the great
bull-dogs of war around the whole circle of forts. Scarcely had
the sound of the first gun died away, ere the dull report from Fort
Moultrie came rumbling over the waters, like an echo, and another
shell exploded over the deserted parade ground of the doomed fort.
Scarcely had the fragments of this shell been scattered before General
Stevens jerked the lanyard at the railroad battery, and over the water
gracefully sped the lighted shell, its glimmering fuse lighting its
course as it, too, sped on in its mission of destruction. Along the
water fronts, and from all the forts, now a perfect sheet of flame
flashed out, a deafening roar, a rumbling deadening sound, and the war
was on. The men as a whole were alive to their work; shot after
shot was fired. Now a red-hot solid shot, now a shell, goes capering
through the air like a shower of meteors on a frolic. The city was
aroused. Men, women, and children rush to the housetops, or crowd each
other along the water front of the battery.

But Sumter remained silent, grim, defiant. All there seemed to be in
peaceful, quiet slumber, while the solid shot battered against her
walls, or the shells burst over their heads and in the court yard
below. Round after round is fired. The gunners began to weary of their
attempt to arouse the sleeping foe. Is the lion so far back in his
lair as not to feel the prods of his tormentors? or is his apathy
or contempt too great to be aroused from his slumber by such feeble
blows? The grey streaks of morning came coursing from the east, and
still the lion is not angry, or is loath to take up the struggle
before he has had his morning meal. At seven o'clock, however, if
there had been any real anxiety to rouse his temper, it was appeased.
The stars and stripes ran up the flag staff, and from out the walls of
the grim old stronghold burst a wreath of smoke--then a report, and
a shot comes whizzing through the air, strikes the iron battery,
and ricochets over in the sand banks. He then pays his respects to
Moultrie. From the casements and barbette guns issue a flame and
smoke, while the air is filled with flying shot. The battle is general
and grand. Men spring upon ramparts and shout defiance at Sumter,
to be answered by the crashing of shot against the walls of their
bomb-proof forts. All day long the battle rages without intermission
or material advantages to either side. As night approached, the fire
slackened in all direction, and at dark Sumter ceased to return
our fire at all. By a preconcerted arrangement, the fire from our
batteries and forts kept up at fifteen-minute intervals only. The next
morning the firing began with the same vigor and determination as the
day before. Sumter, too, was not slow in showing her metal and paid
particular attention to Moultrie. Early in the forenoon the smoke
began to rise from within the walls of Sumter; "the tort was on fire."
Shots now rain upon the walls of the burning fort with greater fury
than ever. The flag was seen to waver, then slowly bend over the
staff and fall. A shout of triumph rent the air from the thousands of
spectators on the islands and the mainland. Flags and handkerchiefs
waved from the hands of excited throngs in the city, as tokens of
approval of eager watchers. Soldiers mount the ramparts and shout in
exultation, throwing their caps in the air. Away to the seaward the
whitened sails of the Federal fleet were seen moving up towards
the bar. Anxiety and expectation are now on tip-toe. Will the fleet
attempt the succor of their struggling comrades? Will they dare to run
the gauntlet of the heavy dahlgreen guns that line the channel sides?
From the burning fort the garrison was fighting for their existence.
Through the fiery element and hail of shot and shell they see the near
approach of the long expected relief. Will the fleet accept the gauge
of battle? No. The ships falter and stop. They cast anchor and remain
a passive spectator to the exciting scenes going on, without offering
aid to their friends or battle to their enemies.

General Beauregard, with that chivalrous spirit that characterized all
true Southerners, when he saw the dense curling smoke and the flames
that now began to leap and lick the topmost walls of the fort, sent
three of his aids to Major Anderson, offering aid and assistance in
case of distress. But the brave commander, too proud to receive aid
from a generous foe when his friends are at hand yet too cowardly to
come to the rescue, politely refused the offer. But soon thereafter
the white flag was waving from the parapets of Fort Sumter. Anderson
had surrendered; the battle was over; a victory won by the gallant
troops of the South, and one of the most miraculous instances of a
bloodless victory, was the first battle fought and won. Thousands of
shots given and taken, and no one hurt on either side.

A remarkable instance of Southern magnanimity was that of W.T.
Wigfall, a volunteer aide to General Beauregard. As he stood watching
the progress of the battle from Cummings' Point and saw the great
volume of black smoke curling and twisting in the air--the storm of
shot and shell plunging into the doomed walls of the fort, and the
white flag flying from its burning parapets--his generous, noble, and
sympathetic heart was fired to a pitch that brooked no consideration,
"a brave foe in distress" is to him a friend in need. Before
orders could be given to cease firing, or permission granted by the
commanding general, he leaped into a small boat, and with a single
companion rowed away to the burning fortress, shells shrieking over
his head, the waves rocking his frail little craft like a shell in
a vast ocean, but the undaunted spirit of the great man overcame all
obstacles and danger, and reached the fort in safety. Here a hasty
consultation was had. Anderson agreed to capitulate and Wigfall
hastened to so inform General Beauregard.

It was agreed that Major Anderson should leave the fort--not as a
prisoner of war, but as a brave foe, who had done all in human power
to sustain the dignity of his country and the honor of his flag. He
was allowed to salute his flag, by firing a number of guns, and with
his officers and troops and all personal belongings placed upon a
transport, was carried out to the fleet.

The only melancholy event of the memorable bombardment was the sudden
death of one of the soldiers of the garrison, caused by the premature
explosion of a shell while firing the salute to the flag.

The prominence given to Wigfall's exertion, and erratic conduct at
the time, and his meritorious career during the existence of the
Confederacy, prompt me to give a short sketch of this meteoric
character. He was born in Edgefield County along in the first quarter
of the century of good old South Carolina stock, and educated in
the common schools and in South Carolina College. His large means,
inherited from a long line of wealthy ancestors, afforded him
opportunities to enjoy life at his pleasure. He was full of that
fiery zeal for honor, hot headed and impulsive. His hasty and stubborn
nature caused him many enemies; yet his charitable disposition
and generous impulses gave him many friends. He could brook no
differences; he was intolerant, proud of his many qualities, gifted,
and brave to rashness. In early life he had differences with Whitfield
Brooks, the father of Preston S. Brooks, Congressman from South
Carolina, but at that time a student of South Carolina College. While
the son was in college, Wigfall challenged the elder Brooks to a duel.
Brooks, from his age and infirmities, refused. According to the rules
of the code duello, Wigfall posted Brooks at Edgefield Court House,
and guarded the fatal notice during the day with a loaded pistol.
A relative of Brooks, a feeble, retiring, and unassuming young man,
braved the vengeance of Wigfall, and tore the degrading challenge from
the court house door in spite of the warning and threats of the Knight
of the Code. A pistol shot rang out, and the young champion of Brooks
fell dead at his feet. Preston Brooks, hearing of the indignity placed
upon his father, the death of his kinsman and defender of his family
honor, now entered the list, and challenged the slayer of his father's
protector. Wigfall accepted the challenge with eagerness, for now
the hot Southern blood was thoroughly aroused, and party feelings had
sprung up and ran high. The gauge of battle was to be settled at Sand
Bar Ferry, on the Savannah River near Augusta, Ga., the noted duelling
ground of the high tempered sons of Georgia and the Carolinas. It was
fought with dueling pistols of the old school, and at the first fire
Brooks was severely wounded. Wigfall had kindled a feeling against
himself in the State that his sensitive nature could not endure. He
left for the rising and new born State of Texas. Years rolled by, and
the next meeting of those fiery antagonists was at the Capital of the
United States--Brooks in Congress, and Wigfall in the Senate.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER III

Reorganization or the Troops--Volunteers for Confederate Service--Call
from Virginia. Troops Leave the State.

INCIDENTS ON THE WAY.


There was much discussion at the time as to who really fired the first
gun at Sumter. Great importance was attached to the episode, and
as there were different opinions, and it was never satisfactorily
settled, it is not expected that any new light can be thrown on it at
this late day. It was first said to have been General Edmond Ruffin,
a venerable octogenarian from Virginia, who at the secession of South
Carolina came to this State and offered his services as a volunteer.
He had at one time been a citizen of South Carolina, connected with a
geological survey, and had written several works on the resources and
possibilities of the State, which created quite an interest at that
day and time. He was one of the noblest types of elderly men it has
ever been my fortune to look upon. He could not be called venerable,
but picturesque. His hair hung in long silvery locks, tied in a queue
in the fashions of the past centuries. His height was very near six
feet, slender and straight as an Indian brave, and his piercing black
eyes seemed to flash fire and impressed one as being able to look into
your very soul. He joined the "Palmetto Guards," donned the uniform
of that company, and his pictures were sold all over the entire South,
taken, as they were, in the habiliments of a soldier. These showed
him in an easy pose, his rifle between his knees, coat adorned with
palmetto buttons closely buttoned up to his chin, his hair combed
straight from his brow and tied up with a bow of ribbon that streamed
down his back, his cap placed upon his knee bearing the monogram
"P.G.," the emblem of his company, worked in with palmetto.

The other aspirant for the honor of firing the first gun was Captain
George S. James, afterwards the Colonel of James' Battalion, or "Third
Battalion," as it was known in Kershaw's Brigade. It has been said
that this honor was granted him, at his special request, by Captain
Stephen D. Lee, on General Beauregard's staff (afterwards a Lieutenant
General of the Confederate Army). Captain James' claim appears to
be more valid than that of General Ruffin from the fact that it is
positively known that James' company was on duty at Fort Johnston, on
James' Island, while the Palmetto Guards, of which General Ruffin was
a member, was at the railroad battery on Morris Island. However, this
should not be taken as conclusive, as at that time discipline was,
to a certain extent, not strictly enforced, and many independent
volunteers belonged to the army over whom there was very little, if
any control. So General Ruffin may have been at Fort Johnston while
his company was at Cummings Point. However, little interest is
attached to this incident after the lapse of so many years.

Perhaps never in the history of a State was there such a frenzy of
excitement--not even in the days of Indian insurrections or the raids
of the bloody Tarleton--as when the news flashed over the country that
Sumter was being bombarded, and a call was made for all the volunteers
to assemble in Charleston. There were not the facilities in those days
as now for the spreading of news, there being but few telegraph lines
in the State. Notwithstanding this, every method possible was put into
practice for gathering in the troops. There were no assemblages
of troops outside of Charleston. Men were following their daily
vocations. Extra trains were put in motion; couriers dashed with
rapid speed across the country. Private means, as well as public, were
resorted to to arouse the men and bring them to the front. Officers
warned the private, and he in turn rode with all the speed his horse,
loosed from the plow, could command, to arouse his comrades. It was
on Saturday when word was first sent out, but it was late the next
day (Sunday) before men in the remote rural districts received the
stirring notice. Men left their plows standing in the field, not to
return under four years, and many of them never. Carpenters came down
from the unfinished roof, or left their bench with work half finished.
The student who had left his school on the Friday before never recited
his Monday's lesson. The country doctor left his patients to the care
of the good housewife. Many people had gone to church and in places
the bells were still tolling, calling the worshippers together to
listen to the good and faithful teachings of the Bible, but the sermon
was never delivered or listened to. Hasty preparations were made
everywhere. The loyal wives soon had the husband's clothes in the
homemade knapsack; the mother buckled on the girdle of her son, while
the gray haired father was burning with impatience, only sorrowing
that he, too, could not go. Never before in the history of the world,
not even in Carthage or Sparta, was there ever such a spontaneous
outburst of patriotic feeling; never such a cheerful and willing
answer to the call of a mother country. Not a regret, not a tear;
no murmuring or reproaches--not one single complaint. Never did the
faithful Scott give with better grace his sons for the defense of
his beloved chief, "Eric," than did the fathers and mothers of South
Carolina give their sons for the defense of the beloved Southland.

The soldiers gathered at the railroad stations, and as the trains
that had been sent to the farthest limits of the State came along, the
troops boarded them and hurried along to Charleston, then the seat
of war. General M.L. Bonham had been appointed Major General of State
troops and called his brigades together. Colonel Gregg was already in
Charleston with the First Regiment. Col. Joseph B. Kershaw with the
Second, Colonel James H. Williams with the Third, Colonel Thomas Bacon
with the Seventh, and Colonel E.B.C. Cash with the Eighth, formed
their regiments by gathering the different companies along at the
various railroad stations. The Second, Seventh, and Eighth came on
to Charleston, reaching there while the bombardment was still in
progress, but not early enough to take active part in the battle.
Colonel Williams with the Third, for want of transportation, was
stopped in Columbia, and took up quarters in the Fair Grounds. The
other regiments went into camp in the suburbs of Charleston and on the
islands. After the surrender of Sumter the troops on the islands and
mainland returned to their old quarters to talk upon the incidents
of the battle, write home of the memorable events and to rejoice
generally. Almost as many rumors were now afloat as there were men in
the army. It was the generally conceded opinion of all that the
war was at an end. A great many of the Southern leaders boasted of
"drinking all the blood that would be shed in the war." The whole
truth of the entire matter was, both sections underrated each other.
The South, proud and haughty, looked with disdain upon the courage of
the North; considered the people cowardly, and not being familiar with
firearms would be poor soldiers; that the rank and file of the North,
being of a foreign, or a mixture of foreign blood, would not remain
loyal to the Union, as the leaders thought, and would not fight. While
the North looked upon the South as a set of aristocratic blusterers,
their affluence and wealth having made them effeminate; a nation
of weaklings, who could not stand the fatigues and hardships of a
campaign. Neither understood the other, overrating themselves and
underrating the strength of their antagonists. When Lincoln first
called for 50,000 troops and several millions of dollars for equipment
and conduct of the war, the South would ask in derision, "Where would
he get them?" When the South would talk of resistance, the North would
ask, "Where are her soldiers?" "The rich planters' sons cannot fight."
"The poor man will not do battle for the negroes of the rich." "The
South has no arms, no money, no credit." So each mistook the strength,
motives, spirits, and sentiments that actuated the other. A great
change came over the feelings of the North after the fall of Sumter.
They considered that their flag had been insulted, their country
dishonored. Where there had been differences before at the North,
there was harmony now. The conservative press of that section was
now defiant and called for war; party differences were healed and the
Democratic party of the North that had always affiliated in national
affairs with the South, was now bitter against their erring sisters,
and cried loudly for "Union or coercion." The common people of the
North were taught to believe that the Nation had been irretrievably
dishonored and disgraced, that the disruption of the Union was a
death knell to Republican institutions and personal liberty. That the
liberty and independence that their ancestors had won by their blood
in the Revolution was now to be scattered to the four winds of heaven
by a few fanatical slave holders at the South. But up to this time the
question of slavery had not been brought into controversy on either
side. It was not discussed and was only an after thought, a military
necessity.

Virginia, three days after the fall of Sumter, joined her sister
State. This act of the old commonwealth was hailed in the Gulf States
with great rejoicing. Bells tolled and cannon boomed and men hurrahed.
Until now it was not certain what stand would be taken by the Border
States. They did not wish to leave the Union; neither would they be
a party to a war upon their seceding sisters. They promised to
be neutral. But President Lincoln soon dispelled all doubt and
uncertainty by his proclamation, calling upon all States then
remaining in the Union to furnish their quota of troops. They were
then forced to take sides for or against and were not long in reaching
a conclusion. As soon as conventions could be assembled, the States
joined the Confederacy and began levying troops to resist invasion.
Tennessee followed Virginia, then Arkansas, the Old North State being
the last of the Atlantic and Gulf States to cross the Rubicon into the
"plains of Southern independence." The troops that had been called for
six months were now disbanded, and those who had enlisted for
twelve months for State service were called upon to volunteer in
the Confederate Army for the unexpired time. They volunteered almost
without a dissenting voice. Having left their homes so hurriedly,
they were granted a furlough of a week or ten days to return to their
families and put their houses in order. They then returned and went
into a camp of instruction.

General Bonham had not gotten all of his regiments together up to this
time. The Second, Seventh, and Eighth were around Charleston, while
the Third was at Lightwood Knot Spring, four miles from Columbia. This
camp was called "Camp Williams," in honor of their Colonel. That in
Columbia was called "Camp Ruffin," in honor of General Ruffin. It
was customary to give all the different camps a name during the
first year's service, generally in honor of some favorite officer or
statesman. Colonel Gregg's regiment remained on Morris Island until
early in May, when it was sent to Norfolk, Va., to take charge of the
large amount of government property there, now very valuable to the
South.

At the reorganization of the First Regiment I came to Columbia and
joined the company I had before enlisted in. I had two older brothers
there, and I was given a place as Second Sergeant in the company.

At the secession of South Carolina, Colonel Williams was in Arkansas,
where he had large estates, but on being notified of his election, he
joined his regiment while at Lightwood Knot Springs. He was met at
the railroad by his troops with great demonstrations of joy and pride.
Stalwart men hoisted him upon their shoulders and carried him through
the camp, followed by a throng of shouting and delighted soldiers.
The regiment had been commanded up to that time by Lieutenant Colonel
Foster, of Spartanburg, with James M. Baxter as Major, D.R. Rutherford
as Adjutant, Dr. D.E. Ewart Surgeon, John McGowan Quartermaster.

Cadets were sent from the Citadel as drill masters to all the
regiments, and for six hours daily the ears were greeted with
"hep-hep" to designate the "left" foot "down" while on the drill. It
took great patience, determination, and toil to bring the men under
military discipline. Fresh from the fields, shops, and schools they
had been accustomed to the freedom of home life, and with all their
patriotism, it took time to break into the harness of military
restraint and discipline these lovers of personal freedom. Many
amusing incidents occurred while breaking these "wild colts," but
all took it good humoredly, and the best of feelings existed between
officers and men. Some few, however, were nettled by the restraint and
forced obedience to those whom they had heretofore been accustomed
to look upon as equals, but now suddenly made superiors. The great
majority entered upon the duties of camp life with rare good will. All
were waiting patiently the call to Virginia. Here I will give a short
description of the regiments and their officers up to the time that
all were brought together as a brigade. After that time we will treat
them as a whole.

The regiments were uniformed by private donations, each neighborhood
uniforming the company raised in its bounds. The tents were large
and old fashioned--about 8 x 10 feet square, with a separate fly on
top--one of these being allowed to every six or seven men. They were
pitched in rows, about fifty feet apart, the front of one company
facing the rear of the other. About the first of June all the
regiments, except the Second, were ordered to Manassas, Va. The
regiments were formed by companies from battalions of the militia from
various counties, one company usually being formed from a battalion.
These companies were organized into regiments, very much as at
present, and like the old anti-bellum militia. At times some
ambitious citizen would undertake to raise a volunteer company outside
of those raised from battalions, and generally these were called
"crack companies." Afterwards a few undertook to raise companies in
this manner, i.e., selecting the officers first, and then proceeding
to select the men, refusing such as would not make acceptable
soldiers, thus forming exclusive organizations. These were mostly
formed in towns and cities. At other times old volunteer companies,
as they were called, of the militia would enlist in a body, with such
recruits as were wanted to fill up the number. In the old militia
service almost all the towns and cities had these companies as a kind
of city organization, and they would be handsomely uniformed, well
equipped, and in many cases were almost equal to regular soldiers.
Columbia had at least three of these companies in our brigade--the
Governor's Guards, Richland Rifles, and one more, I think, but on this
point am not positive. Charleston had two or more, the Palmetto Guards
and others; Greenville, the Butler Guards; Newberry, the Quitman
Rifles; while the other counties, Abbeville, Anderson, Edgefield,
Williamsburg, Darlington, Sumter, and almost all the counties
represented in our brigade had one of these city volunteer companies.
When all the companies called for had been organized, they were
notified to what regiment they had been assigned, or what companies
were to constitute a regiment, and were ordered to hold an election
for field officers. Each company would hold its election, candidates
in the meantime having offered their services to fill the respective
places of Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, and Major. After the elections
thus held, the returns would be sent up to the Adjutant and Inspector
General's office and there tabulated, and the result declared. The
candidates for field officers were generally Mexican War Veterans, or
some popular citizen, whom the old men thought "would take care of
the boys." At first the qualification of a commander, be it Colonel
or Captain, mostly required was clemency. His rules of discipline,
bravery, or military ability were not so much taken into
consideration.

       *       *       *       *       *


SECOND SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT.

Early in May or the last of April four companies of the Second
Regiment, under Colonel Kershaw, volunteered for Confederate service,
and were sent at once to Virginia. These companies were commanded by--

    Captain John D. Kennedy, Kershaw County. Captain W.H. Casson,
    Richland County. Captain William Wallace, Richland County.
    Captain John Richardson, Sumter County.

They were afterwards joined by companies under--

    Captain Ferryman, of Abbeville County, (formerly of the
    Seventh Regiment). Captain Cuthbert, Charleston. Captain
    Rhett, Charleston. Captain Haile, Kershaw. Captain McManus,
    Lancaster. Captain Hoke, Greenville.

These were among the first soldiers from the "Palmetto State" to go to
Virginia, and the regiment when fully organized stood as follows:

    J.B. Kershaw, Colonel, of Camden. E.P. Jones, Lieutenant
    Colonel. Fred Gaillard, Major. A.D. Goodwin, Adjutant.

    Company A--W.H. Casson, Richland. Company B--A.D. Hoke,
    Greenville. Company C--William Wallace, Richland. Company
    D--T.S. Richardson. Company E--John D. Kennedy, Kershaw.
    Company F--W.W.Perryman, Anderson. Company G--I. Haile,
    Kershaw. Company H--H. McManus, Lancaster. Company I--G.B.
    Cuthbert, Charleston. Company K--R. Rhett, Charleston.
    Surgeon--Dr. F. Salmond, Kershaw. Quartermaster--W.S.
    Wood, Columbia. Commissary--J.J. Villipigue. Chaplain--A.J.
    McGruder.

       *       *       *       *       *


THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT.

The Third Regiment had originally twelve companies enlisted for State
service, but in transferring to Confederate Army only ten were allowed
by the army regulations. Two companies were left out, viz.: Captain
J.C.S. Brown's, from Newberry, and Captain Mat. Jones', from Laurens.
The privates, however, enlisted in the other companies as a general
rule, for the companies were allowed a maximum number of 100. The
Eighth and Third made no changes in their companies or officers
from their first enlistment in the State service until their second
enlistment in 1862, only as occasioned by resignations or the
casualties of war. The two regiments remained as first organized, with
few exceptions.

The Third stood, when ready for transportation to Virginia, the 7th of
June, as follows:

    James H. Williams, Colonel, Newberry. B.B. Foster, Lieutenant
    Colonel, Spartanburg. James M. Baxter, Major, Newberry. W.D.
    Rutherford, Adjutant, Newberry.

    Company A--B. Conway Garlington, Laurens. Company B--S. Newton
    Davidson, Newberry. Company C--R.C. Maffett, Newberry. Company
    D--T.B. Furgerson, Spartanburg and Union. Company E--James D.
    Nance, Newberry. Company F--T. Walker, Newberry and Laurens.
    Company G--R.P. Todd, Laurens. Company H--D. Nunnamaker,
    Lexington. Company I--Smith L. Jones, Laurens. Company
    K--Benj. Kennedy, Spartanburg. Surgeon--Dr. D.E.
    Ewart, Newberry. Quartermaster--John McGowan, Laurens.
    Commissary--Sergeant J.N. Martin, Newberry. Chaplain--Rev.
    Mayfield.

       *       *       *       *       *


SEVENTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT. Colonel, Thomas G. Bacon.

The following companies were from Abbeville:

    Company A, Captain W.W. Perryman. Company B, Captain G.M.
    Mattison. Company C, Captain P.H. Bradley. Company D, Captain
    S.J. Hester.

The following companies were from Edgefield:

    Company E, Captain D. Dendy. Company F, Captain John S. Hard.
    Company G, Captain J. Hampden Brooks. Company H, Captain
    Elbert Bland. Company I, Captain W.E. Prescott. Company K,
    Captain Bart Talbert.

Captain Perryman with his company, the "Secession Guards," volunteered
for the Confederate service before the other companies, and left for
Virginia on April 28th and joined the Second South Carolina Regiment.
Captain Bland took his place with his company in the regiment as
Company A.

The companies of the Seventh came together as a regiment at the
Schutzenplatz, near Charleston, on the 16th of April. In about
two weeks it was ordered to Edgefield District at a place called
Montmorenci, in Aiken County. While here a company came from Edgefield
County near Trenton, under Captain Coleman, and joined the regiment.
But this company failed to enlist.

The Seventh Regiment elected as officers: Colonel, Thomas G. Bacon, of
Edgefield District; lieutenant Colonel, Robert A. Fair, of Abbeville;
Major, Emmet Seibles, of Edgefield; Adjutant, D. Wyatt Aiken, of
Abbeville. All the staff officers were appointed by the Colonels until
the transfer to the Confederate service; then the medical department
was made a separate branch, and the Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons
were appointed by the Department. Colonel Bacon appointed on
his staff: B.F. Lovelass, Quartermaster; Fred Smith, Commissary;
afterwards A.F. Townsend.

Surgeon Joseph W. Hearst resigned, and A.R. Drogie was made Surgeon
in his stead, with Dr. G.H. Waddell as Assistant Surgeon. A.C.
Stallworth, Sergeant Major, left for Virginia about the first of June
and joined the Second a few days afterwards.

       *       *       *       *       *


EIGHTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT.

The Eighth Regiment was organized early in the year 1861, but the
companies were not called together until the 14th day of April,
arriving in Charleston in the afternoon of that day, just after the
fall of Fort Sumter. It was composed of ten companies, as follows:
Three from Chesterfield, two from Marion, two from Marlborough, and
three from Darlington, with Colonel, E.B.C. Cash; Lieutenant Colonel,
John W. Henagan; Major, Thomas E. Lucas; Adjutant, C.B. Weatherly.

Companies first taken to Virginia:

    Company A--A.I. Hoole, Darlington.
    Company B--M.I. Hough, Chesterfield.
    Company C--Wm. H. Coit, Chesterfield.
    Company D--John S. Miller, Chesterfield.
    Company E--W.E. Jay, Darlington.
    Company F--W.H. Evans, Darlington.
    Company G--John W. Harrington, Marlboro.
    Company H--R.L. Singletary, Marion.
    Company I--T.E. Stackhouse, Marion.
    Company K--D. McD. McLeod, Marlboro.

After remaining in Charleston until the 4th of May it was moved to
Florence. On the 1st of June the regiment re-enlisted for Confederate
service. They were ordered to Richmond and arrived there on June 4th,
and left on the 15th to join the Second then at Bull Run. On the 22nd
of June they went into camp at Germantown, near Fairfax Court House,
where all the regiments were soon joined together as Bonhams' Brigade.

The first real exciting incident connected with the Third South
Carolina Regiment--the first panic and stampede--happened as the
troops were returning from their ten days' furlough to their camp
of instruction, near Columbia, just after their enlistment in the
Confederate service. I record this occurrence to show what little
incidents, and those of such little moment, are calculated to stampede
an army, and to what foolish lengths men will go when excited. The
train was rattling along at a good speed, something like ten or
fifteen miles an hour, just above Columbia; a long string of box
cars loaded with soldiers; the baggage of the troops scattered
promiscuously around in the cars; trunks, valises, carpet bags, and
boxes of all conceivable dimensions, holding the belongings of several
neighborhoods of boys; spirits flowed without and within; congenial
friends in a congenial cause; congenial topics made a congenial whole.
When just below Littleton, with long stretches of lowlands on one side
and the river on the other, the curling streaks of a little grey smoke
made its appearance from under one of the forward cars. At first the
merry good humor and enlivening effects of some amusing jest, the
occasional round of a friendly bottle, prevented the men from noticing
this danger signal of fire. However, a little later on this continuing
and increasing volume of smoke caused an alarm to be given. Men ran to
the doors on either side, shouted and called, waved hats, hands, and
handkerchiefs, at the same time pointing at the smoke below. There
being no communication between the cars, those in front and rear had
to be guided by the wild gesticulations of those in the smoking car.
The engineer did not notice anything amiss, and sat placidly upon his
high seat, watching the fast receding rails as they flashed under and
out of sight beneath the ponderous driving-wheels of the engine. At
last someone in the forward car, not accustomed to, but familiar with
the dangers of a railroad car by the wild rumors given currency in his
rural district of railroad wrecks, made a desperate leap from the car.
This was followed by another, now equally excited. Those in the front
cars, clutching to the sides of the doors, craned their necks as
far as possible outward, but could see nothing but leaping men. They
fearing a catastrophe of some kind, leaped also, while those in the
rear cars, as they saw along the sides of the railroad track men
leaping, rolling, and tumbling on the ground, took it for granted
that a desperate calamity had happened to a forward car. No time for
questions, no time for meditation. The soldier's only care was to
watch for a soft place to make his desperate leap, and in many cases
there was little choice. Men leaped wildly in the air, some with their
heels up, others falling on their heads and backs, some rolling over
in a mad scramble to clear themselves from the threatening danger.
The engineer not being aware of anything wrong with the train, glided
serenely along, unconscious of the pandemonium, in the rear. But when
all had about left the train, and the great driving-wheels began to
spin around like mad, from the lightening of the load, the master of
the throttle looked to the rear. There lay stretched prone upon the
ground, or limping on one foot, or rolling over in the dirt, some
bareheaded and coatless, boxes and trunks scattered as in an awful
collision, upwards of one thousand men along the railroad track. Many
of the men thinking, no doubt, the train hopelessly lost, or serious
danger imminent, threw their baggage out before making the dangerous
leap. At last the train was stopped and brought back to the scene of
desolation. It terminated like the bombardment of Fort Sumter--"no one
hurt," and all occasioned by a hot-box that could have been cooled in
a very few minutes. Much swearing and good-humored jesting were now
engaged in. Such is the result of the want of presence of mind. A wave
of the hat at the proper moment as a signal to the engineer to
stop, and all would have been well. It was told once of a young lady
crossing a railroad track in front of a fast approaching train, that
her shoe got fastened in the frog where the two rails join. She began
to struggle, then to scream, and then fainted. A crowd rushed up, some
grasping the lady's body attempted to pull her loose by force; others
shouted to the train to stop; some called for crow-bars to take up
the iron. At last one man pushed through the crowd, untied the lady's
shoe, and she was loose. Presence of mind, and not force, did it.

Remaining in camp a few days, orders came to move, and cars were
gotten in readiness and baggage packed preparatory to the trip to
Virginia. To many, especially those reared in the back districts, and
who, before their brief army life, had never been farther from
their homes than their county seat, the trip to the old "Mother of
Presidents," the grand old commonwealth, was quite a journey indeed.
The old negroes, who had been brought South during the early days of
the century, called the old State "Virginy" and mixing it with local
dialect, in some parts had got the name so changed that it was called
"Ferginey." The circus troops and negro comedians, in their annual
trips through the Southern States, had songs already so catchy to our
people, on account of their pathos and melody, of Old Virginia,
that now it almost appeared as though we were going to our old home.
Virginia had been endeared to us and closely connected with the
people of South Carolina by many links, not the least being its many
sentimental songs of that romantic land, and the stories of her great
men.

The baggage of the common soldier at this stage of the war would
have thrown an ordinary quartermaster of latter day service into
an epileptic fit, it was so ponderous in size and enormous in
quantities--a perfect household outfit. A few days before this the
soldier had received his first two months' pay, all in new crisp
bank notes, fresh from the State banks or banks of deposit. It can
be easily imagined that there were lively times for the butcher, the
baker and candlestick maker, with all this money afloat. The Third
South Carolina was transported by way of Wilmington and Weldon, N.C.
Had there ever existed any doubts in the country as to the feelings
of the people of the South before this in regard to Secession, it was
entirely dispelled by the enthusiastic cheers and good will of the
people along the road. The conduct of the men and women through South
Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, showed one long and continued
ovation along the line of travel, looking like a general holiday. As
the cars sped along through the fields, the little hamlets and towns,
people of every kind, size, and complexion rushed to the railroad and
gave us welcome and Godspeed. Hats went into the air as we passed,
handkerchiefs fluttered, flags waved in the gentle summer breeze from
almost every housetop. The ladies and old men pressed to the side of
the cars when we halted, to shake the hands of the brave soldier boys,
and gave them blessings, hope and encouragement. The ladies vied
with the men in doing homage to the soldiers of the Palmetto State.
Telegrams had been sent on asking of our coming, the hour of our
passage through the little towns, and inviting us to stop and enjoy
their hospitality and partake of refreshments. In those places where a
stop was permitted, long tables were spread in some neighboring grove
or park, bending under the weight of their bounties, laden down with
everything tempting to the soldier's appetite. The purest and best of
the women mingled freely with the troops, and by every device known to
the fair sex showed their sympathy and encouragement in the cause we
had espoused. At Wilmington, N.C., we crossed the Cape Fear River on a
little river steamer, the roads not being connected with a bridge.
At Petersburg and Richmond we had to march through portions of those
cities in going from one depot to another, union sheds, not being in
vogue at that time, and on our entry into these cities the population
turned out en masse to welcome and extend to us their greeting. Every
private house stood open to the soldiers and the greatest good will
was everywhere manifested.

Much has been said in after years, since misfortune and ruin overtook
the South, since the sad reverses of the army and the overthrow of
our principles, about leaders plunging the nation into a bloody
and uncalled for war. This, is all the height of folly. No man
or combination of men could have stayed or avoided war. No human
persuasion or earthly power could have stayed the great wave of
revolution that had struck the land; and while, like a storm widening
and gathering strength and fury as it goes, to have attempted it would
have been but to court ruin and destruction. Few men living in
that period of our country's history would have had the boldness or
hardihood to counsel submission or inactivity. Differences there may
have been and were as to methods, but to Secession, none. The voices
of the women of the land were alone enough to have forced the measures
upon the men in some shape or other. Then, as to the leaders being
"shirkers" when the actual contest came, the history of the times
gives contradictions sufficient without examples. Where the duties
of the service called, they willingly obeyed. All could not fill
departments or sit in the councils of the nation, but none shirked
the responsibility the conditions called them to. Where fathers filled
easy places their sons were in the ranks, and many of our leaders of
Secession headed troops in the field. General Bonham, our Brigadier,
had just resigned his seat in the United States Congress; so had
L.M. Keitt, who fell at Cold Harbor at the head of our brigade, while
Colonel of the Twentieth Regiment. James L. Orr, one of the original
Secessionists and a member of Congress, raised the first regiment of
rifles. The son of Governor Gist, the last Executive of South Carolina
just previous to Secession, fell while leading his regiment,
the Fifteenth, of our brigade, in the assault at Fort Loudon, at
Knoxville. Scarcely was there a member of the convention that passed
the Ordinance of Secession who had not a son or near kinsman in the
ranks of the army. They showed by their deeds the truth and honesty
of their convictions. They had trusted the North until trusting had
ceased to be a virtue. They wished peace, but feared not war. All this
idle talk, so common since the war, of a "rich man's war and a poor
man's fight" is the merest twaddle and vilely untrue.

The men of the South had risked their all upon the cast, and were
willing to abide by the hazard of the die. All the great men of South
Carolina were for Secession, and they nobly entered the field. The
Hamptons, Butlers, Haskells, Draytons, Bonhams, all readily grasped
the sword or musket. The fire-eaters, like Bob Toombs, of Georgia,
and Wigfall, of Texas, led brigades, and were as fiery upon the
battlefield as they had been upon the floor of the United States
Senate. So with all the leaders of Secession, without exception; they
contributed their lives, their services, and their wealth to the cause
they had advocated and loved so well. I make this departure here to
correct an opinion or belief, originated and propagated by the envious
few who did not rise to distinction in the war, or who were too young
to participate in its glories--those glories that were mutual and will
ever surround the Confederate soldier, regardless of rank.

After stopping a few days in Richmond, we were carried on to Manassas
and Bull Run, then to Fairfax, where we joined the other regiments.
The Third Regiment camped first at Mitchell's Ford, remained at that
point for a week or ten days, and from thence moved to the outpost
just beyond Fairfax Court House. The Eighth and Second camped for a
while at Germantown, and soon the whole brigade was between Fairfax
and Bull Run.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER IV

Camp at Fairfax--Bonham's Staff--Biography of General Bonham--Retreat
to Bull Run. Battle of the 18th.


General Bonham had gathered around him, as staff officers, a galaxy of
gentlemen as cultured, talented, and patriotic as South Carolina
could produce, and as gallant as ever followed a general upon the
battlefield; all of whom won promotion and distinction as the war
progressed in the different branches of service.

Colonel Samuel Melton, one of the staff, writing in a pleasant mood,
thirty-five years afterwards, says: "That with universal acclamation
it may be said, that the retinue gathered around the General of the
old First Brigade was a gorgeous one. I am proud of it 'until yet.'"

This staff of General Bonham's was the one allowed by the State
service, and the appointments were made under State laws. However, all
followed him into the Confederate service, and, with a few exceptions,
remained until after the battle of Manassas, serving without pay.
The Confederate Government was much more modest in its appointment
of staff officers, and only allowed a Brigadier General three or four
members as his personal staff.

The following is a list of officers who followed General Bonham to
Virginia, or joined him soon after his arrival:

    W.C. Morayne, Assistant Adjutant General, with rank of
    Colonel.

    W.D. Simpson, Inspector General.
    A.P. Aldrich, Quartermaster General.
    R.B. Boylston, Commissary General.
    J.N. Lipscomb, Paymaster General.

Aides, with rank of Major: S.W. Melton, B.F. Withers, T.J. Davis,
E.S. Hammond, S. Warren Nelson, Samuel Tompkins, W.P. Butler, M.B.
Lipscomb.

Colonel S. McGowan, Volunteer Aide.

Dr. Reeves, of Virginia, was Brigade Surgeon.

Colonels Morayne and Boylston remained only a few weeks. Captain
George W. Say, an officer of the Confederate staff, succeeded Colonel
Morayne, and remained a short while, when he was promoted and sent
elsewhere. Colonel Lipscomb became the regular aide, with rank of
First Lieutenant.

When Captain Say left, S.W. Melton was put in his place as Assistant
Adjutant General, without appointment or without pay, and discharged
the duties of that office until August, when he left on sick leave.
When he returned he was appointed Major and Assistant Adjutant
General, and assigned to duty upon the staff of Major General G.W.
Smith, commanding Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac. In 1863
he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to duty in the war
department.

William F. Nance, of Newberry, was appointed Captain and Assistant
Adjutant General, and in September, 1861, was assigned to duty
upon General Bonham's staff, where he remained until the General's
resignation. In 1864 Nance was on duty in Charleston, where he
remained on staff duty until the end.

S. McGowan and W.D. Simpson returned to South Carolina after the
battle of Manassas, and assisted in raising the Fourteenth South
Carolina Regiment of Volunteers, of which the former was elected
Lieutenant Colonel and the latter Major. Colonel McGowan became
Colonel of the regiment, and afterwards Brigadier of one of the most
famous brigades (McGowan's) in the Confederate Army. Colonel Simpson
served in the Confederate Congress after his retirement from the army.

All the others of the staff filled prominent positions, either
as commanding or staff officers, or serving in the departments in
Richmond. I have no data at hand to give sketches of their individual
services.

Fairfax Court House was the extreme limit at which the infantry was
posted on that side of the Blue Ridge. Cavalry was still in advance,
and under the leadership of the indefatigable Stuart scouting the
whole front between the Confederate and Federal armies. The Third
South Carolina was encamped about a mile north of the little old
fashioned hamlet, the county seat of the county of that name. In this
section of the State lived the ancestors of most of the illustrious
families of Virginia, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Lee.
It is a rather picturesque country; not so beautiful and productive,
however, as the Shenandoah and Luray Valleys. The Seventh, Eighth, and
Second Regiments were encamped several miles distant, but all in the
hearing of one another's drums. Our main duties outside of our regular
drills consisted in picketing the highways and blockading all roads by
felling the timber across for more than a hundred yards on either side
of the roads. Large details armed with axes were sent out to blockade
the thoroughfares leading to Washington and points across the Potomac.
For miles out, in all directions, wherever the road led through wooded
lands, large trees, chestnut, hickory, oak, and pine, were cut pell
mell, creating a perfect abattis across the road--so much so as to
cause our troops in their verdant ignorance to think it almost an
impossibility for such obstructions to be cleared away in many days;
whereas, as a fact, the pioneer corps of the Federal Army cleared it
away as fast as the army marched, not causing as much as one hour's
halt. Every morning at nine o'clock one company from a regiment would
go out about two miles in the direction of Washington Falls church or
Annandale to do picket duty, and remain until nine o'clock next
day, when it would be relieved by another company. The "Black Horse
Cavalry," an old organization of Virginia, said to have remained
intact since the Revolution, did vidette duty still beyond the
infantry. Their duties were to ride through the country in every
direction, and on every road and by-way to give warning of
approaching danger to the infantry. These were bold riders in those
days, some daring to ride even within view of the spires and domes of
Washington itself. On our outposts we could plainly hear the sound
of the drums of the Federalists in their preparation for the "on to
Richmond" move. General Bonham had also some fearless scouts at this
time. Even some of the boldest of the women dared to cross the Potomac
in search of information for the Confederate Generals. It was here
that the noted Miss Bell Boyd made herself famous by her daring rides,
her many escapades and hair-breadth escapes, her bold acts of crossing
the Potomac sometimes disguised and at other times not, even entering
the City of Washington itself. In this way she gathered much valuable
information for the Confederate Generals, and kept them posted on the
movements of the enemy. She was one of the best horsewomen of that
day; a fine specimen of womanhood, and as fearless and brave as
a stout hearted cavalier. She generally carried a brace of Colt's
revolvers around her waist, and was daring enough to meet any foe who
was so bold as to cross her path. Bell Boyd was one of the many noble
Virginia women who staked and dared all for the cause of the South.
William Parley, of South Carolina, another bold scout, was invaluable
to General Stuart and General Bonham. It was he that John Esten Cooke
immortalized in "Surry of Eagle's Nest" and was killed at the battle
of Chancellorsville. He was a native of Laurens County.

The duties of picketing were the first features of our army life that
looked really like war. The soldiers had become accustomed to guard
duty, but to be placed out on picket or vidette posts alone, or in
company with a comrade, to stand all day and during the dead hours of
the night, expecting some lurking foe every moment to shoot you in
the back, or from behind some bush to shoot your head off, was quite
another matter. As a guard, we watched over our friends; as a picket,
we watched for our foe. For a long time, being no nearer the enemy
than the hearing of their drums, the soldiers had grown somewhat
careless. But there was an uncanny feeling in standing alone in the
still hours of the night, in a strange country, watching, waiting
for an enemy to crawl up and shoot you unawares. This feeling was
heightened, especially in my company, by an amusing incident that
happened while on picket duty on the Annandale road. Up to this
time there had been no prisoners captured on either side, and it was
uncertain as to what would be the fate of any who would fall in the
enemy's hands. As we were considered traitors and rebels, the penalty
for that crime was, as we all knew, death. The Northern press had kept
up quite a howl, picturing the long rows of traitors that would be
hung side by side as soon as they had captured the Confederate Army.
That there was a good deal of "squeamishness" felt at the idea of
being captured, cannot be doubted. So videttes were stationed several
hundred yards down the road with a picket post of four men, between
the outside sentinels and the company, as reserve. A large pine
thicket was to our right, while on the left was an old field with here
and there a few wild cherry trees. The cherries being ripe, some of
the men had gone up in the trees to treat themselves to this luscious
little fruit. The other part of the company lay indolently about,
sheltering themselves as best they could from the rays of the hot July
sun, under the trees. Some lay on the tops of fences, and in corners,
while not a few, with coats and vests off, enjoyed a heated game of
"old sledge." All felt a perfect security, for with the pickets in
front, the cavalry scouring the country, and the almost impassable
barricades of the roads, seemed to render it impossible for an enemy
to approach unobserved. The guns leaned carelessly against the fence
or lay on the ground, trappings, etc., scattered promiscuously around.
Not a dream of danger; no thought of a foe. While the men were thus
pleasantly engaged, and the officers taking an afternoon nap, from out
in the thicket on the right came "bang-bang," and a hail of bullets
came whizzing over our heads. What a scramble! What an excitement!
What terror depicted on the men's faces! Had a shower of meteors
fallen in our midst, had a volcano burst from the top of the Blue
Ridge, or had a thunder bolt fell at our feet out of the clear blue
sky, the consternation could not have been greater. Excitement,
demoralization, and panic ensued. Men tumbled off the fences, guns
were reached for, haversacks and canteens hastily grabbed, and, as
usual in such panics, no one could get hold of his own. Some started
up the road, some down. Officers thus summarily aroused were equally
demoralized. Some gave one order, some another. "Pandemonium reigned
supreme." Those in the cherry trees came down, nor did the "cherry
pickers" stand on the order of their coming. The whole Yankee army was
thought to be over the hills. At last the officer commanding got the
men halted some little distance up the road; a semblance of a line
formed, men cocked their guns and peered anxiously through the cracks
of the rail fence, expecting to see an enemy behind every tree. A
great giant, a sergeant from the mountain section, who stood six feet,
three inches in his stockings, and as brave as he was big, his face
flushed with excitement, his whole frame trembling with emotion, in
his shirt sleeves and bareheaded, rushed to the middle of the road,
braced himself, as waiting for some desperate shock, and stood like
Horatio Cockles at the Bridge, waving his gun in the air, calling out
in defiant and stentorian voice, "Come on, I'll fight all of you; I'll
fight old Lincoln from here to the sea." Such a laugh as was set up
afterwards, at his expense! The amusing part of it was the parties who
fired the shots at the time the stampeding was going on with us,
were running for dear life's sake across the fields, worse scared, if
possible, than we ourselves. They were three of a scouting party, who
had eluded our pickets, and seeing our good, easy, and indifferent
condition, took it into their heads to have a little amusement at
our expense. But the sound of their guns in the quiet surrounding, no
doubt excited the Yankees as much as it did the Confederates. This was
an adventure not long in reaching home, for to be shot at by a real
live Yankee was an event in every one's life at the time not soon to
be forgotten. But it was so magnified, that by the time it reached
home, had not the battle of Bull Run come in its heels so soon, this
incident would no doubt have ever remained to those who were engaged
in it as one of the battles of the war. The only casualty was a
hole shot through a hat. I write this little incident to show the
difference in raw and seasoned troops. One year later such an incident
would not have disturbed those men any more than the buzzing of a bee.
Picket duty after this incident was much more stringent. Two men were
made to stand on post all night, without relief, only such as they
gave each other. Half of the company's reserve were kept awake all
night. Orders were given that the utmost silence should prevail, the
men were not even to speak above a whisper, and on the approach of
anyone they were to be hailed with the command, "Halt, who comes
there?" If a satisfactory answer was given, they were allowed to pass.
If not, to remain standing, and an officer of the guard called. At
night they were to call "halt" three times, and if no answer, they
were to fire and retreat to the reserve.

One night, shortly after this, one of the companies from Spartanburg
had been sent out about three miles to the intersection of a country
road leading off to the left. Down this country road, or lane, were
two pickets. They concealed themselves during the day in the fence
corners, but at night they crawled over into a piece of timber land,
and crouched down behind a large oak. The shooting incident of a few
days before made the two pickets feel somewhat tender at thus being
alone in the forest, when at any moment an enemy might creep upon
them sufficiently near as to shoot them in the dark. Everything was
as quiet as the grave. The stars, peeping faintly out from behind the
clouds, midnight came, and each began to nod, when a twig breaks some
distance in front, then another, then the rustling of dry leaves.
Their hearts leap to their throats and beat like sledge hammers. One
whispers to the other, "Whist, some one is coming." They strain their
ears to better catch the sound. Surely enough they hear the leaves
rustling as if some one is approaching. "Click," "click," the two
hammers of their trusty rifles spring back, fingers upon the triggers,
while nearer the invisible comes. "Halt," rang out in the midnight
air; "halt," once more, but still the steady tread keeps approaching.
When the third "halt" was given it was accompanied by the crack of
their rifles. A deafening report and frightful squeal, as an old
female porker went charging through the underbrush like mad. The crack
of the rifles alarmed the sleeping companions in reserve, who rushed
to arms and awaited the attack. But after much good humored badgering
of the two frightened sentinels, "peace reigned once more at Warsaw"
till the break of day. The company returned next morning to camp, but
the two sentinels who had fired on the old innocent porker were glad
enough to seek the quietude of their quarters to escape the jests of
their comrades.

A simple system of breastworks was thrown up just beyond our camp at
Fairfax on a little eminence to the right of the road. This we thought
sufficient to defeat quite an army, or at least keep them at bay.
General Bonham had his headquarters at Fairfax Court House, but rode
out daily to examine the work done on the entrenchments, or inspect
the picket and outposts. General Bonham was one of the finest looking
officers in the entire army. His tall, graceful figure, his commanding
appearance, his noble bearing, and soldierly mien were all qualities
to excite the confidence and admiration of his troops. He wore a
broad-brimmed hat, with a waving plume floating out behind, and sat
his horse as knightly as Charles the Bold, or Henry of Navarre. His
soldiers were proud of him, and loved to do him homage. He endeared
himself to his officers, and while he was a good disciplinarian as far
as the volunteer service required, he did not treat his officers with
that air of superiority, nor exact that rigid military courtesy that
is required in the regular army. I will here give a short sketch of
his life for the benefit of his old comrades in arms.

       *       *       *       *       *


MILLEDGE LUKE BONHAM

Was born near Red Bank in that part of Edgefield District now included
in Saluda County, South Carolina, on the 25th day of December, 1813.
His father, Captain James Bonham, who had come from Virginia to South
Carolina about the close of the last century, was the son of Major
Absalom Bonham, who was a native of Maryland, but who enlisted for the
war of the Revolution in a New Jersey regiment, and became a Major of
the line on the establishment of that State. After the Revolution he
moved to Virginia. Captain James Bonham was himself at the siege of
Yorktown as a lad of fifteen, in a company whose captain was only
twenty years old. He first settled in this State in the District of
Colleton, and there married. After the death of his wife, he moved to
Edgefield District, and there married Sophie Smith, who was the mother
of the subject of this sketch. She was the daughter of Jacob Smith and
his wife, Sallie Butler, who was a sister of that Captain James Butler
who was the forefather of the illustrious family of that name in
this State, and who with his young son, also named James, was cruelly
massacred along with others at Cloud's Creek, in Edgefield District,
by "Bloody Bill" Cunningham.

Milledge L. Bonham received his early education in the "old field"
schools of the neighborhood, and his academic training under
instructors at Abbeville and Edgefield. He entered the South Carolina
College and graduated with second honor in 1834. Soon thereafter the
Seminole or Florida war broke out, and he volunteered in the company
from Edgefield, commanded by Captain James Jones, and was Orderly
Sergeant of the company. During the progress of the war in Florida,
he was appointed by General Bull, who commanded the South Carolina
Brigade, to be Brigade Major, a position which corresponds with what
is now known in military circles as Adjutant General of Brigade.

Returning from the war, he resumed the study of law and was
admitted to the Bar and settled at Edgefield for the practice of his
profession. In 1844 he was elected to the Legislature. He always took
an ardent interest in the militia, and was first Brigadier General
and afterwards Major General of militia. When the war with Mexico was
declared, he was appointed lieutenant Colonel of the Twelfth United
States Infantry, one of the new regiments added to the army for that
war. With his regiment he went to Mexico and served with distinction
throughout the war, being promoted to Colonel of the regiment, and
having, by the way, for his Adjutant, Lieutenant Winfield Scott
Hancock, afterwards a distinguished Major General of the Federal Army
in the late war. After the cessation of hostilities, Colonel Bonham
was retained in Mexico as Military Governor of one of the provinces
for about a year. Being then honorably discharged, he returned to
Edgefield and resumed the practice of law. In 1848 he was elected
Solicitor of the Southern Circuit, composed of Edgefield, Barnwell,
Orangeburg, Colleton, and Beaufort Districts. The Bars of the various
Districts composing this Circuit counted among their members many of
the ablest and most distinguished lawyers of the State, and hence
it required the possession and industrious use of talents of no mean
order to sustain one's self as prosecuting officer against such an
array of ability. But General Bonham continued to hold the office
until 1856, when, upon the death of Hon. Preston S. Brooks, he was
elected to succeed that eminent gentleman in Congress, and again in
1858 was elected for the full term. Those were the stirring times
preceding the bursting of the cloud of civil war, and the debates in
Congress were hot and spicy. In all these he took his full part. When
South Carolina seceded from the Union, he promptly resigned his seat
in Congress, and was appointed by Governor Pickens Commander-in-Chief
of all the forces of South Carolina with the rank of Major General. In
this capacity, and waiving all question of rank and precedence, at the
request of Governor Pickens, he served on the coast on Morris' Island
with General Beauregard, who had been sent there by the Provisional
Government of the Confederacy to take command of the operations
around Charleston. On the permanent organization of the Confederate
Government, General Bonham was appointed by President Davis a
Brigadier General in the Army of the Confederate States. His brigade
consisted of four South Carolina regiments, commanded respectively by
Colonels Kershaw, Williams, Cash, and Bacon, and General Bonham used
to love to say that no finer body of men were ever assembled together
in one command. With this brigade he went to Virginia, and they were
the first troops other than Virginia troops that landed in Richmond
for its defense. With them he took part in the operations around
Fairfax, Vienna, Centerville, and the first battle of Manassas.

Afterwards, in consequence of a disagreement with the Department of
War, he resigned from the army. Soon thereafter he was elected to the
Confederate Congress, in which body he served until he was elected
Governor of this State in December, 1862. It was a trying time to fill
that office, and President Davis, in letters, bears witness to the
fact that no one of the Governors of the South gave him more efficient
aid and support than did Governor Bonham. At the expiration of his
term of office, in January, 1865, he was appointed to the command of
a brigade of cavalry, and at once set to work to organize it, but the
surrender of Johnston's army put an end to the war.

Returning from the war broken in fortune, as were all of his people,
he remained for a year or more on his plantation on Saluda River, in
Edgefield County. He then moved to Edgefield Court House, again to
take up his practice, so often interrupted by calls to arms. He was
elected to the Legislature in 1866, just preceding Reconstruction, but
with the coming of that political era he, in common with all the white
men of the State, was debarred from further participation in public
affairs. In the movement known as the Tax-payers Convention, which had
for its object the relief of the people from Republican oppression
and corruption, he took part as one of the delegates sent by this
convention to Washington to lay before President Grant the condition
of the people of the "Prostrate State." He took an active interest and
part in the political revolution of 1876 and warmly advocated what was
known as "the straightout policy" and the nomination of Wade Hampton
as Governor.

In 1878 Governor Simpson appointed him the first Railroad Commissioner
under the Act just passed, and subsequently when the number of the
Commissioners was increased to three, he was elected Chairman of the
Commission, in which position he continued until his death, on the
27th day of August, 1890. He died suddenly from the rupture of a blood
vessel while on a visit to Haywood White Sulphur Springs, N.C.

General Bonham married on November 13th, 1845, Ann Patience, a
daughter of Nathan L. Griffin, Esq., a prominent lawyer of Edgefield.
She survived him four years, and of their union there are living eight
children.

Attached to Bonham's Brigade was Kemper's Battery of light artillery,
commanded by Captain Dell Kemper. This company was from Alexandria,
Va., just over the Potomac from Washington. This organization was part
of the old State militia, known as volunteer companies, and had been
in existence as such for many years. It being in such close proximity
to Washington, the sentiment of the company was divided, like all
companies on the border. Some of the company were in favor of joining
the Union Army, while others wished to go with the State. Much
discussion took place at this time among the members as to which side
they would join, but Captain Kemper, with a great display of coolness
and courage, cut the Gordian knot by taking those with him of Southern
sentiment, like himself, and on one dark night he pulled out from
Alexandria with his cannon and horses and made his way South to join
the Southern Army. That was the last time any of that gallant band
ever saw their native city for more than four years, and many of the
poor fellows looked upon it that night for the last time. Between them
and the South Carolinians sprang up a warm attachment that continued
during the war. They remained with us as a part of the brigade for
nearly two years, or until the artillery was made a separate branch of
the service. While in winter quarters, when many troops were granted
furloughs, those men having no home to which they could visit like
the others, were invited by members of the brigade to visit their own
homes in South Carolina and remain with their families the length
of their leave of absence. Many availed themselves of these kind
invitations, and spent a pleasant month in the hospitable homes of
this State. The ladies of South Carolina, appreciating their isolated
condition and forced separation from their homes, with no kind mother
or sister with opportunities to cheer them with their delicate favors,
made them all a handsome uniform and outfit of underwear, and sent to
them as a Christmas gift. Never during the long years of the struggle
did the hearts of South Carolinians fail to respond to those of the
brave Virginians, when they heard the sound of Kemper's guns belching
forth death and destruction to the enemy, or when the battle was
raging loud and furious.

On the morning of the 16th of July, when all was still and quiet in
camp, a puff of blue smoke from a hill about three miles off, followed
by the roar of a cannon, the hissing noise of a shell overhead, its
loud report, was the first intimation the troops had that the enemy
had commenced the advance, it is needless to say excitement and
consternation overwhelmed the camp. While all were expecting and
anxiously awaiting it, still the idea of being now in the face of a
real live enemy, on the eve of a great battle, where death and horrors
of war, such as all had heard of but never realized, came upon them
with no little feelings of dread and emotion. No man living, nor any
who ever lived, retaining his natural faculties, ever faced death
in battle without some feeling of dread or superstitious awe. The
soldiers knew, too, the eyes of the world were upon them, that they
were to make the history for their generation. Tents were hurriedly
struck, baggage rolled and thrown into wagons, with which the excited
teamsters were not long in getting into the pike road. Drums beat
the assembly, troops formed in line and took position behind
the breastwork; while the artillery galloped up to the front and
unlimbered, ready for action. The enemy threw twenty-pound shells
repeatedly over the camp, that did no further damage than add to the
consternation of the already excited teamsters, who seemed to think
the safety of the army depended on their getting out of the way. It
was an exciting scene to see four-horse teams galloping down the pike
at break-neck speed, urged forward by the frantic drivers.

It was the intention of McDowell, the Federal Chief, to surprise the
advance at Fairfax Court House and cut off their retreat. Already a
column was being hurried along the Germantown road, that intersected
the main road four miles in our rear at the little hamlet of
Germantown. But soon General Bonham had his forces, according to
preconcerted arrangements, following the retreating trains along the
pike towards Bull Run. Men overloaded with baggage, weighted down with
excitement, went at a double quick down the road, panting and sweating
in the noonday sun, while one of the field officers in the rear
accelerated the pace by a continual shouting, "Hurry up, men, they
are firing on our rear." This command was repeated so often and
persistently that it became a by-word in our brigade, so much so that
when anything was wanted to be done with speed the order was always
accompanied with, "Hurry up, men, they are firing on our rear." The
negro servants, evincing no disposition to be left behind, rushed
along with the wagon train like men beset. While we were on the
double-quick, some one noticed a small Confederate flag floating
lazily in the breeze from a tall pine pole that some soldier had put
up at his tent, but by the hurried departure neglected to take down.
Its owner could not entertain the idea of leaving this piece of
bunting as a trophy for the enemy, so risking the chance of capture,
he ran back, cut the staff, and returned almost out of breath to his
company with the coveted flag. We were none too precipitate in our
movement, for as we were passing through Germantown we could see the
long rows of glistening bayonets of the enemy crowning the hills to
our right. We stopped in Centerville until midnight, then resumed the
march, reaching Bull Run at Mitchell's Ford as the sun was just rising
above the hill tops.

Colonel Kershaw and Colonel Cash were filing down the east bank to the
left, while Colonels Williams and Bacon occupied some earthworks on
the right. These had been erected by former troops, who had encamped
there before us. General Beauregard had divided his troops into six
brigades, putting regiments of the same State together, as far as
possible, Bonham's being First Brigade. Beauregard was determined to
make Bull Run his line of defense. This is a slow, sluggish stream,
only fordable at certain points, its banks steep and rather rocky with
a rough plateau reaching back from either side. The western being the
more elevated, gave the enemy the advantage in artillery practice.
In fact, the banks on the western side at some points came up to the
stream in a bluff--especially so at Blackburn's Ford. In the rear and
in the direction of the railroad was the now famous Manassas Plains.
The Confederate line extended five miles, from Union Mills Ford
to Stone Bridge. At the latter place was General Evans, of South
Carolina, with two regiments and four pieces of artillery. On the
extreme right, Ewell with his brigade and a battery of twelve-pounders
was posted at Union Mills. McLean's Ford was guarded by D.R.
Jones' brigade, with two brass six-pounders. Longstreet with two
six-pounders, and Bonham with two batteries of artillery and a
squadron of cavalry, guarded the fords at Blackburn's and Mitchell's
respectively. Early's Brigade acted as reserve on the right. In rear
of the other fords was Cooke's Brigade and one battery. The entire
force on the roll on July 11th consisted of 27 pieces of light
artillery and 534 men; cavalry, 1425; foot artillery, 265; infantry,
16,150--18,401, comprising the grand total of all arms of General
Beauregard one week before the first battle. Now it must be understood
that this includes the sick, guards, and those on outpost duty.
McDowell had 37,300 of mostly seasoned troops.

The morning of the 18th opened bright and sunny. To our rear was all
bustle and commotion, and it looked like a vast camp of wagon trains.
From the surrounding country all wagons had been called in from the
foraging expeditions laden with provisions. Herds of cattle were
corralled to secure the troops fresh beef, while the little fires
scattered over the vast plains showed that the cooking details were
not idle. General Beauregard had his headquarters on the hill in our
rear.

At eight o'clock on the 18th, McDowell pushed his leading division
forward at Blackburn's Ford, where two old comrades, but now facing
each other as foes, General Tyler and General Longstreet, were to
measure strength and generalship. The Washington Artillery, under
Captain Richardson, of New Orleans, a famous battery throughout the
war, which claims the distinction of firing the first gun at Bull Run
and the last at Appomattox, was with Longstreet to aid him with their
brass six-pounders.

The enemy advanced over the plain and up to the very bluff overlooking
the stream, and a very short distance from where Longstreet's force
lay, but the Washington Artillery had been raking the field all the
while, from an eminence in the rear, while the infantry now began to
fire in earnest. The elevated position gave the enemy great advantage,
and at one time General Longstreet had to call up his reserves, but
the advantageous assault was speedily repulsed as soon as the Southern
troops became more calm and better accustomed to the fire and tension
of the battlefield. Several assaults were made, one immediately after
the other, but each time Southern valor overcame Northern discipline.
From our position at Mitchell's Ford, we could hear the fierce,
continual roll of the infantry fire, mingled with the deafening
thunder of the cannon. Bonham was under a continual shelling from long
range, by twenty pounders, some reaching as far in the rear as the
wagon yard. After the fourth repulse, and Longstreet had his reserves
well in hand, he felt himself strong enough to take the initiative.
Plunging through the marshes and lagoons that bordered the stream, the
troops crossed over and up the bluff, but when on the heights they met
another advance of the enemy, who were soon sent scampering from the
field. Then was first heard the famous "Rebel yell." The Confederates
finding themselves victorious in this their first engagement,
gave vent to their feelings by uttering such a yell as suited each
individual best, forming for all time the famous "Rebel Yell."
Longstreet withdrew his forces to the east side, but a continual
fusilade of artillery was kept up until night. Some of our soldiers
visited the battlefield that night and next day, and brought in
many trophies and mementoes of the day's fight, such as blankets,
oilcloths, canteens, guns, etc.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER V

The Battle of Manassas--Rout of the Enemy. Visit to the Battlefield.


Of the battle of the 18th, the enemy seemed to make little, and called
it a "demonstration" at which General Tyler exceeded his orders, and
pushed his troops too far. However, the Confederates were very well
satisfied with the contest where the first blood was drawn. General
Johnston, who at this time was up in the Shenandoah Valley, near
Winchester, was asked by General Beauregard to come to his relief. He
was confronted himself by General Patterson, an able Federal General,
with a largely superior army. This General Johnston had assurance to
believe was preparing to advance, and his own danger great. Still by
a strategem, he succeeded in quietly withdrawing his troops, and began
the hazardous undertaking of re-enforcing Beauregard. Some of his
troops he placed upon the cars at Piedmont, and sped along o'er
mountains and glens with lightning speed, while the others on foot
came over and through the torturous mountain passes without halt or
rest, bending all their energies to meet Beauregard upon the plains of
Manassas. Couriers came on foaming steeds, their bloody sides showing
the impress of the riders' spurs, bringing the glad tidings to the
Army of the Potomac that succor was near. Beauregard was busy with
the disposition of his troops, preparing to give battle, while the
soldiers worked with a will erecting some hasty breastworks.

At this point I will digress for the moment to relate an incident of
the Federal march, to show the brutal cowardice and baseness of
the Federals in making war upon the non-combatants--women and
children--and also the unyielding spirit and inflexible courage of
our Southern people. Those dispositions were manifested on both sides
throughout the whole war. It is unnecessary to say that feeling ran
high on the border, as elsewhere, and everyone was anxious to display
his colors in order to show to the world how his feelings ran.
Confederate flags waved from many housetops along the border, and
on the morning the Federals crossed the Potomac from Washington to
Alexandria, many little pieces of bunting, displaying stars and bars,
floated from the houses in that old sleeping city of Alexandria.
Among that number was a violent Secessionist named Jackson. Colonel
Ellsworth, commanding the New York Zouaves, the advance guard, ordered
all flags with Confederate devices to be torn down by force. The
soldiers thus engaged in the debasing acts of entering private
dwellings, insulting the inmates with the vilest epithets, ruthlessly
tore down the hated emblems of the South everywhere. When they came to
Jackson's house they met the fiery defender of his home on the landing
of the stairs, rifle in hand, who with determined air informed the
Federal soldiers that whoever lowered his flag would meet instant
death. Staggered and dazed by such a determined spirit, they lost no
time in reporting the fact to Colonel Ellsworth. Enraged beyond all
control by this cool impudence, Ellsworth rushed to Jackson's house,
followed by a squad of soldiers. On reaching the landing he, too, met
Jackson with his eyes flashing fire and determination, his whole
frame trembling with the emotion he felt, his rifle cocked and to his
shoulder, boldly declaring, "Whoever tears down that flag, dies in his
tracks." Ellsworth and party thought this threat could not be real,
and only Southern braggadocio. Brushing past the determined hero,
Ellsworth snatched the hated flag from its fastening, but at that
instant he fell dead at the feet of his adversary. The report of
Jackson's rifle told too plainly that he had kept his word. The
soldiers who had followed and witnessed the death of their commander,
riddled the body of the Southern martyr with bullets, and not
satisfied with his death, mutilated his body beyond recognition. Thus
fell the first martyr to Southern principles. The South never showed
this disposition of hatred on any occasion, for in after years while
marching through Pennsylvania Union flags floated unmolested from
housetops, over towns, and cities. The soldiers only laughed and
ridiculed the stars and stripes. The South feared no display of
sentiment, neither did they insult women and non-combatants.

A like occurrence happened in New Orleans a few years later, where
General Butler commanded, and gained the unenviable sobriquet of
"Beast" by his war upon the women and those not engaged in the
struggle, and by trampling upon every right and liberty sacred to the
people. He had issued some degrading order, which the citizens were
bound in pain of death to obey. One brave man, Mumford, refused,
preferring death to obeying this humiliating order. For this he was
torn from the embrace of his devoted family, and, in sight of his wife
and children, placed in a wagon, forced to ride upon his own coffin,
and in the public square was hanged like a felon.

General Johnston, with a portion of his troops, reached the field on
the 20th, and his forces were placed in rear of those of Beauregard
as reserves. On the night of the 20th, both opposing generals, by a
strange coincidence, had formed plans of the battle for the next day,
and both plans were identical. Beauregard determined to advance his
right by echelon of brigades, commencing with Ewell at Union Mills,
then Jones and Longstreet were to cross Bull Run, with Bonham as a
pivot, and attack McDowell in flank and rear. This was the identical
plan conceived and carried out by the enemy, but with little success,
as events afterwards showed. The only difference was McDowell got his
blow in first by pushing his advance columns forward up the Warrenton
Road on our left, in the direction of the Stone Bridge. He attacked
General Evans, who had the Fourth South Carolina and Wheat's Battalion
of Louisiana Tigers, on guard at this point, with great energy and
zeal. But under cover of a dense forest, he moved his main body of
troops still higher up the Run, crossed at Sudley's Ford, and came
down on Evans' rear. Fighting "Shanks Evans," as he was afterwards
called, met this overwhelming force with stubborn resistance and a
reckless courage. The enemy from the opposite side of the Run was
sending in a continued shower of shot and shell, which threatened
the annihilation of the two little six-pounders and the handful of
infantry that Evans had. But support soon reached him, the Brigade of
Bee's coming up; still he was pressed back beyond a small stream in
his rear. Bee, with his own and Bartow's Brigade, with a battery of
artillery, were all soon engaged, but the whole column was forced back
in the valley below. Jackson came upon the crest of the hill in their
rear at this juncture, and on this column the demoralized troops were
ordered to rally. It was here Jackson gained the name of "Stonewall,"
for Bee, to animate and reassure his own men, pointed to Jackson and
said: "Look at Jackson, he stands like a stonewall." But the gallant
South Carolinian who gave the illustrious chieftain the famous name of
"Stonewall" did not live long enough to see the name applied, for in
a short time he fell, pierced through with a shot, which proved fatal.
Hampton, with his Legion, came like a whirlwind upon the field, and
formed on the right, other batteries were brought into play, still the
enemy pressed forward. Stone Bridge being uncovered, Tyler crossed his
troops over, and joined those of Hunter and Heintzelman coming from
Sudley's Ford. This united the three divisions of the enemy, and
they made a vigorous and pressing assault upon the demoralized
Confederates. The roar of the cannon became continuous, the earth
trembled from this storm of battle, sulphurous smoke obscures the sky,
the air vibrates with shrieking shot and shell, men rush madly to
the charge. Our small six-pounders against their twelve and
twenty-pounders, manned by the best artillerists at the North, was
quite an uneven combat. Johnston and Beauregard had now come upon the
field and aided in giving order and confidence to the troops now badly
disorganized by the fury of the charge. The battle raged in all
its fierceness; the infantry and artillery, by their roaring and
thunder-like tone, gave one the impression of a continued, protracted
electrical storm, and to those at a distance it sounded like "worlds
at war." On the plateau between the Lewis House and the Henry House
the battle raged fast and furious with all the varying fortunes of
battle. Now victorious--now defeated--the enemy advances over hill,
across plateaus, to be met with stubborn resistance first, then driven
flying from the field. Around the Henry House the battle was desperate
and hand to hand. Here the Louisiana Battalion, under Major Wheat,
immortalized itself by the fury of its assault. Again and again was
the house taken and lost, retaken and lost again; the men, seeking
cover, rushed up around and into it, only to be driven away by the
storm of shot and shell sent hurling through it. Now our troops would
be dislodged, but rallying they rushed again to the assault and retook
it. Twelve o'clock came, and the battle was far from being decided.
Bartow fell, then Bee. The wounded and dead lay strewn over the entire
field from the Henry House to the bridge. Away to the left is seen the
glitter of advancing bayonets, with flags waving, and the steady tread
of long lines of soldiers marching through the open field. They are
first thought to be the enemy, seeking to turn our left. Officers and
men turned pale at the sight of the unexpected foe. Couriers were sent
to Longstreet and Bonham to prepare to cover the retreat, for the
day was now thought to be lost, and a retreat inevitable. The troops
proved to be friends. Elzeys and Kirby Smith on the way from the
Valley to Manassas, hearing the firing of the guns, left the cars and
hurried to the scene of action. Cheer after cheer now rent the air,
for relief was now at hand. They were put in on the left, but soon
General Kirby Smith fell wounded, and had to be borne from the field.
Other reinforcements were on the way to relieve the pressure that was
convincing to the generals commanding, even, that the troops could not
long endure. The Second and Eighth South Carolina Regiments, under
the command of Colonels Kershaw and Cash, were taken from the line at
Mitchell's Ford and hurried forward. When all the forces, were gotten
well in hand, a general forward movement was made. But the enemy met
it with a determined front. The shrieking and bursting of shells shook
the very earth, while the constant roll of the infantry sounded like
continual peals of heavy thunder. Here and there an explosion, like a
volcanic eruption, told of a caisson being blown up by the bursting of
a shell. The enemy graped the field right and left, and had a decided
advantage in the forenoon when their long range twenty-pounders played
havoc with our advancing and retreating columns, while our small four
and six-pounders could not reach their batteries. But in the after
part of the day, when the contending forces were nearer together,
Rickett's and Griffin's Batteries, the most celebrated at that time
in the Northern Army, could not stand the precision and impetuosity
of Kemper's, the Washington, Stannard's, Pendleton's, and Pelham's
Batteries as they graped the field. The Second and Eighth South
Carolina coming up at a double quick, joined Hampton's Legion, with
Early, Cox, and the troops from the Valley just in time to be of
eminent service at a critical moment. The clear clarion voice
of Kershaw gave the command, "Forward!" and when repeated in the
stentorian voice of Cash, the men knew what was expected of them,
answered the call, and leaped to the front with a will. The enemy
could no longer withstand the desperate onslaught of the Confederate
Volunteers, and McDowell now began to interest himself with the
doubtful problem of withdrawing his troops at this critical juncture.
With the rugged banks of the deep, sluggish stream in his rear, and
only a few places it could be crossed, with a long sheet of flame
blazing out from the compact lines of the Confederates into the faces
of his men, his position was perilous in the extreme. His troops must
have been of like opinion, for the ranks began to waver, then break
away, and soon they found themselves in full retreat. Kershaw, Cash,
and Hampton pressed them hard towards Stone Bridge. A retreat at first
now became a panic, then a rout. Men threw away their baggage, then
their guns, all in a mad rush to put the stream between themselves
and the dreaded "gray-backs." Cannon were abandoned, men mounted the
horses and fled in wild disorder, trampling underfoot those who came
between them and safety, while others limbered up their pieces
and went at headlong speed, only to be upset or tangled in an
unrecognizable mass on Stone Bridge. The South Carolinians pressed
them to the very crossing, capturing prisoners and guns; among the
latter was the enemy's celebrated "Long Tom." All semblance of order
was now cast aside, each trying to leave his less fortunate neighbor
in the rear. Plunging headlong down the precipitous banks of the Run,
the terror-stricken soldiers pushed over and out in the woods and
the fields on the other side. The shells of our rifle and parrot guns
accelerated their speed, and added to their demoralization by hissing
and shrieking above their heads and bursting in the tree tops. Orders
were sent to Generals Bonham, Longstreet, and Jones, who were holding
the lower fords, to cross over and strike the flying fugitives in
the rear near Centerville. Colonels Williams and Bacon, with their
regiments, led by General Bonham, in person, crossed the stream at a
double quick, and began the pursuit of the stampeded troops. When we
reached the camps of the enemy, where they had bivouaced the night
before, the scene beggared description. On either side of the road
were piled as high as one could reach baggages of every description,
which the men had discarded before going into action. Blankets rolled
up, oilcloths, overcoats, tents, all of the very best material, piled
up by the hundreds and thousands. Pots and camp kettles hung over
fires, and from within came the savory smell of "rich viands with
rare condiments," being prepared to appease the keen appetite of the
battle-worn veterans after the day's victory. Great quarters of fresh
beef hung temptingly from the limbs of the trees, wagons filled with
arms and accoutrements, provisions, and army supplies, with not a few
well-laden with all the delicacies, tid-bits, and rarest old wines
that Washington could afford, to assuage the thirst of officers and
the men of note. Many of the high dignitaries and officials from the
Capitol had come out to witness the fight from afar, and enjoy the
exciting scene of battle. They were now fleeing through the woods
like men demented, or crouched behind trees, perfectly paralyzed with
uncertainty and fright. One old citizen of the North, captured by the
boys, gave much merriment by the antics he cut, being frightened out
of his wits with the thought of being summarily dealt with by the
soldiers. Some would punch him in the back with their bayonets, then
another would give him a thrust as he turned to ask quarters of the
first tormentor. The crisis was reached, however, when one of the
soldiers, in a spirit of mischief, called for a rope to hang him;
he thought himself lost, and through his tears he begged for mercy,
pleaded for compassion, and promised atonement. General Bonham riding
up at this juncture of the soldiers' sport, and seeing the abject fear
of the old Northern Abolitionist, took pity and showed his sympathy
by telling the men to turn him loose, and not to interfere with
non-combatants. He was told to run now, and if he kept the gait he
started with through the woods, not many hours elapsed before
he placed the placid waters of the Potomac between him and the
blood-thirsty Rebels. Strict orders were given to "stay in ranks," but
the sight of so much valuable plunder, and actual necessaries to the
soldiers, was too much for the poorly provided Confederates; and not
a few plucked from the pile a blanket, overcoat, canteen, or other
article that his wants dictated. A joke the boys had on a major was
that while riding along the line, waving his sword, giving orders not
to molest the baggage, and crying out, "Stay in ranks, men, stay in
ranks," then in an undertone he would call to his servant, "Get me
another blanket, Harvy." The artillery that had been ordered to take
part in the infantry's pursuit were just preparing to open fire upon
the fleeing enemy, when by some unaccountable order, the pursuit was
ordered to be abandoned. Had not this uncalled for order come at this
juncture, it is not hard to conceive the results. The greater portion
of the Federal Army would have been captured, for with the exception
of General Sykes' Brigade of regulars and a battery of regular
artillery, there was not an organization between our army and
Washington City. All night long the roads through Centerville, and the
next day all leading through Fairfax, Falls Church, and Anandale were
one continual throng of fleeing fugitives. Guns and accoutrements,
camp equipage, and ordnance strewed the sides of the road for miles;
wagons, ambulances, cannon, and caissons had been abandoned, and
terror-stricken animals galloped unbridled through the woods and
fields. The great herds of cattle, now free from their keepers, went
bellowing through the forest, seeking shelter in some secluded swamp.

At night, we were all very reluctantly ordered back to our old camp
to talk, rejoice, and dream of the wonderful victory. Beauregard
and Johnston had in this engagement of all arms 30,888, but 3,000 of
Ewell's and part of Bonham's Brigade were not on the field on that
day. The enemy had 50,000 and 117 cannon. Confederate loss in killed
and wounded, 1,485. Federal loss in killed, wounded, and captured,
4,500. There being no enemy in our front and little danger of
surprise, the soldiers were allowed to roam at will over the
battlefield the next few days. Almost the entire army availed
themselves of this their first opportunity of visiting a real
battlefield and witnessing the real horrors and carnage of which they
had often read and seen pictures but had never seen in reality.

Who is it that has ever looked upon a battlefield and could forget the
sickening scene, or obliterate from his mind the memory of its dreaded
sight? It was recorded of the great Napoleon, by one of his most
intimate friends and historians, that after every great battle the
first thing he did the next day was to ride over the field, where lay
the dead and wounded, and when he would come to those points where the
battle had been desperate and the dead lay thickest, he would sit as
in a trance, and with silence and meditation never witnessed on other
occasions, view the ghastly corpses as they lay strewn over the field.
The field of carnage had a fascinating power over him he could not
resist, and on which his eyes delighted to feast. With a comrade
I went to visit the field of Manassas. Passing over the uneven and
partly wooded country, we witnessed all the effect of the enemy's
rifled guns. Trees were cut down, great holes dug in the ground where
shells had exploded, broken wagons, upset ambulances, wounded and dead
horses lining the whole way. The first real scene of carnage was on
the plateau of the Lewis house. Here the Virginians lying behind the
crest of the hill as the enemy emerged from the woods on the other
side, gave them such a volley as to cause a momentary repulse, but
only to renew their attack with renewed vigor. The battle here was
desperate. Major Wheat with his Louisianians fought around the Henry
house with a ferocity hardly equalled by any troops during the war.
Their peculiar uniform, large flowing trousers with blue and white
stripes coming only to the knees, colored stockings, and a loose
bodice, made quite a picturesque appearance and a good target for the
enemy. These lay around the house and in front in almost arm's length
of each other. This position had been taken and lost twice during the
day. Beyond the house and down the declivity on the other side, the
enemy's dead told how destructive and deadly had been the Confederate
fire. On the other plateau where Jackson had formed and where Bee and
Bartow fell, the scene was sickening. There lay friend and foe face
to face in the cold embrace of death. Only by the caps could one be
distinguished from the other, for the ghouls of the battlefield had
already been there to strip, rob, and plunder. Beyond the ravine to
the left is where Hampton and his Legion fought, as well as the troops
of Kirby Smith and Elzey, of Johnston's army, who had come upon the
scene just in time to turn the tide of battle from defeat to victory.
On the right of Hampton was the Eighth and Second South Carolina under
Kershaw. From the Lewis house to the Stone Bridge the dead lay in
every direction. The enemy in their precipitate flight gave the
Confederates ample opportunity to slay at will. The effects of
artillery here were dreadful. Rickett's Battery, the best in the
North, had pushed their guns far in advance of the infantry, and swept
the field with grape and canister. Here was a caisson blown up by
a shell from Kemper's Battery, and the havoc was frightful. Six
beautiful horses, all well caparisoned and still attached to the
caisson, all stretched as they had fallen, without so much as a
struggle. The drivers lay by the side of the horses, one poor fellow
underneath and badly mutilated. To one side and near by lay the
officer in command and his horse, the noble animal lying as he had
died in the beautiful poise he must have been in when the fatal shot
struck him. His hind legs straightened as if in the act of rearing,
his forefeet in the air, one before the other, the whole looking more
like a dismantled statue than the result of a battlefield. Fragments
of shells, broken guns, knapsacks, and baggage were scattered over
the plains. Details were busy gathering up the wounded and burying the
dead. But from the looks of the field the task seemed difficult. In
the little clusters of bushes, behind trees, in gullies, and in every
conceivable place that seemed to offer shelter, lay the dead. What
a shudder thrills the whole frame when you stand and contemplate
the gruesome faces of the battle's dead. In every posture and all
positions, with every conceivable shade of countenance, the glaring,
glassy eyes meet you. Some lay as they fell, stretched full length
on the ground; others show a desperate struggle for the last few
remaining breaths. There lay the beardless youth with a pleasant smile
yet lingering on his face as though waiting for the maternal kiss; the
cold stern features of the middle aged as he lay grasping his trusty
rifle, some drawn up in a perfect knot of agony, others their faces
prone upon the earth, all dead, dead. Great pools of blood here and
there had saturated the earth, the victim perhaps crawling to a nearby
shelter or some little glen, hoping to gain a mouthful of water to
cool his parched lips, or perhaps some friendly hand had carried him
away to a hospital. Few of our troops had been molested by the body
snatchers of the battlefield, but the enemy had almost invariably been
stripped of his outer clothing. On the incline of the far side of a
little hill spots were pointed out where the gallant South Carolinian,
Bee, had fallen, while rallying his men for the final assault, and
also the brave Georgian, Colonel Bartow, in a like endeavor.

We came to the Henry house, on the opposite plateau from the Lewis
house, the former at this time almost as noted as the little log hut
at Waterloo that stood half a century before as a landmark to the fall
of Napoleon. They were common, old fashioned frame houses, occupied
by some poor people on this frightful day. The battle came with such
suddeness and unexpectancy, the unfortunate inmates could not get
away, and there throughout the bloody day these three Henry women had
endured all the dread, excitement, and dangers of a great battle, and
forced to remain between the opposing armies. The house was perfectly
riddled with minnie balls, while great openings were torn in the side
and roofs by the shells shattering through. There was no escape or
place of safety. They stretched themselves at full length upon the
floor, calmly awaiting death, while a perfect storm of shot and shell
raged without and within. As we went in the house two women sat around
the few mouldering embers that had answered the purpose of cooking
a hasty meal. It was a single room house, with two beds, some cheap
furniture, and a few cooking utensils. These were torn into fragments.
In one corner lay the dead sister, who had been shot the day before,
with a sheet thrown over to shield her from the gaze of the curious.
The two sisters were eating a morsel unconcernedly, unconscious of the
surroundings, while the house was crowded during the day with sight
seers and curious questioners. On the other side of the room were some
wounded soldiers, carried in to be shielded from the rays of the July
sun, while all without lay in heaps the mangled dead. The exceeding
tension of excitement, fright, untold fear, that had been drawn around
them during the continuous struggle of the day before, had rendered
those women callous and indifferent to all surrounding appearance;
but their haggard faces told but too plainly their mental anguish and
bodily suffering of yesterday. The eyes tire of the sickening scene,
and the mind turns from this revolting field of blood, and we return
heartstricken to our camp. The poor crippled and deserted horses limp
over the field nibbling a little bunch of grass left green in places
after the day of mad galloping of horses. Everywhere we saw friends
hunting friends. Relief corps had come up from Richmond and were
working night and day relieving the suffering and moving the wounded
away. Cars were run at short intervals from Manassas, carrying the
disabled to Warrentown, Orange Court House, Culpepper, and Richmond.
President Davis had come up just after the battle had gone in our
favor, and the soldiers were delighted to get a glimpse at our
illustrious chieftain. It was needless to say Beauregard's star was
still in the ascendant.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER VI

Vienna--Flint Hill--Duel Sports--July to October.


Much discussion has taken place since the rout at Manassas as to
reasons for not following up the victory so gloriously won, and for
not pushing on to Washington at once. It is enough to say the two
commanders at the time and on the field saw difficulties and dangers
sufficient in the way to rest on their spoils. The President, who was
in council with them, after due consideration was convinced of
the impracticability of a forward movement. In the first place, no
preparation had been made for such an event; that the spoils were
so out of proportion to their most sanguine expectations; that the
transportation for the troops had to be employed in its removal;
that no thought of a forward movement or invasion had ever been
contemplated; so there were no plans or specifications at hand. Then
again, the dead and wounded of both armies had to be attended to,
which crippled our medical department so as to render it powerless
should another engagement take place. And again, a large portion of
our people thought this total defeat of the enemy at the very outset
of the war would render the design of coercion by force of arms
impracticable. The South was conservative, and did not wish to inflame
the minds of the people of the Union by entering their territory or
destroying their capital. Knowing there was a large party at the
North opposed to the war, some of our leaders had reason to think
this shattering of their first grand army would so strengthen their
feelings and party that the whole North would call for peace. They
further hugged that fatal delusion to their breast, a delusion that
eventually shattered the foundation of our government and betrayed the
confidence of the troops, "foreign intervention." They reasoned that a
great victory by the South would cause our government to be recognized
by the foreign powers and the South given a footing as a distinct,
separate, and independent nation among all other great nations of
the earth. That the South would no longer be looked upon as an
"Insurrectionary Faction," "Erring Sisters," or "Rebellious Children."
Our ports had been ordered closed by the North, and an imaginary
blockade, a nominal fleet, stood out in front of our harbors. Our
people thought the world's desire for the South's cotton would so
influence the commercial and laboring people of Europe that the powers
would force the North to declare her blockade off. Such were some of
the feelings and hopes of a large body of our troops, as well as
the citizens of the country at large. But it all was a fallacy, a
delusion, an ignis fatuus. The North was aroused to double her former
fury, her energies renewed and strengthened, tensions drawn, her
ardor largely increased, her feelings doubly embittered, and the
whole spirit of the North on fire. Now the cry was in earnest, "On to
Richmond," "Down with the rebellion," "Peace and unity." The Northern
press was in a perfect blaze, the men wild with excitement, and every
art and device was resorted to to arouse the people to arms. The
stain of defeat must now be wiped out; a stigma had been put upon the
nation, her flag disgraced, her people dishonored. Large bounties were
offered for volunteers, and the recruiting was earnest and energetic.
Lincoln called for 300,000 more troops, and the same question was
asked at the South, "Where will he get them and how pay them?"

We were moved out near Centerville, and a few days afterwards took up
camp at Vienna, a small station on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
The day after our arrival all of the troops, with the exception of the
ordinary detail, were put to work tearing up the railroad track. It
being Sunday, loud complaints were made against this desecration of
the Lord's Day, but we were told there was no difference in days in
times of war. The railroad was a good one and well built on a roadbed
of gravel and chips of granite, with solid heart pine or chestnut
ties, laid with "T" rails. The cross-ties were piled in heaps, on
these were laid the rails, and all set on fire; then for miles and
miles up and down the road the crackling flames, the black smoke
twining around the trees and curling upward, shrouded the whole earth
with a canopy of black and blue, and told of the destruction that
was going on. Here the troops suffered as seldom during the war for
provisions, especially breadstuff. Loud murmurings were heard on all
sides against the commissary department, and the commissary complained
of the Quartermaster for not furnishing transportation. The troops on
one occasion here had to go three days and at hard work without one
mouthful of bread, except what little they could buy or beg of the
citizens of the thinly settled country. Meat was plentiful, but no
bread, and any one who has ever felt the tortures of bread hunger may
imagine the sufferings of the men. For want of bread the meats became
nauseating and repulsive. The whole fault lay in having too many
bosses and red tape in the Department at Richmond. By order of these
officials, all commissary supplies, even gathered in sight of the
camps, had to be first sent to Richmond and issued out only on
requisitions to the head of the departments. The railroad facilities
were bad, irregular, and blocked, while our wagons and teams were
limited to one for each one hundred men for all purposes. General
Beauregard, now second in command, and directly in command of the
First Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac, of which our brigade
formed a part, wishing to concentrate his troops, ordered all to
Flint Hill, three miles west of Fairfax Court House. General Johnston,
Commander-in-Chief, directed the movements of the whole army, but more
directly the Second Army Corps, or the Army of the Shenandoah. The
army up to this time had not been put into divisions, commanded
by Major Generals, nor corps, by Lieutenant Generals, but the two
commanders divided nominally the army into two corps, each commanded
by a full General--Brigadier General Beauregard having been raised to
the rank of full General the day after his signal victory at Manassas
by President Davis.

[Illustration: Brig. Gen. James Connor Adjt.]

[Illustration: Y.J. Pope, Acting Asst. Adjt. Genl. of
Kershaw's Brigade]

[Illustration: Brig. Gen. John D. Kennedy.]

[Illustration: Dr. Thos. W. Salmond Surgeon of Kershaw's Brigade.]

In the Confederate Army the grades of the Generals were different to
those in the United States Army. A brigade consisted of a number of
regiments joined together as one body and commanded by a Brigadier
General, the lowest in rank. Four, more or less, brigades constituted
a division, commanded by a Major General. Three or four divisions
constituted a corps, commanded by a Lieutenant General, and a separate
army, as two or more corps, was commanded by a General, the highest
in rank. Their rank is the same, but the Seniors are those whose
commissions had been granted first, and take precedence where two are
together. So it is with all officers in the army--age is not taken
into consideration, but the date of commission. Where a brigade,
from any cause, temporarily loses its commander, the Colonel with the
oldest commission takes the command; where a division loses its Major
General, the Senior Brigadier in that division immediately assumes
command; and the same way in the corps and the army. The Major General
takes command of the corps where its commander is absent, and in case
of absence, either temporary or permanent, of the Commander-in-Chief
of an army, the ranking Lieutenant General takes command until a
full General relieves him. In no case can an officer of inferior rank
command one of superior rank. Rank gives command whether ordered
or not. In any case of absence, whether in battle, march, or camp,
whenever an officer finds himself Senior in his organization, he is
commander and so held without further orders.

The soldiers had rather a good time at Flint Hill, doing a little
drilling and occasional picket duty out in the direction of Munson and
Mason Hill. The Commanding General wished to advance his pickets
to Munson Hill, a few miles from Washington, and to do this it was
necessary to dislodge the enemy, who had possession there. The
Second Regiment, under Colonel Kershaw, was sent out, and after a
considerable brush he succeeded in driving the enemy away. After this
one regiment at a time was sent out to do picket duty. When our South
Carolina regiments would go out orders were given to be quiet, and
during our stay at Mason and Munson Hill the utmost secrecy prevailed,
but when Wheat's Louisiana Battalion had to relieve a regiment we
could hear the beating of their drums, the loud shouts of the men on
their way out, and all would rush to the side of the road to see the
"tigers" pass. Down the road they would come, banners waving, the
swinging step of the men keeping time to the shrill notes of the fife
and the rattle of the drums. Their large flowing pants, their gaudy
striped long hose, made quite an imposing spectacle. This was a noted
band of men for a time, but their brave commander, Wheat, and almost
all of his men, were killed in the battles that followed around
Richmond. Major Wheat had been in the Turkish Army when that nation
was at war with Russia, and in several other foreign wars, as well as
the Mexican War. When his State seceded he returned to Louisiana
and raised a battalion of the hardest set of men in New Orleans.
The soldiers called them "wharf rats," "sailors," "longshoremen,"
"cutthroats," and "gutter snipes." They knew no subordination and
defied law and military discipline. While in camp here several of them
were shot at the stake. Major Wheat had asked to be allowed to manage
his men as he saw best, and had a law unto himself. For some mutiny
and insubordination he had several of them shot. Afterwards, when the
soldiers heard a volley fired, the word would go out, "Wheat is having
another tiger shot."

The fields were green with the great waving corn, just in roasting
ears, and it was a sight to see hundreds of men in these fields early
in the morning plucking the fine ears for breakfast. In most cases the
owners had abandoned their fields and homes, taking what was movable
to other places in Virginia. What was left the soldiers were at
liberty to "slay and eat." At first it was determined to protect the
stock, but the soldiers agreed that what the Southern soldiers left
the enemy would be sure to take. I remember the first theft I was
engaged in during the war. I say "first" advisedly. Now soldiers
have different views as to rights of property to that of the average
citizen. What he finds that will add to his comfort or welfare, or his
wants dictate, or a liability of the property falling into the hands
of the enemy, he takes without compunction or disposition to rob--and
more often he robs in a spirit of mischief. A few fine hogs had been
left to roam at will through the fields by the refugee farmers, and
orders were given not to kill or molest them, to eat as much corn
as we wished, but to spare the hogs. When the regiments were sent on
pickets, a detail was left in camp as guard, also to watch around the
fields to prevent trespass. While our regiment was on its three days'
picket, I was left as one of the detail to guard the camp. Some one
reported a fine hog in the yard of a house some distance away. It was
agreed to kill it, divide it up, and have a rare treat for the weary
pickets when they returned. How to kill it without attracting the
attention of the other guards was a question of importance, because
the report of a rifle and the proverbial squeal of a hog would be sure
to bring down upon us the guard. One of the men had a pistol, still
we were afraid to trust this. A cellar door stood temptingly open.
We tried to drive the hog into it, but with a hog's perverseness it
refused to be driven, and after rushing around the yard several times
with no results, it was decided to shoot it. The man claimed to be a
good shot, and declared that no hog would squeal after being shot by
him, but, as Burns says, "The best laid plans of mice and men aft'
gang a glee." So with us. After shooting, the porker cut desperate
antics, and set up a frightful noise, but the unexpected always
happens, and the hog took refuge in the cellar, or rather the basement
of the dwelling, to our great relief. We were proceeding finely,
skinning away, the only method the soldiers had of cleaning a hog,
when to our astonishment and dismay, in walked the much dreaded guard.
Now there something peculiar about the soldier's idea of duty, the
effects of military training, and the stern obedience to orders. The
first lesson he learns is obedience, and the longer in service the
more convinced he is of its necessity. While he may break ranks, pass
guards, rob roosts, or pilfer fruits and vegetables himself, yet put a
gun in his hand, place him on duty, order him to guard or protect
men or property, and his integrity in that respect is as unyielding,
inflexible, and stern as if his life depended upon his faithful
performance. The Roman soldiers' obedience to orders made them
immortal, and their nation the greatest on earth. But to resume the
thread of my story. When the guard came in we thought ourselves lost.
To be punished for hog stealing, and it published at home, was more
than our patriotism could stand. The guard questioned us about the
killing, said it was against orders to fire a gun within range of
camp, and furthermore against orders to molest private property. We
tried to convince the guard that it was contraband, that the owners
had left it, and to crown the argument, insisted that if we did not
take the hog the Yankees would. This was the argument always last
resorted to to ease conscience and evade the law. In this case,
strange to say, it had its effect. After some parleying, it was agreed
to share the booty equally between the guard and ourselves. They
helped us cut brush and cover it nicely, and after tattoo all were to
return and divide up. We did not know the guards personally, but knew
their command. And so we returned to the camp to await the return of
our pickets and night. It was soon noised in camp that there was
a fine fat porker to be distributed after tattoo, and no little
eagerness and inquisitiveness were manifested, as all wished a piece.
Armed with a crocus-sack, we returned to the house; all was dark and
still. We whistled the signal, but no answer. It was repeated, but
still no reply. The guard had not come. Sitting down on the door step,
we began our long wait. Moments passed into minutes, minutes into
hours, until at last we began to have some forebodings and misgivings.
Had we been betrayed? Would we be reported and our tents searched next
day? Hardly; a soldier could not be so treacherous. We entered the
cellar and began to fumble around without results, a match was struck,
and to our unspeakable dismay not a vestige of hog remained. Stuck
against the side of the wall was a piece of paper, on which was
written: "No mercy for the hog rogue." Such swearing, such stamping
and beating the air with our fists, in imitation of the punishment
that would be given the treacherous rascals if present; the atmosphere
was perfectly sulphurous with the venom spit out against the foul
party. Here was a true verification of the old adage, "Set a rogue
to catch a rogue." Dejected and crestfallen, we returned to camp,
but dared not tell of our misfortune, for fear of the jeers of our
comrades.

Measles and jaundice began to scourge the camp; the green corn, it was
said, did the army more damage than the enemy did in battle. Wagons
and ambulances went out daily loaded with the sick; the hospitals
were being crowded in Richmond and other cities; hotels, colleges, and
churches were appropriated for hospital service, and the good people
of Virginia can never be forgotten, nor amply rewarded for the
self-sacrifices and aid rendered to the sick soldiers. Private houses
were thrown open to the sick when their homes were far distant, or
where they could not reach it. The soldier was never too dirty or
ragged to be received into palatial homes; all found a ready welcome
and the best attention.

Generals Johnston and Beauregard had now concentrated all their forces
in supporting distance around Fairfax Court House, and were preparing
for a movement across the Potomac. Bonham's Brigade was at Flint Hill,
Cox's at Centerville, Jones's at Germantown, Hampton and Early on the
Occoquon, the Louisiana Brigade at Bull Run, and Longstreet at Fairfax
Court House. The troops were all in easy distance, and a gigantic plan
of General Beauregard, with the doubtful approval of General Johnston
and others, was for a formidable invasion of the North. General
Johnston evinced that same disposition in military tactics that he
followed during the war, "a purely defensive war." In none of his
campaigns did he exhibit any desire to take advantage of the enemy by
bold moves; his one idea seemed to be "defensive," and in that he was
a genius--in retreat, his was a mastermind; in defense, masterly. In
the end it may have proven the better policy to have remained on the
defensive. But the quick, impulsive temperament of Beauregard was ever
on the alert for some bold stroke or sudden attack upon the
enemy's weaker points. His idea coincided with Longstreet's in this
particular, that the North, Kentucky, Tennessee, or Maryland should
be the theatre of war and the battleground of the Confederacy. General
Lee, according to the ideas of one of his most trusted lieutenants,
was more in accordance with the views of General Johnston, that is,
"the South should fight a defensive war"--and it was only when in the
immediate presence of the enemy, or when he observed a weak point
in his opponent, or a strategic move, that he could not resist the
temptation to strike a blow. In several of his great battles it is
reported of Lee that he intended to await the attack of the enemy, but
could not control his impatience when the enemy began to press him;
then all the fire of his warlike nature came to the surface, and he
sprang upon his adversary with the ferocity of a wild beast. But Lee
in battle was not the Lee in camp.

The middle of summer the two commanding Generals called President
Davis to Fairfax Court House to enter a conference in regard to the
projected invasion. The plans were all carefully laid before him.
First a demonstration was to be made above Washington; then with the
whole army cross below, strike Washington on the east, crush the enemy
in their camps, march through Maryland, hoist the standard of revolt
in that State, make a call for all Southern sympathizers to flock to
their banners, and to overawe the North by this sudden onslaught. But
President Davis turned a deaf ear to all such overtures; pleaded the
want of transportation and the necessary equipment for invasion. It
was the feeling of the South even at this late day that much could yet
be done by diplomacy and mild measures; that a great body of the North
could be won over by fears of a prolonged war; and the South did not
wish to exasperate the more conservative element by any overt act. We
all naturally looked for peace; we fully expected the war would end
during the fall and winter, and it was not too much to say that many
of our leaders hugged this delusion to their breast.

While in camp here an incident occurred which showed that the men
had not yet fully recognized the importance of military restraint and
discipline. It is well known that private broils or feuds of any
kind are strictly forbidden by army regulations. The French manner
of settling disputes or vindicating personal honor according to code
duello was not countenanced by our military laws; still the hot
blood and fiery temper of the proud South Carolinians could brook
no restraint at this time when an affront was given or his honor
assailed. Captain Elbert Bland, of Edgefield, and Major Emett Seibles,
both of the Seventh Regiment, were engaged in a friendly game of
chess, a difference arose, then a dispute, hot words, and at last
insult given that could not be recalled nor allowed to pass unnoticed.
Challenge is offered and accepted, seconds appointed, pistols chosen;
distance, twenty paces; time, sunrise next morning on a hillside near
the outskirts of the camp. Early next morning a lone ambulance is seen
moving out of camp, followed by two surgeons, then the principals with
their seconds at a respectful distance. On reaching the spot chosen
lots were cast for choice of stations. This fell to Captain Bland.
The distance was measured with mechanical exactness, dueling pistols
produced, each second loading that of his principal. The regular
dueling pistol is a costly affair and of the very finest material.
Long slim rifle barrel with hammer underneath, the stock finely
chiseled and elaborately ornamented with silver or gold; the whole
about ten inches in length and carrying a bullet of 22 calibre. The
seconds took their places at an equal distance from each other and
midway between the principals. Captain Bland takes his position at
the west end of the field, and Major Seibles the east. Both stood
confronting each other, not fierce nor glaring like two men roused in
passion, or that either wished the blood of the other, but bold, calm,
and defiant; an insult to be wiped out and honor to be sustained. They
turned, facing the rear, hands down, with pistols in the right.
The seconds call out in calm, deliberate tones: "Gentlemen, are
you ready?" Then, "Ready, aim, fire!" "One, two, three, stop." The
shooting must take place between the words "fire" and "stop," or
during the count of one, two, three. If the principal fires before or
after this command it is murder, and he is at once shot down by the
second of his opponent. Or if in any case the principals fail to
respond at the hour set, the second promptly takes his place. But no
danger of such possibilities where two such men as Major Seibles and
Captain Bland are interested. There was a matter at issue dearer than
country, wife or child. It was honor, and a true South Carolinian of
the old stock would make any sacrifice, give or take life, to uphold
his name unsullied or the honor of his family untarnished. As the word
fire was given the opponents wheeled and two pistol shots rang out
on the stillness of the morning. Captain Bland stands still erect,
commanding and motionless as a statue. Major Seibles remains steady
for a moment, then sways a little to the left, staggers and falls
into the arms of his second and surgeon. A hasty examination is made.
"Blood," calls out the second of Major Seibles. A nod of satisfaction
is given and acknowledged by both seconds. Captain Bland retires on
the arm of his friend, while the Major, now bleeding profusely from
a wound in the chest, is lifted in the ambulance and carried to
his tent. It was many months before Major Seibles was sufficiently
recovered from his wound to return to duty. The matter was kept quiet
and no action taken. Major Seibles died the following year, while the
gallant Bland was killed at Chickamauga while leading as Colonel the
Seventh Regiment in battle.

While at Flint Hill, another stirring scene took place of quite a
different nature. In front of the Third Regiment was a beautiful
stretch of road, and this was selected as a course for a race to be
run between the horse of Captain Mitchell of the Louisiana Tigers and
that of the Colonel of a Virginia regiment of cavalry. The troops now
so long inactive, nothing to break the monotony between drills, guard
duty, and picketing, waited with no little anxiety the coming of the
day that was to test the metal of the little grey from the Pelican
State and the sorrel from the Old Dominion. Word had gone out among
all the troopers that a race was up, and all lovers of the sport came
in groups, companies, and regiments to the place of rendezvous. Men
seemed to come from everywhere, captains, colonels, and even generals
graced the occasion with their presence. Never before in our army
had so many distinguished individuals congregated for so trivial an
occasion. There was Wheat, fat, clean shaven, and jolly, his every
feature indicating the man he was--bold as a lion, fearless, full of
life and frolic as a school boy, but who had seen war in almost every
clime under the sun. There was Turner Ashby, his eyes flashing fire
from under his shaggy eyebrows, his long black beard and flowing
locks, looking more like a brigand than one of the most daring
cavaliers of the Confederate Army. Fitzhugh Lee, too, was there, with
colonels, majors, and captains without number. Nothing seemed farther
from the horizon of these jolly men than thoughts of the triumphs of
war. Captain Mitchell's horse was more on the pony order than a racer,
but it was said by those who knew that on more occasions than one
the pony had thrown dirt into the eyes of the fastest horse in the
Crescent City, and the Louisianans were betting on him to a man. The
wiry sorrel was equally a favorite with the Virginians, while the
South Carolinians were divided between the two. After a great amount
of jockeying, usual on such occasions, judges were appointed, distance
measured, horses and riders in their places, and hundreds of men
stretched along the side of the road to witness the heated race.
No little amount of Confederate money had been put upon the race,
although it was understood to be merely a friendly one, and for
amusement only. When the drum sounded, the two horses almost leaped
into the air, and sped away like the wind, "little grey" shooting
away from her larger adversary like a bullet, and came flying down the
track like a streak, about a length ahead of the Virginia horse. The
favorites on the Louisianan rent the air with their yells, hats went
into the air, while the friends of the Virginian shouted like mad to
the rider: "Let him out, let him out." When the distance was about
half run he was "let out;" the rowels went into the side and the whip
came down upon the flanks of the thoroughly aroused racer, and the
Virginian began forging to the front, gaining at every leap. Now he is
neck and neck, spur and whip are used without stint, he goes ahead and
is leaving the "grey" far in the rear; Captain Mitchell is leaning
far over on the withers of the faithful little pony, never sparing
the whip for a moment, but all could see that he was running a losing
race. When about the commencement of the last quarter the "grey"
leaves the track, and off to the right he plunges through the trees,
dashing headlong by the groups of men, till at last the Captain brings
him up with one rein broken. A great crowd surround him, questioning,
swearing, and jeering, but the Captain sat as silent, immovable, and
inattentive as a statue, pointing to the broken rein. It had been cut
with a knife. The Captain and his friends claimed that the friends of
the Virginian had, unnoticed by him, cut the leather to a bare thread,
while the friends of the other party, with equal persistency, charged
the Captain with cutting it himself. That when he saw the race lost,
he reached over and cut the rein about six inches from the bit, thus
throwing the horse out of the track and saving its credit, if not the
money. No one ever knew how it happened, but that there had been a
trick played and foul means employed were evident. A great many had
lost their money, and their curses were loud and deep, while the
winners went away as merry as "marriage bells."

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER VII

Winter Quarters at Bull Run.


Sometime in October the brigade was withdrawn to the vicinity of
Centerville for better facilities in the way of provisions, water,
etc., and to be nearer the wooded section of the country. The water
had been scarce at Flint Hill, a long distance from camp, and of
inferior quality. The health of the troops was considerably impaired,
a great many having been sent to the hospitals, or to their homes. The
sickness was attributed, in a large measure, to the quality of green
corn and fresh meat, salt being an object now with the Confederacy,
and was issued in limited quantities. We fared sumptuously while at
our camp near Centerville. Our wagon train going weekly up towards
Warrenton and the mountains, returning laden with flour, meat, and the
finest beef we had ever received. The teamsters acting as hucksters,
brought in a lot of delicacies to sell on their own account--chickens,
turkeys, and vegetables, and not unfrequently a keg of "Mountain Dew"
would be packed in the wagon with the army supplies, and sold by the
wagoners at an enormous profit. There being no revenue officers or
"dispensary constables" in those days, whiskey could be handled with
impunity, and not a little found its way into camp. The citizens, too,
had an eye single to their own welfare, and would bring in loads of
all kinds of country produce. Sometimes a wagon would drive into camp
loaded with dressed chickens and turkeys to the number of one hundred
or more. A large old-fashioned wagon-sheet would be spread over the
bottom and side of the wagon body, and filled with as much as two
horses could pull. I never knew until then how far a man's prejudice
could overcome him. Our mess had concluded to treat itself to a turkey
dinner on Christmas. Our boss of the mess was instructed to purchase a
turkey of the next wagon that came in. Sure enough, the day came and a
fine fat turkey bought, already dressed, and boiling away in the camp
kettle, while all hands stood around and drank in the delightful aroma
from turkey and condiments that so temptingly escaped from under the
kettle lid. When all was ready, the feast spread, and the cook was in
the act of sinking his fork into the breast of the rich brown turkey,
some one said in the greatest astonishment: "Well, George Stuck, I'll
be d----d if you haven't bought a goose instead of a turkey, look at
its short legs." There was a go, our money gone, appetites whetted,
and for a goose! Well up to that time and even now I cannot eat goose.
A dispute arose, some said it was a goose, others held out with equal
persistency that it was a turkey, and I not having discretion enough
to judge by the color of the flesh, and so overcome by my prejudice,
did not taste it, and a madder man was not often found. To this day I
have never been convinced whether it was a turkey or a goose, but am
rather inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the goose.

We did not get into our regular winter quarters until after the first
of January, 1862. These were established on the south Banks of Bull
Run, near Blackburn's Ford, the place of the first battle of the name,
where Longstreet fought on the 18th of July. Large details were sent
out from camp every day to build foundations for these quarters. This
was done by cutting pine poles or logs the right length of our
tents, build up three or four feet, and over this pen the tent to be
stretched. They were generally about ten feet square, but a man could
only stand erect in the middle. The cracks between the logs were
clinked with mud, a chimney built out of poles split in half and
notched up in the ends of the log parts of the tent. An inside wall
was made of plank or small round poles, with space between the two
walls of five or six inches. This was filled with soft earth or mud,
packed tightly, then a blazing fire started, the inner wall burned
out, and the dirt baked hard and solid as a brick. In this way we
had very good chimneys and comfortable quarters. From six to eight
occupied one tent, and generally all the inmates messed together.
Forks were driven into the ground, on which were placed strong and
substantial cross-pieces, then round pipe poles, about the size of
a man's arm, laid over all and thickly strewn with pine needles, on
which the blankets are laid. There you have the winter quarters for
the Southern soldiers the first year of the war.

But some of the men did not like so primitive an order of architecture
and built huts entirely out of logs, and displayed as much originality
as you would find in more pretentious cities. These were covered over
with poles, on which straw and sand were tightly packed, enough so
as to make them water-tight. Some would give names to their quarters,
marked in large letters above their doors in charcoal, taxing their
minds to give ingenious and unique names, such as "Uncle Tom's Cabin,"
"The House that Jack Built," "Park Row," "Devil's Inn," etc. To
while away the long nights and cold days, the men had recourse to the
soldier's game, "cards." Few ever played for the money that was in it,
but more for an amusement and pastime. While almost all played cards,
there were very few who could be considered gamblers, or who would
take their comrades' money, if they even won it. There would be
stakes played for, it is true, on the "credit system" generally, to be
evened-up on pay-day. But when that time came around such good feeling
existed that "poker debts," as they were called, were seldom ever
thought of, and the game would continue with its varying successes
without ever a thought of liquidation. You might often see a good old
Methodist or a strict Presbyterian earnestly engaged in a "five cent
antie" game, but never take his friend's money, even if honestly won.
Something had to be done to pass away the time, and card-playing was
considered an innocent amusement.

The long inactivity made men naturally think and dream of home. The
soldiers had left home quite suddenly, and in many cases with little
preparation, but the continual talk of "peace in the spring," and the
daily vaporing of the press about England or France recognizing the
South's belligerency--and the opening of her ports--buoyed up the
spirits of the soldiers, and fanned the flame of hope. A great many
of the old army officers of the United States, hailing from the South,
had resigned their commissions on the Secession of the States, and
tendered their services to the Confederacy. Of course it mattered not
what was their former rank, or what service, if any they had seen,
all expected places as generals. President Davis being a West Pointer
himself, had great partiality for graduates of that institution.
It was his weakness, this favoritism for West Pointers; and the
persistency with which he appointed them above and over the generals
of the volunteers, gave dissatisfaction. These appointments caused
such resentment and dissatisfaction that some of our very best
generals resigned their commissions, refusing to serve under men of no
experience and doubtful qualifications. Longstreet, Van Dorn, McLaws,
G.W. Smith, and a host of others, who had been captains and majors in
the United States Army, were here or in Richmond waiting for some high
grade, without first winning their spurs upon the field. McLaws, a
Major in the regular army, was made a Major General, and Longstreet
had been appointed over General Bonham, the latter having seen varied
service in Mexico, commanding a regiment of regulars, doing staff
duty, and Military Governor of one of the provinces after the war.
At such injustice as this, gave General Bonham reason to resign his
command and return to South Carolina, where he soon afterwards was
elected to Congress, and later elected Governor of the State. This
left the command to Colonel Kershaw as senior Colonel, but he was
soon thereafter made Brigadier General. While the troops felt safe
and confident under Kershaw, they parted with General Bonham with
unfeigned reluctance and regret. Although none blamed him for the
steps taken, for all felt keenly the injustice done, still they wished
him to remain and lead them to victory, and share the glory they felt
sure was in store for all connected with the old First Brigade.

In future we will call the brigade by the name of Kershaw, the name by
which it was mostly known, and under whose leadership the troops
did such deeds of prowess, endured so many hardships, fought so many
battles, and gained so many victories, as to shed a halo around the
heads of all who marched with him and fought under the banner of
Joseph B. Kershaw. Here I will give a brief biography of General
Kershaw.

       *       *       *       *       *


JOSEPH BREVARD KERSHAW

Was born January 5th, 1822, at Camden, S.C. He was a son of John
Kershaw and Harriet DuBose, his wife. Both of the families of Kershaws
and DuBoses were represented by more than one member, either in the
Continentals or the State troops, during the War of the Revolution,
Joseph Kershaw, the most prominent of them, and the grandfather of
the subject of this sketch, having lost his fortune in his efforts
to maintain the patriot cause. John Kershaw died when his son, Joseph
Brevard, was a child of seven years of age. He attended first a "dame
school" in his native town. Afterwards he attended a school taught
by a rigid disciplinarian, a Mr. Hatfield, who is still remembered by
some of the pupils for his vigorous application of the rod on frequent
occasions, with apparent enjoyment on his part, but with quite other
sentiments on the part of the boys. He was sent at the age of fifteen
to the Cokesbury Conference school, in Abbeville District, as it was
then known, where he remained for only a brief time. Leaving this
school, after a short sojourn at home, he went to Charleston, S.C.,
where he became a clerk in a dry goods house. This life not being
congenial to him, he returned to Camden and entered as a student in
the law office of the late John M. DeSaussure, Esq., from which, at
the age of twenty-one, he was admitted to the Bar. He soon afterwards
formed a copartnership with James Pope Dickinson, who was subsequently
killed at the battle of Cherubusco, in the war with Mexico, gallantly
leading the charge of the Palmetto Regiment. Both partners went to the
Mexican War, young Kershaw as First Lieutenant of the Camden company,
known as the DeKalb Rifle Guards. Struck down by fever contracted
while in the service, he returned home a physical wreck, to be
tenderly nursed back to health by his wife, Lucretia Douglass, whom
he had married in 1844. Upon the recovery of his health, the war being
over, he resumed the practice of law in Camden. But it was not long
before his services were demanded in the State Legislature, which
he entered as a member of the lower house in 1852. From this time on
until the opening of hostilities in the war between the States, he
practiced his profession with eminent success, and served also in the
Legislature several terms, being handsomely re-elected when he stood
for the place. He took a deep interest in the struggle then impending,
and was a member of the Secession Convention from his native district.
As it became more and more evident that there would be war, he ran
for and was elected to the office of Colonel of the militia regiment
composed of companies from Kershaw and adjacent districts, which,
early in 1861, by command of Governor Pickens, he mobilized and led to
Charleston and thence to Morris' Island, where the regiment remained
until it volunteered and was called to go to Virginia to enter the
service of the Confederacy. Several of the companies then in his
regiment consented to go. These were supplemented by other companies
which offered their services, and the new regiment, now known as the
Second South Carolina Volunteers, proceeded to Richmond, thence to
Manassas.

From this time until 1864 it is unnecessary to trace his personal
history in this place, because the history of the brigade, to the
command of which he was elected at the reorganization in 1862, and of
its commander cannot be separated. In May, 1864, he was promoted to
the rank of Major General and assigned to the command of a division,
of which his brigade formed a part. His was the First Brigade of the
First Division of the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. On
the retreat from Richmond his division, with other troops, numbering
in all about 6,000 men, was surrounded and captured at the battle of
Sailor's Creek, April 6th, 1865. In this disastrous battle Lieutenant
General Ewell, Major Generals Kershaw and Custis Lee, Brigadier
Generals D.M. DuBose, Semmes, Hunter, and Corse, and Commodores Hunter
and Tucker, of the Confederate States' Navy, ranking on shore duty as
Brigadiers, were captured, together with their respective commands,
almost to a man, after a desperate and sanguinary struggle against
immense odds. Those officers were all sent to Fort Warren, Boston
Harbor, where they remained in prison until some time in August, 1865,
when they were allowed to return to their respective homes.

General Kershaw resumed the profession of law in Camden immediately
upon his return, and enjoyed a large and lucrative practice for many
years, until called to serve his State as Circuit Judge in 1877, when
the government was wrested from the hands of the Republicans. He took
an active part in politics, having been elected to the State Senate in
the fall of 1865. He ran for Congress from his district in 1874, but
was counted out, as it was believed, at the election. He was also
summoned to Columbia by Governor Hampton after his election in 1876,
and rendered important service in securing the peaceable outcome of
that most trying struggle. Upon the convening of the Legislature, he
was at once elected Judge of the Fifth Circuit, a position which he
held with distinguished honor for sixteen years, rendering it to Judge
Ernest Gary in June, 1893, on which occasion there was tendered him
a farewell probably unique in the judicial history of the State,
by eminent representatives of the Bar of his Circuit. With impaired
health, but with unwavering faith and carefulness that no adversity
diminished, he once more returned to the practice of his profession.
It was a gallant effort in the face of tremendous odds, but the
splendid health that he had enjoyed for many years had been undermined
slowly and insidiously by disease incident to a life that had ever
borne the burdens of others, and that had spent itself freely and
unselfishly for his country and his fellowman, and it was evident to
all that his days were numbered. Devoted friends, the names of many
of whom are unknown to me, offered him pecuniary help at this trying
juncture, and these the writer would wish to hold, as he would have
wished, "in everlasting remembrance." In his message to the General
Assembly that year, 1893, Governor B.R. Tillman proposed him as the
proper person to collect the records of the services of South
Carolina soldiers in the Civil War, and to prepare suitable historical
introduction to the volume. The Legislature promptly, and I believe
unanimously, endorsed the nomination and made an appropriation for
the work. To this he gave himself during the two succeeding mouths,
collecting data, and even preparing in part the proposed introduction.
But growing infirmities compelled him to lay it down, and in the
latter part of March, 1894, he became alarmingly ill. All was done for
his relief that the most competent skill and gentle care could do, but
to no avail, and in the night of April 12th, just before midnight, be
breathed his last. Among his last words to his son were these, spoken
when he was perfectly conscious of what was before him: "My son, I
have no doubts and no fears." On the occasion of his funeral there
was a general outpouring of people from the town and vicinity for many
miles, who sincerely mourned the departure of their friend. The State
was represented by the Governor and seven members of his official
family. On the modest monument that marks his last resting place is
inscribed his name and the date of his birth and death. On the base
the legend runs: "I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith."

It may prove of interest to the surviving members of the old brigade
to know that after the fight of Sailor's Creek, when General Kershaw
and his companions were being taken back to Petersburg and thence to
City Point to be shipped North, he spent a night at a farm house,
then occupied as a field hospital and as quarters by the surgeons and
attendants. They were South Carolinians, and were anxious to hear all
about the fight. In telling of it the pride and love which he reposed
in the old brigade received a wistful testimonial. It was then
confronting Sherman somewhere in North Carolina. Its old commander
said in a voice vibrant with feeling: "If I had only had my old
brigade with me I believe we could have held these fellows in check
until night gave us the opportunity to withdraw."

The roads in every direction near the army had become almost
impassable--mud knee deep in the middle and ruts cut to the hubs on
either side. The roads leading to Manassas were literally strewn with
the carcasses of horses, some even sunk out of sight in the slough and
mud. It would remind one of the passage of Napoleon across the Arabian
desert, so graphically described by historians. The firewood had
become scarce, and had to be carried on the men's shoulders the
distance of a mile, the wagons being engaged in hauling supplies
and the enormous private baggage sent to the soldiers from home. I
remember once on my return from home on a short furlough, I had under
my charge one whole carload of boxes for my company alone. Towards
night every soldier would go out to the nearest woodland, which was
usually a mile distant, cut a stick of wood the size he could easily
carry, and bring into camp, this to do the night and next day. The
weather being so severe, fires had to be kept up all during the night.
Some constructed little boats and boated the wood across the stream,
Bull Run, and a time they generally had of it, with the boat upsetting
the men and the wood floundering and rolling about in the water, and
it freezing cold.

The Department granted a thirty days' leave of absence to all
individuals and companies that would re-enlist for the remaining two
years or the war. Many officers were granted commissions to raise
companies of cavalry and artillery out of the infantry commands, whose
time was soon to expire. Lieutenant T.J. Lipscomb, of Company B, Third
South Carolina Regiment, was given a commission as Captain, and he,
with others, raised a company of cavalry and was given a thirty days'
furlough. A great many companies volunteered in a body, not knowing
at the time that the Conscript Act soon to be enacted would retain in
service all between certain ages in the army, even after their time
had expired.

About the middle of February President Davis called General Johnston
to Richmond to confer with him upon the practicability of withdrawing
the army to the south banks of the Rappahannock. It was generally
understood at the time, and largely the impression since, that the
army was withdrawn in consequence of McClellan's movements on the
Peninsula. But such was not the case. This withdrawal was determined
on long before it was known for certain that McClellan would adopt the
Peninsula as his base of operations. The middle of February began the
removal of the ordnance and commissary stores by railroad to the south
of the rivers in our rear. These had been accumulated at Manassas out
of all proportion to the needs of the army, and against the wishes of
the commanding General. There seemed to be a want of harmony between
the army officers and the officers of the Department in Richmond. This
difference of feelings was kept up throughout the war, greatly to the
embarassment at times of the Generals in the field, and often a great
sacrifice to the service. The officials in Richmond, away from the
seat of war, had a continual predilection to meddle with the internal
affairs of the army. This meddling caused Jackson, who became
immortal in after years, to tender his resignation, and but for the
interference of General Johnston, the world would perhaps never have
heard of the daring feats of "Stonewall Jackson." He asked to be
returned to the professorship at the Military Institute, but General
Johnston held his letter up and appealed to Jackson's patriotism and
the cause for which all were fighting, to reconsider his action and to
overlook this officious intermeddling and remain at his post. This he
did under protest.

Our brigade, and, in fact, all regiments and brigades, had been put
in different commands at different times to suit the caprice of
the President or whims of the Department, and now we were Early's
Division.

On the night of the 9th of March we broke up quarters at Bull Run and
commenced our long and tiresome march for the Rappahannock. We were
ordered by different routes to facilitate the movement, our wagon
trains moving out in the morning along the dirt road and near the
railroad. All baggage that the soldiers could not carry had been sent
to the rear days before, and the greater part destroyed in the great
wreck and conflagration that followed at Manassas on its evacuation.
In passing through Manassas the stores, filled to the very tops with
commissary stores, sutler's goods, clothing, shoes, private boxes, and
whiskey, were thrown open for the soldiers to help themselves. What a
feast for the troops! There seemed everything at hand to tempt him to
eat, drink, or wear, but it was a verification of the adage, "When
it rains mush you have no spoon." We had no way of transporting these
goods, now piled high on every hand, but to carry them on our backs,
and we were already overloaded for a march of any distance. Whiskey
flowed like water. Barrels were knocked open and canteens filled.
Kegs, jugs, and bottles seemed to be everywhere. One stalwart man of
my company shouldered a ten gallon keg and proposed to hold on to it
as long as possible, and it is a fact that a few men carried this
keg by reliefs all night and next day. This was the case in other
companies. When, we got out of the town and on the railroad, the men
were completely overloaded. All night we marched along the railroad
at a slow, steady gait, but all order and discipline were abandoned.
About midnight we saw in our rear great sheets of flame shooting up
from the burning buildings, that illuminated the country for miles
around. Manassas was on fire! Some of the buildings had caught fire
by accident or carelessness of the soldiers, for the firing was not to
begin until next day, after the withdrawal of the cavalry. The
people in the surrounding country had been invited to come in and get
whatever they wished, but I doubt if any came in time to save
much from the burning mass. A great meat curing establishment at
Thoroughfare Gap, that contained millions of pounds of beef and pork,
was also destroyed. We could hear the bursting of bombs as the flames
reached the magazines, as well as the explosion of thousands of small
arm cartridges. The whole sounded like the raging of a great battle.
Manassas had become endeared to the soldiers by its many memories,
and when the word went along the line, "Manassas is burning," it put a
melancholy feeling upon all. Some of the happiest recollections of the
soldiers that composed Kershaw's Brigade as well as all of Johnston's
Army, were centred around Manassas. It was here they had experienced
their first sensations of the soldier, Manassas was the field of their
first victory, and there they had spent their first winter. It seemed
to connect the soldiers of the Confederacy with those of Washington
at Valley Forge and Trenton, the winter quarters of the army of the
patriots. It gave the recollection of rest, a contrast with the many
marches, the hard fought battles, trials, and hardships.

The next day it began to rain, and a continual down-pour continued for
days and nights. Blankets were taken from knapsacks to cover over the
men as they marched, but they soon filled with water, and had to be
thrown aside. Both sides of the railroad were strewn with blankets,
shawls, overcoats, and clothing of every description, the men finding
it impossible to bear up under such loads. The slippery ground and the
unevenness of the railroad track made marching very disagreeable to
soldiers unaccustomed to it. Some took the dirt road, while others
kept the railroad track, and in this way all organizations were lost
sight of, but at night they collected together in regiments, joined
the wagon trains, and bivouaced for the night. Sometimes it would be
midnight before the last of the stragglers came up. We crossed the
Rappahannock on the railroad bridge, which had been laid with plank
to accommodate the passage of wagon trains, on the 11th and remained
until the 19th. Up to this time it was not fully understood by the
authorities in Richmond which route McClellan would take to reach
Richmond, whether by way of Fredericksburg or Yorktown, but now scouts
reported large transports, laden with soldiers, being shipped down the
Potomac to the mouth of the James and York Rivers. This left no doubt
in the minds of the authorities that the Peninsula was to be the
base of operations. We continued our march on the 19th, crossed the
Rapidan, and encamped around Orange Court House.

Beauregard, whom the soldiers loved dearly, and in whom they had every
confidence as a leader, was transferred to the West, to join General
A.S. Johnston, who had come from California and was organizing an army
in Southern Tennessee.

Magruder, commanding at Yorktown, reporting large bodies disembarking
in his front, Kershaw's Brigade, with several others, were placed upon
cars and hurried on through Richmond to his support, leaving the
other portion of the army to continue the march on foot, or on cars,
wherever met. At Richmond we were put on board small sail boats and
passed down the James River for the seat of war. This was a novel mode
of transportation for most of the soldiers on board. It was a most
bitter day and night. A cold east wind blowing from the sea, with a
mist of sleet, the cold on the deck of the little vessel became almost
unbearable. About two hundred were placed on board of each, and it
being so cold we were forced to go below in the "hold," leaving only a
little trap door of four feet square as our only means of ventilation.
Down in the hold, where these two hundred men were packed like
sardines in a box, caused us to almost suffocate, while to remain on
deck five minutes would be to court death by freezing. Thus one would
go up the little ladder, stick his head through the door a moment for
a breath of fresh air, then drop back and allow another the pleasure
of a fresh breathing spell. So we alternated between freezing and
smothering all the way, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles
or more. I had read of the tortures of the "middle passage" and the
packing of the slave ships, but I do not think it could have exceeded
our condition.

Now it must be remembered that for the most of the time on our march
we were separated from our wagon trains that had our tents, cooking
utensils, and other baggage. Many novel arrangements were resorted to
for cooking. The flour was kneaded into dough on an oil cloth spread
upon the ground, the dough pulled into thin cakes, pinned to boards or
barrel heads by little twigs or wooden pegs, placed before the fire,
and baked into very fair bread. Who would think of baking bread on a
ram-rod? But it was often done. Long slices of dough would be rolled
around the iron ram-rods, then held over the fire, turning it over
continually to prevent burning, and in this way we made excellent
bread, but by a tedious process. It is needless to say the meats were
cooked by broiling. We parched corn when flour was scarce, and
often guards had to be placed over the stock at feed time to prevent
soldiers from robbing the horses of their corn.

At midnight the captain of the sloop notified us that we were now at
our place of disembarkation, and we began to scramble up the ladder,
a small lamp hanging near by and out on deck. The wooden wharfs were
even with the deck, so we had no difficulty in stepping from one to
the other. But the night was pitch dark, and our only mode of keeping
direction was taken from the footsteps of the soldiers on the wharf
and in front. Here we came very near losing one of our best soldiers.
Jim George was an erratic, or some said "half witted" fellow, but was
nevertheless a good soldier, and more will be said of him in future
In going out of the hold on deck he became what is called in common
parlance "wrong shipped," and instead of passing to the right, as the
others did, he took the left, and in a moment he was floundering about
in the cold black waves of the river below. The wind was shrieking,
howling, and blowing--a perfect storm--so no one could hear his call
for help. He struck out manfully and paddled wildly about in the
chilly water, until fortunately a passing sailor, with the natural
instinct of his calling, scented a "man overboard." A line was thrown
Jim, and after a pull he was landed on shore, more dead than alive.

"How long were you in the water, Jim?" someone asked.

"Hell! more dan t'ree hours," was the laconic and good-natured reply.

Had we lost Jim here, the regiment would have lost a treat in after
years, as time will show.

We went into camp a mile or so from the historic old Yorktown, if a
few old tumbled down houses and a row of wooden wharfs could be
called a town. The country around Yorktown was low and swampy, and the
continual rains made the woods and fields a perfect marsh, not a dry
foot of land to pitch a tent on, if we had had tents, and scarcely a
comfortable place to stand upon. Fires were built, and around these
men would stand during the day, and a pretense of sleep during the
night. But the soldiers were far from being despondent; although some
cursed our luck, others laughed and joked the growlers. The next day
great numbers visited Yorktown through curiosity, and watched the
Federal Fleet anchored off Old Point Comfort. Here happened a "wind
fall" I could never account for. While walking along the beach with
some comrades, we came upon a group of soldiers, who, like ourselves,
were out sight-seeing. They appeared to be somewhat excited by the way
they were gesticulating. When we came up, we found a barrel, supposed
to be filled with whiskey, had been washed ashore. Some were swearing
by all that was good and bad, that "it was a trick of the d----n
Yankees on the fleet," who had poisoned the whiskey and thrown it
overboard to catch the "Johnny Rebs." The crowd gathered, and with it
the discussion and differences grew. Some swore they would not drink
a drop of it for all the world, while others were shouting, "Open her
up," "get into it," "not so much talking, but more drinking." But who
was "to bell the cat?" Who would drink first? No one seemed to care
for the first drink, but all were willing enough, if somebody else
would just "try it." It was the first and only time I ever saw
whiskey go begging among a lot of soldiers. At last a long, lank,
lantern-jawed son of the "pitch and turpentine State" walked up and
said:

"Burst her open and give me a drink, a man might as well die from a
good fill of whiskey as to camp in this God-forsaken swamp and die of
fever; I've got a chill now."

The barrel was opened. The "tar heel" took a long, a steady, and
strong pull from a tin cup; then holding it to a comrade, he said:
"Go for it, boys, she's all right; no poison thar, and she didn't come
from them thar gun boats either. Yankees ain't such fools as to throw
away truck like that. No, boys, that 'ar liquor just dropped from
Heaven." The battle around the whiskey barrel now raged fast and
furious; spirits flowed without and within; cups, canteens, hats, and
caps were soused in the tempting fluid, and all drank with a relish.
Unfortunately, many had left their canteens in camp, but after getting
a drink they scurried away for that jewel of the soldier, the canteen.
The news of the find spread like contagion, and in a few minutes
hundreds of men were struggling around the barrel of "poison." Where
it came from was never known, but it is supposed to have been dropped
by accident from a Federal man-of-war. As the soldiers said, "All
gifts thankfully received and no questions asked."

General J. Bankhead Magruder was in command of the Peninsula at the
time of our arrival, and had established his lines behind the Warwick
River, a sluggish stream rising near Yorktown and flowing southward
to the James. Along this river light entrenchments had been thrown up.
The river had been dammed in places to overflow the lowlands, and
at these dams redoubts had been built and defended by our heaviest
artillery.

In a few days all our division was in line, and soon thereafter
was joined by Longstreet's, D.H. Hill's, and G.W. Smith's, with the
cavalry under Stuart. General Johnston was Commander-in-Chief.
We remained in camp around Yorktown about two weeks, when General
Johnston decided to abandon this line of defense for one nearer
Richmond. One of the worst marches our brigade ever had was the night
before we evacuated our lines along the Warwick. Remember the troops
had no intention of a retreat, for they were going down the river
towards the enemy. It was to make a feint, however, to appear as if
Johnston was making a general advance, thus to enable the wagon
trains and artillery to get out of the way of the retreating army, and
Kershaw was to cover this retreat.

At dark we began our march through long ponds and pools of water, and
mud up to the knees, in the direction opposite Gloucester Point, and
near a point opposite to the enemy's fleet of gunboats. Through mud
and water we floundered and fell, the night being dark. Mile after
mile we marched at a snail's gait until we came to a large opening,
surrounded by a rail fence. This was about midnight. Here we were
ordered to build great fires of the rails near by. This was done, and
soon the heavens were lit up by this great stretch of roaring fires.
Some had spread their blankets and lay down for a good sleep, while
others sat around the good, warm, crackling blaze, wondering what
next. Scarcely had we all became quiet than orders came to "fall in."
Back over the same sloppy, muddy, and deep-rutted road we marched,
retracing the steps made only an hour before, reaching our old camp
at daylight, but we were not allowed to stop or rest. The retreat had
begun. Magruder, with the other of his forces, was far on the road
towards Williamsburg, and we had to fall in his rear and follow his
footsteps over roads, now simply impassable to any but foot soldiers.
We kept up the march until we had left Yorktown ten miles in our rear,
after marching a distance of nearly thirty miles, and all night and
day. A council of war had been held at Richmond, at which were present
President Davis, Generals Lee, Smith, Longstreet, Johnston, and the
Secretary of War, to determine upon the point at which our forces were
to concentrate and give McClellan battle. Johnston favored Richmond
as the most easy of concentration; thereto gather all the forces
available in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina around
Richmond, and as the enemy approached fall upon and crush him. G.W.
Smith coincided with Johnston. Longstreet favored reinforcing Jackson
in the Valley, drive the enemy out, cross the Potomac, and threaten
Washington, and force McClellan to look after his Capitol. The others
favored Yorktown and the Peninsula as the point of concentration.
But General Johnston found his position untenable, as the enemy could
easily flank his right and left with his fleet.

On May 3rd began the long, toilsome march up the York River and the
James. The enemy hovered on our rear and picked up our stragglers, and
forced the rear guard at every step. At Williamsburg, the evening of
the 4th of May, Johnston was forced to turn and fight. Breastworks and
redoubts had been built some miles in front of the town, and it was
here intended to give battle. The heavy down-pour of rain prevented
Anderson, who was holding the rear and protecting the wagon trains,
from moving, and the enemy began pressing him hard.

Kershaw and the other brigades had passed through Williamsburg when
the fight began, but the continual roar of the cannon told of a battle
in earnest going on in the rear and our troops hotly engaged. Kershaw
and Simms, of our Division, were ordered back at double quick. As we
passed through the town the citizens were greatly excited, the piazzas
and balconies being filled with ladies and old men, who urged the men
on with all the power and eloquence at their command. The woods had
been felled for some distance in front of the earthworks and forts,
and as we neared the former we could see the enemy's skirmishers
pushing out of the woods in the clearing. The Second and Eighth South
Carolina Regiments were ordered to occupy the forts and breastworks
beyond Fort Magruder, and they had a perfect race to reach them before
the enemy did. The battle was raging in all fierceness on the left,
as well as in our front. More troops were put in action on both sides,
and it seemed as if we were going to have the great battle there. D.R.
Jones, Longstreet, and McLaws were more or less engaged along their
whole lines. The Third Regiment did not have an opportunity to fire
a gun that day, nor either the Seventh, but the other two had
a considerable fight, but being mostly behind breastworks their
casualties were light. The enemy withdrew at nightfall, and after
remaining on the field for some hours, our army took up the line of
march towards Richmond. It has been computed that McClellan had with
him on the Peninsula, outside of his marines, 111,000 men of all arms.

As the term of first enlistment has expired, I will give a brief
sketch of some of the field officers who led the regiments during the
first twelve months of the war.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL JAMES H. WILLIAMS, OF THE THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS.

Colonel James H. Williams, the commander of the Third South Carolina
Regiment, was born in Newberry County, October 4th, 1813. He was of
Welsh descent, his ancestors immigrating to this country with Lord
Baltimore. He was English by his maternal grandmother. The grandfather
of Colonel Williams was a Revolutionary soldier, and was killed at
the battle of Ninety-Six. The father of the subject of this sketch was
also a soldier, and held the office of Captain in the war of 1812.

Colonel Williams, it would seem, inherited his love for the military
service from his ancestors, and in early life joined a company of
Nullifiers, in 1831. He also served in the Florida War. His ardor in
military matters was such he gave little time for other attainments;
he had no high school or college education. When only twenty-four
years old he was elected Major of the Thirty-eighth Regiment of State
Militia, and in 1843 took the Captaincy of the McDuffie Artillery, a
crack volunteer company of Newberry. In 1846 he organized a company
for the Mexican War, and was mustered into service in 1847 as Company
L. Palmetto Regiment. He was in all the battles of that war, and,
with the Palmetto Regiment, won distinction on every field. After his
return from Mexico he was elected Brigadier General and then Major
General of State Militia. He served as Mayor of his town, Commissioner
in Equity, and in the State Legislature.

Before the breaking out of the Civil War, he had acquired some
large estates in the West, and was there attending to some business
connected therewith when South Carolina seceded. The companies that
were to compose the Third Regiment elected him their Colonel, but
in his absence, when the troops were called into service, they were
commanded for the time by Lieutenant Colonel Foster, of Spartanburg.
He joined the Regiment at "Lightwood Knot Springs," the 1st of May.
He commanded the Third during the term of its first enlistment, and
carried it through the first twelve months' campaign in Virginia.

At the reorganization of the regiment, the men composing it being
almost wholly young men, desired new blood at the head of the
volunteer service, and elected Captain James D. Nance in his stead.
After his return to the State, he was placed at the head of the Fourth
and Ninth Regiments of State Troops, and served as such until the
close.

After the war, he returned to Arkansas and continued his planting
operations until the time of his death, August 21st, 1892. He was a
member of the Constitutional Convention of that State in 1874.

Colonel Williams was a born soldier, considerate of and kind to
his men. He was cool and fearless to a fault. He understood tactics
thoroughly, but was wanting in those elements of discipline--its
sternness and rigidity that was required to govern troops in actual
war. His age counted against him as a strict disciplinarian, but not
as a soldier. He was elected to the Legislature of this State before
Reconstruction, as well as a member of the Constitutional Convention
of Arkansas in 1874.

       *       *       *       *       *


LIEUTENANT COLONEL FOSTER. OF THE THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS.

Lieutenant Colonel C.B. Foster, of the Third South Carolina Regiment,
was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, at the old Foster
homestead, near Cedar Springs, in 1817. His father was Anthony Foster,
a native of Virginia. Colonel Foster was a member of the Legislature
before the war, and represented Spartanburg County in the Secession
Convention, along with Simpson Bobo, Dr. J.H. Carlisle, and others.
After the Convention adjourned he returned to his home in Spartanburg
and immediately began drilling a company for the war. He was elected
Captain of the Blackstock Company, which was Company K, in the Third
Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers. The Blackstock Company reported
for duty as soon as volunteers were called for, and went immediately
to the camp of instruction at Lightwood Knot Springs. Colonel Foster
was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment. After spending about
three months at the camp of instruction, the Third Regiment was
ordered to Virginia. Colonel Footer served until some time after the
battle of First Manassas, having participated in that campaign. He
remained in Virginia until the fall of 1861, when he was ordered to go
home by the surgeon, his health having completely given way. It took
long nursing to get him on his feet again. He was devoted to the
Confederate cause, and was always willing and ready to help in any way
its advancement. He gave two sons to his country. One, Captain Perrin
Foster, also of the Third Regiment, was killed at Fredericksburg
leading his command. His other son, James Anthony Foster, gave up
his life in the front of his command during the frightful charge on
Maryland Heights. He was a member of Company K, of the Third Regiment.

Colonel Foster was considered a wealthy man before the war, but when
it ended he was left penniless. At that time he lived near Glenn
Springs, Spartanburg County. In 1867 he moved to Union County and
merchandised until 1884. He was also County Treasurer for a long time.
He died on June 9th. 1897, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs.
Benjamin Kennedy, at Jonesville, Union County. In early life Colonel
Foster married Miss Mary Ann Perrin, a sister of Colonel Thomas
C. Perrin, of Abbeville. She died in 1886. Three daughters survive
Colonel Foster, Mrs. I.G. McKissick, Mrs. Benjamin Kennedy, and Mrs.
J.A. Thompson. Colonel Foster was one of God's noblemen. He was true
to his friends, his family, and his country. He never flinched from
danger nor from his duty. He was faithful at all times and under all
circumstances to the best principles of the Anglo-Saxon race.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL THOMAS G. BACON, OF THE SEVENTH SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS.

Thomas Glascock Bacon was born in Edgefield Village of English
ancestry on the 24th of June, 1812. He was the youngest son of Major
Edmund Bacon, the eloquent and distinguished member of the Edgefield
Bar, and author of the humorous "Georgia Scenes," written under the
nom de plume of Ned Brace. Colonel Bacon's mother was a sister of
Brigadier General Thomas F. Glascock, of Georgia, a gallant and
distinguished officer of the Revolutionary War, and after whom Colonel
Bacon was named. He received the early rudiments of education at the
Edgefield Academy, and when at the proper age he was sent for his
classical education to the Pendleton English and Classical Institute,
under the tutilage of that profound scholar and educator, Prof. S.M.
Shuford. Colonel Bacon was fond of the classics, and had acquired rare
literary attainments, and had he cultivated his tastes in that line
assiduously, he no doubt would have become the foremost scholar of the
State, if not the South. He was passionately fond of manly sports and
out-door exercise. He was a devotee of the turf, and this disposition
led him early in life to the development of fast horses and a breeder
of blooded stock. He was a turfman of the old school, and there were
but few courses in the South that had not tested the mettle of his
stock. But like his brother in arms, Colonel Cash, of the Eighth, and
brother turfman, he became disgusted with the thievery and trickery of
later day sports and quit the turf, still owning at his death some
of the most noted racers of the times, Granger Lynchburg, John Payne,
Glengary, Father Ryan, Ned Brace, and others of lesser note.

He paid much attention to military matters, and held several offices
in the State militia before the war. He, with his friend and superior,
General M.L. Bonham, enlisted in the "Blues" and served in the
Palmetto Regiment in the war with the Seminoles. At the breaking out
of the Civil War he, with Elbert Bland, afterwards Colonel of the
Seventh, organized the first company from Edgefield, and was elected
Captain. The companies assigned to the Seventh Regiment unanimously
elected him the Colonel, and in that capacity he led his regiment to
Virginia, being among the first regiments from the State to reach the
seat of war. He was at the battle of Manassas, and participated in
the Peninsular campaign. At the reorganization of the regiment at the
expiration of the term of enlistment, his failing health forced him
to decline a re-election as Colonel. Returning home, and the State
needing the services of trained soldiers to command the State troops,
notwithstanding his failing health, he cheerfully accepted the command
of the Seventh Regiment State troops. In 1863 he was elected to the
State Senate. He died at his home, Pine Pond, in Edgefield County,
September 25th, 1876, leaving a widow, but no children.

Strong in his friendship and earnest in his affection, but with a
peaceable and forgiving temperament, pure in his motives, charitable
in all things, generous to the needy, affectionate to his friends and
relatives, chivalric and honorable in every relation of life, brave in
action, and with that fortitude under adverse circumstances that makes
heroes of men, just and impartial to the officers and men under his
command, pleasant and sociable towards his equals in rank, obedient
and courteous to his superiors, few men lived or died with so much
respect and admiration, genuine friendship, and love from all as
Colonel Thomas G. Bacon, of the Seventh South Carolina Volunteers.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL E.B.C. CASH, OF THE EIGHTH SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS.

Ellerbe Boggan Crawford Cash was born near Wadesboro, Anson County,
North Carolina, on July 1st, 1823. His father was Boggan Cash, a
Colonel in militia of that State, merchant, and member of Legislature.
His mother was Miss Elizabeth Ellerbe, of Chesterfield County, S.C.
He was the only child. His father died when he was near two years old,
and his mother returned to her father's, in South Carolina. He was
educated at Mt. Zion Institute, Winnsboro, S.C., and South Carolina
College. He read law under General Blakeney, at Cheraw, S.C., and
practiced in partnership a short while with Alexander McIver, Esq.,
the Solicitor of the Eastern Circuit, and father of Chief Justice
Henry McIver, of South Carolina. But his mother owning a large landed
estate, and several hundred negroes, he soon retired from the Bar to
look after her affairs, and devoted himself to planting and raising
fine horses and cattle. He married in 1847 his cousin, Miss Allan
Ellerbe, of Kershaw, S.C. He was elected to the Legislature from his
County, Chesterfield. He was elected Colonel, Brigadier General, and
Major General of State militia.

When the war commenced he was one of the Major Generals of the State.
He volunteered and was elected Colonel of the Eighth South Carolina
Regiment. At the reorganization he did not offer for re-election, but
came home and was made Colonel in State troops. He was kind to the
poor the whole war, and gave away during the war over 50,000 bushels
of corn and large quantities of other provisions to soldiers'
families, or sold it in Confederate money at ante bellum prices. After
the war all notes, claims, and mortgages he held on estates of old
soldiers he cancelled and made a present of them to their families.
In one case the amount he gave a widow, who had a family and small
children, was over $5,000, her husband having been killed in his
regiment.

After the war he continued to farm. In 1876 he took an active part in
redeeming the State, and contributed his time, advice, and services,
and a great deal of money. In 1881 he fought a duel with Colonel Wm.
M. Shannon, in which he killed Colonel Shannon. Colonel Cash was the
challenged party. His wife died in May, 1880. Colonel Cash died
March 10, 1888, and was buried in the family burying ground at his
residence, Cash's Depot, S.C.

Colonel Cash was a man of strong character, fearless, brave, generous
and true, a good friend and patriot. He made no religious profession.
He was charitable to the extreme, and was the soul of honor, and while
he had many enemies, being a fearless man and a good hater, he
had such qualities as inspired the respect and admiration of his
fellow-men.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER VIII

Reorganized--"New Officers"--Battle.


On the 13th of April the term for which the twelve months' troops had
enlisted was now soon to expire, the great number which had not
re-enlisted were looking forward with longing anticipation for orders
to disband and return to their homes. On the 14th, their obligations
being at an end, officers and men were making rapid preparation to
depart for home--not to quit the service, however, but more to enjoy a
short leave of absence with their families, and to join other branches
of the services, more especially cavalry. Some of the companies had
actually left, and were a mile or two from camp when orders came to
return. The Conscript Act had been passed, making it obligatory on
all, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, to enter or remain
in the army. The men took their sudden return in good humor, for
really it was only the married men, who had left their families so
unprepared twelve months before, who cared to return home; for some
of the young men, who were under the conscript age, refused to leave.
Those who had to return received a lot of good-natured badgering at
their sudden return to the army. "Hello, boys, when did you get back?
What's the news at home?" "How did you find all?" were some of the
soothing jeers the "returned sinners" had to endure; and as so great
a number had expressed a desire to join the cavalry, not a few
were asked: "Did you bring your horses with you?" But all was soon
forgotten, for in a few days a reorganization was ordered to take
place, and new officers elected.

The Conscript Act was condemned in unmeasured terms in many places at
the South, but its necessity and expediency was never doubted. To have
allowed so great a number to absent themselves from the army at this
time, in the face of an overwhelming enemy, and that enemy advancing
upon our Capitol, was more than the morale of the army would admit.
Not altogether would the absence of the soldiers themselves effect the
army, but in the breaking up of organizations, for in some companies
all had re-enlisted, while in others one-half, and in many cases
none. New regiments would have had to be formed out of the re-enlisted
companies, and new companies out of the large number of recruits, now
in camps of instruction. So by keeping up the old organizations, and
filling up the ranks by the conscripts at home, the army would be
greatly benefited.

In some countries, to be called a conscript or drafted man was
considered a stigma, but not so in the South. There is little doubt,
had a call been made for volunteers, any number could have been had at
a moment's notice, for there were hundreds and thousands at the South
only awaiting an opportunity to enter the army. In fact, there were
companies and regiments already organized and officered, only awaiting
arms by the government, but these organizations were all raw men,
and at this time it was believed to fill up the old companies with
recruits, thus putting seasoned troops side by side with raw ones,
would enhance the efficiency of the army, retain its discipline, and
esprit de corps.

Then, again, the farms had to be managed, the slaves kept in
subjection, and the army fed, and the older men were better qualified
for this service than the young. In reality, all were in the service
of the country, for while the younger men were fighting in the ranks,
the older ones were working in the fields and factories to furnish
them clothes, provisions, and munitions of war. Our government had no
means at home, no ships on the ocean, little credit abroad, and our
ports all blockaded. So all had to enter the service either as a
fighter or a worker, and our wisest men thought it the better policy
to allow the young men the glory upon the field, while the old men
served at home. On the 13th of May all companies were allowed to elect
their officers, both company and regimental, and enter the service
for two more years. As I said in the commencement of this work, at
the breaking out of the war men generally selected as officers the old
militia officers for company officers and veterans of the Mexican
War for field officers. General Bonham had been a Colonel in Mexico.
Williams, of the Third, had led a company from Newberry to that
far-off land. Kershaw went as First Lieutenant. Cash, of the Eighth,
was a Major General of the militia at the breaking out of the war.
The greatest number of the first Colonels of regiments under the first
call were Mexican veterans. Another qualification that was considered
at the first organization was popularity--gentle, clever, and
kind-hearted. The qualification of courage or as a disciplinarian was
seldom thought of; for a man to be wanting in the first could not
be thought possible. Our men, who had known the proud feelings of
personal freedom, dreaded discipline and restraint, naturally turned
to those men for officers most conducive to their will and wishes. But
twelve months' service in trying campaigns made quite a change. What
they had once looked upon with dread and misgiving they now saw as
a necessity. Strict discipline was the better for both men and
the service. A greater number of the older officers, feeling their
services could be better utilized at home than in the army, and also
having done their duty and share by setting the example by enlistment
and serving twelve months, relinquished these offices to the younger
men and returned home. The younger, too, saw the advisability of
infusing in the organizations young blood--men more of their own age
and temperament--the stern necessity of military discipline, a closer
attendance to tactics and drills, better regulations, and above all,
courage. The organizations selected such men as in their opinions
would better subserve the interests of the service, and who had the
requisites for leadership. This is said with no disparagement to the
old officers, for truer, more patriotic, nor a braver set of men ever
drew a blade than those who constituted the old brigade during its
first organization. In fact, some who had served during the first
twelve months as officers, when they discovered their deficiency, or
that the men had more confidence in others, after a short respite at
home, returned and joined their old companies as privates. Was there
ever greater patriotism and unselfishness and less ostentation shown
as in the example of these men! It was but natural that men selected
almost at random, and in many instances unacquainted with a majority
of the men at enlistment unusual to military life, or the requirements
of an officer in actual service, could possibly be as acceptable as
those chosen after a year of service, and in close compact with the
men.

SECOND REGIMENT. The Second Regiment chose as officers--

    Colonel--Jno. D. Kennedy.
    Lieutenant Colonel--A.S. Goodwin.
    Major--Frank Gaillard.
    Adjutant--E.E. Sill.
    Quartermaster--W.D. Peck.
    Commissary--J.J. Villipigue.
    Chief Surgeon--Dr. F. Salmond.
    Chaplains--Revs. McGruder and Smith.

I give below a list of the Captains, as well as the field officers,
of the Second Regiment during the war. There were many changes from
Lieutenants to Captains, and subsequent elections from the ranks to
Lieutenants, caused by the casualties of war, but space forbids,
and want of the facts prevents me from giving more than the company
commanders and the field officers.

Colonels--J.B. Kershaw, E.P. Jones, Jno. D. Kennedy, and Wm. Wallace.

Lieutenant Colonels--E.P. Jones, A.D. Goodwin, F. Gaillard, Wm.
Wallace, and J.D. Graham.

Majors--A.D. Goodwin, W.H. Casson, F. Gaillard, Wm. Wallace, I.D.
Graham, B.F. Clyburn, G.L. Leaphart.

Adjutants--A.D. Goodwin, E.E. Sill, and A. McNeil.

Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons--J.A. Maxwell and J.H. Nott.

Some of them went from Captains and Majors through all the grades to
Colonel. The following are the Captains, some elected at the first
organization, some at the reorganization, and others rose by promotion
from Lieutenant:

Company A--W.H. Casson, M.A. Shelton, G.L. Leaphart, M.M. Maddrey.

Company B--A.D. Hoke, Wm. Pulliam, W. Powell, J. Caigle.

Company C--Wm. Wallace, S. Lorick, J.T. Scott, A.P. Winson.

Company D--J.S. Richardson, J.D. Graham, W. Wilder.

Company E--John D. Kennedy, elected Colonel, Z. Leitner, J.
Crackeford.

Company F--W.W. Ferryman, W.C. China, G. McDowell.

Company G--J. Hail, J. Friesdale, J.P. Cunningham.

Company H--H. McManus, D. Clyburn.

Company I--G.B. Cuthbreath, Ralph Elliott, R. Fishburn, B.F. Barlow.

Company K--R. Rhett, J. Moorer, K.D. Webb, J.D. Dutart,--Burton, G.T.
Haltiwanger.

Many changes took place by death and resignation. Scarcely any of the
field officers remained in the end. Many Captains of a low rank went
all the way to Colonels of regiments, and Third Lieutenants rose by
promotion to Captains. This shows the terrible mortality among the
officers. None of the first field officers but what had been killed or
incapacitated for service by wounds at the close of the war.

       *       *       *       *       *


THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT.

James D. Nance, of Newberry, Captain of Company E, elected Colonel.

Conway Garlington, of Laurens, Captain of Company A, elected
Lieutenant Colonel.

W.D. Rutherford, of Newberry, formerly Adjutant, made Major.

Y.J. Pope, Newberry, formerly Orderly Sergeant of Company E, made
Adjutant.

G.W. Shell, Laurens, Quartermaster.

J.N. Martin and R.N. Lowrance, Commissary.

Ed. Hicks, of Laurens, Sergeant Major.

All staff officers are appointed or recommended for appointment by the
Colonel of the regiment. The offices of Regimental Quartermaster
and Commissary, the encumbents heretofore ranking as Captains, were
abolished during the year, having one Quartermaster and one Commissary
for the brigade, the regiments having only Sergeants to act as such.
I will state here that some of the companies from each regiment had
reorganized and elected officers before the time of re-enlistment.
This is one reason why rank was not accorded in the regular order. In
the Third Regiment, Company E, Captain J.D. Nance, and perhaps several
others, had reorganized, taken their thirty days' furlough, and had
returned before the general order to reorganize and remain for two
more years or the war. The new organizations stood in the Third as
follows, by Captains:

    Company A--Willie Hance, Laurens.
    Company B--N. Davidson, Newberry.
    Company C--R.C. Maffett, Newberry.
    Company D--N.F. Walker, Spartanburg.
    Company E--J.K.G. Nance--Newberry.
    Company F--P. Williams, Laurens.
    Company G--R.P. Todd--Laurens.
    Company H--John C. Summer, Lexington.
    Company I--D.M.H. Langston, Laurens.
    Company K--S.M. Langford, Spartanburg.

Many changes took place in this regiment, some almost immediately
after the election and others in the battle that followed in a few
weeks.

Captain Davidson died in two weeks after his election from disease,
and was succeeded by Lieutenant Thomas W. Gary, who had during the
first twelve months been Captain Davidson's Orderly Sergeant. It seems
the position of Orderly Sergeant was quite favorable to promotion,
for nearly all the Orderlies during the first twelve months were made
either Captains or Lieutenants.

Lieutenant Colonel Garlington being killed at Savage Station, Major
Rutherford was promoted to that position, while Captain Maffett was
made Major and Lieutenant Herbert Captain in his stead of Company C.

Captain Hance, of Company A, being killed at Fredericksburg, First
Lieutenant Robert Richardson became Captain.

Lieutenant R.H. Wright became Captain of Company E after the promotion
of Nance to Major in the latter part of the service.

Captain Williams, of Company F, was killed, and Lieutenant Wm. Deal
made Captain and commanded at the surrender. There may have been other
Captains of this company, but no data at hand.

John W. Watts became Captain of Company G after the promotion of
Captain Todd to Major and Lieutenant Colonel.

Captain Summer being killed at Fredericksburg, Lieutenant G.S. Swygert
became Captain, was disabled and resigned, and D.A. Dickert became
Captain and commanded to the end.

Captain Langston, of Company I, being killed, Lieutenant Jarred
Johnston became Captain, disabled at Chickamauga.

Company K was especially unfortunate in her commanders. Captain
Langford was killed at Savage Station; then Lieutenant L.P. Foster,
son of Lieutenant Colonel Foster, was promoted to Captain and killed
at Fredericksburg. Then W.H. Young was made Captain and killed at
Gettysburg. Then J.H. Cunningham became Captain and was killed at
Chickamauga. J.P. Roebuck was promoted and soon after taken prisoner.
First Lieutenant John W. Wofford commanded the company till the
surrender, and after the war became State Senator from Spartanburg.

Captain N.F. Walker was permanently disabled at Savage Station,
returned home, was appointed in the conscript bureau, and never
returned to active duty. He still retained his rank and office as
Captain of Company D, thereby preventing promotions in one of the most
gallant companies in Kershaw's Brigade.

It was at the battle of Fredericksburg that the regiment lost so
many officers, especially Captains, that caused the greatest changes.
Captains Hance, Foster, Summer, with nearly a dozen Lieutenants, were
killed there, making three new Captains, and a lot of new Lieutenants.
It was by the death of Captain Summer that I received the rank of
Captain, having been a Lieutenant up to that time. From December,
1862, to the end I commanded the company, with scarcely a change. It
will be seen that at the reorganization the Third Regiment made quite
a new deal, and almost a clean sweep of old officers--and with few
exceptions the officers from Colonel to the Lieutenants of least
rank were young men. I doubt very much if there was a regiment in the
service that had such a proportion of young men for officers.

I will here relate an incident connected with the name of Captain
Hance's family, that was spoken of freely in the regiment at the time,
but little known outside of immediate surroundings--not about
Captain Hance, however, but the name and connection that the incident
recalled, that was often related by the old chroniclers of Laurens.
Andrew Johnson, who was at the time I speak United States Senator from
Tennessee, and was on the ticket with Lincoln, for Vice-President of
the United States in his second race against McClellan, was elected,
and afterwards became President. As the story goes, and it is vouched
for as facts, Andrew Johnson in his younger days had a tailoring
establishment at Laurens, and while there paid court to the mother of
Captain Hance. So smitten was he with her charms and graces, he paid
her special attention, and asked for her hand in marriage. Young
Johnson was fine looking, in fact handsome, energetic, prosperous, and
well-to-do young man, with no vices that were common to the young men
of that day, but the great disparity in the social standing of the
two caused his rejection. The family of Hance was too exclusive at the
time to consent to a connection with the plebeian Johnson, yet
that plebeian rose at last to the highest office in the gift of the
American people, through the force of his own endowments.

       *       *       *       *       *


SEVENTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT.

The Seventh Regiment was reorganized by electing--

    Colonel--D. Wyatt Aiken, Abbeville.
    Lieutenant Colonel--Elbert Bland, Edgefield.
    Major--W.C. White, Edgefield.
    Adjutant--Thomas M. Childs. Sergeant
    Major--Amos C. Stalworth.
    Quartermaster--B.F. Lovelace.
    Commissary--A.F. Townsend.

    Company A--Stuart Harrison.
    Company B--Thomas Huggins.
    Company C--W.E. Cothran.
    Company D--Warren H. Allen.
    Company E--James Mitchell.
    Company F--John S. Hard.
    Company G--W.C. Clark.
    Company H--H.W. Addison.
    Company I--Benj. Roper.
    Company K--Jno. L. Burris.
    Company L--J.L. Litchfield.
    Company M--Jerry Goggans.

I am indebted to Captain A.C. Waller, of Greenwood, for the following
brief summary of the Seventh after reorganization, giving the
different changes of regimental and company commanders, as well as the
commanders of the regiment during battle:

Colonel Aiken commanded at Savage Station, Malvern Hill, and Antietam,
till wounded at Gettysburg, after which he was ordered elsewhere.

Lieutenant Colonel Bland commanded at Fredericksburg,
Chancellorsville, and Chickamauga; killed in latter battle.

Major White commanded at Antietam after the wounding of Aiken, and
until he was himself killed at the enemy's battery, the farthest
advance of the day. Captain Hard had command at the close. Captain
Hard also led for a short while at Chickamauga after the death of
Bland, and fell at the head of his regiment on top of Pea Ridge.

Captain Goggans was in command at Knoxville, Bean Station, and the
Wilderness, until wounded.

Captain James Mitchell led the regiment in the charge at Cold Harbor,
and was in command at Spottsylvania.

Lieutenant Colonel Maffett, of the Third, was placed in command of
the Seventh during the Valley campaign under Early in 1864, and led
at Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek the 13th and 19th of September. Was
captured in October.

Lieutenant Colonel Huggins commanded from October till the surrender,
and at the battle of Averysboro and Bentonville.

Captain Goggans was promoted to Major after the battle of the
Wilderness, but resigned.

Company E was divided into two companies, E and M. Company H took the
place of Bland's, which became Company A.

Captain Stuart Harrison, Company A, resigned, being elected Clerk of
Court of Edgefield, and Lieutenant Gus Bart was made Captain.

John Carwile, First Lieutenant of Company A, acted as Adjutant after
the death of Adjutant Childs, and also on General Kershaw's staff.

Lieutenant James Townsend became Captain of Company B after the
promotion of Huggins to Lieutenant Colonel.

After Captain Hard's promotion James Rearden was made Captain of
Company E and was killed at Wilderness, and Lieutenant C.K. Henderson
became Captain.

Captain Wm. E. Clark, Company G, was killed at Maryland heights.
Lieutenant Jno. W. Kemp was made Captain and killed at the Wilderness.

Captain J.L. Burris, of Company K, was wounded at Antietam and
resigned. First Lieutenant J.L. Talbert having been killed at Maryland
Heights a few days before, Second Lieutenant Giles M. Berry became
Captain; he resigned, and Lieutenant West A. Cheatham was made Captain
by promotion.

Captain J.L. Litchfield, of Company I, was killed at Maryland Heights,
and First Lieutenant Litchfield was made Captain.

First Lieutenant P. Bouknight became Captain of Company M after the
promotion of Captain Goggans.

       *       *       *       *       *


EIGHTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT.

The Eighth South Carolina Regiment was reorganized by electing--

    Colonel--Jno. W. Henagan, Marlboro.
    Lieutenant Colonel--A.J. Hoole, Darlington.
    Major--McD. McLeod, Marlboro.
    Adjutant--C.M. Weatherly, Darlington.
    Surgeon--Dr. Pearce.
    Assistant Surgeon--Dr. Maxy.

    Company A--John H. Muldrow, Darlington.
    Company B--Richard T. Powell, Chesterfield.
    Company C--Thomas E. Powe, Chesterfield.
    Company D--Robt. P. Miller, Chesterfield.
    Company E--M.E. Keith, Darlington.
    Company F--T.E. Howle, Darlington.
    Company G--C.P. Townsend, Marlboro.
    Company H--Duncan McIntyre, Marion.
    Company I--A.T. Harllee, Marion.
    Company K--Frank Manning, Marlboro.
    Company L--Thomas E. Stackhouse, Marion.
    Company M--Thomas E. Howle, Darlington.

Company L was a new company, and T.E. Stackhouse was made Captain;
also A.T. Harllee was made Captain of Company I. Company M was also a
new company.

After the reorganization the Generals' staffs were reduced to more
republican simplicity. General Kershaw was contented with--

    Captain C.R. Holmes--Assistant Adjutant General.
    Lieutenant W.M. Dwight--Adjutant and Inspector General.
    Lieutenant D.A. Doby--Aide de Camp.
    Lieutenant Jno. Myers--Ordnance Officer.
    Major W.D. Peck--Quartermaster.
    Major Kennedy--Commissary.

With a few privates for clerical service. General Kershaw had two
fine-looking, noble lads as couriers, neither grown to manhood, but
brave enough to follow their chief in the thickest of battle, or carry
his orders through storms of battles, W.M. Crumby, of Georgia, and
DeSaussure Burrows. The latter lost his life at Cedar Creek.

As I have thus shown the regiments and brigade in their second
organization, under the name it is known, "Kershaw's," and as all were
so closely connected and identified, I will continue to treat them
as a whole. The same camps, marches, battles, scenes, and experiences
were alike to all, so the history of one is the history of all. South
Carolina may have had, and I have no doubt did have, as good troops
in the field, as ably commanded as this brigade, but for undaunted
courage, loyalty to their leaders and the cause, for self-denials
and sacrifices, united spirits, and unflinching daring in the face of
death, the world has never produced their superiors. There was much to
animate their feelings and stimulate their courage. The older men had
retired and left the field to the leadership of the young. Men were
here, too, by circumstances of birth, education, and environment that
could scarcely ever expect to occupy more than a secondary place in
their country's history, who were destined to inferior stations in
life, both social and political,--the prestige of wealth and a long
family being denied them--still upon the battlefield they were any
man's equal. On the march or the suffering in camp, they were the
peers of the noblest, and when facing death or experiencing its pangs
they knew no superiors. Such being the feelings and sentiments of
those born in the humbler stations of life, what must have been the
goal of those already fortune's favorites, with a high or aristocratic
birth, wealth, education, and a long line of illustrious ancestors,
all to stimulate them to deeds of prowess and unparalleled heroism?
Such were the men to make the name of South Carolina glorious, and
that of "Kershaw" immortal. How many of these noble souls died that
their country might be free? the name of her people great? In the
former they lost, as the ends for which they fought and died were
never consummated. To-day, after nearly a half century has passed,
when we look around among the young and see the decadence of chivalry
and noble aspirations, the decline of homage to women, want
of integrity to men, want of truth and honor, individually and
politically, are we not inclined, at times, to think those men died
in vain? We gained the shadow; have we the substance? We gained an
unparalleled prestige for courage, but are the people to-day better
morally, socially, and politically? Let the world answer. The days of
knight-errantry had their decadence; may not the days of the South's
chivalry have theirs?

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER IX

Battle of Seven Pines--Seven Days' Fight Around Richmond.


It was the intention of General Johnston to fall back slowly before
McClellan, drawing him away from his base, then when the Federal Corps
become separated in their marches, to concentrate his forces, turn and
crush him at one blow. The low, swampy, and wooded condition of the
country from Yorktown up the Peninsula would not admit of the handling
of the troops, nor was there any place for artillery practice to be
effective. Now that he had his forces all on the South side of
the Chickahominy, and the lands more rolling and firm, he began to
contemplate a change in his tactics. Ewell, with several detached
regiments under Whiting, had been sent in the Valley to re-enforce
that fiery meteor, Stonewall Jackson, who was flying through the
Shenandoah Valley and the gorges of the Blue Ridge like a cyclone, and
General Johnston wished Jackson to so crush his enemy that his
troops could be concentrated with his own before Richmond. But the
authorities at Richmond thought otherwise. It is true Jackson had been
worsted at Kernstown by Shields, but his masterly movements against
Banks, Fremont, Siegle, and others, gave him such prestige as to
make his name almost indispensable to our army. McDowell, with forty
thousand men, lay at Fredericksburg, with nothing in his front but
a few squadrons of cavalry and some infantry regiments. Johnston was
thus apprehensive that he might undertake to come down upon his flanks
and re-enforce "Little Mc." or the "Young Napoleon," as the commander
of the Federal Army was now called. On the 20th of May, Johnston heard
of two of the Federal Corps, Keyes' and Heintzleman's, being on the
south side of the Chickahominy, while the others were scattered
along the north banks at the different crossings. McClellan had his
headquarters six miles away, towards the Pamunkey River. This was
considered a good opportunity to strike, and had there been no
miscarriages of plan, nor refusals to obey orders, and, instead,
harmony and mutual understanding prevailed, the South might have
gained one of its greatest victories, and had a different ending
to the campaign entirely. G.W. Smith lay to the north of Richmond;
Longstreet on the Williamsburg Road, immediately in front of the
enemy; Huger on the James; Magruder, of which was Kershaw's Brigade
(in a division under McLaws), stretched along the Chickahominy above
New Bridge.

All these troops were to concentrate near Seven Pines and there fall
upon the enemy's two corps, and beat them before succor could be
rendered. No Lieutenant Generals had as yet been appointed, senior
Major Generals generally commanding two divisions. The night before
the attack, General Johnston called his generals together and gave
them such instructions and orders as were necessary, and divided his
army for the day's battle into two wings, G.W. Smith to command
the left and Longstreet the right; the right wing to make the first
assault (it being on the south side of the York River Railroad).
G.W. Smith was to occupy the Nine Mile Road, running parallel with
Longstreet's front and extending to the river, near New Bridge, on the
Chickahominy. He was to watch the movements of the enemy on the other
side, and prevent Sumner, whose corps were near the New Bridge, from
crossing, and to follow up the fight as Longstreet and D.H. Hill
progressed. Magruder, with his own and McLaws' Division, supported
Smith, and was to act as emergencies required. Kershaw was now under
McLaws. Huger was to march up on the Charles City Road and put in on
Longstreet's left as it uncovered at White Oak Swamp, or to join his
forces with Longstreet's and the two drive the enemy back from the
railroad. Keyes' Federal Corps lay along the railroad to Fair Oaks;
then Heintzleman's turned abruptly at a right angle in front of
G.W. Smith. The whole was admirably planned, and what seemed to make
success doubly sure, a very heavy rain had fallen that night, May
30th, accompanied by excessive peals of thunder and livid flashes of
lightning, and the whole face of the country was flooded with water.
The river was overflowing its banks, bridges washed away or inundated
by the rapidly swelling stream, all going to make re-enforcement by
McClellan from the north side out of the question. But the
entire movement seemed to be one continual routine of blunders,
misunderstandings, and perverseness; a continual wrangling among the
senior Major Generals. The enemy had thrown up two lines of heavy
earthworks for infantry and redoubts for the artillery, one near Fair
Oaks, the other one-half mile in the rear. Longstreet and D.H. Hill
assaulted the works with great vigor on the morning of the 31st of
May, and drove the enemy from his first entrenched camp. But it seems
G.W. Smith did not press to the front, as was expected, but understood
his orders to remain and guard the crossing of the river. Huger lost
his way and did not come up until the opportunity to grasp the key to
the situation was lost, and then it was discovered there was a mistake
or misunderstanding in regard to his and Longstreet's seniority. Still
Huger waived his rank reluctantly and allowed Longstreet and Hill to
still press the enemy back to his second line of entrenchments. From
where we lay, inactive and idle, the steady roll of the musketry
was grand and exciting. There was little opportunity for ability and
little used, only by the enemy in their forts.

Several ineffectual attempts were made to storm these forts, and
to dislodge the enemy at the point of the bayonet. Finally R.H.
Anderson's Brigade of South Carolinians came up, and three regiments,
led by Colonel Jenkins, made a flank movement, and by a desperate
assault, took the redoubt on the left, with six pieces of artillery.
When Rhodes' North Carolina Brigade got sufficiently through the
tangle and undergrowth and near the opening as to see their way clear,
they raised a yell, and with a mad rush, they took the fort with
a bound. They were now within the strong fortress on the left and
masters of the situation. Colonel Jenkins was highly complimented by
the commanding General for his skill, and the energy and courage of
his men. The enemy worked their guns faithfully and swept the ranks of
Rhodes and Anderson with grape and canister, but Southern valor here,
as elsewhere, overcame Northern discipline. Many of the enemy fell
dead within the fort, while endeavoring to spike their guns.

Sumner, from the north side of the Chickahominy, was making frantic
efforts to cross the stream and come to the relief of sorely pressed
comrades. The bridges were two feet or more under water, swaying and
creaking as if anxious to follow the rushing waters below. It is
said the Federal General, Butler, called afterwards "Beast," covered
himself with glory by rushing at the head of his troops, in and
through the water, and succeeded in getting enough men on the bridge
to hold it down, while the others crossed over. But the reinforcements
came too late to aid their hard pressed friends. After the
entrenchments were all taken, the enemy had no other alternative but
to fall back in the dense forest and undergrowth, giving them shelter
until night, with her sable curtains, hid friend and foe alike. Just
as the last charge had been made, General Johnston, riding out in an
opening, was first struck by a fragment of shell, thereby disabling
him for further duty upon the field for a long time. The command of
the army now fell upon General G.W. Smith, who ordered the troops to
remain stationary for the night, and next morning, they were returned
to their original quarters. Kershaw and the other Brigadiers of
the division did not become engaged, as they were awaiting upon a
contingency that did not arise. It is true, the enemy were driven from
their strongly fortified position, and for more than a mile to the
rear, still the fruits of the victory were swallowed up in the loss
of so many good men, with no tangible or lasting results. From all the
facts known at the time, and those developed since, it is the opinion
that upon G.W. Smith rested the blame for the loss of the day. Had
he been as active or energetic as the other Major Generals, or had
he assumed responsibility, and taken advantage of events presenting
themselves during the battle, that could not be known beforehand, nor
counted in the plan of the battle, the day at Seven Pines might have
loomed up on the side of the Confederate forces with those at Gaines'
Mills or Second Manassas. But, as it was, it must be counted as one of
the fruitless victories of the war.

General Smith left the army next day, never to return to active
service. Here was a commentary on the question of the made soldier or
the soldier born. At West Point General Smith stood almost at the very
head of his class; at the commencement of the war, he was considered
as one of our most brilliant officers, and stood head and shoulders
above some of his cotemporaries in the estimation of our leaders and
the Department at Richmond. But his actions and conduct on several
momentous occasions will leave to posterity the necessity of
voting him a failure; while others of his day, with no training nor
experience in the science of war, have astonished the world with their
achievements and soldierly conduct. The soldiers were sorrowful and
sad when they learned of the fate of their beloved Commander-in-Chief.
They had learned to love him as a father; he had their entire
confidence. They were fearful at the time lest his place could
never be filled; and, but for the splendid achievement of their new
commander, R.E. Lee, with the troops drilled and disciplined by his
predecessor, and who fought the battles on the plans laid down by
him, it is doubtful whether their confidence could have ever been
transferred to another.

General Lee took command the next day, June the 1st, 1862. He did
not come with any prestige of great victory to recommend him to the
troops, but his bold face, manly features, distinguished bearing, soon
inspired a considerable degree of confidence and esteem, to be soon
permanently welded by the glorious victories won from the Chickahominy
to the James. He called all his Lieutenants around him in a few days
and had a friendly talk. He told none his plans--he left that to be
surmised--but he gained the confidence of his Generals at once.

The troops were set to work fortifying their lines from the James
to the Chickahominy, and up the latter stream to near Meadow Bridge.
Engineer corps were established, and large details from each regiment,
almost one-third of the number, were put to work under the engineers
strengthening their camps on scientific principles. The troops thought
they were to do their fighting behind these works, but strange to say,
out of the hundred of fortifications built by Kershaw's men during the
war, not one ever fired a gun from behind them.

[Illustration: Col. William Wallace, 2d S.C. Regiment. (Page 479)]

[Illustration: Col. Jno. W. Henagan, 8th S.C. Regiment, (Page 423)]

[Illustration: Lieut. Col. A.J. Hoole, 8th S.C. Regiment.
(Page 284.)]

[Illustration: John M. Kinard, Acting Lieut. Col. 20 S.C. Reg.
(Page 441.)]

On the 12th of June General Stuart started on his remarkable ride
around the army of McClellan, and gained for himself the name of
"Prince of Raiders." Starting out in the morning as if going away to
our left at a leisurely gait, he rode as far as Hanover Court House.
Before daylight next morning his troopers sprang into their saddles
and swept down the country between the Chickahominy and the Pamunkey
Rivers like a thunderbolt, capturing pickets, driving in outposts,
overturning wagon trains, and destroying everything with fire and
sword. He rides boldly across the enemy's line of communications,
coming up at nightfall at the Chickahominy, with the whole of
McClellan's army between him and Richmond. In this ride he came in
contact with his old regiment in the United States Army, capturing
its wagon trains, one laden with the finest delicacies and choicest
of wines. After putting the enemy to rout Stuart and his men regaled
themselves on these tempting viands, Stuart himself drinking a "bumper
of choice old Burgundy," sending word to his former comrades that he
"was sorry they did not stay and join him, but as it was, he would
drink their health in their absence." Finding the bridges destroyed,
he built a temporary one, over which the men walked and swam their
horses, holding on to the bridles. When all were safely over Stuart
sped like a whirlwind towards the James, leaving the enemy staring
wildly in mute astonishment at the very audacity of his daring. That
night he returned to his camps, having made in thirty-six hours the
entire circuit of the Federal Army. Stuart was a rare character.
Light hearted, merry, and good natured, he was the very idol of his
cavaliers. His boldness, dash, and erratic mode of warfare made him a
dreaded foe and dangerous enemy. One moment he was in their camps, on
the plains, shouting and slashing, and before the frightened sleepers
could be brought to the realization of their situation, he was far
over the foothills of the Blue Ridge or across the swift waters of the
Rappahannock.

During the first week after taking our position on the line, Magruder,
with his divisions of eight brigades, was posted high up on the
Chickahominy, nearly north of Richmond. McLaws, commanding Kershaw's,
Cobb's, Semmes', and Barksdale's Brigades, was on the left, the
first being South Carolinians, the next two Georgians, and the last
Mississippians. General D.R. Jones, with his own, Toombs', G.T.
Anderson's, and perhaps one other Brigade, constituted the right of
the corps. The army was divided in wings. Huger, the senior Major
General, commander on the right, next the James River, with Longstreet
next; but before the great battle Magruder was given the centre and
Longstreet the left with his divisions, and the two Hills', A.P. and
D.H. But after the coming of Jackson A.P. Hill's, called the "Light
Brigade," was placed under the command of the Valley chieftain.

While up on the Chickahominy, the enemy were continually watching our
movements from lines of balloons floating high up in the air, anchored
in place by stout ropes. They created quite a mystic and superstitious
feeling among some of the most credulous. One night while a member
of Company C, Third South Carolina, was on picket among some tangled
brushwood on the crest of the hill overlooking the river, he created
quite a stir by seeing a strange light in his front, just beyond the
stream. He called for the officer of the guard with all his might
and main. When the officer made his appearance with a strong
reinforcement, he demanded the reason of the untimely call. With fear
and trembling he pointed to the brilliant light and said:

"Don't you see 'em yonder? They are putting up a balloon."

"No," said the officer, "that's nothing but a star," which it really
was.

"Star, hell! I tell you it's a balloon. Are the Yankees smart enough
to catch the stars?" It is enough to say the man carried the name of
"balloon" during the rest of his service.

A Federal battery was stationed immediately in our front, beyond the
river, supported by infantry. Some one in authority suggested the idea
of crossing over at night, break through the tangled morass on the
other side, and capture the outfit by a sudden dash. The day before
the Third South Carolina Regiment was formed in line and a call
made for volunteers to undertake this hazardous enterprise. Only one
hundred soldiers were required, and that number was easily obtained,
a great number being officers. At least twenty-five Lieutenants and
Captains had volunteered. The detachment was put under Captain Foster
as chief of the storming party, and the next day was occupied in
drilling the men and putting them in shape for the undertaking. We
were formed in line about dark near the time and place allotted, and
all were in high glee in anticipation of the novel assault. But just
as all were ready, orders came countermanding the first order. So
the officers and men returned to their quarters. Some appeared well
satisfied at the turn of events, especially those who had volunteered
more for the honor attached than the good to be performed. Others,
however, were disappointed. An old man from Laurens was indignant. He
said "the Third Regiment would never get anything. That he had been
naked and barefooted for two months, and when a chance was offered
to clothe and shoe himself some d----n fool had to countermand the
order." Ere many days his ambition and lust for a fight were filled to
overflowing.

The various grades and ranks of the Generals kept us continually
moving from left to right, Generals being sometimes like a balky
horse--will not pull out of his right place. We were stationed, as
it appeared from the preparations made, permanently just in front of
Richmond, or a little to the left of that place and the Williamsburg
road, and began to fortify in earnest. About the middle of June
Lee and his Lieutenants were planning that great campaign whereby
McClellan was to be overthrown and his army sent flying back to
Washington. Generals plan the moves of men like players their pieces
upon the chess board--a demonstration here, a feint there, now a great
battle, then a reconnoissance--without ever thinking of or considering
the lives lost, the orphans made, the disconsolate widows, and broken
homes that these moves make. They talk of attacks, of pressing or
crushing, of long marches, the streams or obstacles encountered, as if
it were only the movement of some vast machinery, where the slipping
of a cog or the breaking of a wheel will cause the machine to
stop. The General views in his mind his successes, his marches, his
strategy, without ever thinking of the dead men that will mark his
pathway, the victorious fields made glorious by the groans of the
dying, or the blackened corpses of the dead. The most Christian and
humane soldier, however, plans his battles without ever a thought of
the consequences to his faithful followers.

On the 25th of June, orders came to be prepared to move at a moment's
notice. This left no doubt in the minds of the men that stirring
times were ahead. It had been whispered in camp that Jackson, the
"ubiquitous," was on his way from the Valley to help Lee in his work
of defeating McClellan.

About 4 o'clock, on the 26th of June, as the men lay lolling around
in camp, the ominous sound of a cannon was heard away to our left and
rear. Soon another and another, their dull rumbling roar telling too
plainly the battle was about to begin. Men hasten hither and thither,
gathering their effects, expecting every moment to be ordered away.
Soon the roar of musketry filled the air; the regular and continual
baying of the cannon beat time to the steady roll of small arms.
Jackson had come down from the Valley, and was sweeping over the
country away to our left like an avalanche. Fitz John Porter, one of
the most accomplished soldiers in the Northern Army, was entrusted
with the defense of the north side of the Chickahominy, and had
erected formidable lines of breastworks along Beaver Dam Creek,
already strong and unapproachable from its natural formations. Jackson
was to have encountered Porter on the extreme right flank of the Union
Army at an early hour in the day, and as soon as A.P. Hill heard the
sound of his guns, he was to cross over on our left at Meadow Bridge
and sweep down the river on Jackson's right. But after waiting for
the opening of Jackson's guns until after 3 o'clock, without any
information that he was on the field, Hill crossed over the river and
attacked Porter in his strong position at Mechanicsville. His task
was to beat back the enemy until the bridges below were uncovered,
allowing re-enforcement to reach him. Jackson being unavoidably
delayed, A.P. Hill assailed the whole right wing of the Federal Army,
single-handed and alone, he only having five brigades, one being
left some miles above on the river, but the brigade that was left
was making rapid strides to join the fighting column. The strong
earthworks, filled with fighting infantry and heavy field artillery in
the forts, were too much for this light column, but undaunted by the
weight of numbers and strength of arms, Hill threw himself headlong
upon the entrenched positions with rare courage and determination.
There were South Carolinians with him who were now engaging in their
maiden effort, and were winning imperishable fame by their deeds of
valor. Gregg, with the old First South Carolina Regiment of Veterans,
with four new organizations, the Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and
Orr's Rifles, went recklessly into the fray, and struck right and left
with the courage and confidence of veteran troops. D.H. Hill, late
in the evening, crossed over and placed himself on the right of those
already engaged. The battle of Games' Mill was one continual slaughter
on the side of the Confederates. The enemy being behind their
protections, their loss was comparatively slight. The fight was kept
up till 9 o'clock at night, with little material advantage to either,
with his own and only a portion of Jackson's troops up. But the
desperate onslaught of the day convinced Porter that he could not hold
his ground against another such assault, so he fell back to a much
stronger position around Gaines' Mill.

The next day, the 27th, will be remembered as long as history records
the events of our Civil War as one of the most bloody and determined
of any of the great battles of the war for the men engaged. For
desperate and reckless charges, for brave and steady resistance, it
stands second to none. Jackson, Ewell, Whiting, and D.H. Hill moved
their divisions by daylight, aroused the enemy's right, intending to
reach his rear, but at Cold Harbor they met the enemy in strong force.
D.H. Hill attacked immediately, while A.P. Hill, who had been left
in Porter's front, marched through the deserted camp, over his
fortifications, and at Gaines' Mill, he met Porter posted on an
eminence beyond the stream. This was only passable at few places, but
Hill pushed his men over under a galling fire of musketry, while the
enemy swept the plain and valley below with shell and grape from
their batteries crowning the height beyond. A.P. Hill formed his lines
beyond the stream, and advanced with a steady step and a bold front to
the assault. Charge after charge was made, only to be met and repulsed
with a courage equal to that of the Confederates. Hill did not know
then that he was fighting the bulk of the Fifth Corps, for he heard
the constant roll of Jackson and D.H. Hill's guns away to his left;
Jackson thinking the Light Division under A.P. Hill would drive the
enemy from his position, withdrew from Cold Harbor and sought to
intercept the retreating foe in concealing his men for some hours on
the line of retreat. But as the day wore on, and no diminution of the
firing, at the point where A.P. Hill and his adversary had so long
kept up, Jackson and D.H. Hill undertook to relieve him. Longstreet,
too, near nightfall, who had been held in reserve all day, now broke
from his place of inaction and rushed into the fray like an uncaged
lion, and placed himself between A.P. Hill and the river. For a few
moments the earth trembled with the tread of struggling thousands, and
the dreadful recoil of the heavy batteries that lined the crest of the
hill from right to left. The air was filled with the shrieking shells
as they sizzled through the air or plowed their way through the ranks
of the battling masses. Charges were met by charges, and the terrible
"Rebel Yell" could be heard above the din and roar of battle, as the
Confederates swept over field or through the forest, either to capture
a battery or to force a line of infantry back by the point of the
bayonet. While the battle was yet trembling in the balance, the
Confederates making frantic efforts to pierce the enemy's lines,
and they, with equal courage and persistency, determined on holding,
Pickett and Anderson, of Longstreet's Division, and Hood and Whiting,
of Jackson's, threw their strength and weight to the aid of Hill's
depleted ranks. The enemy could stand no longer. The line is broken
at one point, then another, and as the Confederates closed in on them
from all sides, they break in disorder and leave the field. It looked
at one time as if there would be a rout, but Porter in this emergency,
put in practice one of Napoleon's favorite tactics. He called up his
cavalry, and threatened the weakened ranks of the Confederates with a
formidable front of his best troopers. These could not be of service
in the weight of battle, but protected the broken columns and fleeing
fugitives of Porter's Army.

South Carolina will be ever proud of the men whom she had on that
memorable field who consecrated the earth at Gaines' Mill with
their blood, as well as of such leaders as Gregg, McGowan, McCrady,
Marshall, Simpson, Haskell, and Hamilton, and hosts of others, who
have ever shed lustre and glory equal to those of any of the thousands
who have made the Palmetto State renowned the world over.

McClellan was now in sore straits. He could not weaken his lines on
the south side of the Chickahominy to re-enforce Fitz John Porter,
for fear Magruder, Holmes, and Huger, who were watching his every
movements in their front, should fall upon the line thus weakened and
cut his army in twain. The next day McClellan commenced his retreat
towards the James, having put his army over the Chickahominy the night
after his defeat. His step was, no doubt, occasioned by the fact that
Lee had sent Stuart with his cavalry and Ewell's Division of Infantry
down the north side of the Chickahominy and destroyed McClellan's line
of communication between his army and the York River. However, the
Confederate commander was equally as anxious to cut him off from the
James as the York. He aimed to force him to battle between the
two rivers, and there, cut off from his fleet, he would be utterly
destroyed. Lee only wished McClellan to remain in his present position
until he could reach the James with a part of his own troops, now on
the north side of the Chickahominy.

On the evening of the 27th, Magruder made a feint with Kershaw's and
some other brigades of this division, near Alens, as the troops in
his front showed a disposition to retire. A line of battle was formed,
skirmishers thrown out, and an advance ordered. Our skirmishers had
not penetrated far into the thicket before they were met by a volley
from the enemy's line of battle. The balls whistled over our heads
and through the tops of the scrubby oaks, like a fall of hail. It put
chills to creeping up our backs, the first time we had ever been under
a musketry fire. For a moment we were thrown into a perfect fever of
excitement and confusion. The opening in the rear looked temptingly
inviting in comparison to the wooded grounds in front, from whence
came the volley of bullets. Here the Third South Carolina lost her
first soldier in battle, Dr. William Thompson, of the medical staff,
who had followed too close on the heels of the fighting column in his
anxiety to be near the battle.

Early in the morning of the 28th, Lee put the columns of Longstreet
and A.P. Hill in motion in the direction of Richmond around our rear.
After their meeting with Holmes and Huger on our extreme right, they
were to press down the James River and prevent McClellan from reaching
it. Jackson, D.H. Hill, and Magruder were to follow the retreating
army. We left our quarters early in the day, and soon found ourselves
in the enemy's deserted camp.

The country between the James and the Chickahominy is a very flat,
swampy county, grown up in great forests, with now and then a
cultivated field. The forests were over-run with a tangled mass of
undergrowth. It was impossible for the army to keep up with the enemy
while in line of battle. So sending our skirmishers ahead the army
followed the roads in columns of fours. In each regiment the right
or left company in the beginning of battle is always deployed at such
distance between each soldier as to cover the front of the regiment,
while in line of battle the regiments being from ten to fifty yards
apart. In this way we marched all day, sometimes in line of battle, at
others by the roads in columns. A great siege cannon had been erected
on a platform car and pushed abreast of us along the railroad by an
engine, and gave out thundering evidences of its presence by shelling
the woods in our front. This was one of the most novel batteries of
the war, a siege gun going in battle on board of cars. Near night at
Savage Station Sumner and Franklin, of the Federal Army, who had been
retreating all day, turned to give battle. Jackson was pressing on
our left, and it became necessary that Sumner should hold Magruder in
check until the army and trains of the Federals that were passing
in his rear should cross White Oak Swamp to a place of safety. Our
brigade was lying in a little declivity between two rises in the
ground; that in our front, and more than one hundred yards distance,
was thickly studded with briars, creepers, and underbrush with a
sparse growth of heavy timber. We had passed numerous redoubts, where
the field batteries of the enemy would occupy and shell our ranks
while the infantry continued the retreat. Our brigade skirmishers,
under command of Major Rutherford, had been halted in this thicket
while the line of battle was resting. But hardly had the skirmishers
been ordered forward than the enemy's line of battle, upon which they
had come, poured a galling fire into them, the bullets whistling over
our heads causing a momentary panic among the skirmishers, a part
retreating to the main line. A battery of six guns stationed in a
fort in our front, opened upon us with shell and grape. Being in the
valley, between the two hills, the bullets rattled over our heads
doing no damage, but threw us into some excitement. The Third being
near the center of the brigade, General Kershaw, in person, was
immediately in our rear on foot. As soon as the bullets had passed
over he called out in a loud, clear tone the single word "charge." The
troops bounded to the front with a yell, and made for the forest in
front, while the batteries graped us as we rushed through the tangled
morass. The topography of the country was such that our artillery
could get no position to reply, but the heavy railroad siege gun made
the welkin ring with its deafening reports. Semmes and Barksdale put
in on our right; Cobb remaining as reserve, while the Division of D.R.
Jones, which had been moving down on the left side of the railroad,
soon became engaged. The enemy fought with great energy and vigor,
while the Confederates pressed them hard. Much was at stake, and night
was near. Stunner was fighting for the safety of the long trains of
artillery and wagons seeking cover in his rear, as well as for the
very life of the army itself. Soon after the first fire the settling
smoke and dense shrubbery made the woods almost as dark as night in
our front, but the long line of fire flashing from the enemy's guns
revealed their position. The men became woefully tangled and
disorganized, and in some places losing the organizations entirely,
but under all these difficulties they steadily pressed to the front.
When near the outer edge of the thicket, we could see the enemy lying
down in some young growth of pines, with their batteries in the fort.
The graping was simply dreadful, cutting and breaking through the
bushes and striking against trees. I had not gone far into the thicket
before I was struck by a minnie ball in the chest, which sent me
reeling to the ground momentarily unconscious. Our men lost all
semblance of a line, being scattered over a space of perhaps 50 yards,
and those in front were in as much danger from friend as from foe.
While I lay in a semi-unconscious state, I received another bullet in
my thigh which I had every reason to believe came from some one in the
rear. But I roused myself, and staggering to my feet made my way as
well as I could out of the thicket. When I reached the place from
whence we had first made the charge, our drummer was beating the
assembly or long roll with all his might, and men collecting around
General Kershaw and Colonel Nance. Here I first learned of the repulse.
The balls were still flying overhead, but some of our batteries had
got in position and were giving the enemy a raking fire. Nor was the
railroad battery idle, for I could see the great black, grim monster
puffing out heaps of gray smoke, then the red flash, then the report,
sending the engine and car back along the track with a fearful recoil.
The lines were speedily reformed and again put in motion. Jones, too,
was forced by overwhelming numbers to give back, but Jackson coming up
gave him renewed confidence, and a final advance was made along the
whole line. The battle was kept up with varying success until after
night, when Sumner withdrew over White Oak Swamp.

On the morning of the 30th, McClellan, like a quarry driven to bay,
drew up his forces on the south side of White Oak Swamp and awaited
the next shock of battle. Behind him were his trains of heavy siege
guns, his army wagons, pontoons, and ordnance trains, all in bog and
slush, seeking safety under the sheltering wings of his gunboats and
ironclads on the James. Lee met him at every point with bristling
bayonets of his victorious troops. At three o'clock A.M. Longstreet
and A.P. Hill moved down the Darbytown road, leaving Jackson, D.H.
Hill, and Magruder to press McClellan's retreating forces in the
rear. Huger, with the two former, was to come down the James River and
attack in the flank. Magruder, with his corps, was sent early in the
day on a wild goose chase to support Longstreet's right, but by being
led by guides who did not understand the roads or plan of battle,
Magruder took the wrong road and did not get up in time to join in
the battle of Frazier's Farm. Jackson for some cause did not press
the rear, as anticipated, neither did Huger come in time, leaving the
brunt of the battle on the shoulders of A.P. Hill and Longstreet. The
battle was but a repetition of that of Gaines' Mill, the troops of
Hill and Longstreet gaining imperishable glory by their stubborn and
resistless attacks, lasting till nine o'clock at night, when the enemy
finally withdrew.

Two incidents of these battles are worthy of record, showing the
different dispositions of the people of the North and South. At
night the division commanded by General McCall, who had been fighting
Longstreet so desperately all day, was captured and brought to
Longstreet's headquarters. General McCall had been Captain of a
company in the United States Army, in which Longstreet had been a
Lieutenant. When General Longstreet saw his old comrade brought to him
as a prisoner of war, he sought to lighten the weight of his feelings
as much as circumstances would admit. He dismounted, pulled his
gloves, and offered his hand in true knightly fashion to his fallen
foe. But his Federal antagonist, becoming incensed, drew himself up
haughtily and waved Longstreet away, saying, "Excuse me, sir, I can
stand defeat but not insult." Insult indeed! to shake the hand of
one of the most illustrious chieftains of the century, one who had
tendered the hand in friendly recognition of past associations, thus
to smooth and soften the humiliation of his foe's present condition!
Insult--was it?

When Bob Toombs, at the head of his brigade, was sweeping through the
tangled underbrush at Savage Station, under a terrific hail of bullets
from the retreating enemy, he was hailed by a fallen enemy, who had
braced himself against a tree:

"Hello, Bob Toombs! Hello, Bob Toombs! Don't you know your old friend
Webster?"

Dismounting, Toombs went to the son of his old friend but political
adversary, Daniel Webster, one of the great trio at Washington of
twenty years before, and found his life slowly ebbing away.
Toombs rendered him all the assistance in his power--placed him in
comfortable position that he might die at ease--and hastened on to
rejoin his command, after promising to perform some last sad rites
after his death. When the battle was ended for the day, the great
fiery Secessionist hastened to return to the wounded enemy. But too
late; his spirit had flown, and nothing was now left to Toombs but to
fulfill the promises he made to his dying foe. He had his body carried
through the lines that night under a flag of truce and delivered
with the messages left to his friends. He had known young Webster at
Washington when his illustrious father was at the zenith of his power
and fame. The son and the great Southern States' Rights champion had
become fast friends as the latter was just entering on his glorious
career.

Our brigade lost heavily in the battle of Savage Station both in
officers and men. Lieutenant Colonel Garlington, of the Third, was
killed, and so was Captain Langford and several Lieutenants. Colonel
Bland, of the Seventh, was wounded and disabled for a long time. The
casualties in the battle of Savage Station caused changes in officers
in almost every company in the brigade.

When I came to consciousness after being wounded the first thing that
met my ears was the roar of musketry and the boom of cannon, with the
continual swish, swash of the grape and canister striking the trees
and ground. I placed my hand in my bosom, where I felt a dull,
deadening sensation. There I found the warm blood, that filled my
inner garments and now trickled down my side as I endeavored to stand
upright. I had been shot through the left lung, and as I felt the
great gaping wound in my chest, the blood gushing and spluttering out
at every breath, I began to realize my situation. I tried to get off
the field the best I could, the bullet in my leg not troubling me
much, and as yet, I felt strong enough to walk. My brother, who was a
surgeon, and served three years in the hospitals in Richmond, but now
in the ranks, came to my aid and led me to the rear. We stopped near
the railroad battery, which was belching away, the report of the great
gun bringing upon us the concentrated fire of the enemy. As I sat upon
the fallen trunk of a tree my brother made a hasty examination of my
wound. All this while I was fully convinced I was near death's door.
He pronounced my wound at first as fatal, a bit of very unpleasant
information, but after probing my wound with his finger he gave me the
flattering assurance that unless I bled to death quite soon my chances
might be good! Gentle reader, were you ever, as you thought, at
death's door, when the grim monster was facing you, when life looked
indeed a very brief span? If so, you can understand my feelings--I was
scared! As Goldsmith once said, "When you think you are about to die,
this world looks mighty tempting and pretty." Everything in my front
took on the hue of dark green, a pleasant sensation came over me, and
I had the strangest feeling ever experienced in my life. I thought
sure I was dying then and there and fell from the log in a death-like
swoon. But I soon revived, having only fainted from loss of blood, and
my brother insisted on my going back up the railroad to a farmhouse
we had passed, and where our surgeons had established a hospital. The
long stretch of wood we had to travel was lined with the wounded, each
wounded soldier with two or three friends helping him off the field.
We had no "litter bearers" or regular detail to care for the wounded
at this time, and the friends who undertook this service voluntarily
oftentimes depleted the ranks more than the loss in battle. Hundreds
in this way absented themselves for a few days taking care of the
wounded. But all this was changed soon afterwards. Regular details
were made from each regiment, consisting of a non-commissioned
officer and five privates, whose duty it was to follow close in
rear of the line of battle with their "stretchers" and take off the
disabled.

I will never forget the scene that met my eyes as I neared the house
where the wounded had been gathered. There the torn and mangled lay,
shot in every conceivable part of the body or limbs--some with wounds
in the head, arms torn off at the shoulder or elbow, legs broken,
fingers, toes, or foot shot away; some hobbling along on inverted
muskets or crutches, but the great mass were stretched at full length
upon the ground, uttering low, deep, and piteous moans, that told of
the great sufferings, or a life passing away. The main hall of the
deserted farm house, as well as the rooms, were filled to overflowing
with those most seriously wounded. The stifling stench of blood was
sickening in the extreme. The front and back yards, the fence corners,
and even the out-buildings were filled with the dead and dying.
Surgeons and their assistants were hurrying to and fro, relieving the
distress as far as their limited means would allow, making such hasty
examinations as time permitted. Here they would stop to probe a wound,
there to set a broken limb, bind a wound, stop the flow of blood, or
tie an artery.

But among all this deluge of blood, mangled bodies, and the groans of
the wounded and dying, our ears were continually greeted by the awful,
everlasting rattle of the musketry, the roar of the field batteries,
and the booming, shaking, and trembling of the siege guns from friend
and foe.

The peculiar odor of human blood, mingling with the settling smoke of
the near by battlefield, became so oppressive I could not remain in
the house. My brother helped me into the yard, but in passing out I
fell, fainting for the third time; my loss of blood had been so great
I could stand only with difficulty. I thought the end was near now for
a certainty, and was frightened accordingly. But still I nerved myself
with all the will power I possessed, and was placed on an oil cloth
under the spreading branches of an elm. From the front a continual
stream of wounded kept coming in till late at night. Some were carried
on shoulders of friends, others leaning their weight upon them and
dragging their bodies along, while the slightly wounded were left to
care for themselves. Oh, the horrors of the battlefield! So cruel,
so sickening, so heart-rending to those even of the stoutest
nerves!--once seen, is indelibly impressed upon your mind forever.

The firing ceased about 9 o'clock, and all became still as death, save
the groaning of the wounded soldiers in the hospital, or the calls and
cries of those left upon the battlefield. Oh, such a night, the night
after the battle! The very remembrance of it is a vivid picture of
Dante's "Inferno." To lie during the long and anxious watches of the
night, surrounded by such scenes of suffering and woe, to continually
hear the groans of the wounded, the whispered consultations of the
surgeons over the case of some poor boy who was soon to be robbed of
a leg or arm, the air filled with stifled groans, or the wild shout
of some poor soldier, who, now delirious with pain, his voice sounding
like the wail of a lost soul--all this, and more--and thinking your
soul, too, is about to shake off its mortal coil and take its flight
with the thousands that have just gone, are going, and the many more
to follow before the rising of the next sun--all this is too much for
a feeble pen like mine to portray.

The troops lay on the battlefield all night under arms. Here and there
a soldier, singly or perhaps in twos, were scouring through the dense
thicket or isolated places, seeking lost friends and comrades, whose
names were unanswered to at the roll call, and who were not among the
wounded and dead at the hospital. The pale moon looked down in sombre
silence upon the ghastly upturned faces of the dead that lay strewn
along the battle line. The next day was a true version of the lines--

  "Under the sod,
  under the clay,
  Here lies the blue, there the grey."

for the blue and grey fell in great wind rows that day, and were
buried side by side.

The Confederates being repulsed in the first charge, returned to the
attack, broke the Federal lines in pieces, and by 9 o'clock they had
fled the field, leaving all the fruits of victory in the hands of the
Confederates.

No rest for the beaten enemy, no sleep for the hunted prey. McClellan
was moving heaven and earth during the whole night to place "White Oak
Swamp" (a tangled, swampy wilderness, of a half mile in width and six
or eight miles in length,) between his army and Lee's. By morning he
had the greater portion of his army and supply trains over, but had
left several divisions on the north side of the swamp to guard the
crossings. Jackson and Magruder began pressing him early on the 30th
in his rear, while Longstreet, A.P. Hill, and others were marching
with might and main to intercept him on the other side. After some
desultory firing, Jackson found McClellan's rear guard too strong to
assail, by direct assault, so his divisions, with Magruder's, were
ordered around to join forces with Hill and Longstreet. The swamp
was impassable, except at the few crossings, and they were strongly
guarded, so they were considered not practicable of direct assault.
But in the long winding roads that intervened between the two wings,
Magruder and Jackson on the north and Longstreet and A.P. Hill on
the south, Magruder was misled by taking the wrong road (the whole
Peninsula being a veritable wilderness), and marched away from the
field instead of towards it, and did not reach Longstreet during the
day. But at 3 o'clock Longstreet, not hearing either Jackson's or
Magruder's guns, as per agreement, and restless of the delays of the
other portions of the army, feeling the danger of longer inactivity,
boldly marched in and attacked the enemy in his front.

Here was Frazier's Farm, and here was fought as stubbornly contested
battle, considering the numbers engaged, as any during the campaign.
Near nightfall, after Longstreet had nearly exhausted the strength
of his troops by hard fighting, A.P. Hill, ever watchful and on the
alert, threw the weight of his columns on the depleted ranks of the
enemy, and forced them from the field. The soldiers who had done such
deeds of daring as to win everlasting renown at Gaines' Mill and Cold
Harbor, did not fail their fearless commander at Frazier's Farm. When
the signal for battle was given, they leaped to the front, like
dogs unleashed, and sprang upon their old enemies, Porter, McCall,
Heintzelman, Hooker, and Kearny. Here again the steady fire and
discipline of the Federals had to yield to the impetuosity and valor
of Southern troops. Hill and Longstreet swept the field, capturing
several hundred prisoners, a whole battery of artillery, horses, and
men.

McClellan brought up his beaten army on Malvern Hill, to make one last
desperate effort to save his army from destruction or annihilation.
This is a place of great natural defenses. Situated one mile from
the James River, it rises suddenly on all sides from the surrounding
marshy lowlands to several hundred feet in height, and environed on
three sides by branches and by Turkey Creek. On the northern eminence
McClellan planted eighty pieces of heavy ordnance, and on the eastern,
field batteries in great numbers. Lee placed his troops in mass on the
extreme east of the position occupied by the enemy, intending to park
the greater number of his heaviest batteries against the northern
front of the eminence, where McClellan had his artillery pointing to
the east, and where the Confederates massed to sweep the field as Lee
advanced his infantry. The object of Lee was to concentrate all his
artillery on the flank of McClellan's artillery, then by an enfilade
fire from his own, he could destroy that of his enemy, and advance his
infantry through the broad sweep of lowlands, separating the forces,
without subjecting them to the severe cannonading. He gave orders
that as soon as the enemy's batteries were demolished or silenced,
Armstead's Virginia Brigade, occupying the most advanced and favorable
position for observation, was to advance to the assault, with a
yell and a hurrah, as a signal for the advance of all the attacking
columns. But the condition of the ground was such that the officers
who were to put the cannon in position got only a few heavy pieces
in play, and these were soon knocked in pieces by the numbers of
the enemy's siege guns and rifled field pieces. Some of the brigade
commanders, thinking the signal for combat had been given, rushed at
the hill in front with ear piercing yells without further orders. They
were mown down like grain before the sickle by the fierce artillery
fire and the enemy's infantry on the crest of the hill. Kershaw
following the lead of the brigade on his left, gave orders, "Forward,
charge!" Down the incline, across the wide expanse, they rushed with
a yell, their bayonets bristling and glittering in the sunlight, while
the shells rained like hail stones through their ranks from the cannon
crested hill in front. The gunboats and ironclad monitors in the James
opened a fearful fusilade from their monster guns and huge mortars,
the great three-hundred-pound shells from the latter rising high in
the air, then curling in a beautiful bow to fall among the troops,
with a crash and explosion that shook the ground like the trembling
of the earth around a volcano. The whole face of the bluff front was
veiled by the white smoke of the one hundred belching cannon, the
flashing of the guns forming a perfect rain of fire around the sides
of the hill. It was too far to fire and too dense and tangled to
charge with any degree of progress or order, so, in broken and
disconnected ranks, Kershaw had to advance and endure this storm of
shot and shell, that by the time he reached the line of the enemy's
infantry, his ranks were too much broken to offer a very formidable
front. From the enemy's fortified position their deadly fire caused
our already thinned ranks to melt like snow before the sun's warm
rays. The result was a complete repulse along the whole line. But
McClellan was only too glad to be allowed a breathing spell from his
seven days of continual defeat, and availed himself of the opportunity
of this respite to pull off his army under the protecting wings of his
ironclad fleet.

The Confederates had won a glorious victory during the first six days.
The enemy had been driven from the Chickahominy to the James, his army
defeated and demoralized beyond months of recuperation. Lee and his
followers should be satisfied. But had none of his orders miscarried,
and all of his Lieutenants fulfilled what he had expected of them,
yet greater results might have been accomplished--not too much to say
McClellan's Army would have been entirely destroyed or captured, for
had he been kept away from the natural defenses of Malvern Hill and
forced to fight in the open field, his destruction would have followed
beyond the cavil of a doubt. The Southern soldiers were as eager
and as fresh on the last day as on the first, but a land army has a
superstitious dread of one sheltered by gunboats and ironclads.

All the troops engaged in the Seven Days' Battle did extremely well,
and won imperishable fame by their deeds of valor and prowess. Their
commanders in the field were matchless, and showed military talents
of high order, the courage of their troops invincible, and to
particularize would be unjust. But truth will say, in after years,
when impartial hands will record the events, and give blame where
blame belongs, and justice where justice is due, that in this great
Seven Days' Conflict, where so much heroism was displayed on both
sides, individually and collectively, that to A.P. Hill and the brave
men under him belongs the honor of first scotching at Gaines' Mill
the great serpent that was surrounding the Capital with bristling
bayonets, and were in at the breaking of its back at Frazier's Farm.

It was due to the daring and intrepidity of Hill's Light Division at
Gaines' Mill, more than to any other, that made it possible for the
stirring events and unprecedented results that followed.

Among the greater Generals, Lee was simply matchless and superb;
Jackson, a mystic meteor or firey comet; Longstreet and the two
Hills, the "Wild Huns" of the South, masterful in tactics, cyclones in
battle. Huger, Magruder, and Holmes were rather slow, but the courage
and endurance of their troops made up for the shortcomings of their
commanders.

Among the lesser lights will stand Gregg, Jenkins, and Kershaw, of
South Carolina, as foremost among the galaxy of immortal heroes who
gave the battles around Richmond their place as "unparalleled in
history."

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER X

The March to Maryland--Second Manassas. Capture of Harper's
Ferry--Sharpsburg.


The enemy lay quietly in his camps at Harrison's Landing for a few
days, but to cover his meditated removal down the James, he advanced a
large part of his army as far as Malvern Hill on the day of the 5th
of August as if to press Lee back. Kershaw, with the rest of McLaw's
Division, together with Jones and Longstreet, were sent to meet them.
The troops were all placed in position by nightfall, bivouaced for the
night on the field, and slept on their arms to guard against any night
attack. The soldiers thought of to-morrow--that it perhaps might be
yet more sanguinary than any of the others. Our ranks, already badly
worn by the desperate conflicts at Savage Station, Frazier's Farm,
Cold Harbor, etc., still showed a bold front for the coming day. Early
in the morning the troops were put in motion, skirmishers thrown out,
and all preparations for battle made, but to the surprise and
relief of all, the "bird had flown," and instead of battle lines
and bristling steel fronts we found nothing but deserted camps and
evidences of a hasty flight. In a few days we were removed further
back towards Richmond and sought camp on higher ground, to better
guard against the ravages of disease and to be further removed from
the enemy. The troops now had the pleasure of a month's rest, our only
duties being guard and advance picket every ten or twelve days.

While McClellan had been pushing his army up on the Peninsula the
Federals were actively engaged in organizing a second army in the
vicinity of Manassas and Fredericksburg under General John Pope, to
operate against Richmond by the flank. General Pope from his infamous
orders greatly incensed the people of the South, and from his vain
boasting gained for himself the sobriquet of "Pope the Braggart." He
ordered every citizen within his lines or living near them to either
take the oath of allegiance to the United States or to be driven
out of the country as an enemy of the Union. No one was to have any
communication with his friends within the Confederate lines, either
by letter or otherwise, on the penalty of being shot as a spy and his
property confiscated. Hundreds of homes were broken up by the order.
Men and women were driven South, or placed in Federal prisons, there
to linger for years, perhaps, with their homes abandoned to the
malicious desecration of a merciless enemy, all for no other charges
than their refusal to be a traitor to their principles and an enemy
to their country. Pope boasted of "seeing nothing of the enemy but
his back," and that "he had no headquarters but in the saddle." He was
continually sending dispatches to his chief, General Halleck, who had
been appointed Commander-in-Chief of all the Federal forces in the
field, of the "victories gained over Lee," his "bloody repulses of
Jackson," and "successful advances," and "the Confederates on the
run," etc., etc., while the very opposites were the facts. On one
occasion he telegraphed to Washington that he had defeated Lee, that
the Confederate leader was in full retreat to Richmond, when, as a
fact, before the dispatch had reached its destination his own army
was overwhelmed, and with Pope at its head, flying the field in every
direction, seeking safety under the guns at Washington. It is little
wonder he bore the name he had so deservedly won by his manifestoes,
"Pope the Braggart."

About the middle of July Jackson, with Ewell and A.P. Hill, was sent
up to the Rapidan to look after Pope and his wonderful army, which had
begun to be re-enforced by troops from the James. On the 9th of August
Jackson came up with a part of Pope's army at Cedar Mountain, and a
fierce battle was fought, very favorable to the Confederate side.
A month after Jackson had left Richmond, Longstreet, with three
divisions, headed by Lee in person, was ordered to re-enforce Jackson,
and began the offensive. While the Federal commander was lying
securely in his camp, between the Rappahannock and the Rapidan,
unconscious of the near approach of the Confederate Army, his scouts
intercepted an order written by General Lee to his cavalry leader,
giving details of his intended advance and attack. Pope, being thus
apprised, hurriedly recrossed the Rappahannock and concentrated his
forces behind that stream. Lee followed his movements closely, and
while watching in front, with a portion of his army, he started
Jackson on his famous march around the enemy's rear. Pulling up at
night, Jackson marched to the left, crossed the Rappahannock on
the 25th, and by the night of the 26th he had reached the railroad
immediately in Pope's rear, capturing trains of cars, prisoners, etc.
On learning that large quantities of provisions and munitions of war
were stored at Manassas Junction, feebly guarded, General Trimble,
with a small number of brave Alabamians, Georgians, and North
Carolinians, not five hundred all told, volunteered to march still
further to that point, a distance of some miles, notwithstanding they
had marched with Jackson thirty miles during the day, and capture the
place. This was done in good time, defeating a brigade doing guard
duty, and capturing a large number of prisoners, one entire battery of
artillery, and untold quantities of provisions. Jackson now appeared
to retreat, but only withdrew in order to give Longstreet time to
come up, which he was doing hard upon Jackson's track, but more than
twenty-four hours behind. This was one of the most hazardous feats
accomplished by Lee during the war, with the possible exception of
Chancellorsville, "dividing his army in the face of superior numbers,"
a movement denounced by all successful Generals and scientists of
war. But Lee attempted this on more occasions than one, and always
successfully.

Jackson concealed his forces among the hills of Bull Run, giving time
for Longstreet, who was fighting his way through Thoroughfare Gap
at the very point of the bayonet, to come up, while Pope was racing
around the plains of Manassas, trying to intercept Jackson's imaginary
retreat. It seems as if the one single idea impressed itself upon the
Federal commander, and that was that Jackson was trying to get away
from him. But before many days Pope found the wily "Stonewall," and
when in his embrace endeavoring to hold him, Pope found himself in the
predicament of the man who had essayed to wrestle with a bear. When
the man had downed his antagonist he had to call lustily for friends.
So Pope had to call for help to turn Jackson loose--to pull him loose.
On the 29th the forces of Pope, the "Braggart," came upon those of
Jackson hidden behind a railroad embankment on the plains of Manassas,
and a stubborn battle ensued, which lasted until late at night.
Longstreet came upon the field, but took no further part in the battle
than a heavy demonstration on the right to relieve the pressure from
Jackson. Longstreet's left, however, turned the tide of battle. Lee
turned some prisoners loose at night that had been captured during the
day, leaving the impression on their minds that he was beating a hasty
retreat. Reporting to their chief that night, the prisoners confirmed
the opinion that Pope was fooled in believing all day, that "Lee was
in full retreat," trying to avoid a battle. Pope sent flaming messages
to that effect to the authorities at Washington, and so anxious was
he lest his prey should escape, he gave orders for his troops to be
in motion early in the morning. On the 30th was fought the decisive
battle of Second Manassas, and the plains above Bull Run were
again the scene of a glorious Confederate victory, by Lee almost
annihilating the army of John Pope, "the Braggart." Had it not been
for the steady discipline, extraordinary coolness, and soldierly
behavior of Sykes and his regulars at Stone Bridge, the rout of
the Federal Army at Second Manassas would have been but little less
complete than on the fatal day just a little more than one year
before.

At Ox Hill, 1st September, Pope had to adopt the tactics of McClellan
at Malvern Hill, face about and fight for the safety of his great
ordnance and supply trains, and to allow his army a safe passage
over the Potomac. At Ox Hill, the enemy under Stephens and Kearny,
displayed extraordinary tenacity and courage, these two division
commanders throwing their columns headlong upon those of Jackson
without a thought of the danger and risks such rash acts incurred.
Both were killed in the battle. Phil. Kearney had gained a national
reputation for his enterprising warfare in California and Mexico
during the troublesome times of the Mexican War, and it was with
unfeigned sorrow and regret the two armies heard of the sad death of
this veteran hero.

During the time that all these stirring events were taking place and
just before Magruder, with McLaw's and Walker's divisions, was either
quietly lying in front of Richmond watching the army of McClellan
dwindle away, leaving by transports down the James and up the Potomac,
or was marching at a killing gait to overtake their comrades under Lee
to share with them their trials, their battles and their victories in
Maryland. Lee could not leave the Capital with all his force so long
as there was a semblance of an army threatening it.

As soon as it was discovered that Manassas was to be the real battle
ground of the campaign, and Washington instead of Richmond the
objective point, Lee lost no time in concentrating his army north of
the Rappahannock. About the middle of August McLaws, with Kershaw's,
Semmes's, Cobb's, and Barksdale's Brigades, with two brigades
under Walker and the Hampton Legion Cavalry, turned their footsteps
Northward, and bent all their energies to reach the scene of action
before the culminating events above mentioned.

At Orange C.H., on the 26th, we hastened our march, as news began to
reach us of Jackson's extraordinary movements and the excitement in
the Federal Army, occasioned by their ludicrous hunt for the "lost
Confederate." Jackson's name had reached its meridian in the minds
of the troops, and they were ever expecting to hear of some new
achievement or brilliant victory by this strange, silent, and
mysterious man. The very mystery of his movements, his unexplainable
absence and sudden reappearance at unexpected points, his audacity
in the face of the enemy, his seeming recklessness, gave unbounded
confidence to the army. The men began to feel safe at the very idea of
his disappearance and absence. While the thunder of his guns and
those of Longstreet's were sounding along the valleys of Bull Run, and
reverberating down to the Potomac or up to Washington, McLaws with his
South Carolinians, Georgians, and Mississippians was swinging along
with an elastic step between Orange C.H. and Manassas.

McClellan himself had already reached Alexandria with the last of
his troops, but by the acts of the ubiquitous Jackson his lines of
communication were cut and the Federal commander had to grope his way
in the dark for fear of running foul of his erratic enemy.

When we began nearing Manassas, we learned of the awful effect of the
two preceding days' battle by meeting the wounded. They came singly
and in groups, men marching with arms in slings, heads bandaged, or
hopping along on improvised crutches, while the wagons and ambulances
were laden with the severely wounded. In that barren country no
hospital could be established, for it was as destitute of sustenance
as the arid plains of the Arabian Desert when the great Napoleon
undertook to cross it with his beaten army. All, with the exception of
water; we had plenty of that. Passing over a part of the battlefield
about the 5th of September, the harrowing sights that were met with
were in places too sickening to admit of description. The enemy's
dead, in many places, had been left unburied, it being a veritable
instance of "leaving the dead to bury the dead." Horses in a rapid
state of decomposition literally covered the field. The air was so
impregnated with the foul stench arising from the plains where the
battle had raged fiercest, that the troops were forced to close their
nostrils while passing. Here and there lay a dead enemy overlooked in
the night of the general burial, stripped of his outer clothing,
his blackened features and glassy eyes staring upturned to the hot
September sun, while our soldiers hurried past, leaving them unburied
and unnoticed. Some lay in the beaten track of our wagon trains, and
had been run over ruthlessly by the teamsters, they not having
the time, if the inclination, to remove them. The hot sun made
decomposition rapid, and the dead that had fallen on the steep incline
their heads had left the body and rolled several paces away. All the
dead had become as black as Africans, the hot rays of the sun changing
the features quite prematurely. In the opening where the Washington
Battalion of Artillery from New Orleans had played such havoc on the
30th with the enemy's retreating columns, it resembled some great
railroad wreck--cannon and broken caissons piled in great heaps;
horses lying swollen and stiff, some harnessed, others not; broken
rammers, smashed wheels, dismounted pieces told of the desperate
struggle that had taken place. One of the strange features of a
battlefield is the absence of the carrion crow or buzzard--it matters
little as to the number of dead soldiers or horses, no vultures ever
venture near--it being a fact that a buzzard was never seen in that
part of Virginia during the war.

All was still, save the rumble of the wagon trains and the steady
tread of the soldiers. Across Bull Run and out towards Washington
McLaws followed with hasty step the track of Longstreet and Jackson.

On the 5th or 6th we rejoined at last, after a two months' separation
from the other portion of the army. Lee was now preparing to invade
Maryland and other States North, as the course of events dictated.
Pope's Army had joined that of McClellan, and the authorities at
Washington had to call on the latter to "save their Capital." When the
troops began the crossing of the now classic Potomac, a name on every
tongue since the commencement of hostilities, their enthusiasm knew
no bounds. Bands played "Maryland, My Maryland," men sang and cheered,
hats filled the air, flags waved, and shouts from fifty thousand
throats reverberated up and down the banks of the river, to be echoed
back from the mountains and die away among the hills and highlands
of Maryland. Men stopped midway in the stream and sang loudly the
cheering strains of Randall's, "Maryland, My Maryland." We were
overjoyed at rejoining the army, and the troops of Jackson,
Longstreet, and the two Hills were proud to feel the elbow touch of
such chivalrous spirits as McLaws, Kershaw, Hampton, and others in the
conflicts that were soon to take place. Never before had an occurrence
so excited and enlivened the spirits of the troops as the crossing
of the Potomac into the land of our sister, Maryland. It is said the
Crusaders, after months of toil, marching, and fighting, on their
way through the plains of Asia Minor, wept when they saw the towering
spires of Jerusalem, the Holy City, in the distance; and if ever Lee's
troops could have wept for joy, it was at the crossing of the Potomac.
But we paid dearly for this pleasure in the death of so many thousands
of brave men and the loss of so many valuable officers. General Winder
fell at Cedar Mountain, and Jackson's right hand, the brave Ewell,
lost his leg at Manassas.

The army went into camp around Frederick City, Md. From here, on the
8th, Lee issued his celebrated address to the people of Maryland, and
to those of the North generally, telling them of his entry into their
country, its cause and purpose; that it was not as a conqueror, or an
enemy, but to demand and enforce a peace between the two countries.
He clothed his language in the most conservative and entreating terms,
professing friendship for those who would assist him, and protection
to life and the property of all. He enjoined the people, without
regard to past differences, to flock to his standard and aid in the
defeat of the party and people who were now drenching the country in
blood and putting in mourning the people of two nations. The young men
he asked to join his ranks as soldiers of a just and honorable cause.
Of the old he asked their sympathies and prayers. To the President of
the Confederate States he also wrote a letter, proposing to him
that he should head his armies, and, as the chieftain of the nation,
propose a peace to the authorities at Washington from the very
threshold of their Capital. But both failed of the desired effect. The
people of the South had been led to believe that Maryland was anxious
to cast her destinies with those of her sister States, that all her
sympathies were with the people of the South, and that her young men
were anxious and only awaiting the opportunity to join the ranks as
soldiers under Lee. But these ideas and promises were all delusions,
for the people we saw along the route remained passive spectators and
disinterested witnesses to the great evolutions now taking place. What
the people felt on the "eastern shore" is not known; but the acts of
those between the Potomac and Pennsylvania above Washington indicated
but little sympathy with the Southern cause; and what enlistments were
made lacked the proportions needed to swell Lee's army to its desired
limits. Lee promised protection and he gave it. The soldiers to a man
seemed to feel the importance of obeying the orders to respect and
protect the person and property of those with whom we came in contact.
It was said of this, as well as other campaigns in the North, that "it
was conducted with kid gloves on."

While lying at Frederick City, Lee conceived the bold and perilous
project of again dividing his army in the face of his enemy, and that
enemy McClellan. Swinging back with a part of his army, he captured
the stronghold of Harper's Ferry, with its 11,000 defenders, while
with the other he held McClellan at bay in front. The undertaking was
dangerous in the extreme, and with a leader less bold and Lieutenants
less prompt and skillful, its final consummation would have been more
than problematical. But Lee was the one to propose his subalterns to
act. Harper's Ferry, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, where that
river is intersected by the Shenandoah, both cutting their way through
the cliffs and crags of the Blue Ridge, was the seat of the United
States Arsenal, and had immense stores of arms and ammunition, as well
as army supplies of every description. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
and the canal cross the mountains here on the Maryland side, both
hugging the precipitous side of the mountain and at the very edge of
the water. The approaches to the place were few, and they so defended
that capture seemed impossible, unless the heights surrounding could
be obtained, and this appeared impossible from a military point of
view. On the south side are the Loudon and Bolivar Heights. On the
other side the mountains divide into two distinct ranges and gradually
bear away from each other until they reach a distance of three miles
from crest to crest. Between the two mountains is the beautiful and
picturesque Pleasant Valley. The eastern ridge, called South Mountain,
commencing from the rugged cliff at Rivertoria, a little hamlet
nestled down between the mountains and the Potomac, runs northwards,
while the western ridge, called Elk Mountain, starts from the bluff
called Maryland Heights, overlooking the town of Harper's Ferry, and
runs nearly parallel to the other. Jackson passed on up the river with
his division, Ewell's, and A.P. Hill's, recrossed the Potomac into
Virginia, captured Martinsburg, where a number of prisoners and
great supplies were taken, and came up and took possession of Bolivar
Heights, above Harper's Ferry. Walker's Division marched back across
the Potomac and took possession of Loudon Heights, a neck of high land
between the Shenandoah and Potomac overlooking Harper's Ferry from
below, the Shenandoah being between his army and the latter place.
On the 11th McLaws moved out of Frederick City, strengthened by the
brigades of Wilcox, Featherstone, and Pryor, making seven brigades
that were to undertake the capture of the stronghold by the mountain
passes and ridges on the north. Kershaw, it will be seen, was given
the most difficult position of passage and more formidable to attack
than any of the other routes of approach. Some time after Jackson and
Walker had left on their long march, McLaws followed. Longstreet and
other portions of the army and wagon trains kept the straight road
towards Hagerstown, while Kershaw and the rest of the troops under
McLaws took the road leading southwest, on through the town of
Burkettville, and camped at the foothills of the mountain, on the east
side. Next morning Kershaw, commanding his own brigade and that of
Barksdale, took the lead, passed over South Mountain, through Pleasant
Valley, and to Elk Ridge, three miles distance, thence along the top
of Elk Ridge by a dull cattle path. The width of the crest was not
more than fifty yards in places, and along this Kershaw had to move in
line of battle, Barksdale's Brigade in reserve. Wright's Brigade moved
along a similar path on the crest of South Mountain, he taking with
him two mountain howitzers, drawn by one horse each. McLaws, as
Commander-in-Chief, with some of the other brigades, marched by the
road at the base of the mountain below Wright, while Cobb was to keep
abreast of Kershaw and Barksdale at the base of Elk Ridge. Over
such obstacles as were encountered and the difficulties and dangers
separating the different troops, a line of battle never before made
headway as did those of Kershaw and the troops under McLaws.

We met the enemy's skirmishers soon after turning to the left on Elk
Ridge, and all along the whole distance of five miles we were more
or less harassed by them. During the march of the 12th the men had to
pull themselves up precipitous inclines by the twigs and undergrowth
that lined the mountain side, or hold themselves in position by the
trees in front. At night we bivouaced on the mountain. We could see
the fires all along the mountain side and gorges through Pleasant
Valley and up on South Mountain, where the troops of Wright had camped
opposite. Early next morning as we advanced we again met the enemy's
skirmishers, and had to be continually driving them back. Away to the
south and beyond the Potomac we could hear the sound of Jackson's guns
as he was beating his way up to meet us. By noon we encountered the
enemy's breastworks, built of great stones and logs, in front of which
was an abattis of felled timber and brushwood. The Third, under Nance,
and the Seventh, under Aiken, were ordered to the charge on the right.
Having no artillery up, it was with great difficulty we approached
the fortifications. Men had to cling to bushes while they loaded and
fired. But with their usual gallantry they came down to their work.
Through the tangled undergrowth, through the abattis, and over the
breastworks they leaped with a yell. The fighting was short but
very severe. The Third did not lose any field officers, but the line
suffered considerably. The Third lost some of her most promising
officers. Of the Seventh, Captain Litchfield, of Company L, Captain
Wm. Clark, of Company G, and lieutenant J.L. Talbert fell dead, and
many others wounded.

The Second and Eighth had climbed the mountains, and advanced on
Harper's Ferry from the east. The Second was commanded by Colonel
Kennedy and the Eighth by Colonel Henagan. The enemy was posted
behind works, constructed the same as those assaulted by the Third and
Seventh, of cliffs of rocks, trunks of trees, covered by an abattis.
The regiments advanced in splendid style, and through the tangled
underbrush and over boulders they rushed for the enemy's works.
Colonel Kennedy was wounded in the early part of the engagement, but
did not leave the field. The Second lost some gallant line officers.
When the order was given to charge the color bearer of the Eighth,
Sergeant Strother, of Chesterfield, a tall, handsome man of six
feet three in height, carrying the beautiful banner presented to the
regiment by the ladies of Pee Dee, fell dead within thirty yards of
the enemy's works. All the color guard were either killed or wounded.
Captain A.T. Harllee, commanding one of the color companies, seeing
the flag fall, seized it and waving it aloft, called to the men to
forward and take the breastworks. He, too, fell desperately wounded,
shot through both thighs with a minnie ball. He then called to Colonel
Henagan, he being near at hand, to take the colors. Snatching them
from under Captain Harllee, Colonel Henagan shouted to the men to
follow him, but had not gone far before he fell dangerously wounded.
Some of the men lifted up their fallen Colonel and started to the
rear; but just at this moment his regiment began to waver and break to
the rear. The gallant Colonel seeing this ordered his men to put him
down, and commanded in a loud, clear voice, "About face! Charge and
take the works," which order was obeyed with promptness, and soon
the flags of Kershaw's Regiments waved in triumph over the enemy's
deserted works.

Walker had occupied Loudon Heights, on the Virginia side, and all
were waiting now for Jackson to finish the work assigned to him and to
occupy Bolivar Heights, thus finishing the cordon around the luckless
garrison. The enemy's cavalry under the cover of the darkness crossed
the river, hugged its banks close, and escaped. During the night a
road was cut to the top of Maryland Heights by our engineer corps and
several pieces of small cannon drawn up, mostly by hand, and placed in
such position as to sweep the garrison below. Some of Jackson's
troops early in the night began climbing around the steep cliffs
that overlook the Shenandoah, and by daylight took possession of
the heights opposite to those occupied by Walker's Division. But
all during the day, while we were awaiting the signal of Jackson's
approach, we heard continually the deep, dull sound of cannonading
in our rear. Peal after peal from heavy guns that fairly shook the
mountain side told too plainly a desperate struggle was going on in
the passes that protected our rear. General McLaws, taking Cobb's
Georgia Brigade and some cavalry, hurried back over the rugged
by-paths that had been just traversed, to find D.H. Hill and
Longstreet in a hand-to-hand combat, defending the routes on South
Mountain that led down on us by the mountain crests. The next day
orders for storming the works by the troops beyond the river were
given. McLaws and Walker had secured their position, and now were in
readiness to assist Jackson. All the batteries were opened on Bolivar
Heights, and from the three sides the artillery duel raged furiously
for a time, while Jackson's infantry was pushed to the front and
captured the works there. Soon thereafter the white flag was waving
over Harper's Ferry, "the citadel had fallen." In the capitulation
eleven thousand prisoners, seventy-two pieces of artillery, twelve
thousand stands of small arms, horses, wagons, munitions, and supplies
in abundance passed into the hands of the Confederates. Jackson's
troops fairly swam in the delicacies, provisions, and "drinkables"
constituting a part of the spoils taken, while Kershaw's and all of
McLaw's and Walker's troops, who had done the hardest of the fighting,
got none. Our men complained bitterly of this seeming injustice.
It took all day to finish the capitulation, paroling prisoners, and
dividing out the supplies; but we had but little time to rest, for
Lee's Army was now in a critical condition. McClellan, having by
accident captured Lee's orders specifying the routes to be taken by
all the troops after the fall of Harper's Ferry, knew exactly where
and when to strike. The Southern Army was at this time woefully
divided, a part being between the Potomac and the Shenandoah, Jackson
with three divisions across the Potomac in Virginia, McLaws with his
own and a part of Anderson's Division on the heights of Maryland, with
the enemy five miles in his rear at Crompton Pass cutting him off from
retreat in that direction. Lee, with the rest of his army and reserve
trains, was near Hagerstown.

On the 16th we descended the mountain, crossed the Potomac, fell in
the rear of Jackson's moving army, and marched up the Potomac some
distance, recrossed into Maryland, on our hunt for Lee and his army.
The sun poured down its blistering rays with intense fierceness upon
the already fatigued and fagged soldiers, while the dust along the
pikes, that wound over and around the numerous hills, was almost
stifling. We bivouaced for the night on the roadside, ten miles from
Antietam Creek, where Lee was at the time concentrating his army, and
where on the next day was to be fought the most stubbornly contested
and bloody battle of modern times, if we take in consideration the
number of troops engaged, its duration, and its casualties. After
three days of incessant marching and fighting over mountain heights,
rugged gorges, wading rivers--all on the shortest of rations, many
of the men were content to fall upon the bare ground and snatch a few
moments of rest without the time and trouble of a supper.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XI

Sharpsburg or Antietam--Return to Virginia.


When Lee crossed the Potomac the Department at Washington, as well
as the whole North, was thrown into consternation, and the wildest
excitement prevailed, especially in Maryland and Pennsylvania. "Where
was Lee?" "Where was he going?" were some of the questions that
flitted over the wires to McClellan from Washington, Philadelphia,
and Baltimore. But the personage about whose movements and whereabouts
seemed to excite more anxiety and superstitious dread than any or
all of Lee's Lieutenants was Jackson. The North regarded him as some
mythical monster, acting in reality the parts assigned to fiction. But
after it was learned that Lee had turned the head of his columns to
the westward, their fears were somewhat allayed. Governor Curtis, of
Pennsylvania, almost took spasms at the thought of the dreaded rebels
invading his domain, and called upon the militia "to turn out and
resist the invader." In less than three weeks after the battle of
Manassas, the North, or more correctly, New York, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, had out 250,000 State troops behind
the Susquehanna River.

The great horde of negro cooks and servants that usually followed the
army were allowed to roam at will over the surrounding country, just
the same as down in Virginia. The negroes foraged for their masters
wherever they went, and in times of short rations they were quite
an adjunct to the Commissary Department, gathering chickens, butter,
flour, etc. Even now, when so near the Free States, with nothing
to prevent them from making their escape, the negroes showed no
disposition to take advantage of their situation and conditions, their
owners giving themselves no concern whatever for their safety. On more
occasions than one their masters told them to go whenever they wished,
that they would exercise no authority over them whatever, but I do not
believe a single negro left of his own accord. Some few were lost,
of course, but they were lost like many of the soldiers--captured by
foraging parties or left broken down along the roadside. It is a fact,
though, that during the whole war the negroes were as much afraid of
the "Yankee" as the white soldier, and dreaded capture more.

It might be supposed that we fared sumptuously, being in an enemy's
country at fruit and harvest time, with great waving fields of corn,
trees bending under loads of choice ripe fruits, but such was far from
being the case. Not an apple, peach, or plum was allowed to be taken
without payment, or at the owner's consent. Fields, orchards, and
farmhouses were strictly guarded against depredations. The citizens as
a whole looked at us askance, rather passive than demonstrative. The
young did not flock to our standards as was expected, and the old men
looked on more in wonder than in pleasure, and opened their granaries
with willingness, but not with cheerfulness. They accepted the
Confederate money offered as pay for meals or provisions more as a
respect to an overpowering foe than as a compensation for their wares.
A good joke in this campaign was had at the expense of Captain Nance,
of the Third. It must be remembered that the privates played many
practical jokes upon their officers in camps, when at other times
and on other occasions such would be no joke at all, but a bit of
downright rascality and meanness--but in the army such was called
fun. A nice chicken, but too old to fry, so it must be stewed. As the
wagons were not up, cooking utensils were scarce--about one oven to
twenty-five men. Captain Nance ordered Jess to bake the biscuit at
night and put away till morning, when the chicken would be cooked and
a fine breakfast spread. Now the Captain was overflowing in good humor
and spirits, and being naturally generous-hearted, invited the
Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford, the latter his prospective
brother-in-law, down to take breakfast with him. The biscuits were
all baked nicely and piled high up on an old tin plate and put in the
Captain's tent at his head for safe keeping during the night. Early
next morning the fowl was "jumping in the pan," as the boys would say,
while the Captain made merry with the others over their discomfiture
at seeing him and his guests eating "chicken and flour bread," while
they would be "chewing crackers." All things must come to an end, of
course; so the chicken was at last "cooked to a turn," the Colonel
and the future brother-in-law are seated expectantly upon the ground
waiting the breakfast call. The Captain was assisting Jess in putting
on the finishing touches to the tempting meal, as well as doing the
honors to his distinguished guests. When all was ready he ordered Jess
to bring out the biscuits. After an unusual long wait, as it may have
appeared to Captain Nance under the condition of his appetite and the
presence of his superiors, he called out, "Why in the thunder don't
you bring out the biscuits, Jess?" Still blankets were overturned and
turned again, knapsacks moved for the fourth or fifth time, yet Jess
hunted faithfully in that little four by six tent for the plate of
biscuits. "Why in the h----l don't you come on with the biscuits,
Jess?" with a pronounced accent on the word "Jess." Meanwhile Jess
poked his black, shaggy head through the tent door, the white of his
eyes depicting the anguish of his mind, his voice the despair he felt,
answered: "Well, Marse John, before God Almighty, ef somebody ain't
tooken stole dem bisket." Tableaux!! Twenty-five years afterwards at a
big revival meeting at Bethel Church, in Newberry County, a great many
"hard cases," as they were called, were greatly impressed with the
sermons, and one especially seemed on the point of "getting religion,"
as it is called. But he seemed to be burdened with a great weight.
At the end of the service he took out Captain Nance and expressed
a desire to make a confession. "Did you ever know who stole your
biscuits that night at Frederick City?" "No." "Well, I and Bud
Wilson--" But Captain Nance never allowed John Mathis to finish, for
as the light of that far-off truth dawned upon him and seemed to
bring back the recollection of that nice brown chicken and the missing
biscuits he said: "No, I'll never forgive you; go home and don't try
for religion any longer, for a crime as heinous as yours is beyond
forgiveness. Oh, such depravity!" It appears since that two of his
most intimate friends had robbed him just for the fun they would have
over his disappointment in the morning and the chagrin the Captain
would experience, but the biscuits were too tempting to keep.

On the morning of the 17th we were yet ten miles from Sharpsburg,
where Lee had drawn up his army around that little hamlet and along
Antietam Creek, to meet the shock of battle that McClellan was
preparing to give. The battleground chosen was in a bend of the
Potomac, Lee's left resting on the river above and around to the front
to near the point where the Antietam enters the Potomac on the right.
The little sluggish stream between the two armies, running at the base
of the heights around and beyond Sharpsburg, was not fordable for some
distance above the Potomac, and only crossed by stone bridges at the
public roads. Up near Lee's left it could be crossed without bridges.
The Confederate Army now lay in a small compass in this bend of the
river, the Federal Army extending in his front from the river above
to the Antietam below, just above its junction with the Potomac. That
stream rolled in a deep, strong current in the rear of Lee.

Even before the sun had spread its rays over the heights of this
quaint old Quaker town sufficient to distinguish objects a few feet
away, the guns were booming along the crossings of Antietam. With a
hurried breakfast Kershaw took up the line of march along the dusty
roads in the direction of the firing, which had begun by daylight
and continued to rage incessantly during the day and till after dark,
making this the most bloody battle for the men engaged fought during
the century. In its casualties--the actual dead upon the field and
the wounded--for the time of action, it exceeded all others before
or since. When we neared General Lee's headquarters, some distance in
rear of the town, D.H. Hill and part of Jackson's forces were already
in the doubtful toils of a raging conflict away to our left and front,
where Hooker was endeavoring to break Lee's left or press it back upon
the river. Barksdale's Brigade, of our division, was in front, and
when near the battlefield formed in line of battle. Kershaw formed his
lines with the Third, Colonel Nance, in front, nearly parallel with a
body of woods, near the Dunker Church, and left of the road leading to
it, the enemy being about five hundred yards in our front. The other
regiments were formed in line on our left as they came up, Colonel
Aiken, of the Seventh, Lieutenant Colonel Hoole, of the Eighth, and
Colonel Kennedy, of the Second, in the order named, Barksdale moving
in action before our last regiment came fairly in line. Sumner, of the
Federal Army, was pushing his forces of the Second Army Corps forward
at this point of the line in columns of brigades, having crossed the
Antietam at the fords above. Sedgwick, of his leading division, had
already formed in line of battle awaiting our assault. One of the
Georgia Brigades of the division formed on Kershaw's left, while the
other acted as reserve, and a general advance was ordered against
the troops in the woods. The battle was in full blast now along the
greater part of the line. General Longstreet, speaking of the time
Kershaw came in action, says: "The fire spread along both lines from
left to right, across the Antietam, and back again, and the thunder
of the big guns became continuous and increased to a mighty volume. To
this was presently added the sharper rattle of musketry, and the surge
of mingling sound sweeping up and down the field was multiplied and
confused by the reverberations from the rocks and hills. And in the
great tumult of sound, which shook the air and seemed to shatter the
cliffs and ledges above the Antietam, bodies of the facing foes were
pushed forward to closer work, and soon added the clash of steel to
the thunderous crash of cannon shot. Under this storm, now Kershaw
advanced his men. Through the open, on through the woods, with a solid
step these brave men went, while the battery on their left swept their
ranks with grape and canister." In the woods the brigade was moved to
the left to evade this storm of shot and shell. The Mississippians on
the left were now reforming their broken ranks. Colonel Aiken, of the
Seventh, had fallen badly wounded in the first charge, and the command
was given to Captain White. This was the first battle in a fair field
in which the new commanders of the regiments had had an opportunity to
show their mettle and ability, and well did they sustain themselves.
Savage Station and Maryland Heights were so crowded with underbrush
and vision so obscured that they were almost battles in the dark.
Colonel Kennedy, of the Second, and Lieutenant Colonel Hoole, of
the Eighth, were handling their men in splendid style, the Seventh
changing its commander three times while in battle. Colonel Nance
changed his front in the lull of battle, and moved under the friendly
cover of a hill, on which was posted the battery that had been graping
the field so desperately during the first advance. The brigade had
now passed through the field of waving corn, over the rail fence, and
driven Sedgwick from his position. Barksdale, who had been staggered
by the first impact, was now moving up in beautiful harmony; the
steady, elastic step of his men, the waving banners, the officers
marching in the rear, their bright blades glittering in the sunlight,
made a most imposing spectacle. Up the slope, among the straggling
oaks, they bent their steps, while the grape, shell, and canister
thinned their ranks to such an extent that when the enemy's infantry
was met, their galling fire forced Barksdale to retire in great
disorder. The enemy's troops were being hurried ever the creek and
forming in our front. Kershaw moved forward in line with those on the
right to meet them, and swept everything from his front. The enemy
had been massing along the whole line, and when Kershaw reached the
farthest limit of the open field he was met by overwhelming numbers.
Now the fight waged hot and fierce, but the line on the right having
retired left the right flank of the Third Regiment entirely exposed
both to the fire of the artillery and infantry, forcing the brigade to
retire to its former ground, leaving, however, the second commander of
the Seventh dead upon the field. It was here the famous scout and aide
to General Stuart, Captain W.D. Parley, killed at the Rappahannock,
came to visit his brother, Lieutenant Parley, of the Third. He was
made doubly famous by the fiction of Captain Estine Cooke.

McClellan was now growing desperate, his lines making no headway
either on the left or centre. His forces were held at bay on our right
across the Antietam, having failed to force a crossing at the bridges.
Jackson and Hill, on the left, were being sorely pressed by the corps
of Mansfield and Hooker, but still doggedly held their ground. Jackson
had left the division of A.P. Hill at Harper's Ferry to settle the
negotiations of surrender, and had but a comparative weak force to
meet this overwhelming number of two army corps. Again and again the
Confederate ranks were broken, but as often reformed. Stuart stood on
the extreme left, with his body of cavalry, but the condition of the
field was such as to prevent him from doing little more service than
holding the flanks. General Toombs, with his Georgia Brigade, and
some detached troops, with two batteries, held the lower fords all day
against the whole of Burnside's corps, notwithstanding the imperative
orders of his chief "to cross and strike the Confederates in the
rear." Assaults by whole divisions were repeatedly made against the
small force west of the stream, but were easily repulsed by Toombs
and his Georgians. In all probability these unsuccessful attacks would
have continued during the day, had not the Federals found a crossing,
unknown to the Confederate Generals, between the bridges. When the
crossing was found the whole slope on the western side of the stream
was soon a perfect sheet of blue. So sure were they of victory that
they called upon the Confederates to "throw down their arms and
surrender." This was only answered by a volley and a charge with the
bayonet point. But there was a factor in the day's battle not yet
taken account of, and which was soon to come upon the field like a
whirlwind and change the course of events. A.P. Hill, who had been
left at Harper's Ferry, was speeding towards the bloody field with all
the speed his tired troops could make. Gregg, Branch, and Archer, of
Hill's Division, were thrown into the combat at this most critical
moment, after the enemy had forced a crossing at all points and were
pushing Lee backwards towards the Potomac. Short and decisive was
the work. An advance of the whole right was made. The enemy first
staggered, then reeled, and at last pressed off the field. The
batteries lost in the early part of the day were retaken, and the
enemy was glad to find shelter under his heavy guns on the other side
of the Antietam. But the battle on the left was not so favorable.
Jackson's, D.H. Hill's, and McLaw's troops, jaded and fagged by the
forced marches in the morning, their ranks woefully thinned by the
day's continuous fighting, their ammunition sadly exhausted, could do
no more than hold their ground for the remainder of the day. The enemy
now being re-enforced by Porter's Corps, his batteries enfilading our
ranks. McLaws was forced to move Kershaw and the troops on his right
to the left and rear, nearly parallel to the line first formed during
the day. There had been no material advantage on either side. On
the right the enemy had crossed the Antietam, it is true, but to a
position no better than the night before. Our left and centre were
bent back in somewhat more acute angle than on the morning, but to an
equally good position. Not many prisoners were taken on either side in
proportion to the magnitude of the battle. The enemy's loss in killed
and wounded was a little more than ours, but so far as the day's
battle goes, the loss and gain were about equal. It is true Lee lost
thousands of good and brave troops whose places could scarcely be
filled; yet he inflicted such punishment upon the enemy that it took
him months to recuperate. The moral effect was against us and in favor
of the enemy It had a decided bearing upon the coming elections at the
North, and a corresponding depression upon the people at the South.
The Southern Army, from its many successive victories in the past, had
taught themselves to believe that they were simply invincible upon the
field of battle, and the people of the South looked upon the strategy
and military skill of Lee and Jackson as being far beyond the cope of
any Generals the North could produce. But this battle taught the South
a great lesson in many ways. It demonstrated the fact that it was
possible to be matched in generalship, it was possible to meet men
upon the field equal in courage and endurance to themselves. But
it also proved to what point of forbearance and self-sacrifice the
Southern soldier could go when the necessity arose, and how faithful
and obedient they would remain to their leaders under the severest of
tests. The Confederate soldier had been proven beyond cavil the equal
in every respect to that of any on the globe. After fighting all day,
without food and with little water, they had to remain on the field
of battle, tired and hungry, until details returned to the wagons and
cooked their rations. It may be easily imagined that both armies were
glad enough to fall upon the ground and rest after such a day of blood
and carnage, with the smoke, dust, and weltering heat of the day.
Before the sound of the last gun had died away in the distance one
hundred thousand men were stretched upon the ground fast asleep,
while near a third of that number were sleeping their last sleep
or suffering from the effects of fearful wounds. The ghouls of the
battlefield are now at their wanton work. Stealthily and cautiously
they creep and grope about in the dark to hunt the body of an enemy,
or even a comrade, and strip or rob him of his little all. Prayers,
groans, and curses mingle, but the robber of the battlefield continues
his work. Friends seek lost comrades here and there, a brother looks,
perhaps, in vain for a brother.

The loss in some of our regiments was appalling, especially the
Seventh. Two regimental commanders, of that command had fallen,
Colonel Aiken and Captain White, leaving Captain Hard, one of the
junior Captains, in command. The regiment lost in the two battles of
Maryland Heights and Sharpsburg, two hundred and fifty-three out of
four hundred and forty-six.

General McClellan, in his testimony before the War Investigating
Committee, says: "We fought pretty close upon one hundred thousand
men. Our forces were, total in action, eighty-seven thousand one
hundred and sixty-four." Deducting the cavalry division not in action
of four thousand three hundred and twenty, gives McClellan eighty-two
thousand eight hundred and forty-four, infantry and artillery.

General Lee says in his report: "The battle was fought by less than
forty thousand men of all arms on our side." The actual numbers were:

    Jackson, including A.P. Hill ...... 10,000
    Longstreet ........................ 12,000
    D.H. Hill and Walker ............... 7,000
    Cavalry ............................ 8,000
                                        ______
                                        37,000

Deduct four thousand cavalry on detached service and not on the field
from Lee's force, and we have of infantry, artillery, and cavalry,
thirty-three thousand. Jackson only had four thousand on the left
until the arrival of A.P. Hill, and withstood the assaults of forty
thousand till noon; when re-enforced by Hill he pressed the enemy from
the field.

The next day was employed in burying the dead and gathering up the
wounded. Those who could travel were started off across the Potomac on
foot, in wagons and ambulances, on the long one hundred miles march to
the nearest railroad station, while those whose wounds would not admit
of their removal were gathered in houses in the town and surgeons
detailed to remain and treat them. On the morning of the 19th some
hours before day the rumbling of the wagon trains told of our march
backward. We crossed the Potomac, Longstreet leading, and Jackson
bringing up the rear. A great many that had been broken down by the
rapid marches and the sun's burning rays from the time of our crossing
into Maryland till now, were not up at the battle of the 17th, thus
weakening the ranks of Lee to nearly one-half their real strength,
taking those on detached service into consideration also. But these
had all come up and joined their ranks as we began crossing the
Potomac. None wished to be left behind; even men so badly wounded that
at home they would be confined to their beds marched one hundred miles
in the killing heat. Hundreds of men with their arms amputated left
the operating table to take up their long march. Some shot through the
head, body, or limbs preferred to place the Potomac between themselves
and the enemy.

Lee entered Maryland with sixty-one thousand men all told, counting
Quartermaster and Commissary Departments, the teamsters, and those in
the Medical and Engineer Department. Lee lost thirteen thousand
six hundred and eighty-seven men killed and wounded on the field
of battle, and several thousand in capture and broken down by the
wayside, most of the latter, however, reporting for duty in a few
days.

McClellan had of actual soldiers in the lines of battle and reserve
eighty-seven thousand one hundred and sixty-four, his losses in battle
being twelve thousand four hundred and ten, making his casualties one
thousand two hundred and seventy-seven less than Lee's. The prisoners
and cannon captured in action were about equal during the twelve days
north of the Potomac, while at Harper's Ferry Lee captured sufficient
ammunition to replenish that spent in battle, and horses and wagons
enough to fully equip the whole army, thousands of improved small
arms, seventy-two cannon and caissons, and eleven thousand prisoners.
While the loss of prisoners, ammunition, horses, ordnance, etc., did
not materially cripple the North, our losses in prisoners and killed
and wounded could hardly be replaced at that time. So in summing up
the results it is doubtful whether or not the South gained any lasting
benefit from the campaign beyond the Potomac. But Lee was forced by
circumstances after the enemy's disaster at Manassas to follow up his
victories and be guided by the course of events, and in that direction
they lead. McClellan offered the gauge of battle; Lee was bound to
accept. The North claimed Sharpsburg or Antietam as a victory, and the
world accepted it as such. This gave Lincoln the opportunity he had
long waited for to write his famous Emancipation Proclamation. It was
not promulgated, however, till the first of January following. Among
military critics this battle would be given to Lee, even while the
campaign is voted a failure. It is an axiom in war that when one army
stands upon the defensive and is attacked by the other, if the latter
fails to force the former from his position, then it is considered a
victory for the army standing on the defensive. (See Lee at Gettysburg
and Burnsides at Fredericksburg.) While Lee was the invader, he stood
on the defensive at Sharpsburg or Antietam, and McClellan did no more
than press his left and centre back. Lee held his battle line firmly,
slept on the field, buried his dead the next day, then deliberately
withdrew. What better evidence is wanting to prove Lee not defeated.
McClellan claimed no more than a drawn fight.

On the 19th the enemy began pressing our rear near Sheperdstown,
and A.P. Hill was ordered to return and drive them off. A fierce and
sanguinary battle took place at Bateler's Ford, between two portions
of the armies, A.P. Hill gaining a complete victory, driving the enemy
beyond the river. The army fell back to Martinsburg and rested a few
days. Afterwards they were encamped at Winchester, where they remained
until the opening of the next campaign.

Before closing the account of the First Maryland campaign, I wish
to say a word in regard to the Commissary and Quartermaster's
Departments. Much ridicule, and sometimes abuse, has been heaped upon
the heads of those who composed the two Departments. I must say, in
all justice, that much of this was ill timed and ill advised. It
must be remembered that to the men who constituted these Departments
belonged the duty of feeding, clothing, and furnishing the
transportation for the whole army. Often without means or ways, they
had to invent them. In an enemy's country, surrounded by many dangers,
in a hostile and treacherous community, and mostly unprotected except
by those of their own force, they had to toil night and day, through
sunshine and rain, that the men who were in the battle ranks could be
fed and clothed. They had no rest. When the men were hungry they must
be fed; when others slept they had to be on the alert. When sick or
unable to travel a means of transportation must be furnished. The
Commissary and the Quartermaster must provide for the sustenance
of the army. Kershaw's Brigade was doubly blessed in the persons
of Captain, afterwards Major W.D. Peck and Captain Shell, of the
Quartermaster Department, and Captain R.N. Lowrance, and Lieutenant
J.N. Martin, of the Commissary. The troops never wanted or suffered
while it was in the power of those officers to supply them.

Major Peck was a remarkable man in many respects. He certainly could
be called one of nature's noblemen. Besides being a perfect high-toned
gentleman of the old school, he was One of the most efficient officers
in the army, and his popularity was universal His greatest service
was in the Quartermaster's Department, but he served for awhile in the
ranks in Captain Wm. Wallace's Company, Second Regiment, as Orderly
Sergeant--served in that capacity at the bombardment of Fort Sumpter
and the first battle of Manassas. On the death of Quartermaster W.S.
Wood, Colonel Kershaw appointed him his Regimental Quartermaster to
fill the place made vacant by Captain Wood, in July, 1861, with the
rank of Captain. When Kershaw was made Brigadier General, on the
resignation of General Bonham, he had him promoted to Brigade
Quartermaster with the rank of Major. On the resignation of Major
McLaws, Division Quartermaster, he was made Division Quartermaster in
his stead, and held this position during the war. He received his last
appointment only one month before his illustrious chief, J.B. Kershaw,
was made Major General. It seems a strange coincidence in the rise of
these two men, who entered the service together--each took different
arms, but rose in parallel grades to the highest position in the
division. Major Peck was seldom absent from duty, and a complaint
against him was never heard. He was a bold, gallant officer, and
when in the discharge of his duties he laid aside every other
consideration. Major Peck had a very striking appearance, tall, erect,
and dignified, and upon horseback he was a perfect cavalier. It
might be truly said he was one of the handsomest men in the army. His
commanding appearance attracted attention wherever he went, and he
was often taken for a general officer. For cordiality, generosity, and
unselfishness he was almost without a rival. It required no effort
on his part to display the elegance of his character--his gentlemanly
qualities and deportment were as natural to him as it is for the
"sparks to fly upward." He was born in Columbia April 4th, 1833, and
died there April 25th, 1870.

The mere fact of Captain G.W. Shell being appointed to such a
responsible position as Quartermaster by so strict a disciplinarian as
Colonel Nance is a sufficient guarantee of his qualifications. Captain
Shell entered the army as a private in the "State Guards," from
Laurens, served one year as such, then as Regimental Quartermaster
with rank of Captain for a part of two years. Then that office in the
army was abolished and put in charge of a non-commissioned officer.
Appreciating his great services while serving his regiment, the
officials were loath to dispense with his services, and gave him
a position in the brigade department and then in the division as
assistant to Major Peck, retaining his rank. All that has been said of
Major Peck can be truly said of Captain Shell. He was an exceptional
executive officer, kind and courteous to those under his orders,
obedient and respectful to his superiors. He was ever vigilant and
watchful of the wants of the troops, and while in the abandoned
sections of Virginia, as well as in Maryland and Pennsylvania,
he displayed the greatest activity in gathering supplies for the
soldiers. He was universally loved and admired. He was of the same age
of Captain Peck, born and reared in Laurens County, where he returned
after the close of the war and still resides, enjoying all the
comforts emanating from a well spent life. For several terms he filled
the office of Clerk of the Court of his native county, and served two
terms in the United States Congress. He was the leading spirit in the
great reform movement that overspread the State several years ago, in
which Ben Tillman was made Governor, and South Carolina's brightest
light, both political and military, General Wade Hampton, was retired
to private life.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL D. WYATT AIKEN, OF THE SEVENTH.

As Colonel Aiken saw but little more service with the First Brigade,
I will here give a short sketch of his life. I have made it a rule in
this work, as far as practicable, to give a sketch at the end of
the officer's service in the Brigade, but in this case I make an
exception.

Colonel Aiken was born in Winnsboro, Fairfield County, S.C., March
17th, 1828. He graduated at the South Carolina College in the class
of 1849. Was professor at Mt. Zion College for two years, and married
Miss Mattie Gaillard in 1852, settling at "Bellevue" Farm, near
Winnsboro. He became county editor of Winnsboro News and Herald, and
was married the second time to Miss Smith, of Abbeville, and removed
to that county in 1858. Was fond of agriculture, and was editor of
various periodicals devoted to that and kindred pursuits.

In 1861 he volunteered as a private in the Seventh South Carolina
Volunteers, and was appointed Adjutant of that regiment. At the
reorganization of the regiment in 1862 he was elected Colonel to
succeed Colonel Bacon, who declined re-election. At Sharpsburg he
received a wound in the body, which for a long time was feared to be
fatal. He, however, returned in June, 1863, and commanded his regiment
in the Gettysburg battle, after which he was deemed unable for further
active service in the field, and was appointed "commandant of the
post" at Macon, Ga. This position he held for one year, and then
discharged from the army as being unfit for further service.

After the war he was selected for three terms to the State
Legislature. He was "Master of State Grange Patrons of Husbandry," and
was twice President of the "State Agricultural and Mechanical Society
of South Carolina." He was chosen Democratic standard bearer for
Congress in the memorable campaign of 1876, and continually re-elected
thereafter until his death, which occurred on April 6th, 1887.

Colonel Aiken was also one of nature's noblemen, bold, fearless, and
incorruptible. He did as much, or perhaps more, than any of the many
great and loyal men of that day to release South Carolina from the
coils of the Republican ring that ruled the State during the dark days
of Reconstruction.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XII

From Winchester to Fredericksburg.


The brigade remained in camp in a beautiful grove, about four miles
beyond Winchester, until the last of October. Here the regiments were
thoroughly organized and put in good shape for the next campaign. Many
officers and non-commissioned officers had been killed, or totally
disabled in the various battles, and their places had to be filled by
election and promotion. All officers, from Colonel down, went up
by regular grades, leaving nothing but the Third Lieutenants to be
elected. The non-commissioned officers generally went up by promotion
also, where competent, or the Captains either promoted them by regular
grade or left the selection to the men of the company. We had lost
no field officer killed, except Lieutenant Colonel Garlington, of the
Third, and Major Rutherford was promoted to that position, and Captain
R.C. Maffett made Major. Several Lieutenants in all the regiments were
made Captains, and many new Lieutenants were chosen from the ranks, so
much so that the rolls of the various companies were very materially
changed, since the reorganization in April last. Many of the wounded
had returned, and large bodies of men had come in from the conscript
camps since the reorganization. The Seventh Regiment had lost heavier,
in officers and men, than any of the regiments. Colonel Aiken was
wounded at Sharpsburg, and never returned only for a short time,
but the regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Bland until
the resignation of Colonel Aiken, except when the former was himself
disabled by wounds.

Camp guards were kept up around the brigade, and regimental pickets,
some two or three miles distant, about every two weeks. We had company
and regimental drills about four times per week, and, in fact, we
drilled almost every day, now that we were not on the actual march.
The turn-pike road from Winchester to Staunton, ninety miles, for
weeks was perfectly lined with soldiers returning at the expiration
of their furloughs, or discharged from hospital, and our convalescent
sick and wounded from the Maryland campaign going homeward.

On the 27th or 28th of October orders came to move. Longstreet took
the lead, with McLaws' and Anderson's Divisions in front. General Lee
had divided his army into two corps; the Department of Richmond having
created the rank of Lieutenant General, raised Longstreet and Jackson
to that grade in Lee's Army. Longstreet's Corps consisted of McLaws'
Division, composed of Kershaw's, Barksdale's, Cobb's, and Semmes'
Brigades, and Anderson's, Hood's, Pickett's, and Ransom's Divisions.
Jackson's Corps consisted of D.H. Hill's, A.P. Hill's, Ewell's, and
Taliaferro's Divisions. We marched by way of Chester Gap over the Blue
Ridge, and came into camp near Culpepper on the 9th of November.
The enemy had crossed the Potomac and was moving southward, by easy
stages, on the east side of the mountain.

On the 5th of October General McClellan was removed from the command
of the Army of the Potomac and Major General Burnsides, a corps
commander, was made Commander-in-Chief in his stead. This change was
universally regretted by both armies, for the Northern Army had great
confidence in the little "Giant," while no officer in the Union Army
was ever held in higher esteem by the Southern soldiers than little
"Mack," as General McClellan was called. They admired him for his
unsurpassed courage, generalship, and his kind and gentlemanly
deportment, quite in contrast to the majority of Union commanders.

General Burnsides, who had succeeded McClellan, now divided his army
by corps in three grand divisions--General Sumner, commanding the
Right Grand Division, composed of the Second and Ninth Corps; General
Hooker, the center, with the Third and Fifth Corps; and General
Franklin, the left, with the First and Sixth Corps. So both armies
had undergone considerable changes, and were now moving along on
converging lines towards a meeting point to test the mettle of the new
commanders and organizations.

We remained in camp around Culpepper until the morning of the 18th
of November, when the march was resumed, by McLaws taking the road
leading to Fredericksburg, headed by General Longstreet in person, and
another division south along the line of the railroad in the direction
of the North Anna River, the other divisions of the corps remaining
stationary, awaiting developments. Jackson had not yet crossed the
Blue Ridge, and General Lee was only waiting and watching the move of
Burnsides before concentrating his army at any particular place. It
was unknown at this time whether the Federal commander would take the
route by way of Fredericksburg, or follow in a straight course and
make the North Anna his base of operations. The cavalry, making a
demonstration against the enemy's outposts, found the Union Army had
left and gone in the direction of Fredericksburg. Then Lee began the
concentration of his army by calling Jackson on the east side of the
Blue Ridge and Longstreet down on the south side of the Rappahannock.
We crossed the north fork of the Rappahannock at a rocky ford, two
miles above the junction of the Rapidan and just below the railroad
bridge, on a cold, blustery day, the water blue and cold as ice
itself, coming from the mountain springs of the Blue Ridge, not many
miles away. Some of the men took off their shoes and outer garments,
while others plunged in just as they marched from the road. Men
yelled, cursed, and laughed. Some climbed upon the rocks to allow
their feet and legs to warm up in the sun's rays, others held up one
foot for awhile, then the other, to allow the air to strike their
naked shins and warm them. Oh! it was dreadfully cold, but such fun!
The water being about three feet deep, we could easily see the rocks
and sands in the bottom. The men who had pulled off their shoes and
clothing suffered severely.

There was a man in my company who was as brave and as good a soldier
as ever lived, but beyond question the most awkward man in the army.
His comrades called him "mucus," as some one said that was the Latin
for "calf." This man would fall down any time and anywhere. Standing
in the road or resting on his rifle, he would fall--fall while
marching, or standing in his tent. I saw him climb on top of a box car
and then fall without the least provocation backwards into a ten-foot
ditch. But in all his falling he was never known to hurt himself, but
invariably blamed somebody for his fall. When he fell from the car,
and it standing perfectly still, he only said: "I wish the d----n car
would go on or stand still, one or the other." The road leading to
the river makes a bend here, and between the bend and river bank an
abutment of logs, filled in with stone to the height of fifteen
feet, was built to prevent the water from encroaching upon the land.
"Mucus," for no cause whatever that anyone could learn, quit the ranks
and walked out on this abutment and along down its side, keeping
near the edge of the water, but fifteen feet above, when, to the
unaccountability of all, he fell headlong down into the river. The
water at this point was not more than three or four feet deep, but
deep enough to drench him from head to foot. He rose up, and as usual,
quick to place the blame, said: "If I knew the d----n man who pushed
me off in the water, I'd put a ball in him." No one had been in twenty
feet of him. All the consolation he got was "how deep was the
water, 'Mucus'?" "Was the water cold?" But awkward as he was, he was
quick-witted and good at repartee. He answered the question "how deep
was the water?" "Deep enough to drown a d----n fool, if you don't
believe it, go down like I did and try it."

When we reached the other side we were told "no use to put on your
shoes or clothing, another river one mile ahead," the Rapidan here
joining the Rappahannock. Those who had partly disrobed put their
clothing under their arms, shoes in their hands, and went hurrying
along after the column in advance. These men, with their bare limbs,
resembled the Scotch Highlanders in the British Army, but their
modesty was put to the test; when about half-way to the other stream
they passed a large, old-fashioned Virginia residence, with balconies
above and below, and these filled with ladies of the surrounding
country, visitors to see the soldiers pass. It was an amusing sight no
less to the ladies of the house than to the men, to witness this long
line of soldiers rushing by with their coat-tails beating a tattoo
on their naked nether limbs. The other stream was not so wide, but
equally as cold and deep.

General Kershaw, sitting on his horse at this point, amusing himself
at the soldiers' plight, undertook to encourage and soothe their
ruffled feelings by giving words of cheer. "Go ahead, boys," remarked
the General, "and don't mind this; when I was in Mexico--" "But,
General, it wasn't so cold in Mexico, nor did they fight war in
winter, and a horse's legs are not so tender as a man's bare shins,"
were some of the answers given, and all took a merry laugh and went
scudding away.

Passing over, we entered the famous Wilderness, soon to be made
renowned by the clash of arms, where Lee and Hooker met and shook
the surrounding country with the thunder of their guns a few months
afterwards, and where Grant made the "echoes ring" and reverberate
on the 5th and 6th of May, the year following. We found, too, the
"Chancellor House," this lone, large, dismal-looking building standing
alone in this Wilderness and surrounded on all sides by an almost
impenetrable forest of scrubby oaks and tangled vines. The house was
a large, old-fashioned hotel, situated on a cleared plateau, a
piazza above and below, reaching around on three sides. It was called
"Chancellorsville," but where the "ville" came in, or for what the
structure was ever built, I am unable to tell. This place occupied
a prominent place in the picture of the Battle of Chancellorsville,
being for a time the headquarters of General Hooker, and around which
the greater part of his cannon were placed. We took up camp in rear of
Fredericksburg, about two miles south of the city.

While here we received into our brigade the Fifteenth South Carolina
Regiment, commanded by Colonel DeSaussure, and the Third Battalion,
composed of eight companies and commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Rice.
As these are new additions, it will be necessary to give a brief
sketch of their organization and movements prior to their connection
with Kershaw's Brigade.

Soon after the battle of Bull Run or First Manassas, the Richmond
Government made a call upon the different States for a new levy to
meet the call of President Lincoln for three hundred thousand more
troops to put down the Rebellion. The companies that were to compose
the Fifteenth Regiment assembled at the old camping ground at
Lightwood Knot Spring, three miles above Columbia. They were:

    Company A----Captain Brown, Richland.
    Company B----Captain Gist, Union.
    Company C----Captain Lewie, Lexington.
    Company D----Captain Warren, Kershaw.
    Company E----Captain Davis, Fairfield.
    Company F----Captain Boyd, Union.
    Company G----Captain McKitchen, Williamsburg.
    Company H----Captain Farr, Union.
    Company I----Captain Koon, Lexington.
    Company K----Captain Bird, ----

(These names are given from the best information obtainable and may
not be exactly correct, but as the fortunes of war soon made radical
changes it is of little moment at this late date.) These companies
elected for their field officers:

    Colonel----Wm. DeSaussure.
    Lieutenant Colonel----Joseph Gist.
    Major ----

The regiment remained in camp undergoing a thorough course of
instruction until Hilton Head, on the coast of South Carolina, was
threatened; then the Fifteenth was ordered in the field and hurried to
that place, reaching it on the afternoon of the day before the battle
of that name. The Fifteenth, with the Third Battalion and other State
troops, was placed under the command of Brigadier General Drayton,
also of South Carolina, and put in position. The next day, by some
indiscretion of General Drayton, or so supposed at that time, the
Fifteenth was placed in such position as to be greatly exposed to the
heavy fire from the war vessels in the harbor. This caused the loss of
some thirty or forty in killed and wounded. The slaughter would have
been much greater had it not been for the courage and quick perception
of Colonel DeSaussure in maneuvering them into a place of safety.
After the battle the regiment lay for some time about Hardeesville and
Bluffton doing guard and picket duty, still keeping up their course
of daily drills. They were then sent to James Island, and were held in
reserve at the battle of Secessionville. After the great Seven Days'
Battles around Richmond it and the Third Battalion were ordered to
Virginia and placed with a regiment from Alabama and one from Georgia
in a brigade under General Drayton. They went into camp below Richmond
as a part of a division commanded by Brigadier General D.R. Jones, in
the corps commanded by Longstreet. When Lee began his march northward
they broke camp on the 13th of August, and followed the lead of
Longstreet to Gordonsville, and from thence on to Maryland. They were
on the field during the bloody battle of Second Manassas, but not
actually engaged, being held in the reserve line on the extreme right.
At South Mountain they received their first baptism of fire in a
battle with infantry. On the memorable 17th of September at Sharpsburg
they were confirmed as veteran soldiers in an additional baptism of
blood. However, as yet considered raw and undisciplined troops, they
conducted themselves on each of these trying occasions like trained
soldiers. Colonel DeSaussure was one of the most gallant and efficient
officers that South Carolina ever produced. He was a Mexican War
veteran and a born soldier. His attainments were such as fitted him
for much higher position in the service than he had yet acquired. Had
not the fortunes of war laid him low not many miles distant one year
later, he would have shown, no doubt, as one of the brightest stars in
the constellation of great Generals that South Carolina ever produced.
After the return to Virginia Drayton's Brigade was broken up, and the
Fifteenth and Third Battalion were assigned to the brigade of General
J.B. Kershaw, and began its service in that organization on the
heights of Fredericksburg.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE THIRD BATTALION.

I am indebted to Colonel W.G. Rice for a brief sketch of the Third
Battalion, or as it was more generally known in the army, "James'
Battalion," after its first commander, (who fell at South Mountain,
Md.,) up to the time of joining the brigade:

"On the fall of Hilton Head and the occupation of Port Royal by the
enemy, the Governor of South Carolina issued a call for volunteers for
State service. Among the companies offering their services were four
from Laurens County. Lieutenant Geo. S. James having resigned from
the United States Army, and being personally known to several of the
officers of said four companies, they united in forming a battalion
and electing him Major. The companies became known thereafter as:

   "Company A--Captain W.G. Rice.
    Company B--Captain J.G. Williams.
    Company C--Captain J.M. Shumate.
    Company D--Captain G.M. Gunnels.

"All of Laurens County, the organization being effected at Camp
Hampton, near Columbia, November, 1861, and where Major James assumed
command. In December the battalion was ordered to Charleston, and
from thence to White Point, near the coast. Here the battalion
was strengthened by three more companies, making it now a compound
battalion and entitled to a Lieutenant Colonel and Major. The
additional companies were:

   "Company E, from Laurens--Captain M.M. Hunter.
    Company F, from Richland--Captain D.B. Miller.
    Company G, from Fairfield--Captain A.P. Irby.

"Major James was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain W.G.
Rice, as senior Captain, made Major, while Lieutenant J.M. Townsend
was raised to the grade of Captain in place of Major Rice.

"In April, 1862, a reorganization was ordered, and the troops enlisted
in the Confederate States' service. Both Colonel James and Major Rice
were elected to their former positions, with the following company
commanders:

   "J.M. Townsend--Captain Company A.
    O.A. Watson--Captain Company B.
    William Huggins--Captain Company C.
    G.M. Gunnels--Captain Company D.
    W.H. Fowler--Captain Company E.
    D.B. Miller--Captain Company F.
    B.M. Whitener--Captain Company G.

"Early in June the battalion was ordered to James' Island, arriving
there two days before the battle of Secessionville, but not
participating in it. A short while afterwards it was ordered to
Richmond, and there remained until the great forward movement of
General Lee's, which resulted in the Second Manassas Battle and the
invasion of Maryland. The battalion was now brigaded with Philip's
Georgia Legion, Fiftieth and Fifty-first Georgia, and Fifteenth South
Carolina Regiments, and commanded by Brigadier General Drayton. The
battalion was under fire at Waterloo Bridge and at Thoroughfare Gap,
and the brigade held the extreme right of Lee's Army at the Second
Manassas Battle, but was not seriously engaged. The topography of the
country was such that while the incessant roar of artillery could be
distinctly heard during the day, no infantry could be heard, and the
extreme right did not hear of the result of the great battle until
General Robert Toombs marched by and shouted to his fellow Georgians:
'Another great and glorious Bull Run.' After repeated marches and
counter-marches during the day, night put an end to the bloody
struggle, and the troops lay down to rest. A perfect tornado of shot
and shell tore through the woods all around us until deep darkness
fell and the enemy withdrew, leaving the entire field to the
Confederates."

After resting for nearly a week at Frederick City, Md., the battalion,
with the Fifteenth South Carolina and the Georgians of Drayton's
Brigade, was ordered to re-enforce General D.H. Hill, who was guarding
Lee's rear at Crompton's Gap, in South Mountain. Here the South
Carolinians were for the first time thoroughly baptized with fire and
blood, and in which the gallant Colonel James lost his life. Of this
battle Colonel Rice says:

"Late in the evening of September 14th the brigade reached the
battlefield and deployed in an old disused road that crossed the
mountain some four hundred yards to the right of the turn-pike. No
enemy in sight. Failing to drive D.H. Hill from their front, the
Federals made a detour and approached him by the flank. Two hundred
yards from the road mentioned above was a belt of woods saddling the
mountain, and at this point running parallel with the road. General
Drayton, not seeing the enemy, ordered forward Captain Miller's
Company as skirmishers to ascertain their whereabouts. Captain Miller
had advanced but a short distance when he met the enemy in force.
General Drayton ordered the command to forward and drive them from the
woods. In the execution of this order some confusion arose, and a part
of the brigade gave way, leaving the battalion in a very peculiar and
isolated condition. There was a low rock fence running at right angles
to the battle line, and behind this the battalion sought to protect
itself, but it seemed and was in reality a deathtrap, for it presented
its right flank to the enemy. It thus became only a question of a very
short time when it must either leave the field or surrender. Right
nobly did this little band of heroes hold their ground against
overwhelming numbers, and their front was never successfully
approached; but as both flanks were so mercilessly assailed, a short
time was sufficient to almost annihilate them. Colonel James was twice
admonished by his second in command of his untenable position, and
that death or surrender was inevitable if he persisted in holding
his ground, but without avail. The true soldier that he was preferred
death to yielding. Just as night approached and firing began to cease,
Colonel James was pierced through the breast with a minnie ball, from
the effects of which he soon died."

Colonel Rice was dangerously wounded and left on the field for dead.
But recovering consciousness, he found himself within the enemy's
lines, that portion of his command nearest him having been withdrawn
some distance in the rectifying of the lines. Colonel Rice escaped
capture by crawling in a deep wash in the road, and was rescued by
some skirmishers who were advancing to establish a new line. Colonel
Rice gives this information in a foot-note: "The road in which the
brigade was stationed was as all roads crossing hills, much washed and
worn down, thus giving the troops therein stationed the advantage
of first class breastworks. I do not know that the Fifteenth
South Carolina and the other portion of the brigade were thus
sheltered--have heard indeed that all were not--but within my vision
the position was most admirable, now almost impregnable with good
troops to defend it. To leave such a position was suicidal, especially
when we were ordered to march through open ground and attack the
enemy, sheltered behind trees and rocks. This is my estimate at least,
and the result proved most disastrous to the brigade and General
Drayton himself, as he was soon afterwards relieved of his command."

It has been the aim of the writer of this History not to criticize,
condemn, nor make any comments upon the motives or acts of any of
the officers whom he should have cause to mention, and he somewhat
reluctantly gives space to Colonel Rice's stricture of General
Drayton. It is difficult for officers in subaltern position to
understand all that their superiors do and do not. The Generals, from
their positions, can see differently from those in the line amid the
smoke of battle, and they often give commands hard to comprehend from
minor officers' point of view. General Drayton was an accomplished
and gallant officer, and while he might have been rash and reckless at
South Mountain, still it is hard to conceive his being relieved of his
command through the charge of "rashness," especially when his brigade
held up successfully for so long a time one of the most stubborn
battles of the war.

At the Battle of Sharpsburg or Antietam, the little remnant of the
battalion was again engaged. On Lee's return to Virginia, and during
the last days of November or early in December, the Third Battalion
and the Fifteenth Regiment were transferred to Kershaw's Brigade, and
from thence on it will be treated as a part of the old First Brigade.
At Fredericksburg, on the day of the great battle, the battalion held
the railroad cut running from near the city to the right of Mayree's
Hill, and was well protected by a bluff and the railroad, consequently
did not suffer as great a loss as the other regiments of the brigade.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL GEORGE S. JAMES.

The first commander of the Third Battalion, and who fell at South
Mountain, was born in Laurens County, in 1829. He was the second son
of John S. James, a prominent lawyer of Laurens, who, meeting with
misfortune and losing a handsome fortune, attempted to retain it
by moving to Columbia and engaging in mercantile pursuits. This he
followed with success. Colonel George S. James received his early
education in the academies of the up-country. While yet a youth
some seventeen years of age, war with Mexico was declared, and his
patriotic and chivalric spirit sent him at once to the ranks of the
Palmetto Regiment, and he shared the triumphs and fortunes of that
command to the close of the war.

After his return to his native State, he entered the South Carolina
College, along with many others, who in after years made their State
and themselves immortal by their fiery zeal in the War of Secession.
At the college young James was a great favorite of all who knew him
best, and while not a close student of text-books, he was an extensive
reader, always delighting his friends with wit and humor. The student
life, however, failed to satisfy his adventurous spirit, and wandering
away to the far distant West, seeking adventure or congenial pursuits,
he received a commission of Lieutenant in the United States Army.

The storm cloud of war, so long hovering over the land, was now about
to burst, and Lieutenant James seeing separation and perhaps war
inevitable, resigned his commission, and hastened to offer his sword
to his native State. He commanded a battery at Fort Johnson, on James'
Island, and shared with General Ruffin the honor of firing the first
gun at Fort Sumter, a shot that was to electrify the world and put in
motion two of the grandest and mightiest armies of all times.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XIII

Battle of Fredericksburg--The Fifteenth Regiment and Third Battalion
Join Brigade.


A portion of the Federal Army had preceded Lee, reaching the heights
opposite Fredericksburg two days before the arrival of Kershaw's
Brigade and the other parts of the division. The Federals had been met
by a small body of Confederates doing outpost duty there and held at
bay till the coming of Longstreet with his five divisions. General
Lee was not long in determining the route Burnsides had selected
and hurried Jackson on, and placed him some miles to our right, near
Hamilton's Crossing, on the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad.
When Burnsides became aware of the mighty obstacle of Lee's battalions
between him and his goal, the deep, sluggish river separating the
two armies, he realized the trouble that lay in his path. He began
fortifying the ridges running parallel to and near the river, and
built a great chain of forts along "Stafford Heights," opposite
Fredericksburg. In these forts he mounted one hundred and thirty-seven
guns, forty being siege pieces brought down from Washington by
way of the Potomac and Acquia Creek, and lined the entire range of
hills with his heaviest and long-distanced field batteries. These
forts and batteries commanded the river and plain beyond, as well as
every height and elevation on the Southern side. The range of hills on
the opposite side were much higher and more commanding than those on
the Southern side, still Lee began fortifying Taylor's, Mayree's, and
Lee's Heights, and all the intervening hills also, by building forts
and heavy redoubts, with protected embrasures on the flanks. Between
these hills and along their crests the infantry threw up light
earthworks. It could not be said that ours was a fortified position in
any sense, only through natural barriers. There is a plain of a half
to a mile in width between the river and the range to the South,
commencing at Taylor's Hill, half a mile above the city, and widening
as it diverges from the river below, terminating in a broken plateau
down near Hamilton's Crossing. The highlands on the opposite side come
rather precipitous to the water's edge. Along the banks, on either
side, were rifle pits, in which were kept from three to five pickets,
and on our side a brigade was stationed night and day in the city as
a support to the videttes guarding the river front. These pickets were
directed to prevent a crossing at all hazards until the troops at camp
in the rear were all in position in front of Fredericksburg. Stuart,
with the body of his cavalry, guarded the river and country on our
right below Jackson, while Hampton kept a lookout at the crossings
above on the left of Longstreet.

On the morning of the 11th, at 3 o'clock, when all was still and the
soldiers fast asleep, they were rudely aroused from their slumbers
by the deep boom of a cannon away to the front and across the river.
Scarcely had the sound of the first gun died away than another report
thundered out on the stillness of that December night, its echo
reverberating from hill to hill and down along the river side. These
sounds were too ominous to be mistaken; they were the signal guns that
were to put in motion these two mighty armies. "Fall in" was the word
given, and repeated from hill to hill and camp to camp. Drums beat the
long roll at every camp, while far below and above the blast of the
bugle called the troopers to "boots and saddle." Couriers dashed
headlong in the sombre darkness from one General's headquarters to
another's. Adjutants' and Colonels' orderlies were rushing from
tent to tent, arousing the officers and men to arms, and giving
instructions for the move.

I can remember well the sharp, distant voice of Adjutant Y.J. Pope on
that morning, coming down the line of the officers' tents and calling
out to each as he came opposite: "Captain ----, get your company ready
to move at once."

Under such orders, companies have that same rivalry to be first on the
parade ground as exists among fire companies in towns and cities when
the fire bell rings. We were all soon in line and marching with a
hasty step in the direction of the breastworks above the city, Kershaw
taking position immediately to the right of the Telegraph Road. This
is a public highway leading into the city, curving in a semi-circle
around Mayree Hill on the left. From this road the hill rises on the
west and north in a regular bluff--a stone wall of five feet in height
bordering either side of the road. "Deep Run," a small ravine, runs
between the hill on which Kershaw was stationed and that of Mayree's.
Daylight was yet some hours off when we took position, but we could
hear the rattle of the guns of Barksdale's Mississippians, whose turn
it was to be on picket in the city, driving off the enemy's pontoon
corps and bridge builders.

The city was almost deserted, General Lee advising the citizens to
leave their homes as soon as it became apparent that a battle would be
fought here. Still a few, loath to leave their all to the ravages
of an army, decided to remain and trust to fate. But soon after the
firing along the river began, we saw groups of women and children and
a few old men in the glim twilight of the morning rushing along the
roads out from the city as fast as their feeble limbs and tender feet
could carry them, hunting a safe retreat in the backwoods until the
cloud of war broke or passed over. Some Were, carrying babes in their
arms, others dragging little children along by the hands, with a few
articles of bedding or wearing apparel under their arms or thrown over
their shoulders. The old men tottered along in the rear, giving words
of comfort and cheer to the excited and frightened women and little
ones. It was a sickening sight to see these helpless and inoffensive
people hurrying away from the dangers of battle in the chilly morning
of December, seeking some safe haunt in the backwoods, yet they bore
it all without murmur or complaint.

Anderson's Division of Longstreet's Corps rested on the river on the
extreme left, at Taylor's Hill; then Ransom's along the crest of the
ridge between Taylor's and Mayree's, and McLaws' from his left across
Deep Run Valley and along the ridge to Lee's Hill, where Pickett was
posted; Hood extending from Pickett's right, touching the left of
the troops of Jackson's Corps. Three of Cobb's regiments and one from
North Carolina were posted behind the stone wall lining the sunken
road, while two of Cooke's North Carolina regiments were on the crest
of Mayree's Hill overlooking Cobb. Kershaw's Brigade, with the Third
South Carolina on the left, was resting on the ridge running at right
angles to the Telegraph Road, the left resting on the road, the
Second South Carolina next, and so on to the left of Semmes' Brigade.
Barksdale being in the city on picket, was relieved and placed in
reserve.

As soon as the signal guns gave evidence of an impending battle,
D.H. Hill, who had been sent on detached service down the river, was
recalled and placed in line with the other portion of Jackson's Corps.
Jackson had his entire force closely massed in the woodland around
Hamilton's Crossing and along the Richmond and Fredericksburg
Railroad, one mile from the river. The Light Division of A.P. Hill
occupied the front line, with a heavy battery of fourteen guns on
his right, supported by Archer's Brigade; then Lane's and Fender's in
front, with Gregg's and Thomas' in reserve. Behind the Light Division
lay Early on the right, Taliaferro on the left, with D.H. Hill in rear
of all along the Mine Road, the right of these divisions resting on
Hamilton's Crossing. Hood occupied the valley between Lee's Hill and
the highland around Hamilton's Crossing; Pickett on the ridge between
Hood and McLaws; Stuart's Cavalry ran at right angles to the infantry
line from Hamilton's Crossing to the river, hemming the Federal Army
in the plain between Hamilton's Crossing and Taylor's Hill above the
city, a space three miles long by one wide.

Before day the enemy's pontoon corps came cautiously to the river and
began operations at laying down the bridge, but the pickets in the
rifle pits kept them off for a time by their steady fire. The manner
of putting down army bridges is much more simple and rapid than the
old country mode of building. Large boats are loaded on long-coupled
wagons, the boats filled with plank for flooring and cross beams, with
a large iron ring in the rear end of each boat, through which a stout
rope is to run, holding them at equal distance when in the water.
When all is ready the boats are launched at equal distance so that the
beams can reach, then pushed out in the stream, and floated around in
a semi-circle, until the opposite bank is reached, the rope fastened
to trees on either bank, cross pieces are laid, the flooring put down,
and the bridge is ready for crossing.

After making several ineffectual attempts in placing the bridge, the
destructive fire of Barksdale's Riflemen forcing them back, the enemy
attempted the bold project of filling the boats with armed soldiers,
pushing out in the stream, and fighting their way across, under cover
of their artillery fire. While the dense fog was yet hanging heavily
over the waters, one hundred and forty guns, many siege pieces, were
opened upon the deserted city and the men along the water front. The
roar from the cannon-crowned battlements shook the very earth.
Above and below us seemed to vibrate as from the effects of a mighty
upheaval, while the shot and shell came whizzing and shrieking
overhead, looking like a shower of falling meteors. For more than an
hour did this seething volcano vomit iron like hail upon the city and
the men in the rifle pits, the shells and shot from the siege guns
tearing through the houses and plunging along the streets, and
ricocheting to the hills above. Not a house nor room nor chimney
escaped destruction. Walls were perforated, plastering and ceiling
fell, chimneys tottering or spreading over yards and out into the
streets. Not a place of safety, save the cellars and wells, and in
the former some were forced to take refuge. Yet through all this, the
brave Mississippians stood and bravely fought the bridge builders,
beating them back till orders were given to retire. They had
accomplished the purpose of delaying the enemy's crossing until our
troops were in position. The Federals now hurried over in swarms, by
thousands and tens of thousands, and made their way down the river,
stationing a strong cordon of guards around the point of landing. The
space between was soon a seething mass of humanity, the houses and
streets crowded to overflowing. A second bridge was laid a mile below
at the mouth of Deep Run, and here a continuous stream of all
arms were soon pouring over. General Kershaw rode along our lines,
encouraging the men, urging them to stand steadfast, assuring them
that there was to be neither an advance nor retreat, that we were but
to hold our ground, and one of the greatest victories of the war would
be gained. How prophetic his words! All during the day and night the
deep rumbling sound of the long wagon trains, artillery, and cavalry
could be heard crossing the pontoon bridges above and below.

The next morning, the 12th, as the fog lifted, Stafford Heights and
the inclines above the river were one field of blue. Great lines
of infantry, with waving banners, their bright guns and bayonets
glittering in the sunlight, all slowly marching down the steep
inclines between the heights and the river on over the bridges, then
down the river side at a double-quick to join their comrades of the
night before. These long, swaying lines, surging in and out among
the jutting of the hillsides beyond, down to the river, over and down
among the trees and bushes near the water, resembled some monster
serpent dragging its "weary length along." Light batteries of
artillery came dashing at break-neck speed down the hillsides, their
horses rearing and plunging as if wishing to take the river at a
leap. Cavalry, too, with their heavy-bodied Norman horses, their spurs
digging the flanks, sabres bright and glistening and dangling at their
sides, came at a canter, all seeming anxious to get over and meet the
death and desolation awaiting them. Long trains of ordnance
wagons, with their black oilcloth covering, the supply trains and
quartermaster departments all following in the wake of their division
or corps headquarters, escorts, and trains. All spread out over the
hills and in the gorges lay men by the thousands, awaiting their turn
to move. Not a shot nor shell to mar or disturb "the even tenor of
their way." Bands of music enlivened the scene by their inspiring
strains, and when some national air, or specially martial piece,
would be struck up, shouts and yells rended the air for miles, to be
answered by counter yells from the throats of fifty thousand "Johnny
Rebs," as the Southern soldiers were called. The Confederate bands
were not idle, for as soon as a Federal band would cease playing, some
of the Southern bands would take up the refrain, and as the notes,
especially Dixie, would be wafted over the water and hills, the "blue
coats" would shout, sing, and dance--hats and caps went up, flags
waved in the breeze--so delighted were they at the sight and sound of
Dixie. The whole presented more the spectacle of a holiday procession,
or a gala day, rather than the prelude to the most sanguinary battle
of modern times.

The night following was cold, and a biting wind was blowing. Only a
few days before a heavy snow had fallen, and in some places it still
remained banked up in shaded corners. To those who had to stand picket
out in the plain between the armies the cold was fearful. The enemy
had no fires outside of the city, and their sufferings from cold must
have been severe. My company, from the Third, as well as one from
each of the other regiments, were on picket duty, posted in an open
cornfield in the plain close to the enemy, near enough, in fact, to
hear voices in either camp--with no fire, and not allowed to speak
above a whisper. The night became so intensely cold just before day
that the men gathered cornstalks and kindled little fires along the
beat, and at early dawn we were withdrawn.

All knew full well, as the day preceding had passed without any
demonstrations, only maneuvering, this day, the 13th, would be a day
of battle. A heavy fog, as usual, rose from the river and settled
along the plains and hillsides, so much so that objects could not be
distinguished twenty paces. However, the least noise could be heard
at a great distance. Activity in the Federal camp was noticed early
in the morning. Officers could be heard giving commands, wagons and
artillery moving to positions. At half past ten the fog suddenly
lifted, and away to our right and near the river great columns of men
were moving, marching and counter-marching. These were in front of
A.P. Hill, of Jackson's Corps. In front of us and in the town all
was still and quiet as a city of the dead. The great siege guns from
beyond the river on Stafford Heights opened the battle by a dozen or
more shells screaming through the tree tops and falling in Jackson's
camp. From every fort soon afterwards a white puff of smoke could be
seen, then a vivid flash and a deafening report, telling us that the
enemy was ready and waiting. From the many field batteries between
Jackson and the river the smoke curled up around the tree tops, and
shell went crashing through the timbers. Our batteries along the front
of Longstreet's Corps opened their long-ranged guns on the redoubts
beyond the river, and our two siege guns on Lee's Hill, just brought
up from Richmond, paid special attention to the columns moving to the
assault of A.P. Hill. For one hour the earth and air seemed to tremble
and shake beneath the shock of three hundred guns, and the bursting
of thousands of shells overhead, before and behind us, looked like
bursting stars on a frolic. The activity suddenly ceases in front
of Hill, and the enemy's infantry lines move to the front. First the
skirmishers meet, and their regular firing tells the two armies that
they are near together. Then the skirmish fire gives way to the deep,
sullen roar of the line of battle. From our position, some three
hundred yards in rear and to the right of Mayree's Hill, we could see
the Union columns moving down the river, our batteries raking them
with shot and shell. In crossing an old unfinished railroad cut the
two siege guns played upon the flank with fearful effect. Huddling
down behind the walls of the cut to avoid the fire in front, the
batteries from Mayree's and in the fields to the right enfiladed the
position, the men rushing hither and thither and falling in heaps
from the deadly fire in front and flank. Jackson has been engaged in
a heavy battle for nearly an hour, when suddenly in our front tens
of thousands of "blue coats" seemed to spring up out of the earth and
make for our lines. Near one-half of the army had concealed themselves
in the city and along the river banks, close to the water's edge. The
foliage of the trees and the declivity of the ground having hidden
them thus far from view. From out of the streets and from behind walls
and houses men poured, as if by some magical process or super-human
agency, and formed lines of battle behind a little rise in the ground,
near the canal. But in a few moments they emerged from their second
place of protection and bore down upon the stone wall, behind which
stood Cobb's Georgians and a Regiment of North Carolinians. When
midway between the canal and stone fence, they met an obstruction--a
plank fence--but this did not delay them long. It was soon dashed to
the ground and out of their way, but their men were falling at
every step from Cobb's infantry fire and grape and canister from the
Washington Artillery of New Orleans on the hill. They never neared the
wall nor did they take more time than to fire a volley or two before
they fled the field. This retreating column of Franklin's met that of
Hancock's, formed, and on its way to try issues with the troops behind
the stone wall, Longstreet now saw what had never been considered
before--that Burnsides was determined to possess himself of the key to
Lee's position, "Mayree's Hill," in front of which was the stone wall.
He ordered the two regiments of North Carolinians that were posted on
the crest of the hill down behind the stone wall, to the left of Cobb
and Kershaw, to reinforce the position with his brigade.

The Third Regiment being ordered to the top of Mayree's Hill, Colonel
Nance, at the head of his regiment, entered the Telegraph Road, and
down this the men rushed, followed by the Second, led by Colonel
Kennedy, under one of the heaviest shellings the troops ever
experienced. This two hundred yards' stretch of road was in full view
and range of the heavy gun batteries on Stafford Heights, and as the
men scattered out along and down the road, the shells passed, plowing
in the road, bursting overhead, or striking the earth and ricocheting
to the hills far in the rear. On reaching the ravine, at the lower
end of the incline, the Third Regiment was turned to the left and up a
by-road to the plateau in rear of the "Mayree Mansion." The house tops
in the city were lined with sharpshooters, and from windows and doors
and from behind houses the deadly missiles from the globe-sighted
rifles made sad havoc in our ranks.

[Illustration: Col. William Drayton Rutherford, 3d S.C. Regiment.(Page
485.)]

[Illustration: Col. E. T Stackhouse, 8th S.C. Regiment. (Page 285.)]

[Illustration: Col. D. Wyatt Aiken, 7th S.C. Regiment. (Page 100.)]

[Illustration: Lieut. Col. B.B. Foster, 3d S.C. Regiment. (Page 164.)]

When the Third reached the top of the plateau it was in column of
fours, and Colonel Nance formed line of battle by changing "front
forward on first company." This pretty piece of tactics was executed
while under the galling fire from the artillery and sharpshooters, but
was as perfect as on dress parade. The regiment lined up, the right
resting on the house and extending along a dull road to the next
street leading into the city. We had scarcely gotten in position
before Nance, Rutherford, and Maffett, the three field officers, had
fallen. Colonel Kennedy, with the Second, passed over the left of the
plateau and down the street on our left, and at right angles with our
line, being in a position to give a sweeping fire to the flank of the
columns of assault against the stone fence. From the preparation and
determination made to break through the line here, Kershaw ordered
Lieutenant Colonel Bland, with the Seventh, Colonel Henagan, with the
Eighth, and Colonel DeSaussure, with the Fifteenth, to double-up with
Cobb's men, and to hold their position "at the sacrifice of every man
of their commands."

All of the different regiments, with the exception of the Third South
Carolina, had good protection in the way of stone walls, this being
the sole occasion that any of Kershaw's troops had been protected
by breastworks of any kind during the whole war. The Second was in a
sunken road leading to the city, walled on either side with
granite, the earth on the outside being leveled up with the top. The
maneuvering into position had taken place while Hancock was making the
first assault upon the wall defended by Cobb. Howard was now preparing
to make the doubtful attempt at taking the stronghold with the point
of the bayonet, and without firing a gun. But with such men as the
Georgians, South Carolinians, and North Carolinians in their front,
the task proved too Herculean. Howard moved to the battle in beautiful
style, their line almost solid and straight, their step in perfect
unison with the long, moving columns, their guns carried at a trail,
and the stars and stripes floating proudly above their heads. The shot
and shell plunging through their ranks from the hills above, the two
siege guns on Lee's Hill now in beautiful play, the brass pieces of
the Washington Artillery firing with grape and shrapnel--but all this
made no break nor halt in that long line of blue. The double column
behind the stone wall and the Third South Carolina on the crest of the
Hill met them in front with a cool and steady fire, while the Second
South Carolina directed its attention to the flank. But the boldest
and stoutest hearts could not withstand this withering blast of
bullets and shells without returning the fire. The enemy opened
upon us a terrific fire, both from the columns in front and from the
sharpshooters in the housetops in the city. After giving us battle
as long as human endurance could bear the ordeal, they, like their
companions before them, fled in confusion.

Before making the direct attack, Howard attempted a diversion by
endeavoring to turn Cobb's left. Passing out into the plain above
the city, he was met by some of Cooke's North Carolinians, and there
around the sacred tomb of Mary Washington was a hand to hand encounter
between some New York and Massachusetts troops and those from the Pine
Tree State. Sons of the same ancestry, sons of sires who fought
with the "Father of his Country" in the struggle for the nation's
independence, now fighting above the grave of the mother for its
dissolution! Thrice were the Confederates driven from the position,
but as often retaken, and at last held at the point of the bayonet by
the hardy sons of North Carolina.

The battle, grand and awful in its sublimity, raged from the morning's
opening till two o'clock, without the least abatement along the whole
line. From the extreme right to our left at Taylor's Hill was a sea
of fire. But Mayree's Hill was the center, around which all the other
battles revolved. It was the key to Lee's position, and this had
become the boon of contention. It was in the taking of Mayree's Hill
and the defeat of the troops defending it that the North was pouring
out its river of blood. Both commanders were still preparing to stake
their all upon this hazard of the die--the discipline of the North
against the valor of the South.

Our loss was heavy, both in officers and men. The brave, chivalric
Cobb, of Georgia, had fallen. Of the Third South Carolina, Colonel
Nance, Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford, and Major Maffett had all been
severely wounded in the early part of the engagement. Captain Hance,
while commanding, fell pierced through the heart. Then the next in
command, Captain Summer, met a similar fate; then Captain Foster.
Captain Nance, the junior Captain in the regiment, retained the
command during the continuance of the fight, although painfully
wounded. The dead of the Third Regiment lay in heaps, like hogs in
a slaughter pen. The position of the Second Regiment gave it great
advantage over the advancing column. From a piazza in rear of the
sunken road, Colonel Kennedy posted himself, getting a better view,
and to better direct the firing Lieutenant Colonel William Wallace
remained with the men in the road, and as the column of assault
reached the proper range, he ordered a telling fire on the enemy's
flank. Men in the road would load the guns for those near the wall,
thus keeping up a continual fire, and as the enemy scattered over the
plain in their retreat, then was the opportunity for the Second and
Third, from their elevated positions and better view, to give them
such deadly parting salutes. The smoke in front of the stone wall
became so dense that the troops behind it could only fire at the
flashing of the enemy's guns. From the Third's position, it was more
dangerous for its wounded to leave the field than remain on the battle
line, the broad, level plateau in rear almost making it suicidal to
raise even as high as a stooping posture.

From the constant, steady, and uninterrupted roll of musketry far to
the right, we knew Jackson was engaged in a mighty struggle. From the
early morning's opening the noise of his battle had been gradually
bearing to the rear. He was being driven from position to position,
and was meeting with defeat and possibly disaster. From the direction
of his fire our situation was anything but assuring.

General Meade, of the Federal Army, had made the first morning attack
upon the Light Brigade, under A.P. Hill, throwing that column in
confusion and driving it back upon the second line. These troops were
not expecting the advance, and some had their guns stacked. The heavy
fog obscured the Federal lines until they were almost within pistol
shot. When it was discovered that an enemy was in their front (in
fact some thought them their friends), in this confusion of troops a
retreat was ordered to the second line. In this surprise and disorder
South Carolina lost one of her most gifted sons, and the South a brave
and accomplished officer, Brigadier General Maxey Gregg.

General Hood, on Hill's left, failing to move in time to give him the
support expected, the whole of Jackson's Corps was forced to retire.
But the tide at length begins to turn. Meade is driven from the field.
Division after division was rushed to the front to meet and check
Jackson's steady advance. Cannon now boom as never before heard, even
the clear ringing of Pelham's little howitzers, of Stuart's Cavalry,
could be heard above the thunder of the big guns, telling us that
Stuart was putting his horse artillery in the balance. His brave
artillery leader was raking the enemy's flank as they fell back on
the river. In our front new troops were being marshalled and put in
readiness to swell the human holocaust before the fatal wall.

Franklin, Hancock, and Howard had made unsuccessful attempts upon this
position, leaving their wounded and dead lying in heaps and wind rows
from the old railroad cut to the suburbs. Now Sturgis, of the Ninth
Corps, was steadily advancing. The Washington Artillery, from New
Orleans, occupying the most conspicuous and favorable position on the
right of the "Mayree House," had exhausted their shot and shell.
The infantry in the road and behind the wall, Cobb's and part of
Kershaw's, were nearly out of ammunition, and during the last charge
had been using that of their dead and wounded. Calls were made on all
sides for "more ammunition," both from the artillery and infantry.
Orders and details had been sent to the ordnance trains to bring
supplies to the front. But the orders had miscarried, or the trains
were too far distant, for up to three o'clock no sign of replenishment
was in sight. The hearts of the exhausted men began to fail them--the
batteries silent, the infantry short of ammunition, while a long line
of blue was making rapid strides towards us in front.

But now all hearts were made glad by the sudden rush of Alexander's
Battery coming to the relief of the Washington Artillery. Down the
Telegraph Road the battery came, their horses rearing and plunging,
drivers burying the points of their spurs deep into the flanks of the
foaming steeds; riders in front bending low upon the saddle bows to
escape the shells that now filled the air, or plowing up the earth
beneath the horses hoofs; the men on the caissons clinging with a
death-like grip to retain their seats, the great heavy wheels spinning
around like mad and bounding high in the air; while the officers
riding at the side of this charging column of artillerists, shouted at
the top of their voices, giving directions to the leaders. Down this
open and exposed stretch of road, up over the plateau, then wheel to
the right, they make a rush through the gauntlet that separates them
from the fort in which stood the Washington Artillery. Over the
dead and dying the horses leap and plunge, dragging the cannon and
ammunition chests--they enter the fort at a gallop. Swinging into
line, their brass pieces are now belching forth grape and canister
into the ranks of the advancing columns. All this takes place in less
time than it takes to record it. The bold dash and beautiful piece
of evolution so excite the admiration of all who witnessed it, that a
yell went up that drowns for a time the heavy baying of the siege guns
on Stafford Heights.

About this time Jackson seems to have reached his limit of retreat,
and was now forging steadily to the front, regaining every inch of the
lost ground of the morning. The Federal Commander-in-Chief, seeing the
stubborn resistance he is met with in front of the city, and Jackson's
gray lines pressing his left back upon the river, began to feel the
hopelessness of his battle, and sent orders to Franklin to attack
Jackson with his entire force. Hooker was to reinforce Sumner on the
right, the latter to take the stone wall and the heights beyond before
night. Sturgis had met the fate of those who had assaulted before him.
Now Getty and Griffin were making frantic efforts to reach the wall.
Griffin had his men concealed and protected in the wet, marshy bed of
the old canal. He now undertook to accomplish that which Howard had
attempted in the morning, and failed--the feat of taking the stone
walls with empty guns.

In this column of assault was the famous Meager's Irish Brigade, of
New York,--all Irishmen, but undoubtedly the finest body of troops in
the Federal Army. When the signal for advance was given, from out of
their hiding places they sprang--from the canal, the bushes on
the river bank, the side streets in the city, one compact row of
glittering bayonets came--in long battle lines. General Kershaw,
seeing the preparation made for this final and overwhelming assault
upon our jaded troops, sent Captain Doby, of his staff, along our
lines with orders to hold our position at all hazards, even at the
point of the bayonet.

As the rifle balls from the housetops and shells from the batteries
along the river banks sang their peculiar death notes overhead and
around us, this brave and fearless officer made the entire length
of the line, exhorting, entreating, and urging the men to redoubled
efforts. How Captain Doby escaped death is little less than
miraculous.

The casualties of battle among the officers and the doubling up
process of the men behind the wall caused all order of organization
to be lost sight of, and each man loaded and fired as he saw best. The
men in the road, even the wounded, crowded out from the wall by force
of number, loaded the guns for the more fortunate who had places, and
in many instances three and four men loaded the guns for one, passing
them to those who were firing from the top of the stone fence.
Each seemed to fight on his own responsibility, and with the same
determined spirit to hold the wall and the heights above. Each felt as
if the safety of the army depended upon his exertions alone.

With a firm and elastic step this long, swaying line of Irishmen moved
to the assault with as much indifference apparently to their fate
as "sheep going to the shambles." Not a shot was fired from this
advancing column, while the shells from our batteries cut swath after
swath through their ranks, only to be closed again as if by some
mechanical means; colors fall, but rise and float again, men bounding
forward and eagerly grasping the fallen staff, indifferent of the fate
that awaited them. Officers are in front, with drawn swords flashing
in the gleam of the fading sunlight, urging on their men to still
greater deeds of prowess, and by their individual courage set examples
in heroism never before witnessed on this continent. The assault upon
Mayree's Hill by the Irish Brigade and their compatriots will go down
in history as only equalled by the famous ride of the "Six Hundred at
Hohenlinden," and the "Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava." They
forge their way forward over the heap of dead and dying that now strew
the plain, nearer to the deadly wall than any of the troops before
them. It began to look for the moment as if their undaunted courage
would succeed, but the courage of the defenders of Mayree's Hill
seemed to increase in ardour and determination in proportion to that
of the enemy. The smoke and flame of their battle is now less than one
hundred paces from the wall, but the odds are against them, and they,
too, had to finally yield to the inevitable and leave the field in
great disorder.

From both sides hopes and prayers had gone up that this charge would
prove the last attempt to break our lines. But Humphries met the
shattered columns with a fresh advance. Those who were marching to
enter this maelstrom of carnage were entreated and prayed to by all of
those who had just returned from the sickening scene not to enter this
death trap, and begged them not to throw away their lives in the vain
attempt to accomplish the impossible. But Humphries, anxious of
glory for himself and men, urged on by the imperative orders from
his Commander-in-Chief, soon had his men on the march to the "bloody
wall." But as the sun dropped behind the hills in our rear, the scene
that presented itself in the fading gloom of that December day was
a plain filled with the dead and dying--a living stream of flying
fugitives seeking shelter from the storm of shot and shell by plunging
over the precipitous banks of the river, or along the streets and
protecting walls of the city buildings.

Jackson had pressed all in his front back to the water's edge, while
his batteries, with those of Stuart's, were still throwing shells into
the huddled, panic-stricken, and now thoroughly vanquished army of the
enemy.

That night the Federal Commander-in-Chief sat in his tent alone, and
around him the groans of the wounded and the agonizing wails of the
dying greet his ear--the gentle wind singing a requiem to his dead. He
nursed alone the bitter consciousness of the total defeat of his army,
now a scattered mass--a skeleton of its former greatness--while the
flower of the Northern chivalry lie sleeping the sleep of death on the
hills and plains round about. His country and posterity would charge
him with all the responsibility of defeat, and he felt that his brief
command of the once grand and mighty Army of the Potomac was now at an
end. Sore and bitter recollections!

Burnsides had on the field one hundred and thirty-two thousand and
seventeen men; of these one hundred and sixteen thousand six hundred
and eighty-three were in line of battle. Lee had upon the field and
ready for action sixty-nine thousand three hundred and ninety-one
infantry and artillery, and about five thousand cavalry. Burnsides had
three hundred and seventy pieces of field artillery and forty siege
guns mounted on Stafford's Heights. Lee had three hundred and twelve
pieces of field and heavy artillery, with two siege guns, both
exploding, one in the early part of the day.

The enemy's loss was twelve thousand six hundred and fifty-three, of
which at least eight thousand fell in front of the stone wall. It
has been computed by returns made since that in the seven different
charges there were engaged at least twenty-five thousand infantry
alone in the assaults against the stone wall, defended by not more
than four thousand men, exclusive of artillery. Lee's entire loss
was five thousand three hundred and twenty-two killed, wounded, and
missing; and one of the strangest features of this great battle, one
in which so many men of all arms were engaged, the enormous loss of
life on both sides, and the close proximity of such a large body of
cavalry, the returns of the battle only give thirteen wounded and none
killed of the entire cavalry force on the Confederate side.

The men who held the stone wall and Mayree's Hill were three regiments
of Cooke's North Carolina Brigade; the Sixteenth Georgia, Colonel
Bryan; the Eighteenth Georgia, Lieutenant Colonel Ruff; the
Twenty-fourth Georgia, Colonel McMillan; the Cobb Legion and Philip
Legion, Colonel Cook, of General T.R.R. Cobb's Brigade; the Second
South Carolina, Colonel Kennedy; the Third South Carolina, Colonel
Nance, Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford, Major Maffett, Captains Summer,
Hance, Foster, and Nance; the Seventh South Carolina, Lieutenant
Colonel Bland; the Eighth South Carolina, Colonel Henagan and Major
Stackhouse; the Fifteenth South Carolina, Colonel DeSaussure; the
Third Battalion, Major Rice, of Kershaw's Brigade; the Washington
Battery, of New Orleans, and Alexander's Battery, from Virginia.
The brigades from Hood's and Pickett's Divisions, Jenkins, of South
Carolina, being from the latter, were sent to the support of McLaws,
at Mayree's Hill, and only acted as reserve and not engaged.

The next day, as if by mutual consent, was a day of rest. The wounded
were gathered in as far as we were able to reach them. The enemy's
wounded lay within one hundred yards of the stone wall for two days
and nights, and their piteous calls for help and water were simply
heart-rending. Whenever one of our soldiers attempted to relieve
the enemy lying close under our wall, he would be fired upon by the
pickets and guards in the house tops.

On the night of the 15th, the Federal Army, like strolling Arabs,
"folded their tents and silently stole away." The 16th was given up
entirely to the burial of the dead. In the long line of pits, dug
as protection for the enemy while preparing for a charge, these
putrefying bodies were thrown headlong, pell mell, like the filling of
blind ditches with timbers. One Confederate would get between the legs
of the dead enemy, take a foot in either hand, then two others would
each grasp an arm, and drag at a run the remains of the dead enemy
and heave it over in the pit. In this way these pits or ditches were
filled almost to a level of the surface, a little dirt thrown over
them, there to remain until the great United States Government removed
them to the beautiful park around Mayree's Heights. There to this day,
and perhaps for all time, sleep the "blue and the gray," while the
flag so disastrously beaten on that day now floats in triumph over
all.

It must be said to the credit of General Burnsides, that the
responsibility for this disastrous battle should not rest upon his
shoulders. He felt his incapacity for handling so great a body
of troops. Again and again he wrote the authorities in Washington
protesting against the command being given him. "I am unable to handle
so great an army." He wrote his chief, but in vain. The fiat had gone
forth, "Go and crush Lee," and the result was to have been expected.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XIV

Incidents of the Battle--Comparisons With Other Engagements.


The Battle of Fredericksburg was not the most desperate nor bloody of
the war, nor was it so fruitful of events as others in its bearing
on future results. Really neither side gained nor lost any great
advantage; nor was the battle any more to the Confederate side than a
great victory barren of ulterior results; the loss to the Federals no
more than the loss of a number of men and the lowering of the morale
among the troops. Within a day or two both armies occupied the same
positions as before the battle. Not wishing to attempt any invidious
comparisons or reflections upon troops in wars of other periods, but
for the information of those who are not conversant with the magnitude
of the Civil War, as compared with the Revolution and Mexican War,
I will here give a few statistics. The reader then can draw his own
conclusions as to the sanguinary effects and extent of some of our
battles. Of course the different kinds of weapons used in the late
war--their deadly effect, long range, better mode of firing--will have
to be considered in comparison to the old.

As the Revolutionary War was more of a guerilla than actual war, I
will speak more directly of the Mexican War. It will be noticed the
difference in the killed to the wounded was far out of proportion in
favor of the latter. This I attribute to the smallness of the gun's
calibre, and in many instances buck-shot were used in connection with
larger balls by the soldiers of the old wars, while the Mexicans used
swords and lances, as well as pistols. During the three days' battle
at Molino del Rey, Chapultepec, and the storming of the City of
Mexico, considered the most bloody and sanguinary of that war, the
four divisions of Scott's Army, of two thousand each, lost as follows:
Pillow lost one officer killed and fourteen wounded, twenty-one
privates killed and ninety-seven wounded. Worth lost two officers
killed and nine wounded, twenty-three privates killed and ninety-five
wounded. Quitman lost four officers killed and thirty wounded,
thirty-seven privates killed and two hundred and thirty-seven
wounded. Smith's Brigade, with Quitman, lost ten officers wounded
and none killed, twenty-four privates killed and one hundred and
twenty-six wounded. Twigg's Division lost three officers killed and
twelve wounded, fifteen privates killed and seventy-seven wounded.
This, with some few missing, making a grand total loss, out of Scott's
Army of nine to ten thousand men, of between six hundred and fifty and
seven hundred killed, wounded, and missing--a number that Kershaw's
Brigade alone frequently lost in three or four hours.

The heaviest casualties in the three days' battle of Mexico in
regiments were in the Palmetto Regiment and the Kentucky Rifles,
where the former lost two officers killed and nine wounded, fourteen
privates killed and seventy-five wounded; the latter lost six officers
wounded and none killed, nine privates killed and sixty-four wounded.
When it is remembered that the Third Regiment in the battle with
about three hundred and fifty and four hundred men in line lost six
regimental commanders killed and wounded, not less than three times
that number of other officers killed and wounded, and more than one
hundred and fifty men killed and wounded, some idea can be had of its
bloody crisis and deadly struggle, in which our troops were engaged,
in comparison to the patriots in Mexico.

But considering the close proximity of the troops engaged at
Fredericksburg, the narrow compass in which they were massed, the
number of elevated positions suitable for artillery on either
side, and the number of troops on the field, the wonder is why
the casualties were not even greater than the reports make them.
Burnsides, from the nature of the ground, could not handle more than
half his army, as by official returns not more than fifty thousand
were in line of battle and in actual combat. There were only two
points at which he could extend his line, and if at one he found a
"Scylla," he was equally sure to find a "Charybdis" at the other.
On his left flank Jackson's whole corps was massed, at Hamilton's
Crossing; at his right was the stone wall and Mayree's Hill. To meet
Hood and Pickett he would have had to advance between a quarter and
half mile through a plain, where his army could be enfiladed by the
guns of Longstreet and Jackson, and in front by the batteries of
Hood and Pickett. It seems from reports since come to light that
the authorities at Washington apprehended more danger in Burnsides
crossing the river than in the battle that was to follow. Lincoln in
giving him orders as to his movements instructed his Secretary of War,
Stanton, to write Burnsides to be very careful in the crossing, to
guard his flanks well, and not allow Lee to fall upon one part that
had crossed and crush it before the other part could come to the
rescue; nor allow that wing of the army yet remaining on the Northern
side to be attacked and destroyed while the other had crossed to the
Southern side. It is said Stanton wrote the order couched in the
best of English, and phrased in elegant terms the instructions above,
telling him to guard his flanks, etc., then read the order to Lincoln
for his approval. Taking up the pen, the President endorsed it, and
wrote underneath, in his own hand: "In crossing the river don't allow
yourself to be caught in the fix of a cow, hurried by dogs, in jumping
a fence, get hung in the middle, so that she can't either use her
horns in front, nor her heels behind."

Many incidents of courage and pathos could be written of this, as
well as many other battles, but one that I think the crowning act of
courage and sympathy for an enemy in distress is due was that of a
Georgian behind the wall. In one of the first charges made during the
day a Federal had fallen, and to protect himself as much as possible
from the bullets of his enemies, he had by sheer force of will pulled
his body along until he had neared the wall. Then he failed through
pure exhaustion. From loss of blood and the exposure of the sun's
rays, he called loudly for water. "Oh, somebody bring me a drink of
water!--water! water!!" was the piteous appeals heard by those behind
the stone wall. To go to his rescue was to court certain death, as
the housetops to the left were lined with sharpshooters, ready to fire
upon anyone showing his head above the wall. But one brave soldier
from Georgia dared all, and during the lull in the firing leaped the
walls, rushed to the wounded soldier, and raising his head in his
arms, gave him a drink of water, then made his way back and over the
wall amid a hail of bullets knocking the dirt up all around him.

The soldier, like the sailor, is proverbial for his superstition. But
at times certain incidents or coincidents take place in the life
of the soldier that are inexplainable, to say the least. Now it is
certain that every soldier going into battle has some dread of death.
It is the nature of man to dread that long lost sleep at any time and
in any place. He knows that death is a master of all, and all must
yield to its inexorable summons, and that summons is more likely
to come in battle than on ordinary occasions. That at certain times
soldiers do have a premonition of their coming death, has been proven
on many occasions. Not that I say all soldiers foretell their end
by some kind of secret monitor, but that some do, or seem to do so.
Captain Summer, of my company, was an unusually good-humored and
lively man, and while he was not what could be called profane, yet he
had little predilection toward piety or the Church. In other battles
he advanced to the front as light-hearted and free from care as if
going on drill or inspection. When we were drawn up in line of battle
at Fredericksburg the first morning an order came for the Captain.
He was not present, and on enquiry, I was told that he had gone to
a cluster of bushes in the rear. Thinking the order might be of
importance, I hastened to the place, and there I found Captain Summer
on his knees in prayer. I rallied him about his "sudden piety," and
in a jesting manner accused him of "weakening." "After rising from his
kneeling posture, I saw he was calm, pale, and serious--so different
from his former moods in going into battle. I began teasing him in a
bantering way about being a coward." "No," said he, "I am no coward,
and will show I have as much nerve, if not more, than most men in the
army, for all have doubts of death, but I have none. I will be killed
in this battle. I feel it as plainly as I feel I am living, but I am
no coward, and shall go in this battle and fight with the same spirit
that I have always shown." This was true. He acted bravely, and for
the few moments that he commanded the regiment he exhibited all the
daring a brave man could, but he fell shot through the brains with a
minnie ball. He had given me messages to his young wife, to whom he
had been married only about two months, before entering the services,
as to the disposition of his effects, as well as his body after death.

Another instance was that of Lieutenant Hill, of Company G, Third
South Carolina Regiment. The day before the battle he asked permission
to return to camp that night, a distance perhaps of three miles. With
a companion he returned to the camp, procured water, bathed himself,
and changed his under-clothing. On being asked by his companion why
he wished to walk three miles at night to simply bathe and change his
clothing, with perfect unconcern he replied: "In the coming battle I
feel that I will be killed, and such being the case, I could not bear
the idea of dying and being buried in soiled clothes." He fell dead
at the first volley. Was there ever such courage as this--to feel
that death was so certain and that it could be prevented by absenting
themselves from battle, but allowed their pride, patriotism, and moral
courage to carry them on to sure death?

In the case of a private in Company C, Third Regiment, it was
different. He did not have the moral courage to resist the "secret
monitor," that silent whisperer of death. He had always asserted
that he would be killed in the first battle, and so strong was this
conviction upon him, that he failed to keep in line of battle on
another occasion, and had been censured by his officers for
cowardice. In this battle he was ordered in charge of a Sergeant, with
instructions that he be carried in battle at the point of the bayonet.
However, it required no force to make him keep his place in line,
still he continued true to his convictions, that his death was
certain. He went willingly, if not cheerfully, in line. As the column
was moving to take position on Mayree's Hill, he gave instructions
to his companions as he advanced what messages should be sent to
his wife, and while giving those instructions and before the command
reached its position he fell pierced through the heart.

Another instance that came under my own observation, that which some
chose to call "presentiment," was of a member in my company in East
Tennessee. He was an exceptionally good soldier and the very picture
of an ideal hero, tall, erect, and physically well developed, over six
feet in height, and always stood in the front rank at the head of the
company. While Longstreet was moving upon Knoxville, the morning
he crossed the Tennessee River before dawn and before there was any
indication of a battle, this man said to me, with as much coolness and
composure, as if on an ordinary subject, without a falter in his tone
or any emotion whatever: "Captain, I will be killed to-day. I have,
some money in my pocket which I want you to take and also to draw my
four months' wages now due, and send by some trusty man to my wife.
Tell her also--" but here I stopped him, told him it was childish to
entertain such nonsense, to be a man as his conduct had so often
in the past shown him to be. I joked and laughed at him, and in a
good-natured way told him the East Tennessee climate gave him that
disease known among soldiers as "crawfishing." This I did to withdraw
his mind from this gloomy brooding. We had no real battle, but a
continual skirmish with the enemy, with stray shots throughout the
day. As we were moving along in line of battle, I heard that peculiar
buzzing noise of a bullet, as if in ricochet, coming in our direction,
but high in the air. As it neared the column it seemed to lower
and come with a more hissing sound. It struck the man square in the
breast, then reeling out of ranks he made a few strides towards where
I was marching, his pocket-book in hand, and fell dead at my feet
without a word or groan. He was the only man killed during the day in
the brigade, and not even then on the firing line. Of course all will
say these are only "coincidences," but be what they may, I give them
as facts coming under my own eyes, and facts of the same nature came
to the knowledge of hundreds and thousands of soldiers during every
campaign, which none endeavor to explain, other than the facts
themselves. But as the soldier is nothing more than a small fraction
of the whole of a great machine, so much happens that he cannot fathom
nor explain, that it naturally makes a great number of soldiers,
like the sailor, somewhat superstitious. But when we speak of moral
courage, where is there a courage more sublime than the soldier
marching, as he thinks, to his certain death, while all his comrades
are taking their chances at the hazard of war?

There are many unaccountable incidents and coincidents in a soldier's
experience. Then, again, how differently men enter battle and how
differently they act when wounded. Some men, on the eve of battle, the
most trying time in a soldier's life, will stand calm and impassive,
awaiting the command, "forward," while his next neighbor will tremble
and shake, as with a great chill, praying, meditating, and almost in
despair, awaiting the orders to advance. Then when in the heat of the
conflict both men seem metamorphosed. The former, almost frightened
out of his wits, loses his head and is just as apt to fire backwards
as forwards; while the latter seems to have lost all fear, reckless
of his life, and fights like a hero. I have known men who at home were
perfect cowards, whom a schoolboy could run away with a walking cane,
become fearless and brave as lions in battle; while on the other
hand men who were called "game cocks" at home and great "crossroads
bullies," were abject cowards in battle. As to being wounded, some men
will look on a mortal wound, feel his life ebbing away, perfectly calm
and without concern, and give his dying messages with the composure
of an every day occurrence; while others, if the tip of the finger is
touched, or his shin-bone grazed, will "yell like a hyena or holler
like a loon," and raise such a rumpus as to alarm the whole army. I
saw a man running out of battle once (an officer) at such a gait as
only fright could give, and when I asked him if he was wounded, he
replied, "Yes, my leg is broken in two places," when, as a matter of
fact, he had only a slight flesh wound. These incidents the reader
may think merely fiction, but they are real facts. A man in Company E,
Third South Carolina Regiment, having a minnie ball lodged between the
two bones of his arm, made such a racket when the surgeons undertook
to push it out, that they had to turn him loose; while a private in
Company G, of the same regiment, being shot in the chest, when the
surgeon was probing for the ball with his finger, looked on with
unconcern, only remarking, "Make the hole a little larger, doctor, and
put your whole hand in it." In a few days he was dead. I could give
the names of all these parties, but for obvious reasons omit them. I
merely single out these cases to show how differently men's nervous
systems are constructed. And I might add, too, an instance of a member
of my company at the third day of the battle of Gettysburg. Lying
under the heavy cannonading while Pickett was making his famous
charge, and most of the men asleep, this man had his foot in the fork
of a little bush, to better rest himself. In this position a shot
struck him above the ankle; he looked at the wound a moment, then
said: "Boys, I'll be ---- if that ain't a thirty days' furlough." Next
day his foot had to be amputated, and to this day he wears a cork.
Such is the difference in soldiers, and you cannot judge them by
outward appearance.

I here insert a few paragraphs from the pen of Adjutant Y.J. Pope, of
the Third, to show that there was mirth in the camps, notwithstanding
the cold and hardships:

       *       *       *       *       *


PLAYING "ANTHONY OVER" AT HEADQUARTERS ON THE SEVENTH OF DECEMBER,
1862.

There was one thing that always attracted my attention during the war
and that was the warm fellowship which existed amongst the soldiers.
If a man got a trunk or box laden with good things from home, there
was no selfishness about it; the comrades were expected and did share
in the feast. While out on picket on the banks of the Rappahannock
River, when we were told that another regiment had come to relieve
ours, at the same time we were told that Colonel Rutherford had come
back to us; he had been absent since September, and we were all very
anxious to see him, for he was a charming fellow--whole-souled, witty,
and always an addition to any party. We knew, too, that he would
bring something good to eat from home. My feathers fell, though, when
Colonel Nance said to me, "Go yourself and see that every company is
relieved from picket duty, and bring them to the regiment." I knew
what this meant. It was at night, the ground was covered with snow,
and the companies would take a long time to march back to camp. A
soldier is made to obey orders, whether pleasant or unpleasant, so
I rode at the head of the battalion; I was chilled through; my ears
felt--well I rubbed a little feeling into them. At last we reached
camp. Before I did so I could hear the merry laughter of the group
about our regimental headquarter fire. Rutherford greeted me with the
utmost cordiality, and had my supper served, having had the servants
to keep it hot. But I could not forget my having to ride three miles
at the head of the four companies, and how cold I had got in doing so.
Therefore, I was in a bad humor, and refusing to join the merry group
around the fire, went to bed at once. About twelve o'clock that night
I heard the voices in the game of "Anthony over," and was obliged to
laugh. Of course the merry cup had circulated. We lived in a Sibley
tent that had a cap to fit over the top. And that night, as it was
very cold, it had been determined to put the cap on the tent. So the
merry-makers formed themselves into two groups, and pitched the cap
to the top, and when it failed to lodge the other side would try its
hand. One side would call out, "Anthony," to which call the other
party would reply, "over." Then the first crowd would sing out, "Here
she comes," throwing the cap with the uttering of those words. The
peals of laughter from both sides, when the effort to lodge the cap
would fail and the teasing of each side, made me laugh whether
I wished to do so or not. After awhile it lodged alright, then
"good-nights" were exchanged, and then to bed.

I need not add that on the next day all was good humor at
headquarters, and in six days afterwards Colonel Nance, Colonel
Rutherford, and Major Maffett were all painfully wounded in battle.

       *       *       *       *       *


IN DECEMBER, 1862.

While Longstreet's troops occupied the City of Fredericksburg in the
winter of 1862, I had learned that at night one of the quartermasters
of McLaws' Division was in the habit of going across to an island in
the Rappahannock River, just above the city, to obtain hay and corn,
and to come down to the main incentive, that there was a very charming
old Virginia family who lived there, and that a bright-eyed daughter
was of that family. I set about getting a sight of this "Island
enchantress," and at last Captain Franks, who was Quartermaster of the
Seventeenth Regiment of Barksdale's Brigade, agreed to take me with
him one night. Here I was, the Adjutant of a Regiment, going over to
an island without leave, with the enemy in strong force just across
the river, and therefore liable to be captured. Nevertheless, the hope
of a peep at bright eyes has got many a man into dangerous ventures,
and my case was not different from the rest. So I went. I saw the fair
maid. She was not only beautiful, but very interesting. After it
was all over prudence whispered to me not to tempt my fate
again--especially as a fair lady in another State would have had a
right to except to such conduct on my part. I never regretted my visit
to the island, though!

       *       *       *       *       *


AN ACT OF HEROIC FIDELITY OF A NEGRO SLAVE IN THE WAR.

In looking back at the incidents of the War Between the States, it is
with great pleasure that an incident highly honorable to the African
slave race is recalled.

It was on the 13th of December, 1862, when the Third South Carolina
Regiment of Infantry was ordered from the position at the foot of
Lee's Hill, at Fredericksburg, Va., to Mayree's House, near but to the
right of the sunken road protected by the rock fence, that in going
down the Telegraph Road the regiment was for a time exposed to the
fire of the Federal batteries on the Stafford Heights. A shell from
those batteries was so accurately directed that it burst near
by Company C, of that regiment, and one of the results was that
Lieutenant James Spencer Piester, of that company, was instantly
killed. His body lay in that road and his faithful body servant,
Simpson Piester, went to the body of his master and tenderly taking
it into his arms, bore it to the rear, so that it might be sent to his
relatives in Newberry, South Carolina. Anyone who had occasion to go
upon the Telegraph Road in that day must appreciate the courage and
fidelity involved in the act performed by Simpson Piester.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XV

Reminiscences.


After the smoke of the great battle had cleared away and the enemy
settled permanently in their old quarters north of the Rappahannock,
Lee moved his army some miles south of Fredericksburg, on the wooded
highlands, and prepared for winter quarters. This was not a very
laborious undertaking, nor of long duration, for all that was
necessary was to pitch our old wornout, slanting-roof tents, occupied
by six or eight men each. The troops had become too well acquainted
with the uncertainty of their duration in camp to go into any very
laborious or elaborate preparations. Kershaw had a very desirable
location among the wooded hills, but this was soon denuded of every
vestige of fuel of every kind, for it must be understood the army had
no wagons or teams to haul their fire wood, but each had to carry his
share of the wood required for the daily use, and often a mile or mile
and a half distant. At the close of the year the Eastern Army found
itself in quite easy circumstances and well pleased with the year's
campaign, but the fruits of our victory were more in brilliant
achievements than material results.

In the Western Army it was not so successful. On the first of the year
General Albert Sidney Johnston had his army at Bowling Green, Ky. But
disaster after disaster befell him, until two states were lost to the
Confederacy, as well as that great commander himself, who fell at the
moment of victory on the fatal field of Shiloh. Commencing with
the fall of Fort Henry on the Tennessee, then Fort Donaldson on the
Cumberland, which necessitated the evacuation of the lines of defense
at Bowling Green, and the withdrawal of the army from Kentucky. At
Pittsburg Landing Grant was overwhelmingly defeated by the army under
Beauregard, but by the division of the army under the two Confederate
leaders, and the overpowering numbers of the enemy under some of the
greatest Generals in the Union Army, Beauregard was forced to withdraw
to Shiloh. Here the two combined armies of Beauregard and Johnston
attacked the Union Army under Grant, Sherman, Buell, Lew Wallace, and
other military geniuses, with over one hundred and sixteen thousand
men, as against an army of forty-eight thousand Confederates. After
one of the most stubborn, as well as bloodiest battles of the war, the
Confederates gained a complete victory on the first day, but through
a combined train of circumstances, they were forced to withdraw the
second. After other battles, with varied results, the end of the year
found the Western Army in Northern Mississippi and Southern Tennessee.

The Eastern Army, on the other hand, had hurled the enemy from
the very gates of the Capital of the Confederacy, after seven days
fighting, doubling it up in an indefinable mass, and had driven
it northward in haste; on the plains of Manassas it was overtaken,
beaten, and almost annihilated, only failing in a repetition of the
same, ending as the first battle of that name and place; by the same
causes, viz., Sykes' Regulars, the enemy pushed across the Potomac,
putting the Capitol, as well as the whole North, in a perfect state of
panic; the Confederates entered the enemy's own country, capturing one
of their strongholds, with eleven thousand prisoners and munitions
of war, enough to equip an army; fought one of the most sanguinary
battles of modern times almost within sight of the Capitol itself, if
not to a successful finish to a very creditable draw; returned South,
unmolested, with its prisoners and untold booty; fought the great
battle of Fredericksburg, with the results just enumerated. Could
Napoleon, Frederick the Great, or the "Madman of the North" have done
better with the forces at hand and against an enemy with odds of two
and three to one? So Lee's Army had nothing of which to complain, only
the loss of so many great and chivalrous comrades.

We had little picketing to do, once perhaps a month, then in the
deserted houses of Fredericksburg. Guard duty around camp was
abolished for the winter; so was drilling, only on nice, warm days;
the latter, however, was rarely seen during that season. The troops
abandoned themselves to base ball, snow fights, writing letters, and
receiving as guests in their camps friends and relatives, who never
failed to bring with them great boxes of the good things from home,
as well as clothing and shoes for the needy soldiers. Furloughs were
granted in limited numbers. Recruits and now the thoroughly healed of
the wounded from the many engagements flocked to our ranks, making all
put on a cheerful face.

That winter in Virginia was one of the most severe known in many
years, but the soldiers had become accustomed to the cold of the
North, and rather liked it than otherwise, especially when snow fell
to the depth of twelve to sixteen inches, and remained for two or
three weeks. So the reader can see that the soldier's life has its
sunny side, as well as its dark. The troops delight in "snow balling,"
and revelled in the sport for days at a time. Many hard battles
were fought, won, and lost; sometimes company against company, then
regiment against regiment, and sometimes brigades would be pitted
against rival brigades. When the South Carolinians were against the
Georgians, or the two Georgia brigades against Kershaw's and the
Mississippi brigades, then the blows would fall fast and furious.
The fiercest fight and the hardest run of my life was when Kershaw's
Brigade, under Colonel Rutherford, of the Third, challenged and fought
Cobb's Georgians. Colonel Rutherford was a great lover of the sport,
and wherever a contest was going on he would be sure to take a hand.
On the day alluded to Colonel Rutherford martialed his men by
the beating of drums and the bugle's blast; officers headed their
companies, regiments formed, with flags flying, then when all was
ready the troops were marched to the brow of a hill, or rather half
way down the hill, and formed line of battle, there to await the
coming of the Georgians. They were at that moment advancing across the
plain that separated the two camps. The men built great pyramids
of snow balls in their rear, and awaited the assault of the fast
approaching enemy. Officers cheered the men and urged them to stand
fast and uphold the "honor of their State," while the officers on the
other side besought their men to sweep all before them off the field.

The men stood trembling with cold and emotion, and the officers with
fear, for the officer who was luckless enough as to fall into the
hands of a set of "snow revelers," found to his sorrow that his bed
was not one of roses. When the Georgians were within one hundred feet
the order was given to "fire." Then shower after shower of the fleecy
balls filled the air. Cheer after cheer went up from the assaulters
and the assaultant--now pressed back by the flying balls, then to the
assault again. Officers shouted to the men, and they answered with a
"yell." When some, more bold than the rest, ventured too near, he was
caught and dragged through the lines, while his comrades made frantic
efforts to rescue him. The poor prisoner, now safely behind the lines,
his fate problematical, as down in the snow he was pulled, now on his
face, next on his back, then swung round and round by his heels--all
the while snow being pushed down his back or in his bosom, his eyes,
ears, and hair thoroughly filled with the "beautiful snow." After a
fifteen minutes' struggle, our lines gave way. The fierce looks of a
tall, muscular, wild-eyed Georgian, who stood directly in my front,
seemed to have singled me out for sacrifice. The stampede began. I
tried to lead the command in the rout by placing myself in the front
of the boldest and stoutest squad in the ranks, all the while shouting
to the men to "turn boys turn." But they continued to charge to the
rear, and in the nearest cut to our camp, then a mile off, I saw
the only chance to save myself from the clutches of that wild-eyed
Georgian was in continual and rapid flight. The idea of a boy
seventeen years old, and never yet tipped the beam at one hundred, in
the grasp of that monster, as he now began to look to me, gave me the
horrors. One by one the men began to pass me, and while the distance
between us and the camp grew less at each step, yet the distance
between me and my pursuer grew less as we proceeded in our mad race.
The broad expanse that lay between the men and camp was one flying,
surging mass, while the earth, or rather the snow, all around was
filled with men who had fallen or been overtaken, and now in the last
throes of a desperate snow battle. I dared not look behind, but kept
bravely on. My breath grew fast and thick, and the camp seemed a
perfect mirage, now near at hand then far in the distance. The men
who had not yet fallen in the hands of the reckless Georgians had
distanced me, and the only energy that kept me to the race was the
hope that some mishap might befall the wild-eyed man in my rear,
otherwise I was gone. No one would have the temerity to tackle the
giant in his rage. But all things must come to an end, and my race
ended by falling in my tent, more dead than alive, just as I felt
the warm breath of my pursuer blowing on my neck. I heard, as I lay
panting, the wild-eyed man say, "I would rather have caught that
d----n little Captain than to have killed the biggest man in the
Yankee Army."

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XVI

Campaign of 1863--Battle of Chancellorsville.


On the morning of April 29th the soldiers were aroused from their
slumbers by the beating of the long roll. What an ominous sound is
the long roll to the soldier wrapped in his blanket and enjoying the
sweets of sleep. It is like a fire bell at night. It denotes battle.
It tells the soldier the enemy is moving; it means haste and active
preparation. A battle is imminent. The soldiers thus roused, as if
from their long sleep since Fredericksburg, feel in a touchous mood.
The frightful scenes of Fredericksburg and Mayree's Hill rise up
before them as a spectre. Soldiers rush out of their tents, asking
questions and making suppositions. Others are busily engaged folding
blankets, tearing down tents, and making preparations to move;
companies formed into regiments and regiments into brigades. The
distant boom of cannon beyond the Rappahannock tells us that the enemy
is to cross the river again and try conclusions with the soldiers of
Lee. All expected a bloody engagement, for the Federal Army had been
greatly recruited, under excellent discipline, and headed by Fighting
Joe Hooker. He was one of the best officers in that army, and he
himself had boasted that his was the "finest army that had ever been
organized upon the planet." It numbered one hundred and thirty-one
thousand men of all arms, while Lee had barely sixty thousand. We
moved rapidly in the direction of Fredericksburg. I never saw Kershaw
look so well. Riding his iron-gray at the head of his columns, one
could not but be impressed with his soldierly appearance. He seemed a
veritable knight of old. Leading his brigade above the city, he took
position in the old entrenchments.

Before reaching the battle line, the enemy had already placed pontoons
near the old place of landing, crossed over a portion of their army,
and was now picketing on the south side of the river. One company from
each regiment was thrown out as sharpshooters or skirmishers, under
Captain Goggans, of the Seventh, and deployed in the valley below,
where we could watch the enemy. My company was of the number. Nothing
was done during the day but a continual change of positions. We
remained on the skirmish line during the night without fire or without
any relief, expecting an advance next morning, or to be relieved at
least. The sun was obscured by the densest fog the following morning I
had almost ever witnessed. When it cleared up, about 10 o'clock, what
was our astonishment?--to find no enemy in our front, nor friends in
our rear. There were, however, some Federals opposite and below the
city, but they belonged to another division. We could hear occasional
cannonading some miles up the Rappahannock. By some staff officers
passing, we ascertained that Hooker had withdrawn during the night in
our front, recrossed the river at Ely's and Raccoon fords, or some of
the fords opposite the Wilderness. This was on Friday, May the first.
After a consultation with the officers of our detachment, it was
agreed to evacuate our position and join our regiments wherever we
could find them. We had no rations, and this was one of the incentives
to move. But had the men been supplied with provisions, and the matter
left to them alone, I doubt very much whether they would have chosen
to leave the ground now occupied, as we were in comparative safety and
no enemy in sight, while to join our commands would add largely to
the chances of getting in battle. I am sorry to say a majority of
the officers were of that opinion, too. Some brought to bear one of
Napoleon's maxims I had heard when a boy, "When a soldier is in doubt
where to go, always go to the place you hear the heaviest firing," and
we could indistinctly hear occasional booming of cannon high up
the river, indicating that a part of the army at least was in that
direction.

So we moved back and over the breastworks, on to the plank road
leading to Orange Court House. Making our way, keeping together as a
battalion, up that road in the direction of the Wilderness, near noon
we could hear the deep bay of cannon, now distant and indistinct, then
again more rapidly and quite distinguishable, showing plainly that Lee
was having a running fight. Later in the day we passed dead horses and
a few dead and wounded soldiers. On every hand were indications of the
effects of shot and shell. Trees were shattered along the road
side, fences torn down and rude breastworks made here and there,
the evidence of heavy skirmishing in our front. Lee was pressing the
advance guard that had crossed at one of the lower fords back on the
main army, crossing then at fords opposite and above the Chancellor's
House. Near sundown the firing was conspicuously heavy, especially
the artillery. The men of most of the companies evinced a desire to
frequently rest, and in every way delay our march as much as possible.
Some of the officers, too, joined with the men and offered objections
to rushing headlong into battle without orders. I knew that our
brigade was somewhere in our front, and from the firing I was
thoroughly convinced a battle was imminent, and in that case our duty
called us to our command. Not through any cowardice, however, did the
men hesitate, for all this fiction written about men's eagerness for
battle, their ungovernable desire to throw themselves upon the enemy,
their great love of hearing the bursting of shells over their heads,
the whizzing of minnie balls through their ranks is all very well for
romance and on paper, but a soldier left free to himself, unless
he seeks notoriety or honors, will not often rush voluntarily into
battle, and if he can escape it honorably, he will do it nine times
out of ten. There are times, however, when officers, whose keen sense
of duty and honorable appreciation of the position they occupy,
will lead their commands into battle unauthorized, when they see the
necessity, but a private who owes no obedience nor allegiance only to
his superiors, and has no responsibility, seldom ever goes voluntarily
into battle; if so, once is enough.

Under these circumstances, as the sun was near setting, we learned
from some wounded soldier that Kershaw was moving in line of battle
to the left of the plank road. Another Captain and myself deserted our
companions and made our way to our regiments with our companies. As we
came upon it, it was just moving out from a thicket into an open field
under a heavy skirmish fire and a fierce fire from a battery in our
front. We marched at a double-quick to rejoin the regiment, and the
proudest moments of my life, and the sweetest words to hear, was as
the other portion of the regiment saw us coming they gave a cheer of
welcome and shouted, "Hurrah! for the Dutch; the Dutch has come;
make way to the left for the Dutch," and such terms of gladness and
welcome, that I thought, even while the "Dutch" and its youthful
commander were but a mere speck of the great army, still some had
missed us, and I was glad to feel the touch of their elbow on the
right and left when a battle was in progress.

Companies in the army, like school boys, almost all have "nick-names."
Mine was called the "Dutch" from the fact of its having been raised in
that section of the country between Saluda River and the Broad, known
as "Dutch Fork." A century or more before, this country, just above
Columbia and in the fork of the two rivers, was settled by German
refugees, hence the name "Dutch Fork."

After joining the regiment, we only advanced a little further and
halted for the night, sleeping with guns in arms, lest a night attack
might find the troops illy prepared were the guns in stack. We were
so near the enemy that fires were not allowed, and none permitted to
speak above a whisper. Two men from each company were detailed to go
to the rear and cook rations. It is not an easy task for two men, who
had been marching and fighting all day, to be up all night cooking
three meals each for thirty or forty men, having to gather their own
fuel, and often going half mile for water. A whole day's ration is
always cooked at one time on marches, as night is the only time
for cooking. The decrees of an order for a detail are inexorable. A
soldier must take it as it comes, for none ever know but what the next
duties may be even worse than the present. As a general rule, soldiers
rarely ever grumble at any detail on the eve of an engagement, for
sometimes it excuses them from a battle, and the old experienced
veteran never refuses that.

At daylight a battery some two hundred yards in our front opened a
furious fire upon us, the shells coming uncomfortably near our heads.
If there were any infantry between the battery and our troops, they
must have laid low to escape the shots over their heads. But after a
few rounds they limbered up and scampered away. We moved slowly along
with heavy skirmishing in our front all the morning of the second.
When near the Chancellor's House, we formed line of battle in a kind
of semi-circle, our right resting on the river and extending over the
plank road, Kershaw being some distance to the left of this road,
the Fifteenth Regiment occupying the right. Here we remained for
the remainder of the day. We heard the word coming up the line, "No
cheering, no cheering." In a few moments General Lee came riding along
the lines, going to the left. He had with him quite a number of his
staff and one or two couriers. He looked straight to the front and
thoughtful, noticing none of the soldiers who rushed to the line to
see him pass. He no doubt was then forming the masterful move, and
one, too, in opposition to all rules or order of military science
or strategy, "the division of his army in the face of the enemy,"
a movement that has caused many armies, before, destruction and the
downfall of its commander. But nothing succeeds like success. The
great disparity in numbers was so great that Lee could only watch
and hope for some mistake or blunder of his adversary, or by some
extraordinary strategic manoeuver on his own part, gain the advantage
by which his opponent would be ruined. Hooker had one hundred and
thirty thousand men, while Lee had only sixty thousand. With
this number it seemed an easy task for Hooker to threaten Lee
at Fredericksburg, then fall upon him with his entire force at
Chancellorsville and crush him before Lee could extricate himself from
the meshes that were surrounding him, and retreat to Richmond. The
dense Wilderness seemed providential for the movement upon which Lee
had now determined to stake the fate of his army and the fortunes of
the Confederacy. Its heavy, thick undergrowth entirely obstructed
the view and hid the movements to be made. Jackson, with Rhodes,
Colston's, and A.P. Hill's Divisions, were to make a detour around
the enemy's right, march by dull roads and bridle paths through
the tangled forest, and fall upon the enemy's rear, while McLaws,
Anderson's, and Early's Divisions were to hold him in check in front.
Pickett's Division had, before this time, been sent to Wilmington,
N.C., while Ransom's Division, with Barksdale's Mississippi
Brigade, of McLaws' Division, were to keep watch of the enemy at
Fredericksburg. The Federal General, Stoneman, with his cavalry, was
then on his famous but disastrous raid to Richmond. Jackson commenced
his march early in the morning, and kept it up all day, turning back
towards the rear of the enemy when sufficiently distant that his
movement could not be detected. By marching eighteen or twenty miles
he was then within three miles of his starting point. But Hooker's
Army stood between him and Lee. Near night Jackson struck the enemy a
terrific blow, near the plank road, just opposite to where we lay, and
the cannonading was simply deafening. The shots fired from some of the
rifled guns of Jackson passed far overhead of the enemy and fell in
our rear. Hooker, bewildered and lost in the meshes of the Wilderness,
had formed his divisions in line of battle in echelon, and moved out
from the river. Great gaps would intervene between the division in
front and the one in rear. Little did he think an enemy was marching
rapidly for his rear, another watching every movement in front, and
those enemies, Jackson and Lee, unknown to Hooker, his flank stood
exposed and the distance between the columns gave an ordinary enemy an
advantage seldom offered by an astute General, but to such an enemy as
Jackson it was more than he had hoped or even dared to expect. As he
sat watching the broken columns of the enemy struggling through
the dense undergrowth, the favorable moment came. Seizing it with
promptness and daring, so characteristic of the man, he, like Napoleon
at Austerlitz, when he saw the Russians passing by his front with
their flanks exposed, rushed upon them like a wild beast upon
its prey, turning the exposed column back upon its rear. Colston,
commanding Jackson's old Division, led the attack, followed by A.P.
Hill. Rhodes then fell like an avalanche upon the unexpectant and
now thoroughly disorganized divisions of the retreating enemy. Volley
after volley was poured into the seething mass of advancing and
receding columns. Not much use could be made of artillery at close
range, so that arm of the service was mainly occupied in shelling
their trains and the woods in rear. Until late in the night did the
battle rage in all its fury. Darkness only added to its intensity,
and the fire was kept up until a shot through mistake lay the great
Chieftain, Stonewall Jackson, low. General A.P. Hill now took command
of the corps, and every preparation was made for the desperate
onslaught of to-morrow. By some strange intuition peculiar to the
soldier, and his ability to gather news, the word that Jackson had
fallen burst through the camp like an explosion, and cast a gloom of
sorrow over all.

As our brother South Carolinians, of McGowan's Brigade, were on the
opposite side of us, and in the heat of the fray, while we remained
idle, I take the liberty of quoting from "Caldwell's History" of that
brigade a description of the terrible scenes being enacted on that
memorable night in the Wilderness in which Jackson fell:

"Now it is night. The moon a day or two past full, rose in cloudless
sky and lighted our way. We were fronted, and then advanced on the
right of the road into a thick growth of pines. Soon a firing of
small arms sprang up before us, and directly afterwards the enemy's
artillery opened furiously, bearing upon us. The scene was terrible.
Volley after volley of musketry was poured by the Confederate line
in front of us upon the enemy. The enemy replied with equal rapidity;
cheer, wild and fierce, rang over the whole woods; officers shouted at
the top of their voices, to make themselves heard; cannon roared and
shells burst continuously. We knew nothing, could see nothing, hedged
in by the matted mass of trees. Night engagements are always dreadful,
but this was the worst I ever knew. To see your danger is bad enough,
but to hear shells whizzing and bursting over you, to hear shrapnell
and iron fragments slapping the trees and cracking off limbs, and not
know from whence death comes to you, is trying beyond all things. And
here it looked so incongruous--below raged, thunder, shout, shriek,
slaughter--above soft, silent, smiling moonlight, peace!"

The next morning A.P. Hill was moving early, but was himself wounded,
and General Jeb. Stuart, of the cavalry, took command. The fighting of
Jackson's Corps to-day surpassed that of the night before, and
after overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles, they succeeded in
dislodging Hooker from his well fortified position.

Kershaw remained in his line of battle, keeping up a constant fire
with his skirmishers. An advance upon the Chancellor's House was
momentarily expected. The long delay between the commencement of
Jackson's movement until we heard the thunder of his guns immediately
in our front and in rear of the enemy, was taken up in conjecturing,
"what move was next." All felt that it was to be no retreat, and as we
failed to advance, the mystery of our inactivity was more confounding.

Early next morning, however, the battle began in earnest. Hooker had
occupied the night in straightening out his lines and establishing a
basis of battle, with the hope of retrieving the blunder of the day
before. Stuart (or rather A.P. Hill, until wounded,) began pressing
him from the very start. We could hear the wild yells of our troops as
line after line of Hooker's were reformed, to be brushed away by the
heroism of the Southern troops. Our skirmishers began their desultory
firing of the day before. The battle seemed to near us as it
progressed, and the opening around Chancellor's House appeared to be
alive with the enemy's artillery. About two o'clock our lines were
ordered forward, and we made our way through the tangled morass, in
direction of our skirmish line. Here one of the bravest men in our
regiment was killed, private John Davis, of the "Quitman Rifles." He
was reckless beyond all reason. He loved danger for danger's sake.
Stepping behind a tree to load (he was on skirmish line) he would
pass out from this cover in plain view, take deliberate aim, and fire.
Again and again he was entreated and urged by his comrades to shield
himself, but in vain. A bullet from the enemy's sharpshooters killed
him instantly.

A singular and touching incident of this family is here recorded.
Davis had an only brother, who was equally as brave as John and
younger, James, the two being the only children of an aged but wealthy
couple, of Newberry County. After the death of John, his mother
exerted herself and hired a substitute for her baby boy, and came on
in a week after the battle for the body of her oldest son and to take
James home with her, as the only hope and solace of the declining
years of this aged father and mother. Much against his will and
wishes, but by mother's entreaties and friends' solicitations, the
young man consented to accompany his mother home. But fate seemed to
follow them here and play them false, for in less than two weeks this
brave, bright, and promising boy lay dead from a malignant disease.

As our brigade was moving through the thicket in the interval between
our main line and the skirmishers, and under a heavy fire, we came
upon a lone stranger sitting quietly upon a log. At first he was
thought an enemy, who in the denseness of the undergrowth had passed
our lines on a tour of observation. He was closely questioned, and it
turned out to be Rev. Boushell, a methodist minister belonging to
one of McGowan's South Carolina regiments, who became lost from his
command in the great flank movement of Jackson (McGowan's Brigade
belonged to Jackson's Corps), and said he came down "to see how the
battle was going and to lend aid and comfort to any wounded soldier
should he chance to find one in need of his services."

The batteries in our front were now raking the matted brush all around
and overhead, and their infantry soon became aware of our presence,
and they, too, began pouring volleys into our advancing column. The
ranks became confused, for in this wilderness we could not see twenty
paces in front. Still we moved forward with such order as was under
the conditions permissible. When near the turn-pike road General
Kershaw gave the command to "charge." The Fifteenth raised the yell;
then the Third dashed forward; the Seventh was somewhat late on
account of the almost impassable condition of the ground, but still it
and the Third Battalion, with the Second on the left, made a mad
rush for the public road, and entered it soon after the Fifteenth and
Third. A perfect sea of fire was in our faces from the many cannon
parked around the Chancellor House and graping in all directions but
the rear. Lee on the one side and Stuart on the other had closed upon
the enemy, their wings joining just in front of the house. Some of the
pieces of the enemy's artillery were not more than fifty yards in
our front, and the discharges seemed to blaze fire in our very ranks.
Infantry, too, was there massed all over the yard, and in rear of this
one vast, mingling, moving body of humanity, dead horses lay in all
directions, while the dead and wounded soldiers lay heaped and strewn
with the living. But a few volleys from our troops in the road soon
silenced all opposition from the infantry, while cannoneers were
hitching up their horses to fly away. Some were trying to drag away
their caissons and light pieces by hand, while thousands of "blue
coats," with and without arms, were running for cover to the rear. In
less than twenty minutes the firing ceased in our front, and men
were ordered to prepare breastworks. Our soldiers, like the beaver in
water, by this time had become accustomed to burrow in the ground as
soon as a "halt" was made. A shovel and a spade were carried at all
times by each company to guard against emergencies. The bursting of a
shell near my company caused a fragment to strike one of my own men on
the shoulder. He claimed to be desperately wounded, and wished to go
to the hospital. I examined him hastily to see if I could give him any
assistance. He claimed his shoulder was broken. Just then the order
was given to "commence to fortify." "G.," the wounded man, was the
first to grasp the shovel, and threw dirt with an energy that caused
my Orderly Sergeant, a brave and faithful soldier, but who never
allowed the comic side of any transaction to pass him, to say:
"Captain, look at the 'wild pigeon;' see how he scratches dirt."
All soldiers carried a "nick-name," a name given by some physical
disability or some error he had made, or from any circumstance in his
life out of the usual order. Hardly had we taken possession of the
turn-pike road and began fortifying, than the sound of shells down the
river was heard, and we were hurriedly marched down the road. McLaws'
and Andersen's Divisions were doubled-quicked down the turn-pike
road and away from the battle to meet Sedgwick, who had crossed the
Rappahannock at Fredericksburg, stormed Mayree's Heights, routed and
captured the most of Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, and was making
his way rapidly upon Lee's rear.

This Battle of Chancellorsville certainly had its many sides, with its
rapid marching, changing of positions, and generalship of the highest
order. On the day before Jackson had gone around the right flank of
Hooker and fell upon his rear, while to-day we had the novel spectacle
of Sedgwick in the rear of Lee and Stuart in rear of Hooker. No one
can foretell the result of the battle, had Hooker held his position
until Sedgwick came up. But Lee's great mind ran quick and fast. He
knew the country and was well posted by his scouts of every move and
turn of the enemy on the chessboard of battle. Anderson, with his
division, being on our right, led the advance down the road to meet
Sedgwick. We passed great parks of wagons (ordnance and commissary)
on either side of the road. Here and there were the field infirmaries
where their wounded were being attended to and where all the surplus
baggage had been stacked before the battle.

On reaching Zoar Church, some five miles in rear, we encountered
Sedgwick's advance line of skirmishers, and a heavy fusilade began.
Anderson formed line of battle on extreme right, and on right of plank
road, with the purpose of sweeping round on the enemy's left. McLaws
formed on left of the corps, his extreme left reaching out toward the
river and across the road; Kershaw being immediately on right of the
road, with the Second resting on it, then the Fifteenth, the Third
Battalion, the Eighth, the Third, and the Seventh on the right. On
the left of the road leading to Fredericksburg was a large open
field extending to the bluff near the river; on the right was a dense
thicket of pines and undergrowth. In this we had to form. The Seventh
experienced some trouble in getting into line, and many camp rumors
were afloat a few days afterwards of an uncomplimentary nature of the
Seventh's action. But this was all false, for no more gallant
regiment nor better officered, both in courage and ability, was in
the Confederate service than the "Bloody Seventh." But it was the
unfavorable nature of the ground, the difficulties experienced in
forming a line, and the crowding and lapping of the men that caused
the confusion.

Soon after our line of battle was formed and Kershaw awaiting orders
from McLaws to advance, a line of support came up in our rear, and
mistaking us for the enemy, commenced firing upon us. Handkerchiefs
went up, calls of "friends," "friends," but still the firing
continued. One Colonel seeing the danger--the enemy just in front, and
our friends firing on us in the rear--called out, "Who will volunteer
to carry our colors back to our friends in rear?" Up sprang the
handsome and gallant young Sergeant, Copeland, of the "Clinton
Divers," (one of the most magnificent and finest looking companies in
his service, having at its enlistment forty men over six feet tall),
and said, "Colonel, send me." Grasping the colors in his hand, he
carried them, waving and jesticulating in a friendly manner, until he
convinced the troops that they were friends in their front.

While thus waiting for Anderson to swing around the left of the enemy,
a desperate charge was made upon us. The cannonading was exceedingly
heavy and accurate. Great trees all around fell, snapped in twain by
the shell and solid shot, and many men were killed and wounded by the
falling timber. Trees, a foot in diameter, snapped in two like pipe
stems, and fell upon the men. It was growing dark before Anderson
could get in position, and during that time the troops never
experienced a heavier shelling. It was enough to make the stoutest
hearts quake. One of my very bravest men, one who had never failed
before, called to me as I passed, "Captain, if I am not here when the
roll is called, you may know where I am. I don't believe I can stand
this." But he did, and like the man he was, withstood it. Another, a
young recruit, and under his first fire, almost became insane, jumping
upon me and begging "for God's sake" let him go to the rear. I could
not stand this piteous appeal, and knowing he could not be of any
service to us in that condition, told him "to go." It is needless to
say he obeyed my orders. Dr. Evans, our surgeon, told me afterwards
that he came to his quarters and remained three days, perfectly crazy.

At last the order came after night to advance. In a semi-circle we
swept through the thicket; turning, we came into the road, and over
it into the opening in front. The enemy was pushed back into the
breastworks on the bluff at the river. These breastworks had been
built by our troops during the Fredericksburg battle, and afterwards
to guard and protect Raccoon and Ely's fords, just in rear. As night
was upon us, and the enemy huddled before us at the ford, we were
halted and lay on the field all night. This was the ending of the
battle of Chancellorsville.

Next morning the sun was perfectly hidden by a heavy fog, so much so
that one could not see a man twenty yards distant. Skirmishers were
thrown out and our advance made to the river, but nothing was found
on this side of the river but the wounded and the discarded rifles and
munitions of war. The wounded lay in all directions, calling for help
and heaping curses upon their friends, who had abandoned them in their
distress. Guns, tent flies, and cartridge boxes were packed up by the
wagon loads. Hooker's Army was thoroughly beaten, disheartened, and
disorganized. Met and defeated at every turn and move, they were only
too glad to place themselves across the river and under the protection
of their siege guns on Stafford's Heights. Hooker's losses were never
correctly given, but roughly computed at twenty-five thousand, while
those of Lee's were ten thousand two hundred and eighty-one. But the
Confederates counted it a dear victory in the loss of the intrepid
but silent Stonewall Jackson. There was a magic in his name that gave
enthusiasm and confidence to the whole army. To the enemy his name was
a terror and himself an apparition. He had frightened and beaten Banks
out of the Shennandoah Valley, had routed Fremont, and so entangled
and out-generaled Seigle that he was glad to put the Potomac between
himself and this silent, mysterious, and indefatigable chieftain, who
oftened prayed before battle and fought with a Bible in one hand and
a sword in the other. He came like a whirlwind upon the flank of
McClellan at Mechanicsville, and began those series of battles and
victories that terminated with the "Little Giant" being hemmed in
at Drury's Bluff and Malvern Hill. While Pope, the "Braggart," was
sweeping the fields before him in Northern Virginia, and whose boast
was he "saw only the enemy's back," and his "headquarters were in
the saddle," Jackson appeared before him like a lion in his path.
He swings around Pope's right, over the mountains, back through
Thoroughfare Gap; he sweeps through the country like a comet through
space, and falls on Pope's rear on the plains of Manassas, and sent
him flying across the Potomac like McDowell was beaten two years
before. While pursuing the enemy across the river and into Maryland,
he turns suddenly, recrosses the river, and stands before Harper's
Ferry, and captures that stronghold with scarcely a struggle. All this
was enough to give him the sobriquet of the "Silent Man," the man of
"mystery," and it is not too much to say that Jackson to the South
was worth ten thousand soldiers, while the terror of his name wrought
consternation in the ranks of the enemy.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XVII

From Chancellorsville to Gettysburg--Camp, March, and Battle.


Again we are in our old quarters. Details were sent out every day to
gather up the broken and captured guns, to be shipped to Richmond for
repairs. The soldiers had gathered a great amount of camp supplies,
such as oil cloths, tents, blankets, etc. When a soldier captured
more than a sufficiency for his own wants, he would either sell to his
comrades or to the brigade sutler. This was a unique personage with
the soldiers. He kept for sale such articles as the soldier mostly
needed, and always made great profits on his goods. Being excused from
military duty, he could come and go at will. But the great danger
was of his being captured or his tent raided by his own men, the risk
therefore being so great that he had to ask exorbitant prices for
his goods. He kept crackers, cards, oysters and sardines, paper and
envelopes, etc., and often a bottle; would purchase all the plunder
brought him and peddle the same to citizens in the rear. After the
battle of Chancellorsville a member of Company D, from Spartanburg,
took the sutler an oil cloth to buy. After the trade was effected, the
sutler was seen to throw the cloth behind a box in the tent. Gathering
some of his friends, to keep the man of trade engaged in front, the
oil cloth man would go in the rear, raise the tent, extract the oil
cloth, take it around, and sell it again. Paying over the money, the
sutler would throw the cloth behind the box, and continue his trade
with those in front. Another would go behind the tent, get the cloth,
bring it to the front, throw it upon the counter, and demand his
dollar. This was kept up till everyone had sold the oil cloth once,
and sometimes twice, but at last the old sutler began to think oil
cloths were coming in too regularly, so he looked behind the box, and
behold he had been buying the same oil cloth all night. The office was
abolished on our next campaign.

Lee began putting his army in splendid trim. All furloughs were
discontinued and drills (six per week) were now begun. To an outsider
this seemed nonsensical and an useless burden upon the soldiers, but
to a soldier nothing is more requisite to the discipline and morale of
an army than regular drills, and the army given a good share of what
is called "red tape." By the last of May, or the first of June, Lee
had recruited his army, by the non-extension of all furloughs and
the return of the slightly wounded, to sixty-eight thousand. It is
astonishing what a very slight wound will cause a soldier to seek
a furlough. He naturally thinks that after the marches, danger, and
dread of battle, a little blood drawn entitles him to at least a
thirty days' furlough. It became a custom in the army for a man to
compute the length of his furlough by the extent of his wound. The
very least was thirty days, so when a soldier was asked the nature of
his wound he would reply, "only a thirty days'," or "got this time
a sixty days;" while with an arm or foot off he would say, "I got my
discharge" at such battle.

On the 27th of June Hooker was superseded by General Geo. B. Meade,
and he bent all his energies to the discipline of his great army.

General Kershaw, on his promotion to Brigadier, surrounded himself
with a staff of young men of unequalled ability, tireless, watchful,
and brave to a fault. Captain C.R. Holmes, as Assistant Adjutant
General, was promoted to that position from one of the Charleston
companies. I fear no contradiction when I say he was one of the very
best staff officers in the army, and had he been in line of promotion
his merits would have demanded recognition and a much higher position
given him. Captain W.M. Dwight, as Adjutant and Inspector General, was
also an officer of rare attainments. Cool and collected in battle,
his presence always gave encouragement and confidence to the men under
fire. He was captured at the Wilderness the 6th of May, 1864. Captain
D.A. Doby was Kershaw's Aide-de-Camp, or personal aid, and a braver,
more daring, and reckless soldier I never saw. Wherever the battle
raged fiercest, Captain Doby was sure to be in the storm center.
Riding along the line where shells were plowing up great furrows, or
the air filled with flying fragments, and bullets following like hail
from a summer cloud, Doby would give words of cheer and encouragement
to the men. It seemed at times that he lived a charmed life, so
perilous was his situation in times of battle. But the fatal volley
that laid the lamented Jenkins low, and unhorsed Longstreet at the
Wilderness, gave Doby his last long furlough, felling from his horse
dead at the feet of his illustrious chieftain. Lieutenant John Myers
was Brigade Ordnance officer, but his duties did not call him to the
firing line, thus he was debarred from sharing with his companions
their triumphs, their dangers, and their glories, the halo that will
ever surround those who followed the plume of the knightly Kershaw.

The Colonels of the different regiments were also fortunate in
their selection of Adjutants. This is one of the most important and
responsible offices in the regimental organization. The duties are
manifold, and often thankless and unappreciated. He shares more
dangers (having to go from point to point during battle to give
orders) than most of the officers, still he is cut off, by army
regulation, from promotion, the ambition and goal of all officers.
Colonel Kennedy, of the Second, appointed as his Adjutant E.E. Sill,
of Camden, while Colonel Nance, of the Third, gave the position to his
former Orderly Sergeant, Y.J. Pope, of Newberry. Colonel Aiken, of
the Seventh, appointed as Adjutant Thomas M. Childs, who was killed at
Sharpsburg. Colonel Elbert Bland then had Lieutenant John R. Carwile,
of Edgefield, to fill the position during the remainder of the
service, or until the latter was placed upon the brigade staff.
Colonel Henagan made Lieutenant Colin M. Weatherly, of Bennettsville,
S.C., Adjutant of the Eighth. All were young men of splendid physique,
energetic, courteous, and brave. They had the love and confidence of
the entire command. W.C. Hariss, Adjutant of the Third Battalion, was
from Laurens. Of the Fifteenth, both were good officers, but as they
were not with the brigade all the while, I am not able to do them
justice.

The troops of Lee were now at the zenith of their perfection and
glory. They looked upon themselves as invincible, and that no General
the North could put in the field could match our Lee. The cavalry of
Stuart and Hampton had done some remarkably good fighting, and they
were now looked upon as an indispensable arm of the service. The
cavalry of the West were considered more as raiders than fighters,
but our dismounted cavalry was depended upon with almost as much
confidence as our infantry. This was new tactics of Lee's, never
before practiced in any army of the world. In other times, where the
cavalry could not charge and strike with their sabres, they remained
simply spectators. But Lee, in time of battle, dismounted them, and
they, with their long-ranged carbines, did good and effective service.

Grant had been foiled and defeated at Vicksburg. At Holly Springs,
Chickasaw Bayou, Yazo Pass, and Millikin's Bend he had been
successfully met and defeated. The people of West Virginia, that
mountainous region of the old commonwealth, had ever been loyal to the
Union, and now formed a new State and was admitted into the Union on
the 20th of April, 1863, under the name of "West Virginia." Here it
is well to notice a strange condition of facts that prevailed over the
whole South, and that is the loyalty to the Union of all mountainous
regions. In the mountains of North Carolina, where men are noted for
their hardihood and courage, and who, once in the field, made the very
best and bravest of soldiers, they held to the Union, and looked with
suspicion upon the heresy of Secession. The same can be said of South
Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. These men would often go
into hiding in the caves and gorges of the mountains, and defy all the
tact and strategy of the conscript officers for months, and sometimes
for years. It was not for want of courage, for they had that
in abundance, but born and reared in an atmosphere of personal
independence, they felt as free as the mountains they inhabited, and
they scorned a law that forced them to do that which was repugnant to
their ideas of personal liberty. Living in the dark recesses of the
mountains, far from the changing sentiments of their more enlightened
neighbors of the lowland, they drank in, as by inspiration with their
mother's milk, a loyalty to the general government as it had come down
to them from the days of their forefathers of the Revolution. As to
the question of slavery, they had neither kith nor kin in interest or
sentiment with that institution. As to State's rights, as long as
they were allowed to roam at will over the mountain sides, distill the
product of their valleys and mountain patches, and live undisturbed
in their glens and mountain homes, they looked upon any changes that
would effect their surroundings as innovations to be resisted to the
death. So the part that West Virginia and the mountainous regions of
the South took in the war was neither surprising to nor resented by
the people of the Confederacy.

By the middle of June Lee began to turn his eyes again to the tempting
fields of grain and army supplies of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The
Valley had been laid waste, West Virginia given up, the South was now
put to her utmost resources to furnish supplies for her vast armies.
All heavy baggage was sent to the rear, and Lee's troops began
moving by various routes up and across the river in the direction of
Culpepper Court House. But before the march began, General Lee renewed
the whole of Longstreet's Corps, and the sight of this magnificent
body of troops was both inspiring and encouraging. The corps was
formed in two columns, in a very large and level old field. The
artillery was formed on the right, and as General Lee with his staff
rode into the opening thirteen guns were fired as a salute to the
Chief. Certain officers have certain salutes. The President has, I
think, twenty-one guns, while the Commander-in-Chief has thirteen, and
so on. Wofford's Georgia regiment was on the right, then Barksdale's
Mississippi, Kershaw's South Carolina and Cobb's Georgia constituted
McLaws' division. The column wheeled by companies into line and took
up the march of review. The bands headed each brigade, and played
National airs as the troops marched by.

Barksdale had a magnificent brass band, while Kershaw had only a fife
corps headed by that prince of players, Sam Simmonds, who could get
more real music out of a fife or flute than some musicians could out
of a whole band. The music of the fife and drum, while it may not be
so accomplished, gives out more inspiring strains for the marching
soldier than any brass band. The cornet, with its accompanying pieces,
makes fine music on the stillness of the night, when soldiers are
preparing for their night's rest, but nothing gives the soldier on
the march more spirit than the fife and drum. When a company nears the
reviewing officer they give the salute by bringing their pieces from
"right shoulder" to "carry," while on the march, and from "carry" to
"present arms" when stationary. The officers raise the hilt of the
sword, grasped firmly in the right hand, till the hilt is opposite the
chin, the point of the blade extending outward about eighteen inches
from the eyes, then, with a quick movement, to the side, the point
downward and forward, and kept in this position till the reviewing
officer has passed about eighteen paces.

The army had been placed under three Lieutenant Generals: Longstreet,
with McLaw's, Hoole's and Pickett's first corps; General Ewell, with
Early's, Rhodes' and Trimble's constituting the 2d; while General A.P.
Hill commanded Anderson's, Heath's and Pendar's, the 3d. Colonel James
D. Nance commanded the 3d South Carolina, Colonel John D. Kennedy the
2d, Lieutenant Colonel Bland the 7th, Colonel Henagan the 8th.
Colonel Dessausure the 15th, and Lieutenant Colonel W.C.G. Rice the 3d
battalion, which had now been recruited by one man from each company
in the brigade, forming two new companies, and formed a battalion of
sharpshooters and skirmishers.

The great army was now ready for the ever memorable second invasion
of Maryland and Pennsylvania, which culminated in Gettysburg. The army
was never before nor afterwards under better discipline nor in better
fighting trim.

I will say here, that Colonel Aiken soon joined the brigade and took
command of his regiment until after the great battle, and then retired
permanently from active service.

On the 3d of June McLaws led off, Hood following on the 4th. Pickett
followed Hood. On the 4th and 5th Ewell broke camp and followed in
the wake of Longstreet. A.P. Hill, with 3d corps, was left at
Fredericksburg to watch the movements of the enemy. After some delay,
the enemy threatening a crossing, the 3d corps followed the other
troops, all congregating near Culpepper Court House. Reaching the Blue
Ridge mountains at Ashby's Gap on the 12th of June, at the western
base of which runs the Shenandoah, we forded the stream, it being
somewhat swollen, so much so, indeed, that men had to link hands as a
protection. The water came up under the armpits, and four men marched
abreast, holding each other by the hands. Some caught hold of horses
belonging to officers of the regimental staff. In this way we crossed
over, and took up camp in the woods beyond. The wagon trains were in
advance, and the march was slow and much impeded. Very few of the
men had divested themselves of their clothing in crossing, and
consequently when we went into quarters it was a very wet army. The
soldiers had built fires and were rinsing out their clothes, when an
order came to "fall in ranks at once." The men hastily drew on their
now thoroughly wet clothes, with all haste got into line and took up
the march back towards the river. A rumor was started "the cavalry was
pressing our rear." Kershaw's Brigade was marched back over the river,
much to their disgust, and posted on the right and left of the road
on top of the mountain. Here we were stationed all night, and being
on the watch for the enemy, no fires were allowed. Towards day a
cold mountain wind set in, and the troops suffered no little from the
chilly wind and wet clothing. At sun-up we were marched for the third
time across the river, and prepared our meals for the morning in the
quarters of the evening before. Up to this time no intimation was
given us of our destination, but while preparing our breakfast
Adjutant Pope came around with orders stating we were on our way to
Hagerstown, Md. At first some seemed to regard this as a joke, but as
Adjutant Pope was so noted for his truthfulness and lack of jesting in
business matters, we were compelled to take the matter seriously. Of
all the officers in the 3d South Carolina, Adjutant Pope, I believe,
was the most beloved. His position kept him in close contact with the
officers and men, and all had the utmost confidence in his honor and
integrity and none doubted his impartiality. He had to keep the list
of companies, to do picket duty, and detail, and he was never accused
of showing preferment to any company. He was kind and courteous to
all, and while he mingled and caroused with the men, he never forgot
his dignity nor the respect due to his superiors. Whenever a favor was
wanted, or a "friend at court" desired, he never failed to relieve and
assist the poorest private the same as the highest officer. While a
strict disciplinarian, he was indulgent to almost a fault, and was
often seen to dismount and walk with the troops and allow some tired
or sick soldier to ride his horse. Adjutant Pope and old "Doc,"
the name of his horse, were indispensable to the 3d South Carolina
regiment. The trusty old horse, like his master, survived the war and
did good service after its close.

The next day, the 13th, we took up our march in earnest. No straggling
under any circumstances was allowed. The greatest respect was to
be paid to all property, no pilfering of hen roosts, no robbery of
orchards nor burning of palings or fences along the march. Some miles
in front we struck the Staunton and Winchester turn-pike, and at
regular intervals the troops were halted for a few minutes' rest.
Occasionally the bands struck up a march and the soldiers were ordered
into line and to take up the step.

So away down the valley we marched with banners flying, bands playing
and the soldiers with a swinging step. Our march was regulated
to about eighteen miles a day. But with all the orders and strict
discipline, a great many of the soldiers who were given the name of
"Foragers" could leave camp at night and often cross the mountain into
the Luray valley, a valley, strictly speaking, laden with "milk and
honey." It had never suffered the ravages of the Shenandoah, and there
everything enticing to the appetite of the soldier was found. Before
day the forager would return with butter, bread, and often canteens
filled with pure old "Mountain Corn" or "Apple Jack." How men, after
an all day's straggling march, which is far more tiresome than an
ordinary walk, could go from ten to fifteen miles over the mountains
at night in search of something to eat or drink, is more than I could
understand.

In a day or two we heard the news of Ewell capturing Milroy at
Winchester, with 500 prisoners, and on the way a part of their troops
passed us in high glee on their way to Richmond prison. I always
noticed that the Federals, on their march to Richmond, were generally
in better spirits when being escorted by Confederates than when
commanded by their own officers with the Confederates between them and
the Southern Capital.

On the fifth day of our march we passed through Winchester, with A.P.
Hill marching parallel to us, some eight or ten miles to our right.
Ewell had pushed on to the Potomac, and was turning Washington wild
and frantic at the sight of the "Rebels" so close to their capital.
As we neared the border we could discover Union sentiment taking the
place of that of the South. Those who ever sympathized with us had to
be very cautious and circumspect. Now and then we would see a window
slowly raise in a house by the roadside, or on a hill in the
distance, and the feeble flutter of a white handkerchief told of their
Confederate proclivities. Generally the doors of all dwellings in
the extreme northern portion of Virginia, and in Maryland and
Pennsylvania, were mostly closed.

On the morning of the 25th of June we crossed the Potomac at
Williamsport. Here was shouting and yelling. Hats went into the air,
flags dipped and swayed, the bands played "Maryland, My Maryland,"
while the men sang "All Quiet on the Potomac To-night." We were now
in the enemy's country, and scarcely a shot was fired. We had
lost Stuart. "Where was he?" "Stewart has left us." These and like
expressions were heard on all sides. That bold and audacious cavalier,
in a sudden fit of adventure, or hardihood unequalled, had crossed the
Potomac in sight of the spires of Washington, almost under its very
guns, and had frightened the authorities out of their wits. Every
citizen that could possibly get out of the place was grabbing his
valuables and fleeing the city on every train. The Cabinet officers
were running hither and thither, not able to form a sensible or
rational idea. Had it been possible to have evacuated the city, that
would have been done. A Confederate prison or a hasty gibbet stared
Staunton in the face, and he was sending telegrams like lightning
over the land. Lincoln was the only one who seemingly had not lost his
head. But Stuart pushed on toward York and Carlisle, while Ewell had
carried fear and trembling to Philadelphia and Baltimore. Mead was
marching with the energy of despair to head off Lee and his victorious
troops. Longstreet halted at Chambersburg and awaited developments.
The troops lived in clover. The best of everything generally was given
freely and willingly to them. Great herds of the finest and fattest
beeves were continually being gathered together. Our broken down
artillery horses and wagon mules were replaced by Pennsylvania's
best. But in all, duly paid for in Confederate notes given by our
Commissaries and Quartermasters.

At Hagerstown, Hill's troops came up with those of Longstreet, both
moving on to Chambersburg, and there remained until the 27th.

General Lee had issued an address to the people of Maryland setting
forth the reasons and causes of his army invading their country,
offering peace and protection, and calling upon them to repair to his
standard and throw off the tyranny and oppression that were bearing
them down. He claimed to come, not as a conqueror, nor as one in
pursuit of conquest, but as a liberator. But the people seemed to be
in a state of lethargy, and to take little interest in the contest
one way or the other. Guards were placed at all homes where such
protection was asked for, and their fields of grain and orchards, as
well as their domestic possessions, were sacredly guarded.

It was the general plan of Lee not to fight an aggressive battle in
the enemy's country, but to draw the army of the North away from his
lines of communities, and fight him on the defensive at favorable
points.

Ewell had been sent on towards Carlisle and York, both those places
being promptly delivered to the Confederates by the civil authorities.

In passing through Pennsylvania, many curious characters were found
among the quaint old Quaker settlers, who viewed the army of Lee
not with "fear" or "trembling," but more in wonder and Christian
abhorrence. When the front of the column came to the line dividing
Pennsylvania and Maryland, it was met by a delegation of those
rigorously righteous old Quakers who, stepping in the middle of the
road, commanded, as in the name of God, "So far thou canst go, but
no farther." After performing this seemingly command of God, and
in accordance with their faith, a perfect abhorrence to war and
bloodshed, they returned to their homes perfectly satisfied. It is
needless to say the commander of Lee's 2d corps paid little heed to
the command of the pious Quakers.

After remaining near Chambersburg Kershaw, with the other portion of
the division, marched on to a little hamlet called Greenwood, leaving
a part of Pickett's division at Chambersburg to guard our trains.

On the 29th the troops in advance began gradually to concentrate in
the direction of Cashtown, some eight or ten miles west of Gettysburg.
Ewell was bearing down from Carlisle, A.P. Hill was moving east, while
Longstreet was moved up to Greenwood.

On the first of July A.P. Hill had met the enemy near Gettysburg, and
fought the first day's battle of that name, driving the enemy back
and through that city, part of his lines occupying the streets of
Gettysburg and extending north and around the city. The distance
intervening and the mountainous condition of the country prevented
us from hearing the roar of the guns, and little did any of us think,
while enjoying the rest in our tents, one portion of our army was in
the throes of a desperate battle. Up to this time not a word had been
heard from Stuart and his cavalry, and this seriously disturbed
the mind of our great commander. The positions of the enemy, moving
against our rear and flank, necessitated a battle or a withdrawal,
and to fight a great battle without the aid of cavalry simply seemed
preposterous. General Stuart has been greatly censured for his conduct
during these stirring times, just on the eve of this, the greatest
battle fought in modern times.

Near sundown, June 1st, we got orders to move along a dull road over
hills, mountains and valleys. We marched with elastic step, every
one feeling the time had come for active work. Early on our march we
encountered General J.E. Johnston's brigade of Early's division, that
had been left at Chambersburg, together with all of Ewell's wagon
trains. This delayed our march until it was thought all were well out
of the way. But before midnight it was overtaken again, and then the
march became slow and tedious. To walk two or three steps, and then
halt for that length of time, was anything but restful and assuring
to troops who had marched all night without sleep or rest. About three
o'clock at night, when we had reached the summit of an eminence, we
saw in the plain before us a great sea of white tents, silent and
still, with here and there a groan, or a surgeon passing from one tent
to another relieving the pain of some poor mortal who had fallen in
battle on the morning of the day before. We had come upon the field
hospital of Hill, where he had his wounded of the day before encamped.
Here we first heard of the fight in which so many brave men had
fallen, without any decided results. As we had friends and relatives
in A.P. Hill's corps, all began to make inquiries for Gregg's old
brigade. We heard with delight and animation of the grand conduct
of the banner brigade of South Carolina, "Gregg's" or McGowan's,
and listened with no little pride to the report of their desperate
struggle through the streets of Gettysburg, and to learn that the flag
in the hands of a member of a Palmetto regiment first waved over the
city. I heard here of the desperate wounding of an old friend and
school-mate, Lieutenant W.L. Leitsey, and left the ranks long enough
to hunt him up in one of the many tents to the left. I found him
severely wounded, so much so that I never met him afterwards. While
marching along at a "snail's gait" among the wagons and artillery
trains, with a long row of tents to the left, tired and worn out and
so dark that you could not distinguish objects a few feet distant, a
lone man was standing by the road side viewing, as well as he could in
the dark, the passing troops. The slowness of our march enabled me to
have a few words of conversation with him. At its end, and just as I
was passing him, I heard, or thought I heard him say, "I have a drink
in here," pointing to a tent, "if you feel like it." Reader, you may
have heard of angel's voices in times of great distress, but if ever
an angel spoke, it was at that particular moment, and to me. I was so
tired, sleepy and worn out I could scarcely stand, and a drink would
certainly be invigorating, but for fear I had not heard or understood
him clearly I had him to repeat it. In fact, so timely was it that I
felt as if I could have listened all night, so much like the voice
of a syren was it at that moment. I said "Yes! Yes!!" But just then
I thought of my friend and companion, my next Color Captain, John
W. Watts, who was just ahead of me and marching under the same
difficulties as myself. I told the man I had a friend in front who
wanted a drink worse than I did. He answered "there is enough for
two," and we went in. It was Egyptian darkness, but we found a jug and
tin cup on the table, and helped ourselves. It may have been that in
the darkness we helped ourselves too bountifully, for that morning
Watts found himself in an ambulance going to the rear. Overcome by
weariness and the potion swallowed in the dark perhaps, he lay down by
the roadside to snatch a few moments sleep, and was picked up by the
driver of the ambulance as one desperately wounded, and the driver was
playing the Good Samaritan. Just before we went into action that day,
I saw coming through an old field my lost friend, and right royally
glad was I to see him, for I was always glad when I had Watts on my
right of the colors. Our brigade lay down by the roadside to rest and
recuperate for a few hours, near Willoughby's Run, four miles from
Gettysburg.

[Illustration: R.C. Carlisle Major and Surgeon, 7th S.C. Regiment]

[Illustration: Capt. J. A, Mitchell, Co. E, 7th S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Capt. D.J. Griffith, Co. C, 15th S.C. Regiment]

[Illustration: Capt. Andrew T. Harllee, Co. I, 8th S.C. Regiment.]

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XVIII

Battle of Gettysburg--July 2d.


When the troops were aroused from their slumbers on that beautiful
clear morning of the 2d of July, the sun had long since shot its rays
over the quaint old, now historic, town of Gettysburg, sleeping down
among the hills and spurs of the Blue Ridge. After an all-night's
march, and a hard day's work before them, the troops were allowed all
the rest and repose possible. I will here state that Longstreet had
with him only two divisions of his corps, with four brigades to a
division. Pickett was left near Chambersburg to protect the numerous
supply trains. Jenkins' South Carolina brigade of his division had
been left in Virginia to guard the mountain passes against a possible
cavalry raid, and thus had not the opportunity of sharing with the
other South Carolinians in the glories that will forever cluster
around Gettysburg. They would, too, had they been present, have
enjoyed and deserved the halo that will for all time surround the
"charge of Pickett," a charge that will go down in history with
Balaclava and Hohenlinden.

A.P. Hill, aided by part of Ewell's corps, had fought a winning fight
the day before, and had driven the enemy from the field through the
streets of the sleepy old town of Gettysburg to the high ground on
the east. But this was only the advance guard of General Meade, thrown
forward to gain time in order to bring up his main army. He was now
concentrating it with all haste, and forming in rear of the rugged
ridge running south of Gettysburg and culminating in the promontories
at the Round Top. Behind this ridge was soon to assemble an army, if
not the largest, yet the grandest, best disciplined, best equipped of
all time, with an incentive to do successful battle as seldom falls to
the lot of an army, and on its success or defeat depended the fate of
two nations.

There was a kind of intuition, an apparent settled fact, among the
soldiers of Longstreet's corps, that after all the other troops had
made their long marches, tugged at the flanks of the enemy, threatened
his rear, and all the display of strategy and generalship had been
exhausted in the dislodgement of the foe, and all these failed, then
when the hard, stubborn, decisive blow was to be struck, the troops of
the first corps were called upon to strike it. Longstreet had informed
Lee at the outset, "My corps is as solid as a rock--a great rock. I
will strike the blow, and win, if the other troops gather the fruits
of victory." How confident the old "War Horse," as General Lee called
him, was in the solidity and courage of his troops. Little did he know
when he made the assertion that so soon his seventeen thousand men
were to be pitted against the whole army of the Potomac. Still, no
battle was ever considered decisive until Longstreet, with his
cool, steady head, his heart of steel and troops who acknowledged no
superior, or scarcely equal, in ancient or modern times, in endurance
and courage, had measured strength with the enemy. This I give, not
as a personal view, but as the feelings, the confidence and pardonable
pride of the troops of the 1st corps.

As A.P. Hill and Ewell had had their bout the day before, it was a
foregone conclusion that Longstreet's time to measure strength was
near at hand, and the men braced themselves accordingly for the
ordeal.

A ridge running parallel with that behind which the enemy stood, but
not near so precipitous or rugged, and about a mile distant, with a
gentle decline towards the base of the opposite ridge, was to be
the base of the battle ground of the day. This plain or gentle slope
between the two armies, a mile in extent, was mostly open fields
covered with grain or other crops, with here and there a farm house,
orchard and garden. It seems from reports since made that Lee had not
matured his plan of battle until late in the forenoon. He called
a council of war of his principal Lieutenant to discuss plans and
feasibilities. It was a long time undecided whether Ewell should lead
the battle on the right, or allow Longstreet to throw his whole corps
on the Round Top and break away these strongholds, the very citadel
to Meade's whole line. The latter was agreed upon, much against the
judgment of General Longstreet but Lee's orders were imperative,
and obeyed with alacrity. At ten o'clock the movement began for the
formation of the columns of assault. Along and in rear of the ridge
we marched at a slow and halting gait. The Washington artillery had
preceded us, and soon afterwards Alexander's battery passed to select
positions. We marched and countermarched, first to the right, then to
the left. As we thus marched we had little opportunity as yet to view
the strongholds of the enemy on the opposite ridge, nor the incline
between, which was soon to be strewn with the dead and dying.
Occasionally a General would ride to the crest and take a survey of
the surroundings. No cannon had yet been fired on either side, and
everything was quiet and still save the tread of the thousands in
motion, as if preparing for a great review.

Longstreet passed us once or twice, but he had his eyes cast to the
ground, as if in a deep study, his mind disturbed, and had more the
look of gloom than I had ever noticed before. Well might the great
chieftain look cast down with the weight of this great responsibility
resting upon him. There seemed to be an air of heaviness hanging
around all. The soldiers trod with a firm but seeming heavy tread. Not
that there was any want of confidence or doubt of ultimate success,
but each felt within himself that this was to be the decisive battle
of the war, and as a consequence it would be stubborn and bloody.
Soldiers looked in the faces of their fellow-soldiers with a silent
sympathy that spoke more eloquently than words an exhibition of
brotherly love never before witnessed in the 1st corps. They felt
a sympathy for those whom they knew, before the setting of the sun,
would feel touch of the elbow for the last time, and who must fall
upon this distant field and in an enemy's country.

About noon we were moved over the crest and halted behind a stone wall
that ran parallel to a county road, our center being near a gateway
in the wall. As soon as the halt was made the soldiers fell down, and
soon the most of them were fast asleep. While here, it was necessary
for some troops of Hill's to pass over up and through the gate. The
head of the column was lead by a doughty General clad in a brilliant
new uniform, a crimson sash encircling his waist, its deep, heavy
hanging down to his sword scabbard, while great golden curls hung in
maiden ringlets to his very shoulders. His movement was superb and he
sat his horse in true Knightly manner. On the whole, such a turn-out
was a sight seldom witnessed by the staid soldiers of the First Corps.
As he was passing a man in Company D, 3d South Carolina, roused up
from his broken sleep, saw for the first time the soldier wonder with
the long curls. He called out to him, not knowing he was an officer of
such rank, "Say, Mister, come right down out of that hair," a foolish
and unnecessary expression that was common throughout the army when
anything unusual hove in sight.

This hail roused all the ire in the flashy General, he became as
"mad as a March hare," and wheeling his horse, dashed up to where the
challenge appeared to have come from and demanded in an angry tone,
"Who was that spoke? Who commands this company?" And as no reply was
given he turned away, saying, "D----d if I only knew who it was
that insulted me, I would put a ball in him." But as he rode off the
soldier gave him a Parthian shot by calling after him, "Say, Mister,
don't get so mad about it, I thought you were some d----n wagon
master."

Slowly again our column began moving to the right. The center of the
division was halted in front of little Round Top. Kershaw was then on
the right, Barksdale with his Mississippians on his left, Wofford and
Semmes with their Georgians in rear as support. Everything was quiet
in our front, as if the enemy had put his house in order and awaited
our coming. Kershaw took position behind a tumbled down wall to await
Hood's movements on our right, and who was to open the battle by the
assault on Round Top. The country on our right, through which Hood had
to manoeuver, was very much broken and thickly studded with trees and
mountain undergrowth, which delayed that General in getting in battle
line. Anderson's Georgians, with Hood's old Texas Brigade under
Robertson, was on McLaws' immediate right, next to Kershaw. Law's
Alabama Brigade was on the extreme right, and made the first advance.
On McLaws' left was Wilcox, of General "Tige" Anderson's Division of
the 3d Corps, with Posey and other troops to his left, these to act
more as a brace to Longstreet as he advanced to the assault; however,
most of them were drawn into the vortex of battle before the close of
the day. In Kershaw's Brigade, the 2d under Colonel John D. Kennedy
and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Gilliard, the 15th under Colonel W.D.
Dessausure and Major Wm. Gist, the 3d under Colonel James D. Nance
and Major R.C. Maffett, the 7th under Colonel D. Wyatt Aiken and
Lieutenant Colonel Elbert Bland, the 3d Battallion under Lieutenant
Colonel W.G. Rice, the 8th under Colonel John W. Henagan, Lieutenant
Colonel Hool and Major McLeod, went into battle in the order named, as
far as I remember. Major Wm. Wallace of the 2d commanded the brigade
skirmish line or sharpshooters, now some distance in our front. A
battery of ten guns was immediately in our rear, in a grove of oaks,
and drew on us a heavy fire when the artillery duel began. All troops
in line, the batteries in position, nothing was wanting but the signal
gun to put these mighty forces in motion. Ewell had been engaged
during the morning in a desultory battle far to our left and beyond
the town, but had now quieted down. A blue puff of smoke, a deafening
report from one of the guns of the Washington Artillery of New
Orleans, followed in quick succession by others, gave the signal to
both armies--the battle was now on.

It was the plan of action for Hood to move forward first and engage
the enemy, and when once the combat was well under way on the right,
McLaws to press his columns to the front. Law, with his Alabamians,
was closing around the southern base of greater Round Top, while
Robertson, with his three Texas regiments and one Arkansas, and
Anderson with his Georgians, were pushing their way through thickets
and over boulders to the front base of the Round Tops and the gorges
between the two. We could easily determine their progress by the
"rebel yell" as it rang out in triumph along the mountain sides.

The battery in our rear was drawing a fearful fire upon us, as we lay
behind the stone fence, and all were but too anxious to be ordered
forward. Barksdale, on our left, moved out first, just in front of the
famous Peach Orchard. A heavy battery was posted there, supported by
McCandless' and Willard's Divisions, and began raking Barksdale from
the start. The brave old Mississippian, who was so soon to lose
his life, asked permission to charge and take the battery, but was
refused. Kershaw next gave the command, "forward," and the men sprang
to their work with a will and determination and spread their steps to
the right and left as they advanced. Kershaw was on foot, prepared to
follow the line of battle immediately in rear, looking cool, composed
and grand, his steel-gray eyes flashing the fire he felt in his soul.

The shelling from the enemy on the ridge in front had, up to this
time, been mostly confined to replying to our batteries, but as soon
as this long array of bristling bayonets moved over the crest and
burst out suddenly in the open, in full view of the cannon-crowned
battlements, all guns were turned upon us. The shelling from Round
Top was terrific enough to make the stoutest hearts quake, while the
battery down at the base of the ridge, in the orchard, was raking
Barksdale and Kershaw right and left with grape and shrapnell. Semmes'
Georgians soon moved up on our right and between Kershaw and Hood's
left, but its brave commander fell mortally wounded at the very
commencement of the attack. Kershaw advanced directly against little
Round Top, the strongest point in the enemy's line, and defended by
Ayer's Regulars, the best disciplined and most stubborn fighters in
the Federal army. The battery in the orchard began grapeing Kershaw's
left as soon as it came in range, the right being protected by a
depression in the ground over which they marched. Not a gun was
allowed to be fired either at sharpshooters that were firing on our
front from behind boulders and trees in a grove we were nearing, or
at the cannoneers who were raking our flank on the left. Men fell here
and there from the deadly minnie-balls, while great gaps or swaths
were swept away in our ranks by shells from the batteries on the
hills, or by the destructive grape and canister from the orchard. On
marched the determined men across this open expanse, closing together
as their comrades fell out. Barksdale had fallen, but his troops were
still moving to the front and over the battery that was making such
havoc in their ranks. Semmes, too, had fallen, but his Georgians never
wavered nor faltered, but moved like a huge machine in the face of
these myriads of death-dealing missiles. Just as we entered the woods
the infantry opened upon us a withering fire, especially from up
the gorge that ran in the direction of Round Top. Firing now became
general along the whole line on both sides. The Fifteenth Regiment
met a heavy obstruction, a mock-orange hedge, and it was just after
passing this obstacle that Colonel Dessausure fell. The center of the
Third Regiment and some parts of the other regiments, were partially
protected by boulders and large trees, but the greater part fought
in the open field or in sparsely timbered groves of small trees. The
fight now waged fast and furious.

Captain Malloy writes thus of the 8th: "We occupied the extreme left
of the brigade, just fronting the celebrated 'Peach Orchard.' The
order was given. We began the fatal charge, and soon had driven the
enemy from their guns in the orchard, when a command was given to
'move to the right,' which fatal order was obeyed under a terrible
fire, this leaving the 'Peach Orchard' partly uncovered. The enemy
soon rallied to their guns and turned them on the flank of our
brigade. Amid a storm of shot and shell from flank and front, our
gallant old brigade pushed towards the Round Top, driving all before
them, till night put an end to the awful slaughter. The regiment went
in action with 215 in ranks, and lost more than half its number. We
lost many gallant officers, among whom were Major McLeod, Captain
Thomas E. Powe, Captain John McIver, and others." The move to the
right was to let Wofford in between Barksdale and Kershaw.

Barksdale was pressing up the gorge that lay between little Round
Top and the ridge, was making successful battle and in all likelihood
would have succeeded had it not been for General Warren. General
Meade's Chief Engineer being on the ground and seeing the danger,
grasped the situation at once, called up all the available force and
lined the stone walls that led along the gorge with infantry. Brigade
after brigade of Federal infantry was now rushed to this citadel,
while the crown of little Round Top was literally covered with
artillery. Ayer's Regulars were found to be a stubborn set by
Kershaw's troops. The Federal volunteers on our right and left gave
way to Southern valor, but the regulars stood firm, protected as they
were by the great boulders along their lines. Barksdale had passed
beyond us as the enemy's line bent backward at this point, and was
receiving the whole shock of battle in his front, while a terrific
fire was coming from down the gorge and from behind hedges on the
hillside. But the Mississippians held on like grim death till Wofford,
with his Georgians, who was moving in majestic style across the open
field in the rear, came to his support.

General Wofford was a splendid officer, and equally as hard a fighter.
He advanced his brigade through the deadly hail of bullets and took
position on Bardsdale's right and Kershaw's left, and soon the roar
of his guns were mingling with those of their comrades. The whole
division was now in action. The enemy began to give way and scamper up
the hillside. But Meade, by this time, had the bulk of his army around
and in rear of the Round Top, and fresh troops were continually being
rushed in to take the places of or reinforce those already in action.
Hood's whole force was now also engaged, as well as a part of A.P.
Hill's on our left. The smoke became so dense, the noise of small arms
and the tumult raised by the "Rebel Yell," so great that the voices of
officers attempting to give commands were hushed in the pandemonium.
Along to the right of the 3d, especially up the little ravine, the
fire was concentrated on those who held this position and was terrific
beyond description, forcing a part of the line back to the stone
house. This fearful shock of battle was kept up along the whole line
without intermission till night threw her sable curtains over the
scene of carnage and bloodshed and put an end to the strife. Wofford
and Barksdale had none to reinforce them at the gorge, and had to
fight it out single-handed and alone, while the Regulars, with
their backs to the base of little Round Top, protected by natural
formations, were too strong to be dislodged by Kershaw. As soon as the
firing ceased the troops were withdrawn to near our position of the
forenoon.

The work of gathering up the wounded lasted till late at night.
Our loss in regimental and line officers was very great. Scarcely a
regiment but what had lost one of its staff, nor a company some of its
officers. Dr. Salmond, the Brigade Surgeon, came early upon the field
and directed in person the movements of his assistants in their work
of gathering up the wounded. "The dead were left to take care of the
dead" until next day.

When the brigade was near the woodland in its advance, a most deadly
fire was directed towards the center of the 3d both by the battery to
our left, and sharpshooting in the front. It was thought by some that
it was our flag that was drawing the fire, four color guards having
gone down, some one called out "Lower the colors, down with the flag."
Sergeant Lamb, color bearer, waved the flag aloft, and moving to the
front where all could see, called out in loud tones, "This flag never
goes down until I am down."

Then the word went up and down the line "Shoot that officer, down him,
shoot him," but still he continued to give those commands, "Ready,
aim, fire," and the grape shot would come plunging into our very
faces. The sharpshooters, who had joined our ranks, as we advanced,
now commenced to blaze away, and the cannoneers scattered to cover in
the rear. This officer finding himself deserted by his men, waved his
sword defiantly over his head and walked away as deliberately as on
dress parade, while the sharpshooters were plowing up the dirt all
around him, but all failed to bring him down. We bivouaced during the
night just in rear of the battle ground.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XIX

Gettysburg Continued--Pickett's Charge.


The next morning, July the 3rd, the sun rose bright and clear. Rations
were brought to the men by details, who, after marching and fighting
all day, had to hunt up the supply train, draw rations and cook for
their companies for the next day--certainly a heavy burden on two men,
the usual detail from each company.

No one could conjecture what the next move would be, but the army felt
a certainty that Lee would not yield to a drawn battle without, at
least, another attempt to break Meade's front. Either the enemy would
attempt to take an advantage of our yesterday's repulse and endeavor
to break our lines, crush Lee by doubling him back on the Potomac,
or that Lee would undertake the accomplishment of the work of the day
before. After the heavy battle of yesterday and the all night's march
preceding, the soldiers felt little like renewing the fight of to-day,
still there was no despondency, no lack of ardor, or morale, each
and every soldier feeling, while he had done his best the day before,
still he was equal to that before him for to-day.

In the First Corps all was still and quiet, scarcely a shot from
either side, a picket shot occasionally was the only reminder that the
enemy was near.

Away to our left, and beyond the city, the Federals had assaulted
Ewell's lines, and a considerable battle was raging from daylight till
10 o'clock.

The enemy were endeavoring to regain some of the trenches they had
lost two days before.

General Pickett, who had been left at Chambersburg, had now come up
with his three Virginia Brigades, Garnett's, Kemper's, and Armstead's,
(Jenkins being left in Virginia) and was putting them in position for
his famous charge.

While this has no real connection with the work in hand, still, since
the "Charge of Pickett," has gone in song and story, as the most
gallant, dashing, and bloody of modern times, I am tempted here to
digress somewhat, and give, as far as I am able, an impartial account
of this memorable combat, being an eye witness. While Pickett led
the storming party, in person, still the planning and details were
entrusted to another head, namely, General Longstreet. In justice to
him I will say he was opposed to this useless sacrifice of life and
limb. In his memoirs he tells how he pleaded with Lee, to relieve him
from the responsibility of command, and when the carnage was at its
zenith, riding through the hail from three hundred cannons and shells
bursting under and over him, the Old Chieftain says, "I raised my eyes
heavenward and prayed that one of these shots might lay me low and
relieve me from this awful responsibility." While I would, by no word,
or intimation detract one iota from the justly earned fame of the
great Virginian, nor the brave men under him, still it is but equal
justice to remember and record that there were other Generals and
troops from other States as justly meritorious and deserving of honor
as participants in the great charge, as Pickett and his Virginians.
On the day before, Kershaw, in the battle before little "Round Top,"
Semmes to the right, Wofford and Barksdale in front of the peach
orchard and up the deadly gorge around Little Round Top to say nothing
of Hood at Round Top, charged and held in close battle, two thirds
of the Army of the Potomac, without any support whatever. See now how
Pickett was braced and supported. Cemetery Ridge was a long ridge
of considerable elevation, on which, and behind it the enemy was
marshalled in mass; opposite this ridge was another of less eminence,
and one mile, or near so, distant, behind which the Confederates were
concentrating for the assault. Longstreet moved McLaws up near to the
right of the assaulting columns in two lines, Semmes and Wofford in
the front and Barksdale and Kershaw in the rear lines as support. I
continue to retain the names of the Brigade Commanders to designate
the troops, although Barksdale and Semmes had fallen the day before.

Kemper and Garnett were on the right of the assaulting column, with
Armstead as support, all Virginians and of Pickett's Division.
Wilcox, with his Alabama Brigade was to move some distance in rear of
Pickett's right to take any advantage of the break in the line, and
to protect Pickett's flank. On the left of Pickett, and on the line of
attack was Heath's Division, commanded by General Pettigrew, composed
of Archer's Brigade, of Alabama and Tennesseeans, Pettigrew's, North
Carolina, Brockenborro's, Virginia, and Davis' Brigade, composed of
three Mississippi Regiments and one North Carolina, with Scales' and
Lanes' North Carolina Brigade in support. Hood and McLaws guarding
the right and A.P. Hill the left. I repeat it, was there ever an
assaulting column better braced or supported?

General Alexander had charge of the artillery at this point, and the
gunners along the whole line were standing to their pieces, ready to
draw the lanyards that were to set the opposite hills ablaze with shot
and shell, the moment the signal was given.

Every man, I dare say, in both armies held his breath in anxious
and feverish suspense, awaiting the awful crash. The enemy had been
apprised of the Confederate movements, and were prepared for the
shock.

When all was ready the signal gun was fired, and almost simultaneously
one hundred and fifty guns belched forth upon the enemy's works, which
challenge was readily accepted by Meade's cannoneers, and two hundred
shrieking shells made answer to the Confederate's salute. Round after
round were fired in rapid succession from both sides, the air above
seemed filled with shrieking, screaming, bursting shells. For a time
it looked as if the Heavens above had opened her vaults of thunder
bolts, and was letting them fall in showers upon the heads of mortals
below. Some would burst overhead, while others would go whizzing over
us and explode far in the rear. It was the intention of Lee to so
silence the enemy's batteries that the assaulting column would be rid
of this dangerous annoyance. Longstreet says of the opening of the
battle: "The signal guns broke the silence, the blaze of the second
gun, mingling in the smoke of the first, and salvos rolled to the
left and repeating themselves along the ridges the enemy's fine
metal spreading its fire to the converging lines of the Confederates,
plowing the trembling ground, plunging through the line of batteries
and clouding the heavy air. Two or three hundred guns seemed proud of
their undivided honors of organized confusion. The Confederates had
the benefit of converging fire into the enemy's massed position,
but the superior metal of the enemy neutralized the advantages of
position. The brave and steady work progressed."

After almost exhausting his ammunition, General Alexander sent a
message to General Pickett, "If you are coming, come at once, or I
cannot give you proper support. Ammunition nearly exhausted; eighteen
guns yet firing from the cemetery." This speaks volumes for our
artillerist, who had silenced over one hundred and fifty guns, only
eighteen yet in action, but these eighteen directly in front of
Pickett. Under this deadly cannonade, Pickett sprang to the assault.
Kemper and Garnett advanced over the crest, closely followed by
Armstead. Wilcox, with his Alabamians, took up the step and marched
a short distance in rear of the right. The Alabamians, Tennesseeans,
North Carolinians, and Virginians under Pettigrew lined up on
Pickett's left, followed by Trimble, with his two North Carolina
Brigades and the columns were off. The batteries on the ridges in
front now turned all their attention to this dreaded column of gray,
as soon as they had passed over the crest that up to this time had
concealed them. To the enemy even this grand moving body of the best
material in the world must have looked imposing as it passed in solid
phalanx over this broad expanse without scarcely a bush or tree to
screen it. And what must have been the feelings of the troops that
were to receive this mighty shock of battle? The men marched with firm
step, with banners flying, the thunder of our guns in rear roaring and
echoing to cheer them on, while those of the enemy were sweeping wind
rows through their ranks. McLaws was moved up nearer the enemy's
lines to be ready to reap the benefit of the least signs of success.
Brockenborro and Davis were keeping an easy step with Kemper and
Garnett, but their ranks were being thinned at every advance. Great
gaps were mown out by the bursting of shells while the grape and
canister caused the soldiers to drop by ones, twos and sections along
the whole line. Men who were spectators of this carnage, held their
breath in horror, while others turned away from the sickening scene,
in pitying silence. General Trimble was ordered to close up and fill
the depleted ranks, which was done in splendid style, and on the
assaulting columns sped.

Trimble had fallen, Garnett was killed, with Kemper and Gibbon being
borne from the field more dead than alive. At last the expected crash
came, when infantry met infantry. Pickett's right strikes Hancock's
center, then a dull, sullen roar told too well that Greek had met
Greek. Next came Davis, then Brockenborro, followed on the left by
Archer's and Pettigrew's Brigade, and soon all was engulfed in the
smoke of battle and lost to sight. Such a struggle could not last
long for the tension was too great. The Confederates had driven in the
first line, but Meade's whole army was near, and fresh battalions
were being momentarily ordered to the front. The enemy now moved out
against Pickett's right, but Semmes and Wofford of McLaws' Division
were there to repulse them.

For some cause, no one could or ever will explain, Pickett's Brigades
wavered at a critical moment, halted, hesitated, then the battle
was lost. Now began a scene that is as unpleasant to record as it
is sickening to contemplate. When Pickett saw his ruin, he ordered a
retreat and then for a mile or more these brave men, who had dared
to march up to the cannon's mouth with twenty thousand infantry lying
alongside, had to race across this long distance with Meade's united
artillery playing upon them, while the twenty thousand rifles were
firing upon their rear as they ran.

Pettigrew's Division, which was clinging close to the battle, saw the
disaster that had befallen the gallant Virginians, then in turn
they, too, fled the field and doubling up on Lane and Scales, North
Carolinians, made "confusion worse confounded." This flying mass
of humanity only added another target for the enemy's guns and an
additional number to the death roll.

Alexander's batteries, both of position, and the line now turned loose
with redoubled energy on those of the enemy's to relieve, as far as
possible, our defeated, flying, and demoralized troops. For a few
moments (which seemed like days to the defeated) it looked as if all
nature's power and strength were turned into one mighty upheaval;
Vessuvius, Etna, and Popocatepetl were emptying their mighty torrents
upon the heads of the unfortunate Confederates. Men fell by the
hundreds, officers ceased to rally them until the cover of the ridge
was reached. The hills in front were ablaze from the flashes of near
two hundred guns, while the smoke from almost as many on our lines
slowly lifted from the ridge behind us, showing one continued sheet of
flames, the cannoneers working their guns as never before. The earth
seemed to vibrate and tremble under the recoil of these hundreds of
guns, while the air overhead was filled with flying shells. Not
a twinkling of the eye intervened between the passing of shots or
shells. The men who were not actively engaged became numbed and a
dull heavy sleep overcame them as they lay under this mighty unnatural
storm, shells falling short came plowing through the ground, or
bursting prematurely overhead, with little or no effect upon the
slumberers, only a cry of pain as one and another received a wound or
a death shot from the flying fragments. The charge of Pickett is over,
the day is lost, and men fall prone upon the earth to catch breath
and think of the dreadful ordeal just passed and of the many hundreds
lying between them and the enemy's line bleeding, dying without hope
or succor.

Farnsworth, of Kilpatrick's Cavalry, had been watching the fray from
our extreme right, where Hood had stationed scattered troops to watch
his flank, and when the Union General saw through the mountain gorges
and passes the destruction of Pickett he thought his time for action
had come. The battle-scarred war horses snuffed the blood and smoke
of battle from afar, and champed their bits in anxious impatience.
The troopers looked down the line and met the stern faces of their
comrades adjusting themselves to their saddles and awaiting the signal
for the charge. Farnsworth awaits no orders, and when he saw the wave
of Pickett's recede he gave the command to "Charge," and his five
hundred troopers came thundering down upon our detachments on the
extreme right. But Farnsworth had to ride over and between the Fourth,
Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Alabama Regiments, the Eleventh Georgia and
the First Texas, and it is needless to add, his ride was a rough and
disastrous one. Farnsworth, after repeated summons to surrender, fell,
pierced with five wounds, and died in a few moments. His troopers
who had escaped death or capture fled to the gorges and passes of
the mountains through which they had so recently ridden in high
expectation.

The enemy, as well as the Confederates, had lost heavily in general
officers. Hancock had fallen from his horse, shot through the side
with a minnie ball, disabling him for a long time. General Dan
Sickles, afterwards military Governor of South Carolina, lost a leg.
General Willard was killed. Generals Newton, Gibbon, Reynolds, Barlow
were either killed or wounded, with many other officers of note in the
Federal Army.

The soldier is not the cold unfeeling, immovable animal that some
people seem to think he is. On the contrary, and paradoxical as it may
appear, he is warm-hearted, sympathetic, and generous spirited and his
mind often reverts to home, kindred, and friends, when least expected.
His love and sympathy for his fellow-soldier is proverbial in the
army. In the lull, of battle, or on its eve, men with bold hearts and
strong nerves look each other in the face with grim reliance. With
set teeth and nerve's strung to extreme tension, the thoughts of the
soldier often wander to his distant home. The panorama of his whole
life passes before him in vivid colors. His first thoughts are of the
great beyond--all soldiers, whatever their beliefs or dogmas, think
of this. It is natural, it is right, it is just to himself. He sees in
his imagination the aged father or mother or the wife and little ones
with outstretched arms awaiting the coming of him who perhaps will
never come. These are some of the sensations and feelings of a soldier
on the eve of, or in battle, or at its close. It is no use denying it,
all soldiers feel as other people do, and when a soldier tells as a
fact that he "went into battle without fear," he simply tells "what
George Washington never told." It is human, and "self-preservation
is the first law of nature." No one wants to die. Of course ambition,
love of glory, the plaudits of your comrades and countrymen, will
cause many a blade to flash where otherwise it would not. But every
soldier who reads this will say that this is honest and the whole
truth. I am writing a truthful history of the past and honesty forces
me to this confession. "All men are cowards" in the face of death.
Pride, ambition, a keen sense of duty, will make differences
outwardly, but the heart is a coward still when death stares the
possessor in the face. Men throw away their lives for their country's
sake, or for honor or duty like a cast off garment and laugh at death,
but this is only a sentiment, for all men want to live. I write so
much to controvert the rot written in history and fiction of soldiers
anxious to rush headlong into eternity on the bayonets of the enemy.

Historians of all time will admit the fact that at Gettysburg was
fought a battle, not a skirmish, but it was not what Northern writers
like to call it, "Lee's Waterloo." The Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and
Petersburg were yet to come.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XX

Gettysburg--Fourth Day--Incidents of the Battle--Sketch of Dessausure,
McLeod, and Salmonds.


A flag of truce now waves over both armies, granting a respite to bury
the dead and care for the wounded. The burial of the dead killed in
battle is the most trying of all duties of the soldier. Not that he
objects to paying these last sad rites to his fallen comrades, but it
is the manner in which he must leave them with his last farewell.

A detail from each company is formed into a squad, and armed with
spades or shovels they search the field for the dead. When found a
shallow pit is dug, just deep enough to cover the body, the blanket is
taken from around the person, his body being wrapped therein, laid
in the pit, and sufficient dirt thrown upon it to protect it from the
vultures. There is no systematic work, time being too precious, and
the dead are buried where they fell. Where the battle was fierce and
furious, and the dead lay thick, they were buried in groups. Sometimes
friendly hands cut the name and the company of the deceased upon the
flap of a cartridge box, nail it to a piece of board and place at, the
head, but this was soon knocked down, and at the end of a short time
all traces of the dead are obliterated.

The wounded were gathered in the various farm houses, and in the city
of Gettysburg. Those who were too badly wounded to be moved were left
in charge of Surgeons, detailed by the Medical Directors to remain
with the wounded. Surgeons in the discharge of their duties are never
made prisoners, and the yellow flag flies as much protection as the
white. A guard is placed around the hospitals to prevent those who
may convalesce while there from escaping, but notwithstanding this
vigilance many made their escape and came south, as the soldiers had
a horror of the Federal prison pen. Ambulances and empty wagons were
loaded to their full capacity with the wounded, unable to walk,
while hundreds with arms off, or otherwise wounded as not to prevent
locomotion, "hit the dust," as the soldiers used to say, on their long
march of one hundred and fifty miles to Staunton, Va.

The Confederate forces numbered in the battles around Gettysburg
on May 31st, 75,000, including Pickett's Division. The Federals had
100,000 ready and equipped for action, divided in seven army corps,
under General Doubleday commanding First Corps, General Hancock Second
Corps, General Sickles Third Corps, General Sykes Fifth Corps, General
Sedgwick Sixth Corps, General Howard Eleventh Corps, General Slocum
Twelfth Corps, and three divisions of cavalry under Pleasanton. The
Confederate losses were: Longstreet, 7,539; Ewell, 5,973; A.P. Hill,
6,735; Cavalry under Stuart, 1,426; in all 21,643. Enemy's loss,
23,049.

I herewith give sketches of Colonel Dessausure and Major McLeod,
killed in action, and of Doctor Salmond, Brigade Surgeon. As the
latter acted so gallantly, and showed such generous impulses during
and after the engagement, I think it a fitting moment to give here a
brief sketch of his life.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL WILLIAM DAVIE DESSAUSURE OF THE THIRTEENTH.

Colonel Dessausure was certainly the Bayard of South Carolina, having
served during his entire manhood, with little exception, amid the
exciting, bustling scenes of army life. He was a hero of both the
Mexican and Civil wars, and served in the Old Army for many years on
the great Western Plains. A friend of his, an officer in his command
who was very close to the Colonel, writes me a letter, of which I
extract the following:

"In my judgment, he was the superior of Kershaw's fine set of
Colonels, having, from nature, those rare qualities that go to make up
the successful war commander, being reticent, observant, far-seeing,
quick, decided, of iron will, inspiring confidence in his leadership,
cheerful, self-possessed, unaffected by danger, and delighting like
a game cock in battle. He was singularly truth loving and truth
speaking, and you could rely with confidence on the accuracy of his
every statement. He understood men, was clear sighted, quick and
sound of judgment, and seemed never to be at a loss what to do in
emergencies. He exposed himself with reckless courage, but protected
his men with untiring concern and skill. He was rather a small man,
physically, but his appearance and bearing were extremely martial, and
had a stentorian voice that could be heard above the din of battle."

Colonel Dessausure was born in Columbia, S.C., December 12th, 1819,
was reared and educated there, graduated at the South Carolina
College, and studied law in the office of his father, Hon. Win. F.
Dessausure. He raised a company in Columbia for the Mexican war, and
served through that war as Captain of Company H, Palmetto Regiment.
After that he was commissioned Captain of Cavalry, and assigned to
General (then Colonel) Joseph K. Johnston's Regiment in the United
States Army, and served on the Plains until the Civil war commenced,
when he resigned, returned to his native State and organized the
Fifteenth Regiment, and was assigned to Drayton's Brigade, then on the
coast.

After the Seven Days' Battle around Richmond he went with his
Regiment, as a part of Drayton's Brigade, in the first Maryland
campaign. On Lee's return to Virginia, just before the Fredericksburg
battle, his regiment was assigned to Kershaw.

The papers promoting him to the rank of Brigadier General were in the
hands of the Secretary of War at the time he was killed. He was buried
in a private cemetery near Breane's Tavern, in Pennsylvania, and his
body removed to the family burying ground after the war.

He was married to Miss Ravenel of Charleston, who survived him some
years.

       *       *       *       *       *


DONALD MCDIARMID MCLEOD

Was descended from Scotch ancestors who immigrated to this country
about 1775 and settled in Marlboro District, near Hunt's Bluff, on Big
Pee Dee River. He was son of Daniel McLeod and Catherine Evans McLeod.
He graduated from the South Carolina College about 1853, and for some
time engaged in teaching school in his native county; then married
Miss Margaret C. Alford and engaged in planting near where he was
born. He was then quietly leading a happy and contented life when
South Carolina seceded. When the toscin of war sounded he raised the
first company of volunteers in Marlboro and was elected Captain of it.
This company, with another from Marlboro organized about the same time
under Captain J.W. Hamington, formed part of the Eighth Regiment, of
Kershaw's Brigade. Capt. McLeod was of commanding presence, being
six feet four inches tall, erect, active, and alert, beloved by his
company, and when the test came proved himself worthy of their love
and confidence. On the field of battle his gallantry was conspicuous,
and he exhibited undaunted courage, and was faithful to every trust.

At the reorganization of the Regiment he was elected Major and
served as such through the battles of Savage Station, Malvern Hill,
Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. In the
last named he was killed while gallantly leading the Regiment in the
desperate charge on the enemy's twenty pieces of artillery, in the
celebrated peach orchard, where in a few minutes the Eighth Regiment,
being on the left of the Brigade, without support, assailed in front
and flanked, lost one hundred and eleven of the one hundred and
seventy who were engaged in the battle. Of this number twenty-eight
were killed and buried on the field of battle. Notwithstanding this
slaughter the Old Eighth never faltered, but with the other regiments
drove the enemy from the field, pursuing them upon the rugged slopes
of Round Top Hill. Thus ended the life of one of the noblest and most
devoted of Carolina's sons.

       *       *       *       *       *


DR. T.W. SALMOND

Was born in Camden, S.C., on 31st of August, 1825. Received his
diploma from the Medical College, in Charleston, S.C., in 1849.
Practiced medicine in Camden till the war came on. Married first,
Miss Mary Whitaker, afterwards Miss Isabel Scota Whitaker. He had
two daughters, one by each marriage. When the troops were ordered to
Charleston, he left with General Kershaw as Surgeon of his regiment.
General Kershaw was Colonel of the Second South Carolina Regiment. His
regiment was at the bombardment of Sumter. His staff consisted of
Dr. T.W. Salmond, Surgeon; Fraser, Quarter-Master; J.I. Villipigue,
Commissary; A.D. Goodwyn, Adjutant.

At the reorganization of the Brigade, Dr. Salmond was promoted to
Brigade Surgeon and was in all of the battles in Virginia. He went
with General Kershaw to Tennessee and came home when General Kershaw
went back to Virginia, owing to ill health in the spring of 1864.

He resumed his practice after the war and continued till his death,
August 31st, 1869.

I give below a short sketch concerning the Brigade Surgeon, copied
from a local paper, as showing the kind of metal of which Dr. Salmond
was made:

To the Editor of The Kershaw Gazette:

I never look upon a maimed soldier of the "Lost Cause," who fought
manfully for the cause which he deemed to be right, without being
drawn towards him with I may say brotherly love, commingled with
the profoundest respect. And I beg space in your valuable columns to
relate an incident in connection with the battle of Gettysburg, which,
I think, will equal the one between General Hagood and the Federal
officer, Daley.

In that memorable battle, whilst we were charging a battery of sixteen
pieces of artillery, when great gaps were being made in the lines by
the rapid discharge of grape and canister, when the very grass beneath
our feet was being cut to pieces by these missiles of death, and it
looked as if mortal men could not possibly live there; Capt. W.Z.
Leitner of our town was shot in the midst of this deadly shower at the
head of his company. When his comrades were about to remove him from
the field he said, "Men I am ruined but never give up the battle. I
was shot down at the head of my company, and I would to God that I
was there yet." He refused to let them carry him off the field. Dr.
Salmond, then Brigade Surgeon of Kershaw's Brigade, learning that his
friend Captain Leitner was seriously wounded, abandoned his post at
the infirmary, mounted his horse and went to the field where Captain
Leitner lay, amid the storm of lead and iron, regardless of the
dangers which encompassed him on every hand. He placed Captain Leitner
on his horse, and brought him off the field. The writer of this was
wounded severely in this charge, and while he was making his way as
best he could to the rear, he met the Brigade Surgeon on his mission
of mercy to his fallen friend, ordering those to the front who were
not wounded, as he went along. Brave man, he is now dead. Peace to his
ashes. As long as I live, I shall cherish his memory and think of this
circumstance.

A Member of the Old Brigade.

Taken from Kershaw Gazette of February 26, 1880.

Judge Pope gives me several instances of devotion and courage during
the Gettysburg campaign, which I take pleasure in inserting.

       *       *       *       *       *


"DID THE NEGROES WISH FREEDOM?"

I have listened to much which has been said and written as to the
aspiration of the negroes for freedom while they were slaves, but much
that I saw myself makes me doubt that this aspiration was general.

Let me relate an instance that fell under my immediate observation. An
officer had lost his bodyservant in May, 1863, when he mentioned the
fact to some of the gentlemen of the and regiment, the reply was made:
"There is a mess in Company A or I of the Third Regiment who have an
excellent free negro boy in their employment, but they must give him
up and no doubt you can get him." I saw the soldiers they referred
to and they assured me that they would be glad if I would take the
servant off their hands. The result was the servant came to me and
I hired him. Soon afterwards we began the march to the Valley of
Virginia, then to Maryland and Pennsylvania. The servant took care of
my horse, amongst his other duties. Having been wounded at Gettysburg
and placed in a wagon to be transported to Virginia this boy would
ride the horse near by the wagon, procuring water and something to
eat. As the caravan of wagons laden with wounded soldiers was drawing
near to Hagerstown, Maryland, a flurry was discovered and we were told
the Yankees were capturing our train. At this time the servant came
up and asked me what he should do. I replied, "Put the Potomac River
between you and the Yankees." He dashed off in a run. When I reached
the Potomac River I found William there with my horse. The Yankees
were about to attack us there. I was to be found across the river. I
said to William, "What can you do?" He replied that he was going to
swim the horse across the Potomac River, but said he himself could not
swim. I saw him plunge into the river and swim across. The soldiers
who were with me were sent from Winchester to Staunton, Virginia.
While in Staunton, I was assured that I would receive a furlough at
Richmond, Virginia, so William was asked if he wished to accompany
me to South Carolina. This seemed to delight him. Before leaving
Staunton, the boy was arrested as a runaway slave, being owned by
a widow lady in Abbeville County. The servant admitted to me, when
arrested, that he was a slave. A message was sent to his mistress how
he had behaved while in my employment--especially how he had fled from
the Yankees in Pennsylvania and Maryland. This was the last time
I ever saw him. Surely a desire for freedom did not operate very
seriously in this case, when the slave actually ran from it.

In parting I may add that, left to themselves negroes are very
kind-hearted, and even now I recall with lively pleasure the many
kindnesses while I was wounded, from this servant, who was a slave.

       *       *       *       *       *


HE WOULD FIGHT.

Why is it that memory takes us away back into our past experiences
without as much saying, "With your leave, sir"? Thirty-six years ago
I knew a fine fellow just about eighteen years old and to-day he comes
back to us so distinctly! He was a native of Newberry and when the
war first broke out he left Newberry College to enlist as a private
in Company E of the Third South Carolina Infantry. With his fine
qualities of head and heart, it was natural that he should become a
general favorite--witty, very ready, and always kind. His was a brave
heart, too. Still he was rather girlish in appearance, for physically
he was not strong. This latter condition may explain why he was called
to act as Orderly at Regimental Headquarters when J.E. Brown gave up
that position for that of courier with General Longstreet early in
the year 1863. Just before the Third Regiment went into action at
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and while preparing for that event, it
became necessary, under general orders, that the field and staff
of the regiment should dismount. It was the habit during battles to
commit the horses to the control of the Regimental Orderly. On this
occasion the Adjutant said to young Sligh: "Now, Tom, get behind some
hill and the moment we call you, bring up the horses; time is often
of importance." To the Adjutant's surprise Sligh burst into tears and
besought that officer not to require him to stay behind, but on the
contrary, to allow him to join his company and go into battle. At
first this was denied, but so persistent was he in his request that
the Adjutant, who was very fond of him, said: "Well Tom, for this one
time you may go, but don't ask it again." Away he went with a smile
instead of a tear. Poor fellow! The Orderly, Thomas W. Sligh, was
killed in that battle while assisting to drive back General Sickles
from the "Peach Orchard" on the 2d day of July, 1863.

       *       *       *       *       *


RETURN TO VIRGINIA.

At daylight on the morning of the 5th the remnant of that once grand
army turned its face southward. I say remnant, for with the loss
of near one-third its number in killed, wounded, and prisoners the
pride, prestige of victory, the feelings of invincibility, were lost
to the remainder, and the army was in rather ill condition when it
took up the retreat. Lee has been severely criticised for fighting the
battle of Gettysburg, especially the last charge of Pickett; but there
are circumstances of minor import sometimes that surround a commander
which force him to undertake or attempt that which his better judgment
might dictate as a false step. The world judges by results the
successes and achievements of a General, not by his motives or
intentions. Battles, however, are in a great measure but series
of accidents at best. Some unforeseen event or circumstance in the
battles of Napoleon might have changed some of his most brilliant
victories to utter defeats and his grandest triumphs into disastrous
routs. Had not General Warren seen the open gap at little Round Top,
and had it been possible for Federal troops to fill it up, or that
Hancock had been one hour later, or that our troops had pushed through
the gorge of little Round Top before seen by Warren and gained Meade's
rear--suppose these, and many other things, and then reflect what
momentous results depended upon such trivial circumstances, and we
will then fail to criticise Lee. His chances were as good as Meade's.
The combination of so many little circumstances, and the absence of
his cavalry, all conduced to our defeat.

Hill took the lead, Longstreet followed, while Ewell brought up the
rear. Our wagon trains had gone on, some of them the day before,
towards Williamsport. Kilpatrick made a dash and captured and
destroyed a goodly number of them, but the teamsters, non-combatants
and the wounded succeeded in driving them off after some little
damage.

Along down the mountain sides, through gorges and over hills, the
army slowly made its way. No haste, no confusion. The enemy's cavalry
harassed over rear, but did little more. Meade had had too severe a
lesson to hover dangerously close on the heels of Lee, not knowing
what moment the wily Confederate Chieftain might turn and strike him a
blow he would not be able to receive. The rain fell in torrents, night
and day. The roads were soon greatly cut up, which in a measure was to
Lee's advantage, preventing the enemy from following him too closely,
it being almost impossible to follow with his artillery and wagons
after our trains had passed. We passed through Fairfield and
Hagerstown and on to Williamsport. Near Funkstown we had some
excitement by being called upon to help some of Stuart's Cavalry, who
were being hard pressed at Antietam Creek.

After remaining in line of battle for several hours, on a rocky
hillside, near the crossing of a sluggish stream, and our pickets
exchanging a few shots with those of the enemy, we continued our
march. On the night of the 6th and day of the 7th our army took up a
line of battle in a kind of semi-circle, from Williamsport to Falling
Waters. The Potomac was too much swollen from the continuous rains to
ford, and the enemy having destroyed the bridge at Falling Waters we
were compelled to entrench ourselves and defend our numerous trains of
wagons and artillery until a bridge could be built. In the enclosure
of several miles the whole of Lee's army, with the exception of some
of his cavalry, were packed. Here Lee must have been in the most
critical condition of the war, outside of Appomattox. Behind him was
the raging Potomac, with a continual down-pour of rain, in front was
the entire Federal army. There were but few heights from which to
plant our batteries, and had the enemy pressed sufficiently near to
have reached our vast camp with shells, our whole trains of ordnance
would have been at his mercy. We had no bread stuff of consequence in
the wagons, and only few beef cattle in the enclosure. For two days
our bread supply had been cut off. Now had such conditions continued
for several days longer, and a regular siege set in, Lee would have
had to fight his way out. Lumber was difficult to obtain, so some
houses were demolished, and such planks as could be used in the
construction of boats were utilized, and a pontoon bridge was soon
under way.

In this dilemma and strait an accident in the way of a "wind fall" (or
I might more appropriately say, "bread fall") came to our regiment's
relief. Jim George, a rather eccentric and "short-witted fellow," of
Company C, while plundering around in some old out-buildings in our
rear, conceived the idea to investigate a straw stack, or an old house
filled with straw. After burrowing for some time away down in the
tightly packed straw, his comrades heard his voice as he faintly
called that he had struck "ile." Bounding out from beneath the
straw stack, he came rushing into camp with the news of his find. He
informed the Colonel that he had discovered a lot of flour in barrels
hidden beneath the straw. The news was too good to be true, and
knowing Jim's fund of imagination, few lent ear to the story, and most
of the men shook their heads credulously. "What would a man want
to put flour down in a straw stack for when no one knew of 'Lee's
coming?'" and, moreover, "if they did, they did not know at which
point he would cross." Many were the views expressed for and against
the idea of investigating further, until "Old Uncle" Joe Culbreath, a
veteran of the Mexican War, and a lieutenant in Jim George's company,
said: "Boys, war is a trying thing; it puts people to thinking, and
these d----n Yankees are the sharpest rascals in the world. No doubt
they heard of our coming, and fearing a raid on their smoke houses,
they did not do like us Southern people would have done--waited until
the flour was gone before we thought of saving it--so this old
fellow, no doubt, put his flour there for safety." That settled it.
"Investigate" was the word, and away went a crowd. The straw was soon
torn away, and there, snugly hidden, were eight or ten barrels of
flour. The Colonel ordered an equal division among the regiment,
giving Jim an extra portion for himself.

By the 13th the bridge was completed, and the waters had so far
subsided that the river was fordable in places. An hour after dark we
took up the line of march, and from our camp to the river, a distance
of one mile or less, beat anything in the way of marching that human
nature ever experienced. The dust that had accumulated by the armies
passing over on their march to Gettysburg was now a perfect bog, while
the horses and vehicles sinking in the soft earth made the road appear
bottomless. We would march two or three steps, then halt for a moment
or two; then a few steps more, and again the few minutes' wait. The
men had to keep their hands on the backs of their file leaders to tell
when to move and when to halt. The night being so dark and rainy, we
could not see farther than "the noses on our faces," while at every
step we went nearly up to our knees in slash and mud. Men would stand
and sleep--would march (if this could be called marching) and sleep.
The soldiers could not fall out of ranks for fear of being hopelessly
lost, as troops of different corps and divisions would at times be
mingled together. Thus we would be for one hour moving the distance
of a hundred paces, and any soldier who has ever had to undergo such
marching, can well understand its laboriousness. At daybreak we
could see in the gloomy twilight our former camp, almost in hollering
distance. Just as the sun began to peep up from over the eastern
hills, we came in sight of the rude pontoon bridge, lined from one end
to the other with hurrying wagons and artillery--the troops at opened
ranks on either side. If it had been fatiguing on the troops, what
must it have been on the poor horses and mules that had fasted for
days and now drawing great trains, with roads almost bottomless? It
was with a mingled feeling of delight and relief that the soldiers
reached the Virginia side of the river--but not a murmur or harsh word
for our beloved commander--all felt that he had done what was best for
our country, and it was more in sorrow and sympathy that we beheld his
bowed head and grief-stricken face as he rode at times past the moving
troops.

General Pettigrew had the post of rear guard. He, with his brave
troops, beat back the charge after charge of Kirkpatrick's Cavalry as
they attempted to destroy our rear forces. It was a trying time to
the retreating soldiers, who had passed over the river to hear their
comrades fighting, single-handed and alone, for our safety and their
very existence, without any hope of aid or succor. They knew they
were left to be lost, and could have easily laid down their arms and
surrendered, thus saving their lives; but this would have endangered
Lee's army, so they fought and died like men. The roar of their
howitzers and the rattle of their musketry were like the blasts of the
horn of Roland when calling Charlemagne to his aid along the mountain
pass of Roncesvalles, but, unlike the latter, we could not answer
our comrades' call, and had only to leave them alone to "die in their
glory." The brave Pettigrew fell while heading his troops in a charge
to beat back some of the furious onslaughts of the enemy. The others
were taken prisoners, with the exception of a few who made their
escape by plunging in the stream and swimming across.

At first our march was by easy stages, but when Lee discovered the
enemy's design of occupying the mountain passes along the Blue Ridge
to our left, no time was lost. We hastened along through Martinsburg
and Winchester, across the Shenandoah to Chester Gap, on the Blue
Ridge. We camped at night on the top of the mountain.

Here an amusing, as well as ludicrous, scene was enacted, but not so
amusing to the participants however. Orders had been given when on
the eve of our entrance into Maryland, that "no private property of
whatever description should be molested." As the fields in places were
enclosed by rail fences, it was strictly against orders to disturb any
of the fences. This order had been religiously obeyed all the
while, until this night on the top of the Blue Ridge. A shambling,
tumble-down rail fence was near the camp of the Third South Carolina,
not around any field, however, but apparently to prevent stock from
passing on the western side of the mountain. At night while the troops
lay in the open air, without any protection whatever, only what the
scrawny trees afforded, a light rain came up. Some of the men ran to
get a few rails to make a hurried bivouac, while others who had gotten
somewhat damp by the rain took a few to build a fire. As the regiment
was formed in line next morning, ready for the march, Adjutant Pope
came around for company commanders to report to Colonel Nance's
headquarters. Thinking this was only to receive some instructions as
to the line of march, nothing was thought of it until met by those
cold, penetrating, steel-gray eyes of Colonel Nance. Then all began
to wonder "what was up." He commenced to ask, after repeating the
instructions as to private property, whose men had taken the rails. He
commenced with Captain Richardson, of Company A.

"Did your men take any rails?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did you have them put back?"

"Yes, sir."

"Captain Gary, did your men use any rails?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did you have them replaced?"

"No, sir."

And so on down to Company K. All admitted that their men had taken
rails and had not put them back, except Captain Richardson. Then such
a lecture as those nine company commanders received was seldom heard.
To have heard Colonel Nance dilate upon the enormity of the crime
of "disobedience to orders," was enough to make one think he had
"deserted his colors in the face of the enemy," or lost a battle
through his cowardice. "Now, gentlemen, let this never occur again.
For the present you will deliver your swords to Adjutant Pope, turn
your companies over to your next officer in command, and march in rear
of the regiment until further orders." Had a thunder bolt fallen, or
a three hundred-pound Columbiad exploded in our midst, no greater
consternation would they have caused. Captain Richardson was
exhonorated, but the other nine Captains had to march in rear of the
regiment during the day, subject to the jeers and ridicule of all the
troops that passed, as well as the negro cooks. "Great Scott, what
a company of officers!" "Where are your men?" "Has there been a
stampede?" "Got furloughs?" "Lost your swords in a fight?" were some
of the pleasantries we were forced to hear and endure. Captain Nance,
of Company G, had a negro cook, who undertook the command of the
officers and as the word from the front would come down the line to
"halt" or "forward" or "rest," he would very gravely repeat it, much
to the merriment of the troops next in front and those in our rear.
Near night, however, we got into a brush with the enemy, who were
forcing their way down along the eastern side of the mountain, and
Adjutant Pope came with our swords and orders to relieve us from
arrest. Lieutenant Dan Maffett had not taken the matter in such good
humor, and on taking command of his company, gave this laconic order,
"Ya hoo!" (That was the name given to Company C.) "If you ever touch
another rail during the whole continuance of the war, G----d d----n
you, I'll have you shot at the stake."

"How are we to get over a fence," inquired someone.

"Jump it, creep it, or go around it, but death is your portion, if you
ever touch a rail again."

On the 13th of August the whole army was encamped on the south side of
the Rapidan. We were commencing to settle down for several months of
rest and enjoy a season of furloughs, as it was evident neither side
would begin active operations until the armies were recruited up
and the wounded returned for duty. This would take at least several
months. But, alas! for our expectations--a blast to our fondest
dreams--heavy fighting and hard marching was in store for our corps.
Bragg was being slowly driven out of Tennessee and needed help; the
"Bull Dog of the Confederacy" was the one most likely to stay the
advancing tide of Rosecrans' Army.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXI

Transferred to Georgia--Scenes Along the Route.


While in camp great stress was laid on drills. The brigade drill
was the most important. Every day at 3 o'clock the whole brigade was
marched to a large old field, and all the evolutions of the brigade
drill were gone through with. Crowds of citizens from the surrounding
country came to witness our maneuvers, especially did the ladies grace
the occasions with their presence. The troops were in the very best of
spirits--no murmurs nor complaints. Clothing and provision boxes began
coming in from home. A grand corps review took place soon after our
encampment was established, in which Generals Lee and Longstreet
reviewed the troops.

All expected a good, long rest after their many marches and bloody
battles in Maryland and Pennsylvania, but we were soon to be called
upon for work in other fields. General Bragg had been driven out of
Tennessee to the confines of Georgia, and it seemed that, without
succor from the Army of the East to aid in fighting their battles, and
to add to the morale of the Western Army, Bragg would soon be forced
through Georgia. It had long been the prevailing opinion of General
Longstreet that the most strategic movement for the South was to
reinforce General Bragg with all the available troops of the East (Lee
standing on the defensive), crush Rosecrans, and, if possible,
drive him back and across the Ohio. With this end in view, General
Longstreet wrote, in August, to General Lee, as well as to the
Secretary of War, giving these opinions as being the only solution to
the question of checking the continual advance of Rosecrans--renewing
the morale of the Western Army and reviving the waning spirits of the
Confederacy, thus putting the enemy on the defensive and regaining
lost territory.

It should be remembered that our last stronghold on the Mississippi,
Vicksburg, had capitulated about the time of the disastrous battle of
Gettysburg, with thirty thousand prisoners. That great waterway was
opened to the enemy's gun boats and transports, thus cutting the
South, with a part of her army, in twain.

This suggestion of General Longstreet was accepted, so far as sending
him, with a part of his corps, to Georgia, by his receiving orders
early in September to prepare his troops for transportation.

The most direct route by railroad to Chattanooga, through Southwest
Virginia and East Tennessee, had for some time been in the hands
of the enemy at Knoxville. We were, therefore, forced to take the
circuitous route by way of the two Carolinas and Georgia. There
were two roads open to transportation, one by Wilmington and one by
Charlotte, N.C., as far as Augusta, Ga., but from thence on there was
but a single line, and as such our transit was greatly impeded.

On the morning of the 15th or 16th of September Kershaw's Brigade was
put aboard the trains at White Oak Station, and commenced the long
ride to North Georgia. Hood's Division was already on the way.
Jenkins' (S.C.) Brigade had been assigned to that division, but it and
one of the other of Hood's brigades failed to reach the battleground
in time to participate in the glories of that event. General McLaws,
also, with two of his brigades, Bryan's and Wofford' (Georgians),
missed the fight, the former awaiting the movements of his last
troops, as well as that of the artillery.

Long trains of box cars had been ordered up from Richmond and the
troops were loaded by one company being put inside and the next on
top, so one-half of the corps made the long four days' journey on
the top of box cars. The cars on all railroads in which troops were
transported were little more than skeleton cars; the weather being
warm, the troops cut all but the frame work loose with knives and
axes. They furthermore wished to see outside and witness the fine
country and delightful scenery that lay along the route; nor could
those Inside bear the idea of being shut up in a box car while their
comrades on top were cheering and yelling themselves hoarse at the
waving of handkerchiefs and flags in the hands of the pretty women and
the hats thrown in the air by the old men and boys along the roadside
as the trains sped through the towns, villages, and hamlets of the
Carolinas and Georgia, No, no; the exuberant spirits of the Southern
soldier were too great to allow him to hear yelling going on and not
yell himself. He yelled at everything he saw, from an ox-cart to
a pretty woman, a downfall of a luckless cavalryman to a charge in
battle.

The news of our coming had preceded us, and at every station and
road-crossing the people of the surrounding country, without regard
to sex or age, crowded to see us pass, and gave us their blessings and
God speed as we swept by with lightning speed. Our whole trip was one
grand ovation. Old men slapped their hands in praise, boys threw up
their hats in joy, while the ladies fanned the breeze with their flags
and handkerchiefs; yet many a mother dropped a silent tear or felt a
heart-ache as she saw her long absent soldier boy flying pass without
a word or a kiss.

At the towns which we were forced to stop for a short time great
tables were stretched, filled with the bounties of the land, while the
fairest and the best women on earth stood by and ministered to every
wish or want. Was there ever a purer devotion, a more passionate
patriotism, a more sincere loyalty, than that displayed by the women
of the South towards the soldier boys and the cause for which they
fought? Was there ever elsewhere on earth such women? Will there
ever again exist circumstances and conditions that will require such
heroism, fortitude, and suffering? Perhaps so, perhaps not.

In passing through Richmond we left behind us two very efficient
officers on a very pleasant mission, Dr. James Evans, Surgeon of the
Third, who was to be married to one of Virginia's fair daughters, and
Captain T.W. Gary, of same regiment, who was to act as best man. Dr.
Evans was a native South Carolinian and a brother of Brigadier
General N.G. Evans, of Manassas fame. While still a young man, he was
considered one of the finest surgeons and practitioners in the army.
He was kind and considerate to his patients, punctual and faithful in
his duties, and withal a dignified, refined gentleman. Such confidence
had the soldiers in his skill and competency, that none felt uneasy
when their lives or limbs, were left to his careful handling. Both
officers rejoined us in a few days.

We reached Ringold on the evening of the 19th of September, and
marched during the night in the direction of the day's battlefield.
About midnight we crossed over the sluggish stream of Chickamauga,
at Alexander's Bridge, and bivouaced near Hood's Division, already
encamped. Chickamauga! how little known of before, but what memories
its name is to awaken for centuries afterwards! What a death struggle
was to take place along its borders between the blue and the gray,
where brother was to meet brother--where the soldiers of the South
were to meet their kinsmen of the Northwest! In the long, long ago,
before the days of fiction and romance of the white man in the New
World, in the golden days of legend of the forest dwellers, when the
red man chanted the glorious deeds of his ancestors during his death
song to the ears of his children, this touching story has come down
from generation to generation, until it reached the ears of their
destroyers, the pale faces of to-day:

Away in the dim distant past a tribe of Indians, driven from their
ancestral hunting grounds in the far North, came South and pitched
their wigwams along the banks of the "river of the great bend," the
Tennessee. They prospered, multiplied, and expanded, until their tents
covered the mountain sides and plains below. The braves of the hill
men hunted and sported with their brethren of the valley. Their
children fished, hunted, played, fought, and gamboled in mimic warfare
as brothers along the sparkling streamlets that rise in the mountain
ridges, their sparkling waters leaping and jumping through the gorges
and glens and flowing away to the "great river." All was peace and
happiness; the tomahawk of war had long since been buried, and the
pipe of peace smoked around their camp fires after every successful
hunting expedition. But dissentions arose--distrust and embittered
feelings took the place of brotherly love. The men of the mountains
became arrayed against their brethren of the plains, and they in
turn became the sworn enemies of the dwellers of the cliffs. The war
hatchet was dug up and the pipe of peace no longer passed in brotherly
love at the council meeting. Their bodies were decked in the paint
of war, and the once peaceful and happy people forsook their hunting
grounds and entered upon, the war path.

Early on an autumn day, when the mountains and valleys were clothed in
golden yellow, the warriors of the dissenting factions met along
the banks of the little stream, and across its turbid waters waged a
bitter battle from early morn until the "sun was dipping behind the
palisades of Look-Out Mountain"--no quarters given and none asked. It
was a war of extermination. The blood of friend and foe mingled in the
stream until its waters were said to be red with the life-blood of the
struggling combatants. At the close of the fierce combat the few that
survived made a peace and covenant, and then and there declared that
for all time the sluggish stream should be called Chickamauga, the
"river of blood." Such is the legend of the great battleground and the
river from whence it takes its name.

General Buckner had come down from East Tennessee with his three
divisions, Stewart's, Hindman's, and Preston's, and had joined General
Bragg some time before our arrival, making General Bragg's organized
army forty-three thousand eight hundred and sixty-six strong. He was
further reinforced by eleven thousand five hundred from General Joseph
E. Johnston's army in Mississippi and five thousand under General
Longstreet, making a total of sixty thousand three hundred and
thirty-six, less casualties of the 18th and 19th of one thousand one
hundred and twenty-four; so as to numbers on the morning of the 20th,
Bragg had of all arms fifty-nine thousand two hundred and forty-two;
while the Federal commander claimed only sixty thousand three hundred
and sixty six, but at least five thousand more on detached duty
and non-combatants, such as surgeons, commissaries, quartermasters,
teamsters, guards, etc. Bragg's rolls covered all men in his army.
Rosecrans was far superior in artillery and cavalry, as all of the
batteries belonging to Longstreet's corps, or that were to attend him
in the campaign of the West, were far back in South Carolina, making
what speed possible on the clumsy and cumbersome railroads of that
day. So it was with Wofford's and Bryan's Brigades, of McLaw's
Division, Jenkins' and one of Hood's, as well as all of the
subsistence and ordnance trains. The artillery assigned to General
Longstreet by General Lee consisted of Ashland's and Bedford's
(Virginia), Brooks' (South Carolina), and Madison's (Louisiana)
batteries of light artillery, and two Virginia batteries of position,
all under the command of Colonel Alexander.

As for transportation, the soldiers carried all they possessed on
their backs, with four days of cooked rations all the time. Generally
one or two pieces of light utensils were carried by each company, in
which all the bread and meat were cooked during the night.

Our quartermasters gathered up what they could of teams and wagons
from the refuse of Bragg's trains to make a semblance of subsistence
transportation barely sufficient to gather in the supplies. It was
here that the abilities of our chiefs of quartermaster and commissary
departments were tested to the utmost. Captains Peck and Shell, of
our brigade, showed themselves equal to the occasion, and Captain
Lowrance, of the Subsistence Department, could always be able to
furnish us with plenty of corn meal from the surrounding country.

The sun, on the morning of the 20th, rose in unusual splendor, and
cast its rays and shadows in sparkling brilliancy over the mountains
and plains of North Georgia. The leaves of the trees and shrubbery, in
their golden garb of yellow, shown out bright and beautiful in their
early autumnal dress--quite in contrast with the bloody scenes to be
enacted before the close of day. My older brother, a private in my
company, spoke warmly of the beautiful Indian summer morning and the
sublime scenery round about, and wondered if all of us would ever see
the golden orb of day rise again in its magnificence. Little did he
think that even then the hour hand on the dial plate of destiny was
pointing to the minute of "high noon," when fate was to take him by
the hand and lead him away. It was his turn in the detail to go to the
rear during the night to cook rations for the company, and had he done
so, he would have missed the battle, as the details did not return in
time to become participants in the engagement that commenced early
in the morning. He had asked permission to exchange duties with a
comrade, as he wished to be near me should a battle ensue during the
time. Contrary to regulations, I granted the request. Now the
question naturally arises, had he gone on his regular duties would the
circumstances have been different? The soldier is generally a believer
in the doctrine of predestination in the abstract, and it is well he
is so, for otherwise many soldiers would run away from battle. But
as it is, he consoles himself with the theories of the old doggerel
quartet, which reads something like this:--

  "He who fights and runs away,
  May live to fight another day;
  But he who is in battle slain,
  Will ne'er live to fight again."

Longstreet's troops had recently been newly uniformed, consisting of
a dark-blue round jacket, closely fitting, with light-blue trousers,
which made a line of Confederates resemble that of the enemy, the only
difference being the "cut" of the garments--the Federals wearing a
loose blouse instead of a tight-fitting jacket. The uniforms of
the Eastern troops made quite a contrast with the tattered and torn
homemade jeans of their Western brethren.

General Bragg had divided his army into two wings--the right commanded
by Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk (a Bishop of the M.E. Church,
and afterwards killed in the battles around Atlanta.) and the left
commanded by that grand chieftain (Lee's "Old War Horse" and commander
of his right), Lieutenant General James Longstreet. Under his
guidance were Preston's Division on extreme left, Hindman's next,
with Stewart's on extreme right of left wing, all of Major General
Buckner's corps. Between Hindman and Stewart was Bushrod Johnson's new
formed division. In reserve were Hood's three brigades, with Kershaw's
and Humphries', all under Major General Hood, standing near the center
and in rear of the wing.

The right wing stood as follows: General Pat Cleburn's Division on
right of Stewart, with Breckenridge's on the extreme right of the
infantry, under the command of Lieutenant General D.H. Hill, with
Cheatham's Division of Folk's Corps to the left and rear of Cleburn as
support, with General Walker's Corps acting as reserve. Two
divisions of Forrest's Cavalry, one dismounted, were on the right
of Breckenridge, to guard that flank, while far out to the left of
Longstreet were two brigades of Wheeler's Cavalry. The extreme left of
the army, Preston's Division, rested on Chickamauga Creek, the right
thrown well forward towards the foot hills of Mission Ridge.

In the alignment of the two wings it was found that Longstreet's right
overlapped Folk's left, and fully one-half mile in front, so it became
necessary to bend Stewart's Division back to join to Cleburn's left,
thereby leaving space between Bushrod Johnson and Stewart for Hood to
place his three brigades on the firing line.

Longstreet having no artillery, he was forced to engage all of the
thirty pieces of Buckner's. In front of Longstreet lay a part of the
Twentieth Corps, Davis' and Sheridan's Divisions, under Major General
McCook, and part of the Twenty-first Corps, under the command of
General Walker. On our right, facing Polk, was the distinguished Union
General, George H. Thomas, with four divisions of his own corps, the
Fourteenth, Johnson's Division of the Twentieth, and Van Cleve's of
the Twenty-first Corps.

General Thomas was a native Virginian, but being an officer in the
United States Army at the time of the secession of his State, he
preferred to remain and follow the flag of subjugation, rather than,
like the most of his brother officers of Southern birth, enter into
the service of his native land and battle for justice, liberty, and
States Rights. He and General Hunt, of South Carolina, who so ably
commanded the artillery of General Meade at Gettysburg, were two of
the most illustrious of Southern renegades.

In the center of Rosecrans' Army were two divisions, Woods' and
Palmer's, under Major General Crittenden, posted along the eastern
slope of Mission Ridge, with orders to support either or both wings of
the army, as occasions demanded.

General Gordon Granger, with three brigades of infantry and one
division of cavalry, guarded the Union left and rear and the gaps
leading to Chattanooga, and was to act as general reserve for the
army and lay well back and to the left of Brannan's Division that was
supporting the front line of General Thomas.

The bulk of the Union cavalry, under General Mitchell, was two miles
distant on our left, guarding the ford over Chickamauga at Crawfish
Springs. The enemy's artillery, consisting of two hundred and
forty-six pieces, was posted along the ridges in our front, giving
exceptional positions to shell and grape an advancing column.

Bragg had only two hundred pieces, but as his battle line occupied
lower ground than that of the enemy, there was little opportunity to
do effective work with his cannon.

The ground was well adapted by nature for a battlefield, and as the
attacking party always has the advantage of maneuver and assault in
an open field, each commander was anxious to get his blow in first. So
had not Bragg commenced the battle as early as he did, we would most
assuredly have had the whole Federal Army upon our hands before the
day was much older. Kershaw's Brigade, commanded by General Kershaw,
stood from right to left in the following order: Fifteenth Regiment
on the right, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gist; Second
Regiment, Colonel James D. Kennedy; Third, Colonel James D. Nance;
Third Battalion, by Captain Robert H. Jennings; Eighth, Colonel John
W. Henagan; Seventh, Colonel Elbert Bland.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXII

The Battle of Chickamauga.


As I have already said, this was a lovely country--a picturesque
valley nestling down among the spurs of the mountain, with the now
classic Chickamauga winding its serpentine way along with a sluggish
flow. It was also a lovely day; nature was at her best, with the
fields and woods autumn tinged--the whole country rimmed in the golden
hue of the Southern summer. The battling ground chosen, or rather say
selected by fate, on which the fierce passions of men were to decide
the fortunes of armies and the destiny of a nation, was rolling,
undulating, with fields of growing grain or brown stubble, broken by
woods and ravines, while in our front rose the blue tinted sides of
Mission Ridge.

Both commanders were early in the saddle, their armies more evenly
matched in numbers and able Lieutenants than ever before, each willing
and anxious to try conclusions with the other--both confident of
success and watchful of the mistakes and blunders of their opponent,
ready to take advantage of the least opportunity that in any way would
lead to success. The armies on either side were equally determined and
confident, feeling their invincibility and the superiority of their
respective commanders. Those of the North felt that it was impossible
for the beaten Confederates to stand for a moment, with any hope
of triumph, before that mighty machine of armed force that had been
successfully rolling from the Ohio to the confines of Georgia. On the
other hand, the Army of Tennessee felt that, with the aid from Joe
Johnston, with Buckner, and the flower of Lee's Army to strengthen
their ranks, no army on earth could stay them on the battlefield.

The plan of battle was to swing the whole army forward in a wheel,
Preston's Division on Longstreet's extreme left being the pivot, the
right wing to break the enemy's lines and uncover the McFarland and
Rossville Gaps, thus capturing the enemy's lines of communication to
Chattanooga.

The Union Army was well protected by two lines of earthworks and log
obstructions, with field batteries at every salient, or scattered
along the front lines at every elevation, supported by the pieces of
position on the ridges in rear.

The Confederate commander made no secret of his plan of battle, for it
had been formulated three days before, and his manoeuvers on the 18th
and 19th indicated his plan of operations. Early in the morning Bragg
saluted his adversary with thirty pieces of artillery from his right
wing, and the Federal Commander was not slow in acknowledging the
salutation. The thunder of these guns echoed along the mountain sides
and up and down the valleys with thrilling effect. Soon the ridges in
our front were one blaze of fire as the infantry began their movements
for attack, and the smoke from the enemy's guns was a signal for our
batteries along the whole line.

The attack on the right was not as prompt as the commander in chief
had expected, so he rode in that direction and gave positive orders
for the battle to begin. General D.H. Hill now ordered up that paladin
of State craft, the gallant Kentuckian and opponent of Lincoln for the
Presidency, General John C. Breckenridge, and put him to the assault
on the enemy's extreme left. But one of his brigade commanders being
killed early in the engagement, and the other brigades becoming
somewhat disorganized by the tangled underbrush, they made but little
headway against the enemy's works. Then the fighting Irishman, the
Wild Hun of the South, General Pat Cleburn, came in with his division
on Breckenridge's left, and with whoop and yell he fell with reckless
ferocity upon the enemy's entrenchments. The four-gun battery of the
Washington (Louisiana) Artillery following the column of Assault,
contended successfully with the superior metal of the three batteries
of the enemy. The attack was so stubborn and relentless that the enemy
was forced back on his second line, and caused General Thomas to call
up Negley's Division from his reserves to support his left against
the furious assaults of Breckenridge and Cleburn. But after somewhat
expending their strength in the first charge against the enemy's
works, and Federal reinforcements of infantry and artillery coming up,
both Confederate divisions were gradually being forced back to their
original positions. Deshler's Brigade, under that prince of Southern
statesmen, Roger Q. Mills, supported by a part of Cheatham's Division,
took up Cleburn's battle, while the division under General States R.
Gist (of South Carolina), with Liddell's, of Walker's Corps, went to
the relief of Breckenridge. Gist's old Brigade (South Carolina) struck
the angle of the enemy's breastworks, and received a galling fire
from enfilading lines. But the other brigades of Gist's coming up
and Liddell's Division pushing its way through the shattered and
disorganized ranks of Breckenridge, they made successful advance,
pressing the enemy back and beyond the Chattanooga Road.

Thomas was again reduced to the necessity of calling for
reinforcements, and so important was it thought that this ground
should be held, that the Union commander promised support, even to the
extent of the whole army, if necessary.

But eleven o'clock had come and no material advantage had been
gained on the right. The reinforcements of Thomas having succeeded in
checking the advance of Gist and Liddell, the Old WarHorse on the left
became impatient, and sent word to Bragg, "My troops can break the
lines, if you care to have them broken." What sublime confidence
did Lee's old commander of the First Corps have in the powers of his
faithful troops! But General Bragg, it seems, against all military
rules or precedent, and in violation of the first principles of army
ethics, had already sent orders to Longstreet's subalterns, directly
and not through the Lieutenant General's headquarters, as it should
have been done, to commence the attack. General Stewart, with his
division of Longstreet's right, was at that moment making successful
battle against the left of the Twentieth and right of Twenty-first
Corps. This attack so near to Thomas' right, caused that astute
commander to begin to be as apprehensive of his right as he had been
of his left flank, and asked for support in that quarter. Longstreet
now ordered up the gallant Texan, General Hood, with his three
brigades, with Kershaw's and Humphreys in close support. Hood
unmercifully assailed the column in his front, but was as unmercifully
slaughtered, himself falling desperately wounded. Benning's Brigade
was thrown in confusion, but at this juncture Kershaw and Humphreys
moved their brigades upon the firing line end commenced the advance.
In front of these two brigades was a broad expanse of cultivated
ground, now in stubble. Beyond this field was a wooded declivity
rising still farther away to a ridge called Pea Ridge, on which the
enemy was posted. Our columns were under a terrific fire of shells as
they advanced through the open field, and as they neared the timbered
ridge they were met by a galling tempest of grape and canister. The
woods and underbrush shielded the enemy from view.

Law now commanding Hood's Division, reformed his lines and assaulted
and took the enemy's first lines of entrenchments. Kershaw marched
in rear of the brigade, giving commands in that clear, metallic sound
that inspired confidence in his troops. At the foot of the declivity,
or where the ground begun to rise towards the enemy's lines, was a
rail fence, and at this obstruction and clearing of it away, Kershaw
met a galling fire from the Federal sharpshooters, but not a gun had
been fired as yet by our brigade. But Humphreys was in it hot and
heavy. As we began our advance up the gentle slope, the enemy poured
volley after volley into us from its line of battle posted behind the
log breastworks. Now the battle with us raged in earnest.

Bushrod Johnson entered the lists with his division, and routed the
enemy in his front, taking the first line of breastworks without much
difficulty. Hindman's Division followed Johnson, but his left and rear
was assailed by a formidable force of mounted infantry which threw
Manigault's (South Carolina) Brigade on his extreme left in disorder,
the brigade being seriously rattled. But Twigg's Brigade, from
Preston's pivotal Division, came to the succor of Manigault and
succeeded in restoring the line, and the advance continued. Kershaw
had advanced to within forty paces of the enemy's line, and it seemed
for a time that his troops would be annihilated. Colonel Bland, then
Major Hard, commanding the Seventh, were killed. Lieutenant Colonel
Hoole, of the Eighth, was killed. Colonel Gist, commanding the
Fifteenth, and Captain Jennings, commanding the Third Battalion,
were dangerously wounded, while many others of the line officers had
fallen, and men were being mown down like grain before a sickle.

General Kershaw ordered his men to fall back to the little ravine a
hundred paces in rear, and here they made a temporary breastwork of
the torn down fence and posted themselves behind it. They had not long
to wait before a long line of blue was seen advancing from the crest
of the hill. The enemy, no doubt, took our backward movement as a
retreat, and advanced with a confident mien, all unconscious of our
presence behind the rail obstruction. Kershaw, with his steel-gray
eyes glancing up and down his lines, and then at the advancing line of
blue, gave the command repeatedly to "Hold your fire." When within a
very short distance of our column the startling command rang out above
the din of battle on our right and left, "Fire!" Then a deafening
volley rolled out along the whole line. The enemy halted and wavered,
their men falling in groups, then fled to their entrenchments, Kershaw
closely pursuing.

From the firing of the first gun away to the right the battle
became one of extreme bitterness, the Federals standing with unusual
gallantry by their guns in the vain hope that as the day wore on they
could successfully withstand, if not entirely repel, the desperate
assaults of Bragg until night would give them cover to withdraw.

The left wing was successful, and had driven the Federal lines back
at right angles on Thomas' right. The Federal General, Gordon Granger,
rests his title to fame by the bold movement he now made. Thomas
was holding Polk in steady battle on our right, when General Granger
noticed the Twentieth Corps was being forced back, and the firing
becoming dangerously near in the Federal's rear. General Granger,
without any orders whatever, left his position in rear of Thomas and
marched to the rescue of McCook, now seeking shelter along the slopes
of Mission Ridge, but too late to retrieve losses--only soon enough to
save the Federal Army from rout and total disaster.

But the turning point came when Longstreet ordered up a battalion of
heavy field pieces, near the angle made by the bending back of the
enemy's right, and began infilading the lines of Thomas, as well
as Crittenden's and McCook's. Before this tornado of shot and shell
nothing could stand. But with extraordinary tenacity of Thomas and the
valor of his men he held his own for a while longer.

Kershaw was clinging to his enemy like grim death from eleven o'clock
until late in the evening--his men worn and fagged, hungry and almost
dying of thirst, while the ammunition was being gradually exhausted
and no relief in sight. Hindman (Johnson on the left) had driven the
enemy back on Snodgrass Hill, where Granger's reserves were aiding
them in making the last grand struggle. Snodgrass Hill was thought to
be the key to the situation on our left, as was Horse Shoe Bend on the
right, but both were rough and hard keys to handle. Kershaw had driven
all before him from the first line of works, and only a weak fire was
coming from the second line. All that was needed now to complete the
advance was a concentrated push along the whole line, but the density
of the smoke settling in the woods, the roar of battle drowning all
commands, and the exhaustion and deflection of the rank and file made
this move impossible.

But just before the sun began dipping behind the mountains on our
left, a long line of gray, with glittering bayonets, was seen coming
down the slope in our rear. It was General Grade, with his Alabama
Brigade of Preston's Division, coming to reinforce our broken ranks
and push the battle forward. This gallant brigade was one thousand one
hundred strong and it was said this was their first baptism of fire
and blood. General Gracie was a fine specimen of physical manhood
and a finished looking officer, and rode at the head of his column.
Reaching Kershaw, he dismounted, placed the reins of his horse over
his arm, and ordered his men to the battle. The enemy could not
withstand the onslaught of these fresh troops, and gave way, pursued
down the little dell in rear by the Alabamians. The broken lines
formed on the reserves that were holding Snodgrass Hill, and made an
aggressive attack upon Gracie, forcing him back on the opposite hill.

Twigg's Brigade, of the same division, came in on the left and gave
him such support as to enable him to hold his new line.

The fire of Longstreet's batteries from the angle down Thomas'
lines, forced that General to begin withdrawing his troops from their
entrenchments, preparatory to retreat. This movement being noticed by
the commanding General, Liddell's Division on the extreme right was
again ordered to the attack, but with no better success than in the
morning. The enemy had for some time been withdrawing his trains and
broken ranks through the gaps of the mountain in the direction
of Chattanooga, leaving nothing in front of the left wing but the
reserves of Granger and those of Crittenden. These held their ground
gallantly around Snodgrass Hill, but it was a self-evident fact to all
the officers, as well as the troops, that the battle was irretrievably
lost, and they were only fighting for time, the time that retreat
could be safely made under cover of darkness. But before the sun was
fairly set, that great army was in full retreat. But long before this
it was known to the brilliant Union commander that fate had played
him false--that destiny was pointing to his everlasting overthrow.
He knew, too, that the latter part of the battle, while brief and
desperate, the lurid cloud of battle settling all around his dead and
dying, a spectre had even then arisen as from the earth, and pointing
his bony fingers at the field of carnage, whispering in his ear that
dreaded word, "Lost!"

As night closed in upon the bloody scenes of the day, the Federal
Army, that in the morning had stood proud and defiant along the crests
and gorges of the mountain ridges, was now a struggling mass of
beaten and fleeing fugitives, or groups groping their way through the
darkness towards the passes that led to Chattanooga.

Of all the great Captains of that day, Longstreet was the guiding
genius of Chickamauga. It was his masterful mind that rose equal to
the emergency, grasped and directed the storm of battle. It was by the
unparalleled courage of the troops of Hood, Humphreys, and Kershaw,
and the temporary command under Longstreet, throwing themselves
athwart the path of the great colossus of the North, that checked
him and drove him back over the mountains to the strongholds around
Chattanooga. And it is no violent assumption to say that had the
troops on the right under Polk supported the battle with as fiery zeal
as those on the left under Longstreet, the Union Army would have been
utterly destroyed and a possible different ending to the campaign, if
not in final, results might have been confidently expected.

The work of the soldier was not done with the coming of night. The
woods along the slopes where the battle had raged fiercest had caught
fire and the flames were nearing the wounded and the dead. Their calls
and piteous wails demanded immediate assistance. Soldiers in groups
and by ones and twos scoured the battlefield in front and rear,
gathering up first the wounded then the dead. The former were removed
to the field infirmaries, the latter to the new city to be built for
them--the city of the dead. The builders were already at work on
their last dwelling places, scooping out shallow graves with bayonets,
knives, and such tools that were at hand. Many pathetic spectacles
were witnessed of brother burying brother. My brother and five other
members of the company were laid side by side, wrapped only in their
blankets, in the manner of the Red Men in the legend who fought and
died here in the long, long ago. Here we left them "in all their
glory" amid the sacred stillness that now reigned over the once stormy
battlefield, where but a short while before the tread of struggling
legions, the thunder of cannon, and the roar of infantry mingled in
systematic confusion. But now the awful silence and quietude that
pervades the field after battle--where lay the dreamless sleepers of
friend and foe, victor and vanquished, the blue and the gray, with
none to sing their requiems--nothing heard save the plaintive notes of
the night bird or the faint murmurs of grief of the comrades who are
placing the sleepers in their shallow beds! But what is death to the
soldier? It is the passing of a comrade perhaps one day or hour in
advance to the river with the Pole Ferryman.

Bragg, out of a total of fifty-nine thousand two hundred and
forty-two, lost seventeen thousand eight hundred. Rosecran's total was
sixty thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven (exclusive of the losses
on the 18th and 19th). His loss on the 20th was sixteen thousand
five hundred and fifty. The greater loss of the Confederates can be
accounted for when it is remembered that they were the assaulting
party--the enemy's superior position, formidable entrenchments, and
greater amount of artillery.

The Battle of Chickamauga was one of the most sanguinary of the war,
when the number of troops engaged and the time in actual combat are
taken into consideration. In the matter of losses it stands as the
fifth greatest battle of the war. History gives no authentic record of
greater casualties in battle in the different organizations, many
of the regiments losing from fifty to fifty-seven per cent, of their
numbers, while some reached as high as sixty-eight per cent. When it's
remembered that usually one is killed out right to every five that
are wounded, some idea of the dreadful mortality on the field can be
formed.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXIII

Notes of the Battle--Pathetic Scenes--Sketches of Officers.


The Seventh Regiment was particularly unfortunate in the loss of her
brilliant officers. Colonel Bland and Lieutenant Colonel Hood
both being killed, that regiment was left without a field officer.
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gist, of the Fifteenth, being permanently
disabled, and Major William Gist being soon afterwards killed, the
Fifteenth was almost in the same condition of the Seventh. So also was
the Third Battalion. Captain Robert Jennings, commanding the battalion
as senior Captain, lost his arm here, and was permanently retired,
leaving Captain Whitner in command. Major Dan Miller had received
a disabling wound in some of the former battles and never returned.
Colonel Rice returning soon after this battle, he likewise received a
wound from which he never sufficiently recovered for active service,
so the Third Battalion was thereafter commanded by a Captain, Captain
Whitner commanding until his death one year later. The Eighth Regiment
met an irreparable loss in the death of Lieutenant Colonel Hoole. No
officer in the brigade had a more soldierly bearing, high attainments,
and knightly qualities than Colonel Hoole, and not only the regiment,
but the whole brigade felt his loss. He was one of those officers
whose fine appearance caused men to stop and look at him twice before
passing. The many fine officers, Captains as well as Lieutenants, that
were killed or wounded here made a death and disabled roll, from the
effects of which the brigade never fully recovered. Then the whole
army mourned the supposed death of the gallant and dashing Texan,
General Hood, but he lived to yet write his name in indelible letters
on the roll-of fame among the many officers of distinction in the Army
of Tennessee.

In our first general advance in the morning, as the regiment reached
the brow of the hill, just before striking the enemy's breastworks,
my company and the other color company, being crowded together by
the pressure of the flanks on either side, became for the moment
a tangled, disorganized mass. A sudden discharge of grape from the
enemy's batteries, as well as from their sharpshooters posted behind
trees, threw us in greater confusion, and many men were shot down
unexpectedly. A Sergeant in my company, T.C. Nunnamaker, received
a fearful wound in the abdomen. Catching my hand while falling, he
begged to be carried off. "Oh! for God's sake, don't leave me here to
bleed to death or have my life trampled out! Do have me carried off!"
But the laws of war are inexorable, and none could leave the ranks to
care for the wounded, and those whose duty it was to attend to such
matters were unfortunately too often far in the rear, seeking places
of safety for themselves, to give much thought or concern to the
bleeding soldiers. Before our lines were properly adjusted, the
gallant Sergeant was beyond the aid of anyone. He had died from
internal hemorrhage. The searchers of the battlefield, those gatherers
of the wounded and dead, witness many novel and pathetic scenes.

Louis Spillers, a private in my company, a poor, quiet, and unassuming
fellow, who had left a wife and little children at home when he donned
the uniform of gray, had his thigh broken, just to the left of where
the Sergeant fell. Spillers was as "brave as the bravest," and made no
noise when he received the fatal wound. As the command swept forward
down the little dell, he was of course left behind. Dragging himself
along to the shade of a small tree, he sought shelter behind its
trunk, protecting his person as well as he could from the bullets of
the enemy posted on the ridge in front, and waited developments. When
the litter-bearers found him late at night, he was leaning against the
tree, calmly puffing away at his clay pipe. When asked why he did not
call for assistance, he replied: "Oh, no; I thought my turn would come
after awhile to be cared for, so I just concluded to quietly wait and
try and smoke away some of my misery." Before morning he was dead. One
might ask the question. What did such men of the South have to fight
for--no negroes, no property, not even a home that they could call
their own? What was it that caused them to make such sacrifices--to
even give their lives to the cause? It was a principle, and as dear to
the poorest of the poor as to him who counted his broad acres by the
thousands and his slaves by the hundreds. Of such mettle were made the
soldiers of the South--unyielding, unconquerable, invincible!

An old man in Captain Watts' Company, from Laurens, Uncle Johny Owens,
a veteran of the Florida War, and one who gave much merriment to the
soldiers by his frequent comparisons of war, "fighting Indians" and
the one "fighting Yankees," was found on the slope, just in front of
the enemy's breastworks, leaning against a tree, resting on his left
knee, his loaded rifle across the other. In his right hand, between
his forefinger and thumb, in the act of being placed upon the nipple
of the gun, was a percussion cap. His frame was rigid, cold, and
stiff, while his glossy eyes seemed to be peering in the front as
looking for a lurking foe. He was stone dead, a bullet having pierced
his heart, not leaving the least sign of the twitching of a muscle
to tell of the shock he had received. He had fought his last battle,
fired his last gun, and was now waiting for the last great drum-beat.

A story is told at the expense of Major Stackhouse, afterwards the
Colonel of the Eighth, during this battle. I cannot vouch for its
truthfulness, but give it as it was given to me by Captain Harllee, of
the same regiment. The Eighth was being particularly hard-pressed, and
had it not been for the unflinching stoicism of the officers and the
valor of the men, the ranks not yet recruited from the results of the
battle at Gettysburg, the little band would have been forced to yield.
Major Stackhouse was in command of the right wing of the regiment,
and all who knew the old farmer soldier knew him to be one of the most
stubborn fighters in the army, and at the same time a "Methodist of
the Methodists." He was moreover a pure Christian gentleman and a
churchman of the straightest sect. There was no cant superstitions or
affectation in his make-up, and what he said he meant. It was doubtful
if he ever had an evil thought, and while his manners might have been
at times blunt, he was always sincere and his language chosen and
chaste, with the possible exception during battle. The time of which I
speak, the enemy was making a furious assault on the right wing of the
Eighth, and as the Major would gently rise to his knees and see the
enemy so stubbornly contesting the ground, he would call out to the
men, "There they are, boys, give them hell!" Then in an under tone he
would say, "May God, forgive me for that!" Still the Yankees did not
yield, and again and again he shouted louder and louder, "Boys, give
it to them; give them hell!" with his usual undertone, "May God,
forgive me for that," etc. But they began closing on the right and
the center, and his left was about to give way; the old soldier could
stand it no longer. Springing to his feet, his tall form towering
above all around him, he shouted at the top of his voice, "Give them
hell; give them hell, I tell you, boys; give them hell, G---- souls"
The Eighth must have given them what was wanting, or they received it
from somewhere, for after this outburst they scampered back behind the
ridge.

[Illustration: Lieut. James N. Martin, Co. E., 36 S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Maj. Wm. D. Peck, Quarter Master of Kershaw's Division.
(Page 162.)]

[Illustration: Col. James D. Nance, 3d S.C. Regiment. (Page 353.)]

[Illustration: David E. Ewart, Major and Surgeon, 3d S.C. Regiment.]

Years after this, while Major Stackhouse was in Congress, and much
discussion going on about the old Bible version of hell and the new
version hades, some of his colleagues twitted the Major about the
matter and asked him whether he was wanting the Eighth to give the
Union soldiers the new version, or the old. With a twinkle in his
eye, the Major answered "Well, boys, on all ordinary occasions the new
version will answer the purposes, but to drive a wagon out of a stall
or the Yankees from your front, the old version is the best."

Major Hard, who was killed here, was one of the finest officers in the
brigade and the youngest, at that time, of all the field officers.
He was handsome, brilliant, and brave. He was one of the original
officers of the Seventh; was re-elected at the reorganization in May,
1862, and rose, by promotion, to Major, and at the resignation of
Colonel Aiken would have been, according to seniority, Lieutenant
Colonel. Whether he ever received this rank or not, I cannot remember.
I regret my inability to get a sketch of his life.

But the Rupert of the brigade was Colonel Bland, of the Seventh. I
do not think he ever received his commission as full Colonel, but
commanded the regiment as Lieutenant Colonel, with few exceptions,
from the battle of Sharpsburg until his death. Colonel Aiken received
a wound at Sharpsburg from which he never fully recovered until after
the war. Colonel Aiken was a moulder of the minds of men; could hold
them together and guide them as few men could in Kershaw's Brigade,
but Bland was the ideal soldier and a fighter "par excellence." He had
the gift of inspiring in his men that lofty courage that he himself
possessed. His form was faultless--tall, erect, and well developed,
his eyes penetrating rather than piercing, his voice strong and
commanding. His was a noble, generous soul, cool and brave almost to
rashness. He was idolized by his troops and beloved as a comrade and
commander. Under the guise of apparent sternness, there was a gentle
flow of humor. To illustrate this, I will relate a little circumstance
that occurred after the battle of Chancellorsville to show the
direction his humor at times took. Colonel Bland was a bearer of
orders to General Hooker across the Rappahannock, under a flag of
truce. At the opposite bank he was met by officers and a crowd of
curious onlookers, who plied the Colonel with irrelevant questions. On
his coat collar he wore the two stars of his rank, Lieutenant Colonel.
One of the young Federal officers made some remark about Eland's
stars, and said, "I can't understand your Confederate ranks; some
officers have bars and some stars. I see you have two stars; are you a
Brigadier General?"

"No, sir," said Bland, straightening himself up to his full height;
"but I ought to be. If I was in your army I would have been a Major
General, and in command of your army." Then with a merry chuckle
added, "Perhaps then you would not have gotten such a d---n bad
whipping at Chancellorsville." Then all hands laughed.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL ELBERT BLAND, SEVENTH REGIMENT.

Elbert Bland was born in Edgefield County, S.C., and attended the
common schools until early manhood, when choosing medicine as a
profession, he attended the Medical College of New York, where he
graduated with distinction. Ardently ambitious, he remained
sometime after graduation, in order to perfect himself in his chosen
profession. Shortly after his graduation, war broke out between the
States and Mexico, and he was offered and accepted the position
of Assistant Surgeon of the Palmetto Regiment, Colonel P.M. Butler
commanding. By this fortunate occurrence he was enabled to greatly
enlarge his knowledge of surgery. At the close of the war he came
home, well equipped for the future. Shortly after his return from the
war he was happily married to Miss Rebecca Griffin, a daughter of Hon.
N.L. Griffin, of Edgefield. Settling in his native county, he entered
at once into a lucrative practice, and at the beginning of the late
war was enjoying one of the largest country practices in the State.
When the mutterings of war began he was one of the first to show signs
of activity, and when Gregg's Regiment went to the coast in defense
of his native State, he was appointed Surgeon of that Regiment.
Having had some experience already as a Surgeon in the Mexican War,
he determined to enter the more active service, and in connection
with Thos. G. Bacon, raised the Ninety-Six Riflemen, which afterwards
formed part of the Seventh South Carolina Regiment. Bacon was elected
Captain and Bland First Lieutenant. Upon organizing the regiment,
Bacon was elected Colonel of the regiment and Bland was to be Captain.

Whilst very little active service was seen during the first year of
the war, still sufficient evidence was given of Eland's ability as
a commander of the men, and upon the reorganization of the regiment,
Captain Bland was elected Lieutenant Colonel. From this time until
September 20th, 1863, his fortunes were those of the Seventh Regiment.
He was conspicuous on nearly every battlefield in Virginia, and was
twice wounded--at Savage Station, seriously in the arm, from which
he never recovered, and painfully in the thigh at Gettysburg. At the
sanguinary battle of Chickamauga, on September 20th, 1863, whilst
in command of his regiment, and in the moment of victory, he fell
mortally wounded, living only about two hours.

No knightlier soul than his ever flashed a sabre in the cause he
loved so well, and like Marshall Nay, he was one of the bravest of the
brave. He sleeps quietly in the little cemetery of his native town,
and a few years ago, upon the death-bed of his wife, her request was
that his grave and coffin should be opened at her death, and that she
should be placed upon his bosom, which was done, and there they sleep.
May they rest in peace.

       *       *       *       *       *


LIEUTENANT COLONEL HOOLE, EIGHTH REGIMENT.

Axalla John Hoole was of English decent, his grandfather, Joseph
Hoole, having emigrated from York, England, about the close of the
Revolutionary War, and settled at Georgetown, S.C.

James C. Hoole, the father of A.J. Hoole, was a soldier of the war of
1812. He removed to Darlington District and married Elizabeth Stanley,
by whom he had five children, the third being the subject of this
sketch.

Axalla John Hoole was born near Darlington Court House, S.C., October
12th, 1822. His father died when he was quite small, leaving a large
family and but little property, but his mother was a woman of great
energy, and succeeded in giving him as good an education as could
be obtained at St. John's Academy, Darlington Court House. Upon the
completion of the academic course, at the age of eighteen, he taught
school for twelve years, after which he followed the occupation of
farming.

While a young man he joined the Darlington Riflemen, and after serving
in various capacities, he was elected Captain about 1854 or 1855.
He was an enthusiastic advocate of States Rights, and during the
excitement attending the admission of Kansas as a State, he went out
there to oppose the Abolitionists. He married Elizabeth G. Brunson,
March 20th, 1856, and left the same day for Kansas. Taking an active
part in Kansas politics and the "Kansas War," he was elected Probate
Judge of Douglas County by the pro-slavery party, under the regime of
Governor Walker.

He returned to Darlington December 5th, 1857, and shortly afterwards
was re-elected Captain of the Darlington Riflemen. At a meeting of
the Riflemen, held in April, 1861, on the Academy green, he called for
volunteers, and every man in the company volunteered, except one. The
company went to Charleston April 15th, 1861, and after remaining a
short while, returned as far as Florence, where they were mustered in
as Company A, Eighth S.C.V.

The Eighth Regiment left Florence for Virginia June 2d, 1861. At the
expiration of the period of enlistment, the regiment was reorganized,
and Captain Hoole was elected Lieutenant Colonel, in which capacity
he served until he was killed at the battle of Chickamauga, September
20th, 1863. He was buried at the Brunson graveyard, near Darlington.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL E.T. STACKHOUSE, EIGHTH REGIMENT.

As I have made some mention of Major Stackhouse, he being promoted to
Lieutenant Colonel, and afterwards Colonel of the Eighth, I will take
this opportunity of giving the readers a very brief sketch of the life
of this sterling farmer, patriot, soldier, and statesman, who, I am
glad to say, survived the war for many years.

Colonel E.T. Stackhouse was born in Marion County, of this State, the
27th of March, 1824, and died in the City of Washington, D.C., June
14th, 1892. He was educated in the country schools, having never
enjoyed the advantages of a collegiate course. He married Miss Anna
Fore, who preceded him to the grave by only a few months. Seven
children was the result of this union. In youth and early manhood
Colonel Stackhouse was noted for his strict integrity and sterling
qualities, his love of truth and right being his predominating trait.
As he grew in manhood he grew in moral worth--the better known, the
more beloved.

His chosen occupation was that of farming, and he was ever proud
of the distinction of being called one of the "horny-handed sons of
toil." In the neighborhood in which he was born and bred he was an
exemplar of all that was progressive and enobling.

In April, 1861, Colonel Stackhouse was among the very first to answer
the call of his country, and entered the service as Captain in the
Eighth South Carolina Regiment. By the casualties of war, he was
promoted to Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel, and led the old
Eighth, the regiment he loved so well, in some of the most sanguinary
engagements of the war. All that Colonel Stackhouse was in civil life
he was that, and more if possible, in the life of a soldier. In battle
he was calm, collected, and brave; in camp or on the march he
was sociable, moral--a Christian gentleman. As a tactician and
disciplinarian, Colonel Stackhouse could not be called an exemplar
soldier, as viewed in the light of the regular army; but as an officer
of volunteers he had those elements in him to cause men to take on
that same unflinching courage, indominable spirit, and bold daring
that actuated him in danger and battle. He had not that sternness of
command nor niceties nor notion of superiority that made machines of
men, but he had that peculiar faculty of endowing his soldiers with
confidence and a willingness to follow where he led.

He represented his county for three terms in the State Legislature,
and was President of the State Alliance. He was among the first to
advocate college agricultural training for the youth of the land, and
was largely instrumental in the establishment of Clemson College, and
became one of its first trustees.

He was elected, without opposition, to the Fifty-first Congress, and
died while in the discharge of his duties at Washington.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXIV

In Front of Chattanooga.


Early on the morning of the 22d we were ordered forward towards
Chattanooga, the right wing having gone the day before. On nearing the
city, we were shelled by batteries posted on the heights along the way
and from the breastworks and forts around the city. It was during one
of the heavy engagements between our advanced skirmish lines and the
rear guard of the enemy that one of the negro cooks, by some means,
got lost between the lines, and as a heavy firing began, bullets
flying by him in every direction, he rushed towards the rear, and
raising his hands in an entreating position, cried out, "Stop, white
folks, stop! In the name of God Almighty, stop and argy!"

In moving along, near the city we came to a great sink in the ground,
caused by nature's upheaval at some remote period, covering an acre
or two of space. It seemed to have been a feeding place for hogs from
time immemorial, for corn cobs covered the earth for a foot or more
in depth. In this place some of our troops were posted to avoid the
shells, the enemy having an exact range of this position. They began
throwing shells right and left and bursting them just over our heads,
the fragments flying in every direction. At every discharge, and
before the shell reached us, the men would cling to the sides of
the sloping sink, or burrow deeper in the cobs, until they had their
bodies almost covered. A little man of my company, while a good
soldier, had a perfect aversion to cannon shot, and as a shell would
burst just overhead, his body was seen to scringe, tremble, and go
still deeper among the cobs. Some mischievous comrade took advantage
of his position, seized a good sound cob, then just as a shell bursted
overhead, the trembling little fellow all flattened out, he struck
him a stunning blow on the back. Such a yell as he set up was scarcely
ever heard. Throwing the cobs in every direction, he cried out, "Oh!
I am killed; I am killed! Ambulance corps! Ambulance corps!" But the
laugh of the men soon convinced him his wound was more imaginary than
real so he turned over and commenced to burrow again like a mole.

Rosecrans having withdrawn his entire force within the fortifications
around Chattanooga, our troops were placed in camp, surrounding the
enemy in a semi-circle, and began to fortify. Kershaw's Brigade
was stationed around a large dwelling in a grove, just in front of
Chattanooga, and something over a mile distant from the city, but
in plain view. We had very pleasant quarters in the large grove
surrounding the house, and, in fact, some took possession of the
porches and outhouses. This, I think, is the point Grant stormed a few
months afterwards, and broke through the lines of Bragg. We had
built very substantial breastworks, and our troops would have thought
themselves safe and secure against the charge of Grant's whole army
behind such works.

If those who are unfamiliar with the life of the soldier imagines it
is one long funeral procession, without any breaks of humor, they
are away off from the real facts. The soldier is much the same as the
schoolboy. He must have some vent through which the ebullition of good
feelings can blow off, else the machinery bursts.

While encamped around this house, a cruel joke was played upon
Captain--well we will call him Jones; that was not his name, however,
but near enough to it to answer our purpose. Now this Captain Jones,
as we call him, was engaged to be married to one of the
fairest flowers in the Palmetto State, a perfect queen among
beauties--cultured, vivacious, and belonging to one of the oldest
families in that Commonwealth of Blue Bloods. The many moves and
changes during the last month or two considerably interrupted our
communications and mail facilities, and Jones had not received the
expected letters. He became restless, petulant, and cross, and to
use the homely phrase, "he was all torn up." Instead of the "human
sympathy" and the "one touch of nature," making the whole world akin,
that philosophers and sentimentalists talk about, it should be
"one sight of man's misery"--makes the whole world "wish him more
miserable." It was through such feelings that induced Captain I.N.
Martin, our commissary, with Mack Blair and others, to enter into a
conspiracy to torture Jones with all he could stand. Blair had a
lady cousin living near the home of Jones' fiancee, with whom he
corresponded, and it was through this channel that the train was
laid to blow up Jones while said Jones was in the piazza engaged in
a deeply interesting game of chess. Martin was to be in the piazza
watching the game, when Blair was to enter reading a letter. Then
something like the following colloquy took place:

"Well, Mack, what is the news from home?"

"Nothing very interesting," replies Blair. Then, as a sudden
recollection strikes him, "Oh, yes, there is to be a big wedding at
Old Dr. Blanks."

"You don't say so?" (The game of chess stands still.) "And who is to
be married, pray?" innocently enquires Martin.

"Why it will surprise you as much as it did me, I suppose, and I would
not believe it, only Cousin Sallie says she is to be bride's maid."
(Jones ceases to play and listens intently.) "It is nobody else than
Mr. ---- and Miss 'Blank.'"

Now, this Miss "Blank" is Jones' intended. Jones is paralyzed. His
face turns livid, then pale, now green! He is motionless, his eyes
staring vacantly on the chessboard. Then with a mighty exertion Jones
kicked the board aside and sprang to his feet. Shaking his trembling
finger in the face of Blair, his whole frame convulsed with emotion,
his very soul on fire, he hissed between his teeth: "That's an
infernal lie, I don't care whose Cousin Sallie wrote it."

Jones was nearly crazed for the balance of the day. He whistled and
sang strange melodies while walking aimlessly about. He read and
re-read the many love missives received long ago. Some he tore into
fragments; others he carefully replaced in his knapsack.

But those evil geniuses were still at work for further torture, or at
least to gloat over Jones' misery. It was arranged to formally bury
him, allegorically. At night, while Jones was asleep, or trying to
sleep on the piazza, a procession was formed, headed by Major Maffett,
who was to act as the priest, and I must say he acted the part like a
cardinal. We had a little rehearsal of the part each was to play, and
those who "couldn't hold in" from laughing were ruled out, for it was
expected that Jones would cut some frightful antics as the ceremony
proceeded. I was not allowed to accompany the procession, as it was
decided I could not "hold in," and under no condition was there to be
a laugh or even a smile; but I took up position behind the balusters
and watched events as the shadows were cast before. Major Maffett was
dressed in a long dark overcoat, to represent the priestly gown, with
a miter on his head, carrying Hardee's Tactics, from which to read the
burial service. All had in their hands a bayonet, from which burned a
tallow candle, in place of tapers. The procession marched up the steps
in single file, all bearing themselves with the greatest solemnity and
sombre dignity, followed by the sexton, with a frying-pan as a shovel,
and took their places around the supposed corpse. Maffett began the
duties by alluding to that part of the service where "it is allotted
that all men shall die," etc., waving his hand in due form to the
sexton as he repeated the words, "Earth to earth and dust to dust,"
the sexton following the motions with the frying pan.

I must say, in all truthfulness, that in all my life I never saw a
graver or more solemn set of faces than those of the would-be mourning
procession. Captain Wright appeared as if he was looking into his own
grave, and the others appeared equally as sorrowful. Major Maffett
gave out in clear, distinct tones the familiar lines of--

  "Solemn strikes
  the funeral chime,
  Notes of our departing time."

Well, such grotesque antics as Jones did cut up was perfectly
dreadful. He laughed, he mimicked the priest, kicked at the mourners,
and once tried to grab the tactics. The Major and his assistants
pitched the tune on a high key. Captain Wright braced it with loud,
strong bass, while Martin and Sim Pratt came in on the home stretch
with tenor and alto that shook the rafters in the house. Then all
dispersed as silently and sorrowfully as they had come.

In a few days Jones got a letter setting all things straight. Martin
and Blair confessed their conspiracy against his peace of mind,
and matters progressed favorably thereafter between Jones and Miss
"Blank," but Jones confessed afterwards that he carried for a long
time "bad, wicked blood in his heart."

But soldiers have their tragedies as well as their comedies in camp.
It was here we lost our old friend, Jim George, the shallow-pated
wit--the man who found us the flour on the Potomac, and who floundered
about in the river "for three hours," as he said, on that bitter cold
night at Yorktown. It was also told of Jim, that during the first
battle he was loading and shooting at the wounded enemy for all his
gun was worth, and when remonstrated with by his Captain, Chesley
Herbert, telling Jim he "should not kill them," Jim indignantly asked,
"What in the hell did we come to the war for, if not to kill Yankees?"
But this, I think, is only a joke at Jim's expense. Nevertheless, he
was a good solider, of the harmless kind, and a good, jolly fellow
withal, taking it as a pleasure to do a friend a kindness.

As I have said, however, Jim was a great boaster and blusterer,
glorying in the marvelous and dangerous. Had he lived in the heroic
age, I have no doubt he would have regaled the ears of his listeners
with blood curdling stories of his battles with giants, his fights
with dragons and winged serpents. He claimed to possess a charm. He
wore an amulet around his neck to protect him against the "bullets of
lead, of copper, or of brass" of his enemies, through which, he said,
nothing could penetrate but the mystic "balls of silver," the same
with which "witch rabbits" are killed. He would fill his pockets,
after battle, with spent and battered bullets, and exhibit them as
specimens of his art in the catching of bullets on "the fly."

He professed to be a very dangerous and blood-thirsty individual, but
his comrades only laughed at his idiosyncrasies, knowing him as they
did as being one of the best and most harmless soldiers in the army.
He often boasted, "No Yankee will ever kill me, but our own men will,"
his companions little dreaming how prophetic his words would prove.

One night while Jim, in company with some companions, were on a
"foraging expedition," they came to a farm house on Missionary Ridge
and ordered supper. A cavalryman was there, also, waiting to be
served. A negro servant attending to the table gave some real or
imaginary affront, and the soldiers, in a spirit of jest, pretended
as if they were going to take the negro out and flog him. Now Jim, as
well as the cavalryman, thought the midnight revelers were in earnest,
and Jim was in high glee at the prospect of a little adventure. But
nothing was further from the thoughts of the soldiers than doing harm
to the negro. When they had him in the yard the cavalryman came on the
porch, and in an authoritative manner, ordered the negro turned loose.

This was a time Jim thought that he could get in some of his bullying,
so going up on the steps where the cavalryman stood, jesticulating
with his finger, said, "When we get through with the negro we will
give you some of the same."

In an instant the strange soldier's pistol was whipped out--a flash,
a report, and Jim George fell dead at his feet, a victim to his own
swagger and an innocent jest of his companions. So dumbfounded were
the innocent "foragers," that they allowed the cavalryman to ride away
unmolested and unquestioned.

The bones of the unfortunate Jim lie buried on the top of Missionary
Ridge, and the name of his slayer remains a mystery to this day.

While in Tennessee our diet was somewhat changed. In the East, flour,
with beef and bacon, was issued to the troops; but here we got nothing
but corn meal, with a little beef and half ration of bacon. The troops
were required to keep four days' rations cooked on hand all the time.
Of the meal we made "cart wheels," "dog heads," "ash cakes," and
last, but not least, we had "cush." Now corn bread is not a very great
delicacy at best, but when four days' old, and green with mold, it is
anything but palatable. But the soldiers got around this in the way
"cush" was manipulated. Now it has been said "if you want soldiers
to fight well, you must feed them well;" but this is still a mooted
question, and I have known some of the soldiers of the South to give
pretty strong battle when rather underfed than overfed.

For the benefit of those Spanish-American soldiers of the late war,
who had nothing to vary their diet of ham and eggs, steak, pork, and
potatoes, biscuits, light bread, coffee, and iced teas, but only such
light goods as canned tomatoes, green corn, beans, salmon, and fresh
fish, I will tell them how to make "cush." You will not find this
word in the dictionaries of the day, but it was in the soldier's
vocabulary, now obsolete. Chip up bacon in fine particles, place in an
oven and fry to a crisp. Fill the oven one-third or one-half full
of branch water, then take the stale corn bread, the more moldy the
better, rub into fine crumbs, mix and bring the whole to a boil,
gently stirring with a forked stick. When cold, eat with fingers and
to prevent waste or to avoid carrying it on the march, eat the four
days' rations at one sitting. This dish will aid in getting clear
of all gestion of meat, and prevent bread from getting old. A pot of
"cush" is a dish "fit for a king," and men who will not fight on it
would not fight if penned.

The forest and farms around abounded in sheep and hogs. In fact,
Tennessee and North Georgia were not the worst places in the South in
which to live through a campaign. We had strict orders to protect all
private property and molest nothing outside of camp requirements, but
the men would forage at night, bring in a sheep or hog, divide up, and
by the immutable law of camps it was always proper to hang a choice
piece of mutton or pork at the door of the officers' tent. This helped
to soothe the conscience of the men and pave the way to immunity
from punishment. The stereotyped orders were issued every night for
"Captains to keep their men in camp," but the orders were as often
disregarded as obeyed. It was one of those cases where orders are more
regarded "in the breach than in the observance." Officers winked
at it, if not actually countenancing the practice, of "foraging for
something to eat." Then again the old argument presented itself, "If
we don't take it the Yankees will," so there you were.

Most of the soldiers took the opportunity of visiting Lookout Mountain
and feasting their eyes upon the finest scenery of the South. While
they had crossed and recrossed the Blue Ridge and the many ranges of
lesser note in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania--had gazed with
wonder and admiration at the windings of the Potomac and Shenandoah
from the Heights of Maryland overlooking Harper's Ferry--yet all these
were nothing as compared to the view from Lookout Mountain. Standing
on its brow, we could see the beautiful blue waters of the Tennessee
flowing apparently at our feet, but in reality a mile or two distant.
Beyond lay the city of Chattanooga, nestling down in the bend of the
river, while away in the distance occasional glimpses of the stream
could be had as it wound in and out around the hills and mountains
that lined its either side, until the great river looked no larger
than a mountain brooklet. From the highest peak of Lookout Mountain we
catch faint streaks of far away Alabama; on the right, North Carolina;
to the north, Tennessee; and to the south and east were Georgia and
our own dear South Carolina. From this place many of our soldiers cast
the last lingering look at the land they loved so well. On the plateau
of the mountain was a beautiful lake of several acres in extent,
surrounded by lovely little villas and summer houses, these all
hurriedly deserted by the necessities of war--the furniture and
fixtures left all in place as the owners took their hastened
departure. In one house we visited was left a handsome piano, on which
those who could perform gave the soldiers delightful music.

There was a roadway winding around the base of the mountain and
gradually up its slopes to the plateau above, where wagons and other
vehicles passed to the top. Most of the soldiers who wished to visit
this beautiful and historic place passed up this road way, but there
was another route--just a foot-path--up its precipitous sides, which
had to be climbed hundreds of feet, perpendicularly, by means of
ladders fastened to its sides. After going up one ladder, say fifty
or seventy-five feet, we would come to a little offset in the mountain
side, just wide enough to get a foot-hold, before taking another
ladder. Some of the boldest climbers took this route to reach the
summit, but after climbing the first ladder and looking back towards
the gorge below, I concluded it was safer and more pleasant to take
the "longer way round." It certainly takes a man of stout heart and
strong nerves to climb those ladders up to the "lands of the sky."

The scenery in and around Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain is grand,
far beyond pen picturing. The surroundings had a kind of buoyancy even
to the spirits of the badly clad and badly fed soldiers, which caused
their stale bread and "cush" to be eaten with a relish. The mountain
homes seemed veritable "castles in the air." Looking from the top
of Lookout Mountain--its position, its surroundings, its natural
fortresses--this would have made an old Feudal lord die of envy.
Autumn is now at hand, with its glorious sunsets, its gorgeous
coloring of the leaves and bushes away to the right on Missionary
Ridge, the magnificent purple draperies along the river sides that
rise and fall to our right and left, its blue waters dwindling away
until they meet the deeper blue of the sky--are all beautiful beyond
description. Lovely though this scenery may be in autumn, and its
deeper coloring of green in the summer, how dazzled must be the looker
on in beholding it in its tender, blushing mantle of spring?

For quite a time rumors came of Burnside's advance through East
Tennessee and of Longstreet's detachment from the army to meet him.
The troops were kept in constant expectation, with the regulation
"four days" cooked rations on hand. It is not our purpose to criticise
the acts of Generals, or the schemes and plans of the Southern
Government, but future historical critics will not differ as to the
ultimate results of the East Tennessee move. That Longstreet's advance
to East Tennessee was without results, if not totally disastrous, all
will agree. To divide an army in the face of an enemy, is dangerous
at best, and, with few exceptions, has been avoided by Generals and
commanders of all time. Lee could afford it, because he was LEE and
had a JACKSON to execute the movements, but on occasions when the
enemy in front are more numerous and commanded by the most able and
astute Generals of the time, the movement is hazardous in the extreme.
Lee and his Lieutenants had already "robbed the cradle and the grave"
to replenish their ranks, and what real benefit would accrue to the
South had Longstreet captured the whole of Burnside's Army, when the
North had many armies to replace it? The critics of the future will
judge the movement as ill-timed and fraught with little good and much
ill to the Confederacy. However, it was so ordered, and no alternate
was left the officers and soldiers but to obey.

On the 9th of October President Davis came out to Chattanooga to
give matters his personal attention and seek, if possible, some
"scape-grace" upon which to saddle the blame for not reaping greater
fruits of the battle, and to vindicate the conduct of his commander in
chief.

General Bragg had already preferred charges against Lieutenant General
Polk, commander of the right wing of the army, for his tardiness in
opening the battle of the 20th, and General Hindman was relieved of
the command of his division for alleged misconduct prior to that
time. Many changes were proposed and made in the corps and division
commanders, as well as plans discussed for the future operations of
the army. All agreed that it should be aggressive.

Major General Cheatham was temporarily placed in command of Folk's
Corps after the downfall of that General, and he himself soon
afterwards superseded by lieutenant General Hardee. President Davis
had thought of placing Pemberton, who had capitulated to Grant at
Vicksburg, but who had been exchanged, in command of the corps; but
the officers and troops demurred at this, and public opinion was so
outspoken, that Mr. Davis was forced to abandon the idea. It was,
therefore, given to Hardee. For some offense given by Major General
D.H. Hill, who commanded the right of the right wing on the 20th,
he was relieved of his command and his connection with the Army of
Tennessee. Major General Buckner, commanding the divisions on the left
of Longstreet's wing, also came under the ban of official displeasure
and was given an indefinite leave of absence. There was wrangling,
too, among the Brigadiers in Hood's Division, Jenkins, Law, and
Robertson. Jenkins being a new addition to the division, was senior
officer, and commanded the division in Hood's absence by virtue of
his rank. Law had been in the division since its formation, and after
Hood's disabilities from wounds, commanded very acceptably the balance
of the days at Gettysburg. For this and other meritorious conduct,
he thought the command should be given to him as senior in point of
service with the division. Robertson had some personal difficulty
with General Longstreet, which afterwards resulted in a call for a
courtmartial. The advanced ideas and undisguised views of Longstreet
himself were considered with suspicion by both the President and the
General commanding the army, and had it not been for the high prestige
and his brilliant achievements in the East, the unbounded love and
devotion of his troops, the loyalty and confidence of General Lee in
the high military ability of the old War Horse, his commander of the
First Corps, in all probability his official head would have fallen
in the basket. But President Davis was strong in his prejudices and
convictions, and as usual, tenacious in his friendship and confidence
towards his favorites. Bragg, in President Davis' estimation at
least, was vindicated, but at the expense of his subalterns, and was,
therefore, retained in command in the face of overwhelming discontent
among the Generals and the pressing demands of public opinion for his
recall from the command of the army.

General Lee in the meantime had sought to relieve the pressure against
Bragg as much as possible by making a demonstration in force against
Meade, forcing the Federal Army back behind Bull Run, thereby
preventing a further reinforcement of Rosecrans from the Army of the
Potomac.

I digress thus far from the thread of my story, that the reader may
better understand the conditions confronting our army--the morale, and
esprit de corps of the officers and troops composing it.

On the 19th of October General Rosecrans was superseded by Major
General George B. Thomas, in command of the Union Army, with Grant,
who was rapidly climbing to the zenith of this renown, marching to his
relief as commander of the department.

A considerable commotion was caused in camp about the last of October
by the news of a large body of Union soldiers making a demonstration
against our left flank and rear. It seems that a body of troops had
embarked on board pontoon and flat boats in Chattanooga, and during
the night had floated eight miles down the river and there were
joined by a similar body marching over land on the north side. This
formidable array was crossed over to the south side and moved in the
direction of our rear and our line of communication under cover of the
hills and mountain ridges. Jenkins' and McLaw's Divisions were ordered
to intercept them and drive them off. A night attack was ordered, but
by some misunderstanding or disobedience of orders, this movement
on the part of the Confederates miscarried, and was abandoned; not,
however, until General Bratton, of Jenkins' old Brigade, came up and
attacked the rear guard with such vigor that the enemy was glad enough
to get away, leaving their wounded and dead upon the field. No further
movements were made against the army until after our removal to East
Tennessee.

About the first of November orders were issued for the transfer of
Longstreet to begin, and on the 5th and 6th the greater part of his
army was embarked on hastily constructed trains at Tyner's Station,
some five or six miles out on the E.T. & K.R.R. The horses, artillery,
and wagon trains took the dirt road to Sweetwater, in the Sweetwater
Valley, one of the most fertile regions in East Tennessee.

Longstreet's command consisted of Kershaw's (South Carolina), Bryan's
and Wofford's (Georgia), and Humphreys' (Mississippi) Brigades, under
Major General McLaws; Anderson's (Georgia), Jenkins' (South Carolina),
Law's (Alabama), Robertson's (Arkansas and Texas), and Benning's
(Georgia) Brigades, under Brigadier General M. Jenkins, commanding
division; two batteries of artillery, under General Alexander; and
four brigades of cavalry, under Major General Wheeler.

General Hood had been so desperately wounded at Chickamauga, that
it was thought he could never return to the army; but he had won a
glorious name, the prestige of which the war department thought of too
much value to be lost, but to be used afterwards so disastrously in
the campaign through Middle Tennessee. General Hood was, no doubt,
an able, resolute, and indefatigable commander, although meteoric,
something on the order of Charles, the "Madman of the North;" but
his experience did not warrant the department in placing him in the
command of an expedition to undertake the impossible--the defeat of
an overwhelming army, behind breastworks, in the heart of its own
country.

The movement of Longstreet to East Tennessee and Hood through Middle
Tennessee was but the commencement of a series of blunders on the
part of our war department that culminated eventually in the South's
downfall. But it is not our province to speculate in the rosy fields
of "might-have-been," but to record facts.

General Longstreet had of all arms fifteen thousand men, including
teamsters, guards, medical and ambulance corps. General Burnside
had an army of twenty-five thousand men and one hundred pieces of
artillery, and this was the army Longstreet was expected to capture or
destroy.

General Grant was marching from Mississippi with a large portion
of his victorious troops of the Vicksburg campaign to reinforce
Rosecrans, Sherman coming down through Tennessee, and Meade was
sending reinforcements from the East, all to swell the defeated ranks
of Rosecrans. With the knowledge of all these facts, the department
was preparing to further reduce the forces of Bragg by sending
Longstreet up in East Tennessee, with soldiers badly clad, worse
equipped, and with the poorest apology of camp equipage, for an active
and progressive campaign.

Both governments were greatly displeased with the results of the
battle of Chickamauga--the Federals at their army failing to come up
to their expectations and gaining a victory, instead of a disastrous
defeat; the Confederates at their commanders in not following up their
success and reaping greater results. Under such circumstances,
there must be some one on whom to place the blame. General Rosecrans
censured General McCook and General Crittenden, commanders of the
Twentieth and Twenty-first Corps, and these two able soldiers were
relieved of their commands, while General Rosecrans himself was
severely censured by the department in Washington, and soon afterwards
relieved of his command.

The regiments of the brigade were now all short of field officers--the
Seventh and Battalion with none, and the Eighth and Fifteenth in
charge of Majors. However, Colonel W.G. Rice joined us on the way to
East Tennessee and took command of his battalion.

After a stay of a week in the beautiful Valley of Sweetwater, we were
moved to Loudon, the railroad crossing of the Tennessee River, the
railroad bridge having been burned by the enemy. The country in East
Tennessee was greatly divided in sentiment, some for the Union cause
and some for the Confederate cause. Rumors of outrages and doings of
desperadoes were rife, and the soldiers were somewhat dubious in going
far into the country, for fear of running up against bushwhackers, of
which the country was said to be full.

While one train with the Third was being pulled over the East
Tennessee Railroad towards Sweetwater by a strange engineer over a
track long unused, and cars out of repair, an occurrence took
place which might have ended more seriously than it did under the
circumstances. The train, composed of box cars, one company inside and
one on top, was running along at a good, lively rate. A stampede took
place among the troops on top, who began jumping right and left down a
steep embankment and running with all their speed to the woods in the
distance. It was just after daylight, and those inside the cars not
knowing what the trouble was, and a great many on the top being roused
from their slumbers and seeing the others leaping in great disorder,
and hearing the word "bushwhackers" being called out, threw their
blankets aside and jumped likewise. Soon the cars were almost
empty, those above and within all thinking danger was somewhere, but
invisible. Just then a train of passenger cars, containing General
McLaws, General Kershaw, their staffs, and others, rounded the cut in
our rear, and was running at break-neck speed into the freight train
in front. Those in the passenger cars seeing those from the train
in front running for dear life's sake for the woods, began to climb
through windows and off of the platforms, the engineers and firemen on
both trains leaping like the men. So we had the spectacle of one train
running into another and neither under control, although the levers
had been reversed. In a moment the rear train plunged into the front
one, piling up three or four cars on their ends. Fortunately, only one
or two were hurt by jumping and none by the collision. It seems almost
miraculous to think of two car loads of soldiers jumping from trains
at full speed and on a high embankment and a great many from top, and
so few getting hurt.

General Longstreet's plan of campaign was to move up the east side
of the Holston, or, as it is now called, the Tennessee River, pass
through Marysville, cross the river in the vicinity of Knoxville with
his infantry, the cavalry to take possession of the heights above and
opposite the city, thus cutting off the retreat of the Federals in
front of Loudon, and capture the garrison in the city of Knoxville.
But he had no trains to move his pontoon bridge, nor horses to pull
it. So he was forced to make a virtue of necessity and cross the river
just above the little hamlet of Loudon in the face of the enemy. On
the night of the 12th the boats and bridge equipment were carried to
the river, the boats launched and manned by a detachment of Jenkins'
South Carolina Brigade, under the command of the gallant Captain
Foster. This small band of men pushed their boats across the river
under a heavy fire of the enemy's pickets, succeeded in driving off
the enemy, and took possession of the opposite side. The boats were
soon joined together and the bridge laid. The troops then began to
cross rapidly and push their way out far in advance. By morning the
greater part of the army was on the west side of the river.

General Wheeler, with his cavalry, started simultaneously with the
infantry, but on the east side, with the view of taking possession
of the heights around Knoxville, which he partly accomplished after
several severe engagements with the Union cavalry, in which the young
Confederate cavalier came off victorious.

The next morning after our crossing the enemy showed some disposition
to attack our lines, but did no more than drive in our skirmishers,
and then began to fall slowly back. Longstreet remained near the river
constructing some defensive earthworks to protect the bridge, and to
allow the supply train, which had been out on a foraging expedition,
time to come up. By his not making as rapid advance as was expected,
the enemy again, on the 14th, returned to feel our lines and to learn
the whereabouts of his foe.

On the morning of the 15th, just at daylight, we took up our line of
march through a blinding mist or fog, our skirmishers not being able
to see an object fifty paces in front. Our line of advance was along
the dirt road, on the west side of the little mountain range, a spur
of the clinch, while the main body of the enemy kept close to the
railroad, on the east side, and between the mountain range and the
river, traversing a narrow valley, which gave him strong positions for
defensive battle. The mountain was crossed in several places by dull
roads and bridle paths, and it was the intention of the commanding
General to take possession of these passes and turn the enemy's
flank, or to move around the head of the mountain, where the two roads
followed by the armies came together on converging lines, then to
either close him in between the mountain and the river and give
battle, or fall upon his rear and crush him. Some few miles out
Jenkins' skirmishers came upon those of the enemy and a running fight
took place, the Federals retreating through the mountain gap to the
east side.

Jenkins kept up his advance (not following the enemy, however, over
the mountain), with Alexander's Battalion of Artillery, while McLaws
followed closely, with Leydon's Battery as a support. Thus the march
was continued all day, taking up camp at night far in advance of
the enemy on the other side o: the mountain. Jenkins was ordered at
midnight, with a part of his command, to take possession of a gap in
the mountain, and at daylight throw himself across the line of the
enemy's retreat. But for some unforeseen circumstance, or treachery
or ignorance in Jenkins' guide, he failed in his undertaking, and the
enemy passed in safety during the night beyond our lines to a place of
comparative security.

Early next morning the army was in motion, but instead of an enemy in
our front we found a park of eighty wagons, well laden with supplies
of provisions, camp equipage, tools, etc., deserted by the retreating
column. The horses had been cut loose, still this capture was a very
serviceable acquisition to the outfit of the army, especially
in entrenching tools. Jenkins followed close on the heels of the
retreating army, occasionally coming to a severe brush with the
enemy's rear guard, using every exertion to force Burnside to battle
until McLaws, with Hart's Brigade of Cavalry, could reach Cambell's
Station, the point where the two converging roads meet. McLaws marched
nearly all day in full line of battle, Kershaw being on the left of
the main thoroughfare and under a continual skirmish fire. But all too
late. The wily foe had escaped the net once more and passed over and
beyond the road crossing, and formed line of battle on high ground in
rear. Longstreet still had hopes of striking the enemy a crushing
blow before reaching Knoxville, and all he desired and all that was
necessary to that end was that he should stand and give battle. The
attitude of the Union Army looked favorable towards the consummation
of the Confederate leader's plan. Our troops had been marching all
the forenoon in one long line of battle, near a mile in length,
over ditches, gullies, and fences; through briars, brambles, and
undergrowth; then again through wide expanse of cultivated fields,
all the while under a galling fire from the enemy's batteries and
sharpshooters, and they felt somewhat jaded and worn out when they
came upon their bristling bayonets, ready for combat. A great number
of our men were barefooted, some with shoes partly worn out, clothes
ragged and torn, not an overcoat or extra garment among the line
officers or men throughout the army, as all surplus baggage had
been left in Virginia. But when the battle was about to show up the
soldiers were on hand, ready and willing as of old, to plunge headlong
into the fray. McLaws was on the left wing and Jenkins on the right.

Preparation for a general engagement was made. McLaws was ordered
to throw forward, Wofford on his extreme left, supported by cavalry,
while Jenkins was to send two of his brigades, under General Law, far
to the right, on the flank and rear of the enemy's left. Law was first
to make the attack on the enemy's flank, then the columns in front
were to advance and make direct assault. But the "best laid plans
of mice and men oft' gang aglee." Law missed his line of
direction--failed to come upon the enemy's flank, night was upon us,
and it must be remembered that all these movements took time, thus
giving the Union Army an opportunity, under the sable curtains of
night, to "fold their tents and gently steal away."

General Longstreet, in his book written nearly thirty years after the
occurrence of Cambell's Station, severely criticises General Law, who
commanded the two flanking brigades, and in withering and scathing
terms directly charges him with the loss of a great victory. He quotes
one of his staff officers as saying that it was the common camp
rumor that General Law had made the remark "that he could have made
a successful attack, but that Jenkins would have reaped the credit
of it, hence he delayed until the enemy got out of the way." This is
unjust and ungenerous to a gallant and faithful officer, one, too,
who had, by his many and heavy blows in battle, added largely to
the immortal fame of Longstreet himself. That there was a laudable
ambition and rivalry among all officers and men in the Confederate
Army, there can be no question--an ambition to outstrip all others
in heroic actions, noble deeds, and self-sacrificing, but jealously
never. As for treachery, as General Longstreet clearly intimates in
the case of General Law, why the poorest, ragged, starved, or maimed
soldier in the South would not have sold his country or companions for
the wealth of the Indies, nor would he have unnecessarily sacrificed
a life of a comrade for the greatest place on this continent, or the
fairest crown of Europe. It must be remembered in this connection
that there were personal differences between the corps commander and
General Law at times, and with one of his division commanders, all
during our Western campaign. That General Law was obstinate, petulant,
and chafed under restraint, is true, but this is only natural in a
volunteer army, and must be expected. And had General Longstreet, so
rigid a disciplinarian as he was, but a breath of suspicion at the
time of disobedience, lack of courage, or unfaithfulness in his
subaltern, General Law would have been put under immediate arrest,
and a courtmartial ordered. The old General, in several places in his
memoirs, makes uncomplimentary remarks and insinuations against
some of his old compatriots in arms, but these should not be taken
seriously. It will be remembered by all the old Confederates in this
connection that during the period just succeeding the war mighty
social convulsions took place in the South--political upheavals,
whereby one party was as bitter against the other as during the mighty
struggle of the North against the South, and that General Longstreet,
unfortunately for his name as a civilian, aligned himself along with
the party whom the whites of the South acknowledged as antagonistic
to their welfare and interest. This roused the ire of all his old army
associates, and many of his former friends now began to hurl poisoned
and fiery shafts at the old "War Horse" of the South, and no place so
vulnerable as his army record. This, of course, was resented by
him, and a deadly feud of long standing sprang up between Generals
Longstreet, Mahone, and a few others, who joined him on the one side,
and the whole army of "Codfederate Brigadiers" on the other. This
accounts, in a large measure, for many of Longstreet's strictures
upon the conduct of officers of the army, and, no doubt, a mere
after thought or the weird imaginations of an old and disappointed
politico-persecuted man.

No, No! The officers and men of the Confederate Army were patriots
of diamond purity, and all would have willingly died a martyr's death
that the Confederacy might live.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXV

Around Knoxville--The Siege and Storming of Fort Sanders.


After the fiasco at Cambell's Station, the enemy retired behind his
entrenched position in the suburbs of Knoxville. Longstreet followed
rapidly, with McLaws in front, in line of battle, but all hopes of
encountering the enemy before he reached his fortified position around
the city had vanished. We reached the rolling hillsides just outside
of the city limits about noon on the 17th, and found the enemy's
dismounted cavalry, acting as sharpshooters, posted on the heights in
front and between the railroad and the river, well protected by rail
piles along the crest of the hill.

Colonel Nance was ordered with the Third South Carolina Regiment to
dislodge those on the hill, near the railroad, by marching over and
beyond the road and taking them in flank, which was successfully done
by making a sudden dash from a piece of woodland over an open field
and gaining the embankment of the railroad immediately on the right
flank of the enemy's sharpshooters. But scarcely had the Third got
in position than it found itself assailed on its left and rear by an
unseen enemy concealed in the woods. Here Colonel Nance was forced
to sacrifice one of his most gallant officers, Lieutenant Allen, of
Company D. Seeing his critical and untenable position, he ordered
the Lieutenant, who was standing near him, to report his condition
to General Kershaw and ask for instruction. This was a hazardous
undertaking in the extreme, but lieutenant Allen undertook it with
rare courage and promptness. Back across the open field he sped, while
the whole fire of the sharpshooters was directed towards him instead
of to our troops behind the embankment. All saw and felt that the
brave officer was lost as soon as he got beyond the cover of the
railroad, and turned their heads from the sickening scene. But Allen
did not hesitate or falter, but kept on to the fulfilment of his
desperate mission, while hundreds of bullets flew around him in every
direction--over his head, under his feet, before, and behind--until
at last the fatal messenger laid him low, a heroic martyr to the stern
duties of war. Colonel Nance seeing the hopelessness of his attack,
ordered a retreat. Then the whole regiment had to run the same
gauntlet in which young Allen lost his life. Away across the open corn
field the troops fled in one wild pell mell, every man for Himself,
while the bullets hummed and whistled through our scattered ranks, but
luckily only a few were shot. Jenkins' Division came up late in the
day and took position on McLaws' left, then with the cavalry commenced
the investment of the city on the west side of the Holston or
Tennessee River. To advance McLaws' lines to a favorable position,
it was first necessary to dislodge the sharpshooters on the hill tops
between the river and the railroad. General Kershaw was ordered
to take the works in front by direct assault. The Third was on the
extreme left of the brigade, next to the railroad, while the Second,
Seventh, Eighth, and Third Battalion were in the center, with the
Fifteenth, under Major Gist, between the dirt road on which we had
traveled and the river on extreme right. The Third had to assault the
same troops and position that they had failed to dislodge some hours
before.

Major William Wallace was in command of the skirmishers. The heavy
siege pieces at Fort Sanders had been hammering away at us all day,
as well as the many field batteries that bristled along the epaulments
around Knoxville. The skirmishers were ordered forward, the battle
line to closely follow; but as Colonel Wallace was in front and could
see the whole field, I will allow him to give his version of the
engagement.

"We were stationed on a high hill," says Colonel Wallace, "west of
said town, which descended gradually some two hundred yards, then rose
to a smaller hill nearer to Knoxville. Between these two hills was
a smooth valley, the middle of which was distinctly marked by a line
running north and south by different crops which had been planted
on opposite sides of it. Brigade skirmishers were ordered to advance
towards Knoxville and drive in the enemy's pickets. I was in command
of the left wing, and drove the enemy from my front, across the creek,
which was beyond the smaller hill. On reaching the creek and finding
our skirmishers on my right, did not advance over the hill. I returned
to my original position where I found them. Soon afterwards the
skirmish line was again ordered forward to the line in the valley
above described, and to lie down. Just then I heard a yell behind me
and saw the Third South Carolina advancing rapidly towards the smaller
hill. I did not order my skirmishers to lie down, but as soon as the
regiment was abreast of me I advanced and drove the enemy again across
the creek. On hearing firing on the west of the hill, I closed up my
skirmishers and advanced south towards the crest of the hill. I found
a regiment of Union sharpshooters lying behind a breastwork of rails
and firing on the Third, which was within forty yards of them. As
soon as the enemy saw us on their flank, they threw up their hands and
surrendered. The Third had lost forty men up to this time."

Colonel Wallace tells also of how a Federal soldier, who had
surrendered, was in the act of shooting him, but was prevented from
doing so by the muzzle of a rifle being thrust in his face by a
member of Company E.W.W. Riser, afterwards Sheriff of Newberry County.
Colonel Nance was much gratified at the able assistance rendered him
by Colonel Wallace, and made special and favorable mention of him in
his report.

The Second, Seventh, Eighth, and Third Battalion swept across the
plain like a hurricane, driving everything before them right in the
teeth of the deadly fire of Fort Sanders, but the Third and Fifteenth
Regiments were unusually unfortunate in their positions, owing to the
strength of the works in their front. The Fifteenth got, in some way,
hedged in between the road and river, and could make little progress
in the face of the many obstacles that confronted them. Their young
commander, Major William Gist, son of ex-Governor Gist, becoming
somewhat nettled at the progress his troops were making, threw aside
all prudence and care, recklessly dashed in front of his column,
determined to ride at its head in the assault that was coming, but
fell dead at the very moment of victory. How many hundreds, nay
thousands, of brave and useful officers and men of the South wantonly
threw away their lives in the attempt to rouse their companions to
extra exertions and greater deeds of valor.

The Third fought for a few moments almost muzzle to muzzle, with
nothing but a few rails, hastily piled, between assailants and the
assailed. At this juncture another gallant act was performed by
Captain Winthrop, of Alexander's Battery. Sitting on his horse in
our rear, watching the battle as it ebbed and flowed, and seeing
the deadly throes in which the Third was writhing, only a few feet
separating them from the enemy, by some sudden impulse or emotion put
spurs to his horse and dashed headlong through our ranks, over
the breastworks, and fell desperately wounded in the ranks of the
Federals, just as their lines gave way or surrendered. This was only
one of the many heroic and nerve-straining acts witnessed by the
soldiers that followed the flag of Kershaw, McLaws, and Longstreet.

Colonel Rice, of the Battalion, was so seriously wounded that he
never returned to active duty in the field. Major Miller, in a former
battle, had been permanently disabled, but no other field promotions
were ever made, so the gallant little Battalion was commanded in
future by senior Captains.

By morning of the 19th of November the enemy had retired within the
walls of Knoxville, and the investment of the city completed. During
the nights our sharpshooters were advanced a little distance at a time
until they were under the very walls of the city, and there entrenched
themselves in rifle pits. The troops began building works to protect
against attacks, and laying parallels, so that every few nights we
advanced a little nearer the city.

Jenkins, with three brigades and a part of the cavalry, stretched
around the city on the north and to the river on the opposite side
of us. A pontoon bridge was laid across the river below the city, and
Law, with two brigades of Jenkins' Division and a battery of our
best artillery, crossed the Holston River and took possession of
some heights that were thought to command the city on the south side.
Burnside had also some strong works on the south of the Holston,
strongly guarded by infantry, dismounted cavalry, and some of their
best rifled pieces of artillery. This force was just opposite the
city, having easy access thereto by a military bridge and a pontoon
bridge. Burnside had twelve thousand regular troops in his outer
trenches, several thousand recent volunteers from Tennessee in his
inner lines, with fifty-one pieces of artillery in place, ready
for action, in Knoxville alone. Longstreet had between fifteen and
seventeen thousand, after some reinforcements had reached him, and
three battalions of artillery, inclusive of the horse artillery.

Night and day the work of entrenchment went bravely on in both armies,
each working in plain view of the other; without any disposition to
disturb the operations of either by shelling from the forts in our
front or from our works in the rear. Each commander seemed willing
and disposed to give his opponent an open field and a fair fight.
No advantage was asked and none taken on either side, and the coming
contest appeared to be one between the hot blood of the South
in assault and the dogged determination of the North in
resistance--valor, impetuosity, dash, impulsive courage against cool,
calculating, determined resistance. Greeks of the South were preparing
to meet Greeks of the North--the passionate Ionian was about to
measure swords with the stern Dorian, then of a necessity "comes the
tug of war."

On the 22d, McLaws reporting as being ready for the assault, he was
ordered to prepare for it on the night of the 23d. But a report coming
to the commanding General that a large body of the enemy's cavalry
was moving upon our rear from near Kinston, General Wheeler, with his
troopers, was detached from the army to look after them, and did
not return until the 26th, having frightened the enemy away in the
meantime. The officers of McLaws' assaulting column protested against
the night attack, preferring daylight for such important work, which
in the end was granted.

The night of the 24th the enemy made a sally, attacking Wofford's
front; but was soon repulsed and driven back within his lines.
Longstreet now awaited the reinforcement that was approaching with all
speed. Jones' Brigade of Cavalry, from Southwest Virginia, came up on
the 28th, while Bushrod Johnston, with his own Brigade of Tennessee
Infantry and Gracie's Brigade of Alabamians, was near at hand and
moving with all haste. The infantry and artillery promised from
Virginia were more than one hundred miles away, and could not reach us
in time to take part in the pending attack. General Bragg, commanding
the Army of Tennessee after his disastrous defeat at Missionary Ridge,
in front of Chattanooga, was at the head of the war department, and
ordered Longstreet to assault Knoxville at once.

Orders were given and preparations made to commence the attack on
Fort Sanders at early dawn on the 29th by the brigades of McLaws. Fort
Sanders, the key to Burnside's position, was a formidable fortress,
covering several acres of ground, built by the Confederates when in
possession of Knoxville, and called by them "Fort London," but named
"Fort Sanders" by the Federals, in honor of the brave commander who
fell in wresting it from the Confederates. The enemy had greatly
strengthened it after Longstreet's advent in East Tennessee. It was
surrounded by a deep and wide moat, from the bottom of which to the
top of the fort was from eighteen to twenty feet. In front of the moat
for several hundred yards was felled timber, which formed an almost
impassable abattis, while wire netting was stretched from stump to
stump and around the fort. The creek that ran between our lines and
the enemy's had been dammed in several places, forcing the water back
to the depth of four to five feet. The fort was lined on three sides
with the heaviest of field and siege pieces, and crowded to its utmost
capacity with infantry. This fort was on an acute angle of the line of
entrenchments. From the right and left ran the outer or first line of
breastworks, manned by infantry, and at every salient position cannons
were mounted, completely encircling the entire city.

In the early gray of the morning Longstreet had marshalled his forces
for the combat, while the troops in Fort Sanders slept all unconscious
of the near approaching storm cloud, which was to burst over their
heads. The artillery was all in position, the gunners standing by
their guns, lanyard in hand, awaiting the final order to begin the
attack. The armies were separated by a long, shallow vale--that to
our left, in front of Jenkins, was pierced by a small stream, but
obstructed by dams at intervals, until the water was in places waist
deep. But the men floundered through the water to the opposite side
and stood shivering in their wet garments, while the cool air of the
November morning chilled their whole frames. All along the whole line
the men stood silent and motionless, awaiting the sound of the signal
gun.

Wofford, with his Georgians, and Humphrey, with his Mississippians,
were to lead the forlorn hope in the assault on Fort Sanders,
supported by Bryan's (Georgia) Brigade and one regiment of
Mississippians. Kershaw stood to the right of the fort and Anderson,
of Jenkins' Division, on the left, supported by the other two brigades
then present of Jenkins'. The battle was to focus around the fort
until that was taken or silenced, then Kershaw was to storm the works
on the right, carry them, charge the second line of entrenchment, in
which were posted the reserves and recent Tennessee recruits. Jenkins,
with Anderson's Brigade on his right and next to McLaws, was to act as
a brace to the assaulting column until the fort was taken, then by a
sudden dash take the entrenchments to the left of the fort, wheel and
sweep the line towards the north, and clear the way for Jenkins' other
brigades.

The expectant calm before the great storm was now at hand. The men
stood silent, grim, and determined, awaiting the coming crash!
The crash came with the thunder of the signal gun from Alexander's
Battery. Longstreet then saluted his enemy with the roar of twenty
guns, the shells shrieking and crashing in and around Fort Sanders.
Burnside answered the salutation with a welcome of fifty guns from the
fort and angles along the entrenchments. Salvos after salvos sounded
deep and loud from the cannon's mouth, and echoed and re-echoed up and
down the valleys of the Holston. After the early morning compliments
had continued ten or fifteen minutes, the infantry began to make ready
for the bloody fray. Wofford commenced the advance on the northwest
angle of the fort, Humphrey the South. Not a yell was to be given,
not a gun to be fired, save only those by the sharpshooters. The dread
fortress was to be taken by cold steel alone. Not a gun was loaded in
the three brigades. As the mist of the morning and the smoke of the
enemy's guns lifted for a moment the slow and steady steps of the
"forlorn hope" could be seen marching towards the death trap--over
fallen trees and spreading branches, through the cold waters of the
creek, the brave men marched in the face of the belching cannon,
raking the field right and left. Our sharpshooters gave the cannoneers
a telling fire, and as the enemy's infantry in the fort rose above the
parapets to deliver their volley, they were met by volleys from our
sharpshooters in the pits, now in rear of the assaulting columns, and
firing over their heads. When near the fort the troops found yet a
more serious obstruction in the way of stout wires stretched across
their line of approach. This, however, was overcome and passed, and
the assailants soon found themselves on the crest of the twelve foot
abyss that surrounded Fort Sanders. Some jumped into the moat and
began climbing up upon the shoulders of their companions. The enemy
threw hand bombs over the wall to burst in the ditch. Still the men
struggled to reach the top, some succeeding only to fall in the fort.
Scaling ladders were now called for, but none were at hand. Anderson
had moved up on Wofford's left, but finding the fort yet uncovered,
instead of charging the entrenchment, as ordered, he changed his
direction towards the fort, and soon his brigade was tangled in wild
confusion with those of Worfford and Humphrey, gazing at the helpless
mass of struggling humanity in the great gulf below.

Kershaw's men stood at extreme tension watching and waiting the result
of the struggle around the fort. Never perhaps were their nerves so
strung up as the few moments they awaited in suspense the success or
reverse of the assaulting column, bending every effort to catch the
first command of "forward." All but a handful of the enemy had left
the fort, and victory here seemed assured, and in that event the
result of Kershaw's onslaught on the right and Jenkins' South
Carolinians and Benning's Georgians on the left would have been beyond
the range of conjecture. Just at this supreme moment Major Goggans, of
McLaws' staff, who had been at the fort and took in the worst phases
of the situation, rode to General Longstreet and reported the
fortress impregnable without axes and scaling ladders. Under this
misapprehension, General Longstreet gave the fatal order for the
assaulting columns to retire, and all the support back to their
entrenchments. Thus was one of the most glorious victories of the
war lost by the ill judgment of one man. General Longstreet bitterly
regretted giving this order so hastily, but pleads in extinuation his
utmost confidence in Major Goggans, his class-mate at West Point.

In the twenty minutes of the assault Longstreet lost in his three
brigades, Wofford's, Humphrey's, and Anderson's, eight hundred and
twenty-two; Burnside, six hundred and seventy-three. During the
campaign Longstreet lost twelve hundred and ninety-six. During the
campaign Burnside lost fourteen hundred and eighty-one.

Kershaw's Brigade lost many gallant officers and men during the
sanguinary struggles around Knoxville, and it must be confessed in
sorrow and regret, all to no purpose. Not that the commanding general
was wanting in ability, military training, or tactical knowledge; nor
the soldiers in courage, daring, and self-denials. None of these
were lacking, for the officers and men of the line performed deeds of
prowess that have never been excelled by any soldiers on the planet,
while in skill or fearlessness the regimental brigade and division
commanders were equal to Ney, Murat, St. Cyr, or any of the host of
great commanders of the Napoleonic era. But in the first place
the Confederate forces were too weak, poorly equipped in all those
essentials that are so requisite to an invading army.

       *       *       *       *       *


MAJOR WILLIAM M. GIST.

Major William M. Gist was a son of Governor W.H. Gist, the Governor
just preceding Secession, and Mrs. Mary E. Gist; born in Union County
in 1840. He was educated in the common schools of Union and York
Counties and by private tutors, until January, 1854. He then went to
school at Glenn Springs to Rev. C.S. Beard for six months. His health
failing, he returned to his home, and in January, 1855, entered the
Mt. Zion College, at Winnsboro, Fairfield County, taught by Hon. J.W.
Hudson, and spent one year at that institution. He next entered the
South Carolina College, in January, 1856, and graduated in the class
of '59. The class which Major Gist was in at the time, the Junior, did
not participate in the great "college rebellion" of March 28th, 1858.
Through that rebellion one hundred and eleven of the students were
suspended for six months.

When the first alarm of war was sounded, Major Gist responded
promptly, with the same chivalric spirit that was so characteristic of
his whole life. He joined, as a private, Captain Gadberry's Company,
from Union, and left for Charleston on January 12, 1861, the company
forming a part of Colonel Maxey Gregg's First Six Months' Volunteers,
and remained with the command until their term of service expired. A
vacancy occurring, Colonel Gregg appointed him his Sergeant Major.

After the fall of Sumter a part of Colonel Gregg's Regiment was
disbanded, and Major Gist returned to Union and began at once
organizing a company for the Confederate States Army. He was elected
Captain of the company and was joined to the Fifteenth Regiment, then
collecting at camp near Columbia for drill and instruction. He served
as Captain until the death of Colonel DeSaussure, then was promoted to
Major. There being no officer senior to him, his way was open to the
Colonelcy of his regiment at the time of his death.

Major Gist was a young man of rare qualities--open, frank, generous,
and brave. He commanded the respect and esteem of all. Just
verging into mature manhood as the toscin of war sounded, he had no
opportunity to display his great qualities as a civilian, but as a
soldier he was all that the most exacting could desire. He was
beloved by his men, and they appreciated his worth. He was kind and
affectionate to all, and showed favoritism or privileges to none.
It was through that ungovernable impulse that permeates the body and
flows through the hot Southern blood that he so recklessly threw his
life away, leading his men to the charge. In a moment of hesitancy
among his troops, he felt the supreme responsibility of Leadership,
placed himself where danger was greatest, bullets falling thick and
fast; thus by the inspiration of his own individual courage, he hoped
to carry his men with him to success, or to meet a fate like his own.

       *       *       *       *       *


LIEUTENANT COLONEL W.G. RICE.

Lieutenant Colonel W.G. Rice was born in Union County, S.C., on
December 9th, 1831. He was the fourth son of R.S. Rice and Agnes B.
Rice, nee Morgan, and resided in the upper portion of the county, near
Broad River. His family removed to the lower section of the county,
near Goshen Hill, when the son was ten years old, and he attended the
schools of the surrounding country until fourteen years of age, when
he was sent to the Methodist Conference School, at Cokesbury. He
remained a pupil here until October, 1848, then he entered the South
Carolina College, graduating from that institution with the class of
'51. He engaged in planting for one year at his original home, then
began the study of law in the office of Judge T.N. Dawkins, but did
not prosecute the study to graduation.

In March following he married Miss Sarah E. Sims, of Broad River, of
which union eleven children were born, seven of whom are living. The
year of his marriage he moved to Laurens County, near Waterloo, where
we find him surrounded by "peace and plenty" until the outbreak of the
Civil War. In October, 1861, he raised a volunteer company, and later,
together with three other companies from Laurens County, formed
a battalion, and tendered the command to George S. James, who had
resigned from the United States Army. Major James assumed command at
Camp Hampton in December. During the early months of 1862 three other
companies united with the battalion, and Major James was promoted to
Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain W.G. Rice being senior Captain, was
made Major.

During the month of April following, a reorganization took place,
and Lieutenant Colonel James and Major Rice were re-elected to their
former positions by exactly the same vote. Major Rice being detailed
on court martial on James' Island, did not accompany his battalion to
Virginia, but joined it soon thereafter, near Richmond.

The battalion marched with the brigade (Drayton's) from Gordonsville
to second battle of Manassas, but was not actively engaged. At the
battle of Crompton's Gap, Md., Colonel Rice was severely wounded,
Colonel James killed, and the battalion almost torn to pieces.
Colonel Rice was left for dead upon the field, and when he gained
consciousness he was within the enemy's line, and only by exercising
the greatest caution, he regained the Confederate camp. By Colonel
Rice's prudence at this battle in ordering a retreat to a more
sheltered position, the battalion was saved from utter destruction,
but suffering himself almost a fatal wound. He was sent across the
Potomac, and next day to Shepherdstown. Returning from leave of
absence occasioned by the desperate nature of his wound, he found that
he had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and that his battalion and
the Fifteenth Regiment made a part of Kershaw's Brigade, this being
in December, 1862. Colonel Rice led his command through the battles
of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville without incident of special
interest (wide sketch of battalion).

Returning from an enjoyable leave of absence, he found his command at
Chambersburg, Pa. Three days later he commanded the battalion at the
bloody battle of Gettysburg. Again Colonel Rice is absent on sick
leave, and regains the army just as Longstreet was crossing the
Holston. Four days afterwards he was given one company from each of
the five regiments to reinforce his battalion, and ordered to feel for
and drive the enemy from the position which they held. This proved
to be a fortified camp and the enemy in strong line of battle. In the
engagement that followed, Colonel Rice was again so severely wounded
as to render him unfit for service thereafter.

After this he returned home to the prosecution of his life-work,
farming. He removed to Abbeville, now Greenwood County, December,
1869, where he may now be found, as he says, "in the enjoyment of a
reasonable degree of health and strength, surrounded by friends and
relatives."

       *       *       *       *       *


JULIUS ZOBEL.

To show with what devotion and fidelity the private soldier of the
Southland served the cause he espoused, I will relate as an example
the act of Julius Zobel, who fell so dangerously wounded before
Knoxville. This is not an isolated case, for hundreds and thousands
were tempted like Zobel, but turned away with scorn and contempt. But
Julius Zobel was an exception in that he was not a native born, but
a blue-eyed, fair-haired son of the "Fatherland." He had not been
in this "Land of the free and home of the brave" long enough to
comprehend all its blessings, he being under twenty-one years of age,
and not yet naturalized. He was a mechanic in the railroad shops, near
Newberry, when the first call for volunteers was made. He laid aside
his tools and promptly joined Company E (Captain Nance), of the Third
South Carolina, called "Quitman Rifles."

He had a smooth, pleasant face, a good eye, and the yellow hair of his
countrymen. His nature was all sunshine, geniality, and many a joke
he practiced upon his comrades, taking all in good humor those passed
upon him. One day, as a comrade had been "indulging" too freely,
another accosted him with--

"Turn away your head, your breath is awful. What is the matter with
you?"

Zobel, in his broad German brogue, answered for his companion. "Led
'em alone, dare been nodden to madder mid Mattis, only somding crawled
in him and died."

He lost his leg at Knoxville and fell in the enemy's hands after
Longstreet withdrew, and was sent North with the other wounded. While
in the loathsome prison pen, enduring all the sufferings, hardships,
and horrors of the Federal "Bastile," he was visited by the German
Consul, and on learning that he had not been naturalized, the Consul
offered him his liberty if he would take the oath of allegiance to the
North.

Zobel flashed up as with a powder burst, and spoke like the true
soldier that he was. "What! Desert my comrades; betray the country I
have sworn to defend; leave the flag under whose folds I have lost
all but life? No, no! Let me die a thousand deaths in this hell hole
first!"

He is living to-day in Columbia, an expert mechanic in the service of
the Southern Railroad, earning an honest living by the sweat of his
brow, with a clear conscience, a faithful heart, and surrounded by a
devoted family.

That the campaign against Knoxville was a failure, cannot be wondered
at under the circumstances. In the first place Longstreet's forces
were too weak--the two thousand reinforcements to come from Virginia
dwindled down to a few regiments of cavalry and a battery or two. The
men were badly furnished and equipped--a great number being barefoot
and thinly clad. Hundreds would gather at the slaughter pens daily
and cut from the warm beef hides strips large enough to make into
moccasins, and thus shod, marched miles upon miles in the blinding
snow and sleet. All overcoats and heavy clothing had been left in
Virginia, and it is a fact too well known to be denied among the
soldiers of the South that baggage once left or sent to the rear never
came to the front again.

Longstreet did not have the support he had the right to expect from
his superiors and those in authority at Richmond. He had barely
sufficient transportation to convey the actual necessaries of camp
equippage, and this had to be used daily in gathering supplies
from the surrounding country for man and beast. He had no tools for
entrenching purposes, only such as he captured from the enemy, and
expected to cross deep and unfordable rivers without a pontoon train.
With the dead of winter now upon him, his troops had no shelter to
protect them from the biting winds of the mountains or the blinding
snow storms from overhead save only much-worn blankets and thin tent
flys five by six feet square, one to the man. This was the condition
in which the commanding General found himself and troops, in a strange
and hostile country, completely cut off from railroad connection with
the outside world. Did the men murmur or complain? Not a bit of
it. Had they grown disheartened and demoralized by their defeat at
Knoxville, or had they lost their old-time confidence in themselves
and their General? On the contrary, as difficulties and dangers
gathered around their old chieftain, they clung to him, if possible,
with greater tenacity and a more determined zeal. It seemed as if
every soldier in the old First Corps was proud of the opportunity
to suffer for his country--never a groan or pang, but that he felt
compensated with the thought that he was doing his all in the service
of his country--and to suffer for his native land, his home, and
family, was a duty and a pleasure.

The soldiers of the whole South had long since learned by experience
on the fields of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, along the
valleys of Kentucky, the mountains and gorges of Tennessee, and the
swamps of the Mississippi, that war was only "civilized barbarism,"
and to endure uncomplaining was the highest attributes of a soldier.
Civilization during the long centuries yet to come may witness,
perhaps, as brave, unselfish, unyielding, and patriotic bands of
heroes as those who constituted the Confederate Army, but God in His
wisdom has never yet created their equals, and, perhaps, never will
create their superiors.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXVI

The Siege of Knoxville Raised--Battle of Bean Station--Winter
Quarters.


On the night of the 4th of December preparations were made to raise
the siege around Knoxville and vacate the fortifications built around
the city after a fortnight's stay in the trenches. The wagons had
begun moving the day before, with part of the artillery, and early in
the night the troops north and west of the city took up the line of
march towards Rutledge, followed by McLaws on the right.

Kershaw being on the extreme right of the army and next to the river
on the South, could not move until the troops on the left were well
underway, thus leaving us in position until near midnight. Lieutenant
Colonel Rutherford commanded the rear guard of skirmishers, deployed
several hundred yards on either side of the road. Our march was
extremely fatiguing, the roads being muddy and badly cut up by the
trains in our front. The weather was cold and bleaky; the night so
dark that the troops could scarcely see their way, but all night long
they floundered through the mud and slough--over passes and along
narrow defiles, between the mountain and the river to their right--the
troops trudged along, the greater portion of whom were thinly clad,
some with shoes badly worn, others with none. Two brigades of cavalry
were left near the city until daylight to watch the movements of the
enemy. The next day we met General Ranson with his infantry division
and some artillery on his long march from Virginia to reinforce
Longstreet, but too late to be of any material service to the
commanding General. Bragg's orders had been imperative, "to assault
Knoxville and not to await the reinforcement."

Burnside did not attempt to follow us closely, as he was rather
skeptical about leaving his strong positions around Knoxville with the
chances of meeting Longstreet in open field. But strong Federal forces
were on a rapid march to relieve the pressure against Knoxville--one
column from the West and ten thousand men under Sherman were coming up
from Chattanooga, and were now at Loudon, on the Tennessee.

Longstreet continued the march to Rodgersville, some fifty or sixty
miles northeast of Knoxville, on the west bank of the Holston, and
here rested for several days. It was the impression of the troops that
they would remain here for a length of time, and they began
building winter quarters. But Burnside feeling the brace of strong
reinforcements nearing him, moved out from Knoxville a large
detachment in our rear to near Bean Station (or Cross Roads), the one
leading from Knoxville by way of Rutledge, the other from the eastern
side of the Holston and over the mountain on the western side at
Bean's Gap. Longstreet determined to retrace his steps, strike
Burnside a stunning blow, and, if possible, to capture his advance
forces at Bean Station.

Here I will digress a few moments from my narrative to relate an
incident that took place while encamped near Rodgersville, an incident
that will ever remain fresh in the memory of all of the old First
Division who witnessed it. It is with feelings of sorrow at this
distant day to even recall it to mind, and it is with pain that I
record it. But as I have undertaken to give a faithful and true story
of the army life of the First Brigade, this harrowing scene becomes a
part of its history. It was near the middle of the month. The sun had
long since dropped out of sight behind the blue peaks of the distant
Cumberland. All is still in camp; the soldiers, after their many
hardships and fatiguing marches, rest, and soon all in sound slumber.
Even the very voices of nature seemed hushed and frozen in the gloomy
silence of the night. All is quiet, save in one lonely tent, apart
some distance from the rest, before which walks a silent sentinel,
as if he, too, feels the chilling effects of the sombre stillness.
Murmurings soft and low in the one lighted tent are all that break
the oppressive death-like silence. In the back ground the great forest
trees of the mountain stand mute and motionless, not even a nod of
their stately heads to a passing breeze, while far away to the south
could be seen an occasional picket fire, making the surrounding
objects appear like moving, grotesque phantoms. The heavens above were
all bedecked with shimmering stars, pouring down upon the sleeping
Valley of the Holston a cold and trembling light.

In the lonely tent sits a soldier, who is spending his last night on
earth; by his side sits his little son, who has come far away over
the mountains to spend the last moments with his father and see him
die--not to die like a soldier wishes for death, but as a felon and
outcast, the ignominious death at the stake. An occasional sob escapes
the lips of the lad, but no sigh or tears of grief from the condemned.
He is holding converse with his Maker, for to His throne alone must
he now appeal for pardon. Hope on earth had gone. He had no friend at
court, no one to plead his cause before those who had power to order
a reprieve. He must die. The doomed man was an ignorant mountaineer,
belonging to one of the regiments from North Georgia or Tennessee, and
in an ill-fated moment he allowed his longings for home to overcome
his sense of duty, and deserted his colors--fled to his mountain home
and sought to shelter himself near his wife and little ones in the
dark recesses and gorges thereabout. He was followed, caught,
returned to his command, courtmartialed, and sentenced to death--time,
to-morrow.

During the days and nights that passed since the dread sentence had
been read to him, he lay upon his rude couch in the guard tent all
indifferent to his environments, and on the march he moved along with
the guard in silence, gazing abstractedly at the blue vaults of heaven
or the star-strewn, limitless space. That far away future now to him
so near--that future which no vision can contemplate nor mortal
mind comprehend--is soon to be unfolded. Little heed was paid to the
comforting words of his sympathetic comrades in arms, who bid him
hope, for the condemned man felt inwardly and was keenly conscious
of the fact that he had been caught upon the crest of a great wave
of destiny, soon to be swept away by its receding force to darkness,
despair, death. "Fate had played him falsely."

To witness death, to see the torn and mangled remains of friends and
comrades, are but incidents in the life of a soldier. While all
dread it, few fear it. Yet it is upon the field of battle that it
is expected--amid the din and smoke, the shouts of his comrades, the
rattle of musketry, and the cannon's roar. There is the soldier's
glory, his haven, his expected end; and of all deaths, that upon the
battlefield, surrounded by victorious companions and waving banners,
the triumphant shouts of comrades, is the least painful.

The grounds selected for the carrying out of the court's sentence were
on a broad plateau, gently sloping towards the center on three sides.
So well were the grounds and surroundings adapted to the end in view,
that it seemed as if nature had anticipated the purposes of man.

By 9 o'clock the troops of the division were in motion, all under
the command of Colonel James D. Nance, of the Third South Carolina,
marching for the field of death. Kershaw's Brigade took the lead, and
formed on the left of the hollow square. Wofford's on the right, with
Bryan's doubling on the two, while Humphrey's closed the space at the
west end of the square.

A detail of thirty men were made to do the firing, fifteen guns
being loaded with powder and ball, the others with powder alone, this
arrangement being made, perhaps, with a view to ease the qualms of
conscience, should any of the guards have scruples of shedding the
blood of a former comrade in arms. None could know positively who held
the death-dealing guns. An opening was made at the lower end and the
first platoon of guards entered with arms reversed, then the band
playing the "Dead March," followed by the condemned and his son, the
second platoon bringing up the rear. The cortege marched around the
whole front of the lined-up troops, keeping step to the slow and
dismal sounds of the "Dead March." The prisoner walked with the firm
and steady step of a Sagamore, or an Indian brave marching and singing
his death chants, to the place of his execution. His son was equally
as courageous and self-possessed, not a tremor or faltering in either.
At times the father and son would speak in low, soft tones to each
other, giving and receiving, perhaps, the last messages, the last
farewells on earth, the soldier-outcast being now under the very
shadow of death.

After making the entire circuit of the square, the condemned was
conducted to the open space at the eastern side, where a rude stake
had been driven in the ground. To this he boldly walked, calmly
kneeling in front, allowing himself to be bandaged and pinioned
thereto. The guards had formed in double ranks, fifteen paces in
front, his faithful son standing some distance to his right, calm,
unmoved, and defiant, even in the face of all the terrors going on
before him. The officer in charge gives the command, "ready," thirty
hammers spring back; "aim," the pieces rise to the shoulders; then,
and then only, the tension broke, and the unfortunate man, instead of
the officer, cried out in a loud, metallic voice, "fire." The report
of the thirty rifles rang out On the stillness of the morning; the man
at the stake gives a convulsive shudder, his head tails listlessly on
his breast, blood gushes out in streams, and in a moment all is still.
The deserter has escaped.

The authorities at Washington had grown tired of Burnside's failure
to either crush Longstreet or drive him out of East Tennessee, and had
sent General Foster to relieve him, the latter General bringing with
him the standing orders, "Crush or drive out Longstreet." How well
General Foster succeeded will be related further on. In obedience to
the department's special orders, General Longstreet had, several
days previous, sent Wheeler's Cavalry back to General Johnston, now
commanding Bragg's Army. Our troops had heard the confirmation of the
report of General Bragg's desperate battle at Missionary Ridge--his
disastrous defeat his withdrawal to Dalton, and his subsequent
relinquishment of command of the Army of Tennessee. This had no effect
upon our troops, no more so than the news of the fall of Vicksburg
just after Lee's bloody repulse at Gettysburg. The soldiers of
the eastern Army had unbounded confidence in themselves and their
commander, and felt that so long as they stood together they were
invincible.

The enemy had fortified a position at Bean's Station, in a narrow
valley between the Holston River and the Clinch Mountains, the valley
being about two miles in breadth. This force Longstreet determined
to capture, and his plans were admirably adapted to bring about the
result. To the right of the enemy was the river; to their left, a
rugged mountain spur; passable at only a few points. Part of our
cavalry was to pass down the western side of the mountain, close the
gaps in rear, the infantry to engage the enemy in front until the
other portion of the cavalry could move down the east bank of the
river, cross over, and get in the enemy's rear, thus cutting off all
retreat. This part of the Valley of the Holston had been pretty well
ravaged to supply the Federal Army, and our troops, with never
more than a day's rations on hand at a time, had to be put on short
rations, until our subsistence trains could gather in a supply and the
neighborhood mills could grind a few days' rations ahead. Old soldiers
know what "short rations" mean--next to no rations at all.

General Longstreet says of the morale of his army at this time: "The
men were brave, steady, patient. Occasionally they called pretty
loudly for parched corn, but always in a bright, merry mood. There
was never a time we did not have corn enough, and plenty of wood with
which to keep us warm and parch our corn. At this distance it seems
as almost incredible that we got along as we did, but all were then
so healthy and strong that we did not feel severely our really
great hardship. Our serious trouble was in the matter of shoes and
clothing."

Early on the morning of the 14th the troops were put in motion and
marched rapidly down the almost impassable thoroughfare. Bushrod
Johnston's Division being in the front, followed by McLaws'--Kershaw's
Brigade in the lead. Part of Jenkins' Division was acting as escort
for supply trains in the surrounding country, and that Division did
not join the army for several days. Late in the day of the 15th we
came in sight of the enemy's breastworks. The Federal artillery opened
a furious fusilade upon the troops, coming down the road with their
rifled guns and field mortars. Bushrod Johnston had filed to the left
of the road and gotten out of range, but the screaming shells kept up
a continual whiz through the ranks of Kershaw. The men hurried along
the road to seek shelter under a bluff in our front, along the base
of which ran a small streamlet. The greater portion of the brigade was
here huddled together in a jam, to avoid the shells flying overhead.
The enemy must have had presage of our position, for they began
throwing shells up in the air from their mortars and dropping them
down upon us, but most fell beyond, while a great many exploded in
the air. We could see the shells on their downward flight, and the men
pushed still closer together and nearer the cliff. Here the soldier
witnessed one of those incidents so often seen in army life that makes
him feel that at times his life is protected by a hand of some hidden,
unseen power. His escape from death so often appears miraculous that
the soldier feels from first to last that he is but "in the hollow of
His hand," and learns to trust all to chance and Providence.

As a shell from a mortar came tumbling over and over, just above the
heads of this mass of humanity, a shout went up from those farther
back, "Look out! Look out! There comes a shell." Lower and lower
it came, all feeling their hopelessness of escape, should the shell
explode in their midst. Some tried to push backwards; others, forward,
while a great many crowded around and under an ambulance, to which
was hitched an old broken down horse, standing perfectly still and
indifferent, and all oblivious to his surroundings. The men gritted
their teeth, shrugged their shoulders, and waited in death-like
suspense the falling of the fatal messenger--that peculiar, whirling,
hissing sound growing nearer and more distinct every second. But
instead of falling among the men, it fell directly upon the head
of the old horse, severing it almost from the body, but failed to
explode. The jam was so great that some had difficulty in clearing
themselves from the falling horse. Who of us are prepared to say
whether this was mere chance, or that the bolt was guided and directed
by an invisible hand?

Bushrod Johnston had formed on the left of the road; Kershaw marching
over the crest of the hill in our front, and putting his brigade in
line of battle on a broad plateau and along the foot hills of the
mountains on the right. Here the troops were halted, to wait the
coming up of the rest of the division and Jenkins' two brigades. The
cannonading of the enemy was especially severe during our halt, and
General Kershaw had to frequently shift his regiments to avoid the
terrific force of the enemy's shells. It was not the intention of
the commanding General to bring on a general engagement here until he
heard from his cavalry beyond the river and those to the west of the
mountain. The cavalry had been sent to cut off retreat and close the
mountain passes, and the infantry was to press moderately in front, in
order to hold the enemy in position.

Just before sunset, however, a general advance was made. One of
Kershaw's regiments was climbing along the mountain side, endeavoring
to gain the enemy's left, and as our skirmishers became hotly engaged,
the movements of the regiment on the side of the mountain were
discovered, and the enemy began to retire. Now orders were given to
press them hard. The rattle of Bushrod Johnston's rifles on our
left told of a pretty stiff fight he was having. As the long row of
bristling bayonets of Kershaw's men debouched upon the plain in front
of the enemy's works, nothing could be seen but one mass of blue,
making way to the rear in great confusion. Our artillery was now
brought up and put in action, our infantry continuing to press
forward, sometimes at double-quick.

We passed over the enemy's entrenchments without firing a gun. Night
having set in, and General Longstreet hearing from his cavalry that
all in the enemy's rear was safe, ordered a halt for the night,
thinking the game would keep until morning. During the night, however,
by some misunderstanding of orders, the commander of the cavalry
withdrew from the mountain passes, and the enemy taking advantage of
this outlet so unexpectedly offered, made his escape under cover of
darkness. Here we had another truthful verification of the oft' quoted
aphorism of Burns, about "the best laid plans of mice and men."

This last attempt of Longstreet to bring the enemy to an engagement
outside of Knoxville proving abortive, the commanding General
determined to close the campaign for the season, and to put his troops
in as comfortable winter quarters as possible. This was found on the
right or east bank of the Holston, near Morristown and the little
hamlet of Russellville. The brigade crossed the Holston about the 17th
of December, in a little flat boat, holding about two companies at a
time, the boat being put backwards and forwards by means of a stout
rope, the men pulling with their hands. A blinding sleet was falling,
covering the rope continually with a sheet of ice, almost freezing
the hands of the thinly clad and barefooted soldiers. But there was no
murmuring nor complaint--all were as jolly and good-natured as if on
a picnic excursion. Hardship had become a pleasure and sufferings,
patriotism. There were no sickness, no straggling, nor feelings of
self-constraint.

General Longstreet speaks thus of his army after he had established
his camps and the subsistence trains began to forage in the rich
valleys of the French Broad and Chucky Rivers and along the banks of
Mossy Creek:

    "With all the plentitude of provisions, and many things,
    which, at the time, seemed luxuries, we were not quite happy.
    Tattered blankets, garments, shoes (the later going--some
    gone) opened ways on all sides for piercing winter blasts.
    There were some hand looms in the country from which we
    occasionally picked up a piece of cloth, and here and there we
    received other comforts--some from kind, some from unwilling
    hands, which could nevertheless spare them. For shoes, we were
    obliged to resort to raw-hides, from beef cattle, as temporary
    protection from the frozen ground. Then we found soldiers who
    could tan the hides of our beeves, some who could make shoes,
    some who could make shoe pegs, some who could make shoe lasts,
    so that it came about that the hides passed rapidly from the
    beeves to the feet of the soldiers in the form of comfortable
    shoes."

We took up very comfortable quarters, in the way that comfort goes
with a soldier--cut off from the outside world. Only a few officers
had the old army fly tents; the soldiers were each supplied, or rather
had supplied themselves upon the battlefield of the enemy with small
tent flies, about five by six feet, so arranged with buttons and
button holes that two being buttoned together and stretched over a
pole would make the sides or roof and the third would close the end,
making a tent about six feet long, five feet wide, and four feet high,
in which three or four men could sleep very comfortably. In the bitter
weather great roaring fires were built in front during the night, and
to which the soldier, by long habit, or a kind of intuition, would
stretch his feet, when the cold would become unbearable under his
threadbare blanket.

But notwithstanding all these disadvantages, the men of Kershaw's
Brigade were bent on having a good time in East Tennessee. They
foraged during the day for apples, chickens, butter, or whatever they
could find to eat. Some of sporting proclivities would purchase a lot
of chicken roosters and then fight, regiment against regiment, and
seemed to enjoy as much seeing a fight between a shanghai and a
dunghill, as a match between gaved Spanish games.

Many formed the acquaintance of ladies in the surrounding country,
and they, too, Union as well as Southern, being cut off like
ourselves--their husbands and brothers being either in the Northern or
Southern Army--seemed determined on having a good time also. Dancing
parties were frequent, and the ladies of Southern sympathies gave the
officers and soldiers royal dinners.

In this connection, I will relate an anecdote told on our gallant
Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford, of the Third, by a friend of his.

When the Third South Carolina Regiment of Infantry was in East
Tennessee, in the month of January, 1864, not only did the soldiers
find it difficult to get enough to eat, but their supply of shoes and
clothing ran pretty low. Those who had extra pants or jackets helped
their needy friends. Lieutenant Colonel Rutherford had turned over his
extra pair of pants to some one, which left him the pair he wore each
day as his only stock on hand in the pants line. Heavy snows fell. The
regiment was encamped very near a pleasant residence, where a bevy of
pretty girls lived. After an acquaintance of sometime, a snow-balling
was indulged in. It was observed that Colonel Rutherford used his
every endeavor to constantly face the girls, who were pelting him
pretty liberally on all sides. After awhile he slipped up and fell,
but in his fall his face was downward, when lo! the girls discovered
that he had a hole in his pants. Too good-natured to appear to see his
predicament, no notice was seemingly taken of his misfortune; but as
the officers were about going off to bed that night, the married lady
said to him:

"Colonel, lay your pants on the chair at your room door tonight, and
you will find them there again in the morning. We hope you won't mind
a patch."

The Colonel, who was always so gallant in actual battle, and could not
bear to turn his back to the Federal soldiers, was just as unwilling
to turn his back to snow-balls, who happened to be Confederate lasses,
and the reason therefor, although never told, was discovered by them.

The weather had gotten down to two degrees below zero, the ground
frozen as hard as brick-bats, and the winds whistled gaily through our
tattered tents, our teeth beating tattoo and our limbs shivering from
the effects of our scanty clothing and shoes. But our wagons were
gathering in supplies from the rich valleys of the French Broad and
the Nolachucky, and while we suffered from cold, we generally had
provisions sufficient for our want. By the middle of January we had
to temporarily break up camp to meet the enemy, who had left Knoxville
with the greater part of the army, and was marching up on the right
banks of the French Broad to near Dandridge. General Foster seeing the
penalty put upon General Burnside for not driving out Longstreet from
East Tennessee, the former undertook to accomplish in this bitter
weather what the latter had failed to do in comparative good season.
Our cavalry, with Jenkins' Division, headed direct towards the moving
column of the enemy, while McLaws' Division marched in the direction
of Strawberry Plains, with a view to cutting off the enemy and forcing
him to battle in an open field. But General Granger, in command of
the Federal column, was too glad to cross the French Broad and beat a
hasty retreat to Knoxville. We returned to our old camps, and waited,
like Micawber, "for something to turn up."

By some disagreement or want of confidence in General McLaws by
the commanding General, he was relieved of his command, and General
Kershaw being the senior Brigadier General of the division, was placed
in command. What the differences were between General Longstreet and
his Major General were never exactly understood by the soldiers. While
General McLaws may have been a brave soldier and was well beloved by
officers and men, still he was wanting in those elements to make
a successful General of volunteer troops--dash, discipline, and
promptness in action.

General Longstreet had bent all his energies to the repairing of the
railroad through East Tennessee and Virginia, and as soon as this
was accomplished, a limited number of soldiers were furloughed for
twenty-one days. A large lot of shoes and clothing was sent us from
Richmond, and this helped to make camp life more enjoyable. Not all
the men by any means could be spared by furlough even for this brief
period, for we had an active and vigilant foe in our front. Most of
the men drew their furloughs by lot, those who had been from home the
longest taking their chances by drawing from a hat, "furlough" or "no
furlough."

While in winter quarters, during the spasm of chicken fighting, a
difficulty occurred between Lieutenant A and Private B, of the
Third, both good friends, and no better soldiers were ever upon a
battlefield. These are not the initials of their names, but
will answer the purpose at hand, and that purpose is to show the
far-reaching results of the courtmartial that followed, and a decision
reached under difficulties, that the most learned jurist might feel
proud of.

I will say for the benefit of those not learned in the law of army
regulations, that for an officer to strike a private he is cashiered,
and for a private to strike an officer the penalty is either death or
long imprisonment with ball and chain attachments.

Now it appeared to the officers who composed the courtmartial, Captain
Herbert, Lieutenant Garlington, and the writer of this (all parties of
the Third), that Lieutenant A had knocked Private B down. The officer
appeared in his own defense, and gave in extenuation of his crime,
that Private B had hit his (Lieutenant A's) chicken a stunning blow
on the head while they were "petting" them between rounds. Now that
decision of the courtmartial astonished our Colonel as much as the men
who were parties to the combat themselves. Now it read something like
this--time, dress parade:

"Whereas, Lieutenant A, of Company ----, Third South Carolina, did
strike Private B, of same company and regiment, with his fist in the
face, that he should receive the severest of punishment; but, whereas,
Private B did strike the game chicken in the hands of Lieutenant A,
without cause or provocation, therefore both are equally guilty of
a crime and misdemeanor, and should be privately reprimanded by the
Colonel commanding."

Such a laugh as was set up, notwithstanding the grave countenance of
the Colonel, was never heard on ordinary occasions.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXVII

In Winter Quarters, 1863 and 1864--Re-enlistment.


Christmas came as usual to the soldiers as to the rest of the world,
and if Longstreet's men did not have as "merry and happy" a Christmas
as those at home, and in the armies outside, they had at least a
cheerful one. Hid away in the dark and mysterious recesses of the
houses of many old Unionists, was yet a plentitude of "moon-shine,"
and this the soldiers drew out, either by stealth or the eloquent
pleadings of a faded Confederate bill. Poultry abounded in the far
away sections of the country, not yet ravaged by either army, which it
was a pleasure to those fixtures of the army called "foragers" to hunt
up. The brotherhood of "foragers" was a peculiar institute, and some
men take as naturally to it as the duck to water. They have an eye
to business, as well as pleasure, and the life of a "forager" becomes
almost an art. They have a peculiar talent, developed by long practice
of nosing out, hunting up, and running to quarry anything in the way
of "eatables or drinkables." During the most stringent times in a
country that had been over-run for years by both armies, some men
could find provisions and delicacies, and were never known to be
without "one drink left" in their canteens for a needy comrade, who
had the proper credentials, the Confederate "shin-plaster." These
foragers had the instinct (or acquired it) and the gifts of a "knight
of the road" of worming out of the good housewife little dainties,
cold meats, and stale bread, and if there was one drop of the "oh be
joyful" in the house, these men of peculiar intellect would be sure to
get it. So with such an acquisition to the army, and in such a country
as East Tennessee, the soldiers did not suffer on that cold Christmas
day. Bright and cheerful fires burned before every tent, over which
hung a turkey, a chicken, or a choice slice of Tennessee pork, or,
perhaps, better still, a big, fat sausage, with which the smoke-houses
along the valleys of the French Broad were filled.

It was my misfortune, or rather good fortune, to be doing picket duty
on the Holston on that day. Here I had an adventure rather out of the
regular order in a soldier's life, one more suited to the character
of Don Quixote. I, as commandant of the post, had strict orders not
to allow anyone to cross the river, as "beyond the Alps lie Italy,"
beyond the Holston lay the enemy. But soldiers, like other men, have
their trials. While on duty here a buxom, bouncing, rosy cheeked
mountain lass came up, with a sack of corn on her shoulder, and
demanded the boat in order that she might cross over to a mill and
exchange her corn for meal. This, of course, I had to reluctantly
deny, however gallantly disposed I might otherwise have been. The lass
asked me, with some feeling of scorn, "Is the boat yours?" to which I
was forced to answer in the negative. She protested that she would not
go back and get a permit or pass from anyone on earth; that the boat
was not mine, and she had as much right to its use as anyone, and that
no one should prevent her from getting bread for her family, and
that "you have no business here at best," arguments that were hard to
controvert in the face of a firey young "diamond in the rough." So to
compromise matters and allow chivalry to take, for the time being, the
place of duty, I agreed to ferry her over myself. She placed her corn
in the middle of the little boat, planting herself erect in the prow;
I took the stern. The weather was freezing cold, the wind strong, and
the waves rolled high, the little boat rocking to and fro, while I
battled with the strong current of the river. Once or twice she cast
disdainful glances at my feeble and emaciated form, but at last, in
a melting tone, she said: "If you can't put the boat over, get up and
give me the oar." This taunt made me strong, and the buxom mountain
girl was soon at the mill. While awaiting the coming of the old
miller, I concluded to take a stroll over the hill in search of
further adventure. There I found, at a nice old-fashioned farm house,
a bevy of the prettiest young ladies it had been my pleasure to meet
in a long while--buoyant, vivacious, cultured, and loyal to the core.
They did not wait very long to tell me that they were "Rebels to the
bone." They invited me and any of my friends that I chose to come over
the next day and take dinner with them, an invitation I was not loath
nor slow to accept. My mountain acquaintance was rowed back over the
Holston in due season, without any of the parting scenes that fiction
delight in, and the next day, armed with passports, my friends and
myself were at the old farm house early. My companions were Colonel
Rutherford, Dr. James Evans, Lieutenant Hugh Farley, Captains Nance,
Cary, and Watts, with Adjutant Pope as our chaperone. Words fail me
here in giving a description of the dinner, as well as of the handsome
young ladies that our young hostess had invited from the surrounding
country to help us celebrate.

Now will any reader of this question the fact that Longstreet's men
suffered any great hardships, isolated as they were from the outside
world? This is but a sample of our sufferings. We had night parties
at the houses of the high and the low, dinners in season and out of
season, and not an enemy outside of the walls of Knoxville. Did we
feel the cold? Did the frozen ground cut our feet through our raw-hide
moccasins? Did any of the soldiers long for home or the opening of the
next campaign? Bah!

It was during our stay in winter quarters, March, 1864, that the
term of our second enlistment expired. The troops had volunteered
for twelve months at the commencement of the war; this expiring just
before the seven days' battle around Richmond, a re-enlistment and
reorganization was ordered in the spring of 1862 for two more years,
making the term of Kershaw's Brigade equal with other troops that had
enlisted for "three years or the war." By an Act of Congress, in
1862, all men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years were
compelled to bear arms. This had been extended first to forty and then
to forty-five and during Grant's memorable campaign against Richmond,
the ages ran from sixteen to fifty-five, though those between sixteen
and eighteen and those between fifty and fifty-five were to be used
only in State service. This brought out the expression of Grant to
the authorities in Washington, that "Lee had robbed the cradle and the
grave." Our re-enlistment was only a form, no change in officers or
organization. Some few failed to voluntarily re-enlist, not with any
view to quit the army, but some had grown weary of the hard marches of
the infantry service and wished to join the cavalry. However, when the
morning came for re-enlistment the troops were called out in line of
regiments and a call made by the Colonel to all who were willing to
enlist for the war to step two paces to the front. All, with the very
fewest exceptions, stepped proudly to the front. Of course, none were
permitted to leave his company for the cavalry, as that branch of
the service was yet filled to its full quota, its ranks had in no
discernable degree been depleted by the casualties of war. It seemed
that fortune favored our troopers, for battle as they would, none were
scarcely ever wounded, and a less number killed. Infantry soldiers
were furloughed, through wounds, by the thousands, and artillerymen by
the hundreds, after every great battle, but the cavalryman was denied
this luxury, and his only hope in a furlough was a short leave of
absence to replace a wornout horse that had fallen by the wayside.
Their ranks of furloughed men in this line were usually quite full.

As for returning to their homes, no soldier, however humble his
station, either in the army or socially at home, would have dared
to leave the service had a discharge been offered him. A man in good
health and with stout limbs preferred facing bullets and even death,
rather than bracing the scorn and contempt the women of the South had
for the man who failed his country when his services were needed. No
man, however brave, would have had the hardihood to meet his wife or
mother unless "with his shield or on it" in this hour of his country's
need. There were some few exemptions in the conscript law; one
particularly was where all the men in a neighborhood had gone or was
ordered to the front, one old man to five plantations, on which were
slaves, was exempted to look after said farms, manage the negroes, and
collect the government taxes or tithes. These tithes were one-tenth of
all that was raised on a plantation--cotton, corn, oats, peas, wheat,
potatoes, sorghum, etc.--to be delivered to a government agent,
generally a disabled soldier, and by him forwarded to the army.

During the winter most of the vacancies in company and field officers
were filled by promotion, according to rank. In most cases, the office
of Third Lieutenant was left to the choice of the men, in pursuance to
the old Democratic principle, "government by the will of the people."
Non-commissioned officers usually went up by seniority, where
competent, the same as the commissioned officers.

All these vacancies were occasioned by the casualties of war during
the Pennsylvania, Chickamauga, and Knoxville campaigns. The Seventh,
Fifteenth, and Third Battalion were without field officers. Captain
Huggins was placed in command of the Seventh, and Captain Whiter, the
Third Battalion. No promotions could be made in the latter, as Major
Miller and Colonel Rice had not resigned, although both were disabled
for active service in consequence of wounds.

There was considerable wrangling in the Fifteenth over the promotion
to the Colonelcy. Captain F.S. Lewie, of Lexington, claimed it by
seniority of rank, being senior Captain in the regiment. Captain
J.B. Davis, of Fairfield, claimed it under an Act of the Confederate
Congress in regard to the rank of old United States officers entering
the Confederate service--that the officers of the old army should hold
their grade and rank in the Confederate Army, the same as before
their joining the South, irrespective of the date of these commissions
issued by the war department. Or, in other words, a Lieutenant in the
United States Army should not be given a commission over a Captain, or
a Captain, over a Major, Lieutenant Colonel, or Colonel, etc., in the
Southern Army. As all the old army officers entering the service of
the South at different periods, and all wanted a Generalship, so this
mode of ranking was adopted, as promising greater harmony and better
results. Captain Davis had been a Captain in the State service, having
commanded a company in Gregg's six months' troops around Charleston.
And, furthermore, Davis was a West Pointer--a good disciplinarian,
brave, resolute, and an all round good officer. Still Lewie was his
peer in every respect, with the exception of early military training.
Both were graduates of medical colleges--well educated, cultured, and
both high-toned gentlemen of the "Old School." But Lewie was
subject to serious attacks of a certain disease, which frequently
incapacitated him for duty, and on marches he was often unable to
walk, and had to be hauled for days in the ambulance. Then Lewie's
patriotism was greater than his ambition, and he was willing to
serve in any position for the good of the service and for the sake of
harmony. Captain Lewie thus voluntarily yielded his just claims to the
Colonelcy to Captain Davis, and accepted the position of Lieutenant
Colonel, places both filled to the end.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL J.B. DAVIS.

Colonel J.B. Davis was born in Fairfield County, of Scotch-Irish
decent, about the year 1835. He received his early education in the
schools of the country, at Mount Zion Academy, at Winnsboro, in same
county. Afterwards he was admitted to the United States Military
School, at West Point, but after remaining for two years, resigned and
commenced the study of medicine. He graduated some years before the
war, and entered upon the practice of his profession in the western
part of the county. He was elected Captain of the first company raised
in Fairfield, and served in Gregg's first six mouths' volunteers
in Charleston. After the fall of Sumter, his company, with several
others, disbanded.

Returning home, he organized a company for the Confederate service,
was elected Captain, and joined the Fifteenth Regiment, then forming
in Columbia under Colonel DeSaussure. He was in all the battles of the
Maryland campaign, in the brigade under General Drayton, and in all
the great battles with Kershaw's Brigade. In the winter of 1863 he was
made Colonel of the Fifteenth, and served with his regiment until the
surrender. On several occasions he was in command of the brigade, as
senior Colonel present. He was in command at Cold Harbor after
the death of Colonel Keitt. Colonel Davis was one among the best
tacticians in the command; had a soldierly appearance--tall,
well-developed, a commanding voice, and an all round good officer.

He returned home after the war and began the practice of medicine, and
continues it to the present.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL F.S. LEWIE.

Colonel F.S. Lewie was born in Lexington County, in 1830, and received
his early training there. He attended the High School at Monticello,
in Fairfield County. He taught school for awhile, then began the study
of medicine. He attended the "College of Physicians and Surgeons"
in Paris, France, for two years, returning a short while before the
breaking out of hostilities between the North and South.

At the outbreak of the war he joined Captain Gibbs' Company, and was
made Orderly Sergeant. He served with that company, under Colonel
Gregg, in the campaign against Sumter. His company did not disband
when the fort fell, but followed Gregg to Virginia. At the expiration
of their term of enlistment he returned to Lexington County, raised
a company, and joined the Fifteenth. He was in most of the battles in
which that regiment was engaged. Was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel,
and in 1864 was elected to the State Senate from Lexington. He refused
to leave his regiment, and did not accept the honor conferred upon
him by the people of his county. While with his regiment in South
Carolina, early in the spring of 1865, he was granted a few days'
furlough to visit his home, at which smallpox had broken out, but was
captured by Sherman's raiders before reaching home. He was parolled in
North Carolina.

He was elected to the Legislature in 1866, serving until
reconstruction. He died in 1877.

There was never a Major appointed afterwards in the Fifteenth.

About the last of January we had another little battle scare, but it
failed to materialize. General Longstreet had ordered a pontoon bridge
from Richmond, and had determined upon a descent upon Knoxville. But
the authorities at Washington having learned of our preparation to
make another advance, ordered General Thomas to reinforce General
Foster with his corps, take command in person, and to drive Longstreet
"beyond the confines of East Tennessee." The enemy's cavalry was
thrown forward, and part of Longstreet's command having been ordered
East, the movement was abandoned; the inclemency of the weather, if no
other cause, was sufficient to delay operations. Foster being greatly
reinforced, and Longstreet's forces reduced by a part of his cavalry
going to join Johnston in Georgia, and a brigade of infantry ordered
to reinforce Lee, the commanding General determined to retire higher
up the Holston, behind a mountain chain, near Bull's Gap.

On the 22d of February we quit our winter quarters, and took up our
march towards Bull's Gap, and after a few days of severe marching we
were again snugly encamped behind a spur of the mountain, jutting out
from the Holston and on to the Nolachucky River. A vote of thanks from
the Confederate States Congress was here read to the troops:

"Thanking Lieutenant General James Longstreet and the officers and men
of his command for their patriotic services and brilliant achievements
in the present war, sharing as they have the arduous fatigues and
privations of many campaigns in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania,
Georgia, and Tennessee," etc.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXVIII

In Camp on the Holston, East Tennessee. Return to Virginia.


While Longstreet's Corps had done some of the most stubborn fighting,
and the results, as far as victories in battle were concerned, were
all that could be expected, still it seemed, from some faults of the
Generals commanding departments, or the war department in Richmond,
that the fruits of such victories were not what the country or General
Longstreet expected. To merely hold our own, in the face of such
overwhelming numbers, while great armies were springing up all over
the North, was not the true policy of the South, as General Longstreet
saw and felt it. We should go forward and gain every inch of ground
lost in the last campaign, make all that was possible out of our
partial successes, drive the enemy out of our country wherever he had
a foot-hold, otherwise the South would slowly but surely crumble away.
So much had been expected of Longstreet's Corps in East Tennessee, and
so little lasting advantage gained, that bickering among the officers
began. Brigadier Generals were jealous of Major Generals, and even
some became jealous or dissatisfied with General Longstreet himself.
Crimination and recrimination were indulged in, censures and charges
were made and denied, and on the whole the army began to be in rather
a bad plight for the campaign just commencing. Had it not been for
the unparalleled patriotism and devotion to their cause, the undaunted
courage of the rank and file of the army, little results could have
been expected. But as soon as the war cry was heard and the officers
and men had sniffed the fumes of the coming battle, all jealousies and
animosities were thrown aside, and each and every one vied with the
other as to who could show the greatest prowess in battle, could
withstand the greatest endurance on marches and in the camp.

General Law, who commanded an Alabama Brigade, had been arrested and
courtmartialed for failing to support General Jenkins at a critical
moment, when Burnside was about to be entrapped, just before reaching
Knoxville. It was claimed by his superiors that had Law closed up the
gaps, as he had been ordered, a great victory would have been gained,
but it was rumored that Law said "he knew this well enough, and could
have routed the enemy, but Jenkins would have had the credit," so that
he sacrificed his men, endangered the army, and lost an opportunity
for brilliant achievements through jealousy of a brother officer. Much
correspondence ensued between General Longstreet and President
Davis, and as usual with the latter, he interfered, and had not the
Wilderness campaign commenced so soon, serious trouble would have been
the result between General Lee and General Longstreet on one side, and
President Davis and the war department on the other. But General
Law never returned to our army, and left with any but an ennobling
reputation.

General Robertson, commanding Hood's old Texas Brigade, was arrested
for indulging in mutinous conversation with his subaltern officers,
claiming, it was said, that should General Longstreet give him certain
orders (while in camp around Lookout Mountain), he would not recognize
them, unless written, and then only under protest. He was relieved by
General Gregg.

General McLaws was relieved of his command from a want of confidence
in General Longstreet, and more especially for his inactivity and
tardiness at the assaults on Fort Sanders, at Knoxville. On ordinary
occasions, General McLaws was active and vigilant enough--his courage
could not be doubted. He and the troops under him had added largely
to the name and fame of the Army of Northern Virginia. He had officers
and men under him who were the "flower of chivalry" of the South, and
were really the "Old Guard" of Lee's Army. McLaws was a graduate of
West Point, and had seen service in Mexico and on the plains of the
West. But General McLaws was not the man for the times--not the man
to command such troops as he had--was not the officer to lead in an
active, vigorous campaign, where all depended on alertness and dash.
He was too cautious, and as such, too slow. The two Georgia brigades,
a Mississippi brigade, and a South Carolina brigade, composed mostly
of the first volunteers from their respective States, needed as a
commander a hotspur like our own J.B. Kershaw. While the army watched
with sorrow and regret the departure of our old and faithful General,
one who had been with us through so many scenes of trials, hardships,
and bloodshed, whose name had been so identified with that of our own
as to be almost a part of it, still none could deny that the change
was better for the service and the Confederacy.

One great trouble with the organization of our army was that too many
old and incompetent officers of the old regular army commanded it.
And the one idea that seemed to haunt the President was that none but
those who had passed through the great corridors and halls of West
Point could command armies or men--that civilians without military
training were unfit for the work at hand--furthermore, he had
favorites, that no failures or want of confidence by the men could
shake his faith in as to ability and Generalship. What the army needed
was young blood--no old army fossils to command the hot-blooded,
dashing, enthusiastic volunteers, who could do more in their
impetuosity with the bayonet in a few moments than in days and months
of manoeuvering, planning, and fighting battles by rules or conducting
campaigns by following the precedent of great commanders, but now
obsolete.

When the gallant Joe Kershaw took the command and began to feel his
way for his Major General's spurs, the division took on new life.
While the brigade was loath to give him up, still they were proud of
their little "Brigadier," who had yet to carve out a name for himself
on the pillars of fame, and write his achievements high up on the
pages of history in the campaign that was soon to begin.

It seems from contemporaneous history that President Davis was baiting
between two opinions, either to have Longstreet retire by way of the
mountains and relieve the pressure against Johnston, now in command
of Bragg's Army, or to unite with Lee and defend the approaches to
Richmond.

A counsel of war was held in Richmond between the President, General
Bragg as the military advisor of his Excellency, General Lee, and
General Longstreet, to form some plan by which Grant might be checked
or foiled in the general grand advance he was preparing to make along
the whole line. The Federal armies of Mississippi and Alabama had
concentrated in front of General Johnston and were gradually pressing
him back into Georgia.

Grant had been made commander in chief of all the armies of the North,
with headquarters with General Meade, in front of Lee, and he
was bending all his energies, his strategies, and boldness in his
preparations to strike Lee a fatal blow.

At this juncture Longstreet came forward with a plan--bold in its
conception; still bolder in its execution, had it been adopted--that
might have changed the face, if not the fate, of the Confederacy.
It was to strip all the forts and garrisons in South Carolina and
Georgia, form an army of twenty-five thousand men, place them under
Beauregard at Charleston, board the train for Greenville, S.C.; then
by the overland route through the mountain passes of North Carolina,
and by way of Aberdeen, Va.; then to make his way for Kentucky;
Longstreet to follow in Beauregard's wake or between him and
the Federal Army, and by a shorter line, join Beauregard at some
convenient point in Kentucky; Johnston to flank Sherman and march
by way of Middle Tennessee, the whole to avoid battle until a grand
junction was formed by all the armies, somewhere near the Ohio River;
then along the Louisville Railroad, the sole route of transportation
of supplies for the Federal Army, fight a great battle, and, if
victorious, penetrate into Ohio, thereby withdrawing Sherman from his
intended "march to the sea," relieving Lee by weakening Grant, as
that General would be forced to succor the armies forming to meet
Beauregard.

This, to an observer at this late hour, seems to have been the only
practical plan by which the downfall of the Confederacy could have
been averted. However, the President and his cabinet decided to
continue the old tactics of dodging from place to place, meeting the
hard, stubborn blows of the enemy, only waiting the time, when the
South, by mere attrition, would wear itself out.

About the 10th of April, 1864, we were ordered to strike tents and
prepare to move on Bristol, from thence to be transported to Virginia.
All felt as if we were returning to our old home, to the brothers we
had left after the bloody Gettysburg campaign, to fight our way back
by way of Chickamauga and East Tennessee. We stopped for several days
at Charlottesville, and here had the pleasure of visiting the home of
the great Jefferson. From thence, down to near Gordonsville.

The 29th of April, 1864, was a gala day for the troops of Longstreet's
Corps, at camp near Gordonsville. They were to be reviewed and
inspected by their old and beloved commander, General R.E. Lee.
Everything possible that could add to our looks and appearances was
done to make an acceptable display before our commander in chief. Guns
were burnished and rubbed up, cartridge boxes and belts polished,
and the brass buttons and buckles made to look as bright as new. Our
clothes were patched and brushed up, so far as was in our power, boots
and shoes greased, the tattered and torn old hats were given here and
there "a lick and a promise," and on the whole I must say we presented
not a bad-looking body of soldiers. Out a mile or two was a very large
old field, of perhaps one hundred acres or more, in which we formed
in double columns. The artillery stationed on the flank fired thirteen
guns, the salute to the commander in chief, and as the old warrior
rode out into the opening, shouts went up that fairly shook the earth.
Hats and caps flew high in the air, flags dipped and waved to and fro,
while the drums and fifes struck up "Hail to the Chief." General Lee
lifted his hat modestly from his head in recognition of the honor done
him, and we know the old commander's heart swelled with emotion at
this outburst of enthusiasm by his old troops on his appearance. If
he had had any doubts before as to the loyalty of his troops, this old
"Rebel yell" must have soon dispelled them. After taking his position
near the centre of the columns, the command was broken in columns of
companies and marched by him, each giving a salute as it passed.
It took several hours to pass in review, Kershaw leading with his
division, Jenkins following. The line was again formed, when General
Lee and staff, with Longstreet and his staff, rode around the troops
and gave them critical inspection. No doubt Lee was then thinking
of the bloody day that was soon to come, and how well these brave,
battle-scarred veterans would sustain the proud prestige they had won.

Returning to our camp, we were put under regular discipline--drilling,
surgeon's call-guards, etc. We were being put in active fighting trim
and the troops closely kept in camp. All were now expecting every
moment the summons to the battlefield. None doubted the purpose for
which we were brought back to Virginia, and how well Longstreet's
Corps sustained its name and reputation the Wilderness and
Spottsylvania soon showed. Our ranks had been largely recruited by the
return of furloughed men, and young men attaining eighteen years of
age. After several months of comparative rest in our quarters in East
Tennessee, nothing but one week of strict camp discipline was required
to put us in the best of fighting order. We had arrived at our present
camp about the last week of April, having rested several days at
Charlottesville.

General Lee's Army was a day's, or more, march to the north and east
of us, on the west bank of the Rapidan River. It was composed of the
Second Corps, under Lieutenant General Ewell, with seventeen thousand
and ninety-three men; Third Corps, under Lieutenant General
A.P. Hill, with twenty-two thousand one hundred and ninety-nine;
unattached commands, one thousand one hundred and twenty-five;
cavalry, eight thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven; artillery,
four thousand eight hundred and fifty-four; while Longstreet had about
ten thousand; putting the entire strength of Lee's Army, of all arms,
at sixty-three thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight.

General Grant had, as heretofore mentioned, been made commander
in chief of all the Union armies, while General Lee held the
same position in the Confederate service. Grant had taken up his
headquarters with the Army of the Potomac, giving the direction of
this army his personal attention, retaining, however, General George
S. Meade as its immediate commander.

Grant had divided his army into three corps--Second, under Major
General W.S. Hancock; Fifth, Major General G.K. Warren; Sixth, Major
General John Sedgwick--all in camp near Culpepper Court House, while a
separate corps, under Major General A.E. Burnside, was stationed near
the railroad crossing on the Rappahannock River.

Lee's Army was divided as follows: Rodes', Johnston's, and Early's
Divisions, under Lieutenant General Ewell, Second Corps; R.H.
Anderson's, Heath's, and Wilcox's Divisions, under Lieutenant General
A.P. Hill, Third Corps.

Longstreet had no Major Generals under him as yet. He had two
divisions, McLaws' old Division, under Brigadier General Kershaw, and
Hood's, commanded by Brigadier General Fields. The division had been
led through the East Tennessee campaign by General Jenkins, of South
Carolina. Also a part of a division under General Bushrod Johnston, of
the Army of the West.

Grant had in actual numbers of all arms, equipped and ready for
battle, one hundred and sixteen thousand eight hundred and eighty-six
men. He had forty-nine thousand one hundred and ninety-one more
infantry and artillery than Lee and three thousand six hundred and
ninety-seven more cavalry. He had but a fraction less than double
the forces of the latter. With this disparity of numbers, and growing
greater every day, Lee successfully combatted Grant for almost a year
without a rest of a week from battle somewhere along his lines. Lee
had no reinforcements to call up, and no recruits to strengthen his
ranks, while Grant had at his call an army of two million to draw from
at will, and always had at his immediate disposal as many troops as he
could handle in one field. He not only outnumbered Lee, but he was far
better equipped in arms, subsistence, transportation, and cavalry
and artillery horses. He had in his medical, subsistence, and
quartermaster departments alone nineteen thousand one hundred and
eighty-three, independent of his one hundred and sixteen thousand
eight hundred and eighty-six, ready for the field, which he called
non-combattants. While these figures and facts are foreign to the
"History of Kershaw's Brigade," still I give them as matters of
general history, that the reader may better understand the herculean
undertaking that confronted Longstreet when he joined his forces with
those of Lee's. And as this was to be the deciding campaign of
the war, it will be better understood by giving the strength and
environment of each army. The Second South Carolina Regiment was
commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaillard; the Third, by Colonel
Jas. D, Nance; the Seventh, by Captain Jerry Goggans; the Eighth,
by Colonel Henagan; the Fifteenth, by Colonel J.B. Davis; the Third
Battalion, by Captain Whiter. The brigade was commanded by Colonel
J.D. Kennedy, as senior Colonel.

Thus stood the command on the morning of the 4th of May, but by the
shock of battle two days later all was changed. Scarcely a commander
of a regiment or brigade remained. The two military giants of the
nineteenth century were about to face each other, and put to the test
the talents, tactics, and courage of their respective antagonists.
Both had been successful beyond all precedent, and both considered
themselves invincible in the field. Grant had tact and tenacity, with
an overwhelming army behind him. Lee had talent, impetuosity, and
boldness, with an army of patriots at his command, who had never known
defeat; and considered themselves superior in courage and endurance
to any body of men on earth. Well might the clash of arms in the
Wilderness of these mighty giants cause the civilized world to watch
and wonder. Lee stood like a lion in the path--his capital behind him,
his army at bay--while Grant, with equal pugnacity, sought to crush
him by sheer force of overwhelming numbers.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXIX

Battle of the Wilderness.


At midnight, on the 3rd of May, Grant put this mighty force of his in
motion--the greatest body of men moving to combat that had ever been
assembled on the continent. On the 4th his army crossed the Rapidan,
at Germania and Ely's Fords, and began moving out towards the
turn-pike, leading from Orange Court House by way of the Wilderness to
Fredericksburg.

On the 5th Ewell had a smart engagement on the turn-pike, while
Heath's and Wilcox's Divisions, of Hill's Corps, had met successfully
a heavy force under Hancock, on the plank road--two roads running
parallel and about one mile distant. Both armies closed the battle at
night fall, each holding his own field. However, the enemy
strongly entrenched in front, while Hill's troops, from some cause
unexplainable, failed to take this precaution, and; had it not been
for the timely arrival of Longstreet at a critical moment, might have
been fatal to Lee's Army.

On the morning of the 5th we had orders to march. Foragers coming
in the night before reported heavy firing in the direction of the
Rapidan, which proved to be the cavalry engagement checking Grant
at the river fords. All felt after these reports, and our orders to
march, that the campaign had opened. All day we marched along unused
roads--through fields and thickets, taking every near cut possible.
Scarcely stopping for a moment to even rest, we found ourselves, at 5
o'clock in the evening, twenty-eight miles from our starting point.
Men were too tired and worn out to pitch tents, and hearing the orders
"to be ready to move at midnight," the troops stretched themselves
upon the ground to get such comfort and rest as was possible. Promptly
at midnight we began to move again, and such a march, and under such
conditions, was never before experienced by the troops. Along blind
roads, overgrown by underbrush, through fields that had lain fallow
for years, now studded with bushes and briars, and the night being
exceedingly dark, the men floundered and fell as they marched. But
the needs were too urgent to be slack in the march now, so the men
struggled with nature in their endeavor to keep in ranks. Sometimes
the head of the column would lose its way, and during the time it was
hunting its way back to the lost bridle path, was about the only rest
we got. The men were already worn out by their forced march of the day
before, and now they had to exert all their strength to its utmost to
keep up. About daylight we struck the plank road leading from Orange
Court House to Fredericksburg, and into this we turned and marched
down with a swinging step. Kershaw's Brigade was leading, followed by
Humphreys' and Wofford's, with Bryan bringing up the rear. The Second
South Carolina was in front, then the Third, Seventh, Fifteenth, Third
Battalion, and Eighth on extreme right, the brigade marching left in
front.

[Illustration: Capt. Chesley W. Herbert, Co. C, 3d S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Capt. Theodore F. Malloy, Co. C, 8th S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Capt. John W. Wofford, Co. K, 3d S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Capt. John Hampden Brooks, Co. G, 7th S.C. Regiment.]

After marching some two miles or more down the plank road at a rapid
gait, passing Hill's field infirmary, where the wounded of the day
before were being cared for, we heard a sharp firing in our immediate
front. Longstreet's artillery was far in the rear, floundering along
through the blind roads as the infantry had done the night before. Our
wagons and subsistence supplies had not been since dawn of the 5th,
although this made little difference to the men, as Longstreet's Corps
always marched with three days' rations in their haversacks, with
enough cooking utensils on their backs to meet immediate Wants. So
they were never thrown off their base for want of food. The cartridge
boxes were filled with forty rounds, with twenty more in their
pockets, and all ready for the fray.

As soon as the musketry firing was heard, we hastened our steps, and
as we reached the brow of a small elevation in the ground, orders were
given to deploy across the road. Colonel Gaillard, with the Second,
formed on the left of the road, while the Third, under Colonel Nance;
formed on the right, with the other regiments taking their places on
the right of the Third in their order of march. Field's Division Was
forming rapidly on the left of the plank road, but as yet did not
reach it, thus the Second was for the time being detached to fill up.
The Mississippians, under Humphreys, had already left the plank road
in our rear, and so had Wofford, with his Georgians, and were making
their way as best they could through this tangled morass of the
Wilderness, to form line of battle on Kershaw's right. The task was
difficult in the extreme, but the men were equal to the occasion,
Bryan's Georgia Brigade filed off to the right, in rear, as reserves.

The line had not yet formed before a perfect hail of bullets came
flying overhead and through our ranks, but not a man moved, only to
allow the stampeded troops of Heath's and Wilcox's to pass to the
rear. It seems that these troops had fought the day before, and lay
upon the battlefield with the impression that they would be relieved
before day. They had not reformed their lines, nor replenished their
ammunition boxes, nor made any pretention towards protecting their
front by any kind of works. The enemy, who had likewise occupied their
ground of the day before, had reformed their lines, strengthened their
position by breastworks--all this within two hundred yards of the
unsuspecting Confederates. This fault lay in a misunderstanding of
orders, or upon the strong presumption that Longstreet would be up
before the hour of combat. Hancock had ordered his advance at sunrise,
and after a feeble defense by Heath's and Wilcox's skirmish line,
the enemy burst upon the unsuspecting Confederates, while some were
cooking a hasty meal, others still asleep--all unprepared for this
thunderbolt that fell in their midst. While forming his lines of
battle, and while bullets were flying all around, General Kershaw came
dashing down in front of his column, his eyes flashing fire, sitting
his horse like a centaur--that superb style as Joe Kershaw only
could--and said in passing us, "Now, my old brigade. I expect you to
do your duty." In all my long experience, in war and peace, I never
saw such a picture as Kershaw and his war-horse made in riding down
in front of his troops at the Wilderness. It seemed an inspiration to
every man in line, especially his old brigade, who knew too well that
their conduct to-day would either win or lose him his Major General's
spurs, and right royally did he gain them. The columns were not yet
in proper order, but the needs so pressing to check the advance of the
enemy, that a forward movement was ordered, and the lines formed up as
the troops marched.

The second moved forward on the left of the plank road, in support
of a battery stationed there, and which was drawing a tremendous fire
upon the troops on both sides of the road. Down the gentle slope
the brigade marched, over and under the tangled shrubbery and dwarf
sapplings, while a withering fire was being poured into them by as yet
an unseen enemy. Men fell here and there, officers urging ion their
commands and ordering them to "hold their fire." When near the lower
end of the declivity, the shock came. Just in front of us, and not
forty yards away, lay the enemy. The long line of blue could be seen
under the ascending smoke of thousands of rifles; the red flashes of
their guns seemed to blaze in our very faces. Now the battle was on in
earnest. The roar of Kershaw's guns mingled with those of the enemy.
Longstreet had met his old antagonist of Round Top, Hancock, the
Northern hero, of Gettysburg. The roar of the small arms, mingled with
the thunder of the cannon that Longstreet had brought forward, echoed
and re-echoed up and down the little valley, but never to die away,
for new troops were being put rapidly in action to the right and left
of us. Men rolled and writhed in their last death struggle; wounded
men groped their way to the rear, being blinded by the stifling smoke.
All commands were drowned in this terrible din of battle--the earth
and elements shook and trembled with the deadly shock of combat.
Regiments were left without commanders; companies, without officers.
The gallant Colonel Gaillard, of the Second, had fallen. The intrepid
young Colonel of the Third, J.D. Nance, had already died in the lead
of his regiment. The commander of the Seventh, Captain Goggans, was
wounded. Colonel John D. Kennedy, commanding the brigade, had left the
field, disabled from further service for the day.

Still the battle rolled on. It seemed for a time as if the whole
Federal Army was upon us--so thick and fast came the death-dealing
missiles. Our ranks were being decimated by the wounded and the dead,
the little valley in the Wilderness becoming a veritable "Valley
of Hennom." The enemy held their position with a tenacity, born of
desperation, while the confederates pressed them with that old-time
Southern vigor and valor that no amount of courage could withstand.
Both armies stood at extreme tension, and the cord must soon snap one
way or the other, or it seemed as all would be annihilated, Longstreet
seeing the desperate struggle in which Kershaw and Humphreys, on the
right, and Hood's old Texans, on the left, were now engaged, sought to
relieve the pressure by a flank movement with such troops as he had at
his disposal. R.H. Andersen's Division, of Hill's Corps had reported
to him during the time Kershaw was in such deadly throes of battle.
Four brigades, Wofford's, of Kershaw's, and G.T. Anderson's, Mahone's,
and Davis', of Anderson's Division, were ordered around on our right,
to strike the left of Hancock But during this manoeuver the enemy
gradually withdrew from our front, and Kershaw's Brigade was relieved
by Bratton's South Carolina Brigade. I quote here from Colonel
Wallace, of the Second.

"Kershaw's Division formed line in the midst of this confusion, like
cool and well-trained veterans as they were, checked the enemy, and
soon drove them back. The Second Regiment was on the left of the plank
road, near a battery of artillery, and although completely flanked
at one time by the giving away of the troops on the right, gallantly
stood their ground, though suffering terribly; they and the battery,
keeping up a well-directed fire, to the right oblique, until the
enemy gave way. General Lee now appeared on our left, leading Hood's
Texas Brigade. We joined our brigade on the right of the plank road,
and again advanced to the attack.

"We were relieved by Jenkins' Brigade, under command of that able and
efficient officer, General Bratton, and ordered to the rear and rest.
We had scarcely thrown ourselves upon the ground, when General Bratton
requested that a regiment be sent him to fill a gap in the lines,
which the enemy had discovered and were preparing to break through.
I was ordered to take the Second Regiment and report to him. A staff
officer showed me the gap, when I double quicked to it, just in time,
as the enemy were within forty yards of it. As we reached the point we
poured a well-directed volley into them, killing a large number, and
putting the rest to flight. General Bratton witnessed the conduct of
the regiment on this occasion and spoke of it in the highest terms."

But, meanwhile, Longstreet's flanking columns were steadily making
their way around the enemy's left. At ten o'clock the final crash
came. Like an avalanche from a mountain side, Wofford, Mahone,
Anderson, and Davis rushed upon the enemy's exposed flank, doubling up
Hancock's left upon his center, putting all to flight and confusion.
In vain did the Federal commander try to bring order out of confusion,
but at this critical moment Wadsworth, his leading Division General,
fell mortally wounded. Thus being left without a commander, his whole
division gave way, having, with Stephen's Division, been holding
Fields in desperate battle. The whole of Hancock's troops to the right
of the plank road was swept across it by the sudden onslaught of the
flanking column, only to be impeded by the meeting and mixing with
Wadsworth's and Stephen's retreating divisions.

At this moment a sad and most regretable occurrence took place, that,
in a measure, somewhat nullified the fruits of one of the greatest
victories of the war. One of Mahone's regiments, gaining the plank
road in advance of the other portion of the flanking column, and
seeing Wadsworth giving such steady battle to Fields, rushed over and
beyond the road and assailed his right, which soon gave way. Generals
Longstreet, Kershaw, and Jenkins, with their staffs, came riding down
the plank road, just as the Virginia Regiment beyond the road was
returning to join its brigade. The other regiments coming up at this
moment, and seeing through the dense smoke what they considered an
advancing foe, fired upon the returning regiment just as General
Longstreet and party rode between. General Jenkins fell dead,
Longstreet badly wounded. Captain Doby, of Kershaw's staff, also was
killed, together with several couriers killed and wounded.

This unfortunate occurrence put a check to a vigorous pursuit of
the flying enemy, partly by the fall of the corps commander and the
frightful loss in brigade and regimental commanders, to say nothing
of the officers of the line. Captain Doby was one of the most dashing,
fearless, and accomplished officers that South Carolina had furnished
during the war. The entire brigade had witnessed his undaunted valor
on so many battlefields, especially at Mayree's Hill and Zoar Church,
that it was with the greatest sorrow they heard of his death. Captain
Doby had seemed to live a charmed life while riding through safely the
storms upon storms of the enemy's battles, that it made it doubly sad
to think of his dying at the hands of his mistaken friends. On this
same plank road, only a few miles distant, General Jackson lost his
life one year before, under similar circumstances, and at the hands of
the same troops. Had it not been for the coolness of General Kershaw
in riding out to where he heard Jenkins' rifles clicking to return the
fire, and called out, "Friends," it would be difficult to tell, what
might have been the result.

To show the light in which the actions of Kershaw's Brigade were held
in thus throwing itself between Lee and impending disaster at this
critical moment, and stemming the tide of battle single-handed and
alone, until his lines were formed, I will quote an extract from an
unprejudiced and impartial eye witness, Captain J.F.J. Caldwell,
who in his "History of McGowan's Brigade" pays this glowing but
just tribute to Kershaw and his men. In speaking of the surprise and
confusion in which a part of Hill's Corps was thrown, be says:

"We were now informed that Longstreet was near at hand, with
twenty-five thousand fresh men. This was good matter to rally on. We
were marched to the plank road by special order of General Hill; but
just as we were crossing it, we received orders to return to the left.
We saw General Longstreet riding down the road towards us, followed
by his column of troops. The firing of the enemy, of late rather
scattering, now became fierce and incessant, and we could hear a
reply to it from outside. Kershaw's South Carolina Brigade, of McLaws'
(afterwards Kershaw's) Division, had met them. The fire on both sides
of the road increased to a continuous roar. Kershaw's Brigade was
extended across the road, and received the grand charge of the
Federals. Members of that Brigade have told me that the enemy rushed
upon them at the double-quick, huzzahing loudly. The woods were filled
with Confederate fugatives. Three brigades of Wilcox's Division and
all of Heath's were driven more or less rapidly, crowding together
in hopeless disorder, and only to be wondered at when any of them
attempted to make a stand. Yet Kershaw's Brigade bore themselves with
illustrious gallantry. Some of the regiments had not only to deploy
under fire, but when they were formed, to force their way through
crowds of flying men, and re-established their lines. They met Grant's
legions, opened a cool and murderous fire upon them, and continued
it so steadily and resolutely, that the latter were compelled to give
back. Here I honestly believe the Army of Northern Virginia was saved!
The brigade sustained a heavy loss, beginning with many patient,
gallant spirits in the ranks and culminating in Nance, Gaillard, and
Doby."

No further pursuit being made by Kershaw's Brigade during the day, it
was allowed to rest after its day and night march and the bloody and
trying ordeal of the morning. Friends were hunting out friends among
the dead and wounded. The litter-bearers were looking after those too
badly wounded to make their way to the rear.

Dr. Salmond had established his brigade hospital near where the battle
had begun in the morning, and to this haven of the wounded those who
were able to walk were making their way. In the rear of a battlefield
are scenes to sickening for sensitive eyes and ears. Here you see men,
with leg shattered, pulling themselves to the rear by the strength of
their arms alone, or exerting themselves to the utmost to get to some
place where they will be partially sheltered from the hail of bullets
falling all around; men, with arms swinging helplessly by their sides,
aiding some comrade worse crippled than themselves; others on the
ground appealing for help, but are forced to remain on the field amid
all the carnage going on around them, helpless and almost hopeless,
until the battle is over, and, if still alive, await their turn from
the litter-bearers. The bravest and best men dread to die, and
the halo that surrounds death upon the battlefield is but scant
consolation to the wounded soldier, and he clings to life with that
same tenacity after he has fallen, as the man of the world in "piping
times of peace."

Just in rear of where Colonel Nance fell, I saw one of the saddest
sights I almost ever witnessed. A soldier from Company C, Third South
Carolina, a young soldier just verging into manhood, had been shot in
the first advance, the bullet severing the great artery of the thigh.
The young man seeing his danger of bleeding to death before succor
could possibly reach him, had struggled behind a small sapling.
Bracing himself against it, he undertook deliberative measures for
saving his life. Tying a handkerchief above the wound, placing a small
stone underneath and just over the artery, and putting a stick between
the handkerchief and his leg, he began to tighten by twisting the
stick around. But too late; life had fled, leaving both hands clasping
the stick, his eyes glassy and fixed.

The next day was devoted to the burying of the dead and gathering
such rest as was possible. It was my misfortune to be wounded near
the close of the engagement, in a few feet of where lay the lamented
Colonel Nance. The regiment in some way became doubled up somewhat on
the center, perhaps in giving way for the Second to come in, and here
lay the dead in greater numbers than it was ever my fortune to see,
not even before the stone wall at Fredericksburg.

In rear of this the surgeons had stretched their great hospital
tents, over which the yellow flag floated. The surgeons and assistant
surgeons never get their meed of praise in summing up the "news of the
battle." The latter follow close upon the line of battle and give such
temporary relief to the bleeding soldiers as will enable them to
reach the field hospital. The yellow flag does not always protect the
surgeons and their assistants, as shells scream and burst overhead as
the tide of battle rolls backward and forward. Not a moment of rest or
sleep do these faithful servants of the army get until every wound is
dressed and the hundred of arms and legs amputated, with that skill
and caution for which the army surgeons are so proverbially noted.
With the same dispatch are those, who are able to be moved, bundled
off to some city hospital in the rear.

In a large fly-tent, near the roadside, lay dying the Northern
millionaire, General Wadsworth. The Confederates had been as careful
of his wants and respectful to his station as if he had been one of
their own Generals. I went in to look at the General who could command
more ready gold than the Confederate States had in its treasury.
His hat had been placed over his face, and as I raised it, his heavy
breathing, his eyes closed, his cold, clammy face showed that the end
was near. There lay dying the multi-millionaire in an enemy's country,
not a friend near to hear his last farewell or soothe his last moments
by a friendly touch on the pallid brow. Still he, like all soldiers on
either side, died for what he thought was right.

    "He fails not, who stakes his all,
    Upon the right, and dares to fall;
    What, though the living bless or blame For him,
    the long success of fame."

Hospital trains had been run up to the nearest railroad station in the
rear, bringing those ministering angels of mercy the "Citizens' Relief
Corps," composed of the best matrons and maidens of Richmond, led by
the old men of the city. They brought crutches by the hundreds and
bandages by the bolt. Every delicacy that the, South afforded these
noble dames of Virginia had at the disposal of the wounded soldiers.
How many thousands of Confederate soldiers have cause to bless these
noble women of Virginia. They were the spartan mothers and sisters of
the South.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL JAMES D. NANCE.

I do not think I would be accused of being partial in saying that
Colonel Nance was the best all round soldier in Kershaw's Brigade,
none excepted. I have no allusion to the man, but the soldier alone.
Neither do I refer to qualities of courage, for all were brave, but
to efficiency. First to recommend him was his military education and
training. He was a thorough tactician and disciplinarian, and was only
equaled in this respect by General Connor. In battle he was ever cool
and collected--he was vigilant, aggressive, and brave. Never for a
moment was he thrown off his base or lost his head under the most
trying emergencies. His evolution in changing the front of his
regiment from columns of fours to a line of battle on Mayree's Hill,
under a galling fire from artillery and musketry, won the admiration
of all who witnessed it. Socially, he had the manners of a
woman--quiet, unassuming, tender of heart, and of refined feelings.
On duty--the march or in battle--he was strict and exacting, almost
to sternness. He never sought comfort or the welfare of himself--the
interest, the safety, the well being of his men seemed to be his
ruling aim and ambition.

I append a short sketch of Colonel Nance taken from Dr. Barksdale's
book, "Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas:"

    "Colonel James Drayton Nance, the subject of this sketch, Was
    born in Newberry, S.C., October 10th, 1837, and was the son
    of Drayton and Lucy (Williams) Nance. He received his school
    education at Newberry, and was graduated from the Citadel
    Military Academy, at Charleston. In 1859 he was admitted to
    the bar and began the practice of law at Newberry.

    "When the State seceded from the Union, December, 1860, and
    volunteers for her defense were called for, he was unanimously
    elected Captain of 'The Quitman Rifles,' an infantry company
    formed at Newberry, and afterwards incorporated into the Third
    Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers. With his company he was
    mustered into the Confederate service at Columbia in April,
    1861, and was in command of the company at the first battle of
    Manassas and in the Peninsula campaign in Virginia.

    "On May 16th, 1862, upon the reorganization of the Third
    Regiment, he was chosen its Colonel, a position which he
    filled until his death. As Colonel, he commanded the regiment
    in the various battles around Richmond, June and July, 1862,
    Second Manassas, Maryland Heights, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg
    (where he was severely wounded), Gettysburg, Chickamauga,
    Knoxville, and the Wilderness, where on the 6th of May,
    1864, he was instantly killed. His body was brought home and
    interred at Newberry with fitting honors. He was a brave,
    brilliant young officer, possessing the confidence and high
    regard of his command in an extraordinary degree, and had he
    lived, would have risen to higher rank and honor. His valuable
    services and splended qualities and achievements in battle
    and in council were noted and appreciated, as evidenced by the
    fact that at the time of his death a commission of Brigadier
    General had been, decided upon as his just due for meritorious
    conduct.

    "At the age of seventeen he professed religion and united
    with the Baptist Church at Newberry, and from that time to his
    death was distinguished for his Christian consistency."

       *       *       *       *       *


LIEUTENANT COLONEL FRANKLIN GAILLARD.

Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Gaillard is not known to fame by his
military record alone, but was known and admired all over the State
as the writer of the fiery editorials in the "Carolinian," a paper
published in Columbia during the days just preceding Secession, and
noted for its ardent State Rights sentiment. These eloquent, forcible,
and fearless discussions of the questions of the day by young Gaillard
was a potent factor in shaping the course of public sentiment and
rousing the people to duty and action, from the Mountains to the Sea.
Through the columns of this paper, then the leading one in the State,
he paved the way and prepared the people for the great struggle soon
to take place, stimulating them to an enthusiasm almost boundless.

He was in after years as fearless and bold with the sword as he
had been with the pen. He was not the man to turn his back upon his
countrymen, whose warlike passions he had aroused, when the time for
action came. He led them to the fray--a paladin with the pen, a Bayard
with the sword. He was an accomplished gentleman, a brave soldier, a
trusted and impartial officer, a peer of any in Kershaw's Brigade.

Colonel Gaillard was born in 1829, in the village of Pineville, in the
present County of Berkeley. In his early childhood his father,
Thomas Gaillard, removed to Alabama. But not long thereafter Franklin
returned to this State, to the home of his uncle, David Gaillard,
of Fairfield County. Here he attended the Mount Zion Academy, in
Winnsboro under the distinguished administration of J.W. Hudson. In
the fall of 1846 he entered the South Carolina College, and graduated
with honor in the class of 1849, being valedictorian of the class.
Shortly after graduation, in company with friends and relatives from
this State and Alabama, he went to California in search of the "yellow
metal," the find of which, at that time, was electrifying the young
men throughout the States.

After two or three years of indifferent success, he returned to this
State once more, making his home with his uncle, in Winnsboro. In 1853
(or thereabout) he became the proprietor of the "Winnsboro Register,"
and continued to conduct this journal, as editor and proprietor, until
1857, when he was called to Columbia as editor of the "Carolinian,"
then owned by Dr. Robert W. Gibbes, of Richland, and was filling that
position at the time of the call to arms, in 1861, when he entered
the service in Captain Casson's Company, as a Lieutenant, and became a
member of the renowned Second Regiment.

In March, 1853, he was married to Miss Catherine C. Porcher, of
Charleston, but this union was terminated in a few years by the death
of the wife. Colonel Gaillard left two children, one son and one
daughter, who still survive, the son a distinguished physician, of
Texas, and the daughter the wife of Preston S. Brooks, son of the
famous statesman of that name, now of Tennessee.

Colonel Gaillard was a descendant of a French Huguenot emigrant, who,
with many others, settled in this State after the Revocation of the
Edict of Nantes, in 1685.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXX

Brock's Cross Road and Spottsylvania to North Anna.


Having been wounded in the last assault, I insert here Adjutant Y.J.
Pope's description of the operations of Kershaw's Brigade from the
Wilderness to North Anna River, covering a period of perhaps two weeks
of incessant fighting. The corps had been put under the command of
Major General R.H. Anderson, known throughout the army as "Fighting
Dick Anderson." His division had been assigned to Longstreet's Corps
in the place of Pickett's, now on detached service. Colonel Henagan,
of the Eighth, commanded the brigade as senior Colonel.

       *       *       *       *       *


NORTH ANNA FIVER, VIRGINIA.

How many times, as soldiers, have we crossed this stream, and little
did we imagine in crossing that on its banks we would be called upon
to meet the enemy. "Man proposes, but God disposes." In may,
1864, after the battles of the Wilderness, Brock's Road, and
Spottsylvania--stop a minute and think of these battles--don't you
recall how, on that midnight of the 5th day of May, 1864, the order
came, "Form your regiments," and then the order came to march? Through
the woods we went. The stars shown so brightly. The hooting of the
owls was our only music. The young Colonel at the head of his regiment
would sing, in his quiet way, snatches of the hymns he had heard the
village choir sing so often and so sweetly, and then "Hear me Norma."
His mind was clear; he had made up his determination to face the day
of battle, with a calm confidence in the power of the God he trusted
and in the wisdom of His decrees. The Adjutant rode silently by his
side. At length daylight appears. We have at last struck in our march
the plank road. The sun begins to rise, when all of a sudden we hear
the roll of musketry. The armies are at work. General Lee has ridden
up the plank road with his First Lieutenant, the tried, brave old
soldier, Longstreet.

Nance has fallen, pierced by five balls, but we knew it not. Every
hand is full. Presently, our four companies came up, so gallantly they
looked as they came. Promptly filling up the broken line, we now move
forward once more, never to fall back. We have Nance's body. The wild
flowers around about him look so beautiful and sweet, and some of them
are plucked by his friend to send to his sister, Mrs. Baxter.

But go back to the fight. It rages wildly all around. Presently,
a crash comes from the right. It is Longstreet at the head of the
flanking column, and then Hancock is swept from the field in front.
Joy is upon us. Hastily Longstreet rides to the front. Then a volley
and he falls, not dead, but so shattered that it will be months before
we see him again. Then comes the peerless chieftain, Lee, and he
orders the pursuing columns to halt. A line of hastily constructed
fieldworks arise. A shout--such a shout rolls from right to left
of Lee's lines. It has a meaning, and that meaning is that Grant's
advance is baffled! But the Federal commander is not to be shut off.
If he cannot advance one way, he will another. Hence, the parallel
lines are started--the farther he stretches to our right, we must
stretch also.

So now comes the affair at Brock's Road, on the 8th of May. 1864. As
before remarked, Grant commenced his attempt at a flank movement, by
means of an extension of his columns parallel to ours, hoping to meet
some opening through which he might pour a torrent of armed men. Early
in the morning of the 8th of May, 1864, we are aroused and begin our
march. Soon we see an old Virginia gentleman, bareheaded and without
his shoes, riding in haste towards us. He reports that our cavalry are
holding the enemy back on Brock's Road, but that the Federal infantry
are seen to be forming for the attack, and, of course, our cavalry
cannot stand such a pressure. General Kershaw orders us forward
in double-quick. Still we are not then. Then it was that a gallant
cavalryman rushes to us and said, "Run for our rail piles; the Federal
infantry will reach them first, if you don't run." Our men sprang
forward as if by magic. We occupy the rail piles in time to see a
column, a gallant column, moving towards us, about sixty yards away.
Fire, deadening fire, is poured into that column by our men. A gallant
Federal officer rides just in rear, directing the movement. "Pick that
officer off of his horse," is the command given to two or three of our
cool marksmen. He falls. The column staggers and then falls back. Once
more they come to time. We are better prepared for them.

Right here let me state a funny occurrence. Sim Price observed old
man John Duckett, in the excitement, shooting his rifle high over the
heads of the Yankees. This was too much for Sim Price, and he said,
"Good God, John Duckett, are you shooting at the moon?"

Here is the gallant J.E.B. Stuart, Lieutenant General, commanding the
cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, with hat off, waiving it in
an enthusiastic cheering of the gallant men of the old Third. Well he
may, for the line they held on that day was that adopted by General
Lee for the famous Spottsylvania battle.

Just prior to the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, which was
fought on the 12th of May, 1864, sharpshooters were posted in trees in
the woods, and kept up a pretty constant fusilade when any head showed
itself. It is recalled that when Major R.P. Todd returned to our
command an officer, eager to hear from his home in South Carolina,
entered a little fly-tent with Todd, and presently one of these
sharpshooters put a ball through this tent, between the heads of the
two. Maybe they didn't move quickly. Here it was, that lest a night
attack might be made, one-third of the men were kept in the trenches
all the time, day and night. One of these nights, possibly the 11th of
May, a staff officer stole quietly where the Colonel and Adjutant were
lying and whispered, "It is thought that the enemy have gotten betwixt
our out posts and the breastworks and intend to make a night attack.
So awaken the soldiers and put every man in the trenches." The Colonel
went to one end of the line and the Adjutant to the other, and soon
had our trenches manned. The Colonel was observed full of laughter,
and when questioned, stated that on going to the left wing of the
regiment to awaken the men, he came across a soldier with some small
branches kindled into a blaze, making himself a cup of coffee. He
spoke to the soldier, saying:

"Who is that?"

The soldier replied, not recognizing the Colonel's voice: "Who in the
h----l are you?"

The Colonel said: "Don't you know the Yankees are between the pickets
and the breastworks, and will soon attack our whole line?"

He reported the man at these words, saying: "The Jesus Christ,
Colonel!" rolling as he spoke, and he never stopped rolling until he
fell into the pit at the works. Never was a revolution in sentiment
and action more quickly wrought than on this occasion with this
soldier.

It is needless to speak of the battle of Spottsylvania Court House,
except to remark that here our comrades of McGowan's Brigade showed
of what stuff they were made, and by their gallantry and stubborn
fighting, saved the day for General Lee.

Soon after this battle General Grant, though baffled by its result,
renewed his effort to reach Richmond. By a rapid march, General Lee
was before Grant's columns at the North Anna River. Here we hoped the
enemy would attack us. On the South side of this river, on the road
leading to Hanover Junction, good heavy works had been completed,
while a fort of inferior proportions on the North side was intended to
protect the bridge across the river from raiding parties of the enemy.
To our surprise, when the part of our army that was designed to cross
the river at this point, had crossed over, the Third Regiment, James'
Battalion, and the Seventh Regiment were left behind about this fort.
We had no idea that anything serious was intended; but after awhile
it leaked out that General Lee needed some time to complete a line of
works from one point of the river to another on the same stream, on
the South side, and that it was intended that the bare handful of men
with us were intended to hold the approach to the bridge in face of
the tens of thousands of Grant's Army in our front. Trying to realize
the task assigned us, positions were assigned the different forces
with us. It was seen that the Seventh Regiment, when stretched to the
left of the fort, could not occupy, even by a thin line, the territory
near them. We were promised the co-operation of artillery just on the
other side of the river. Presently the attack opened on the right
and center, but this attack we repulsed. Again the same points were
assailed, with a like result. Then the attack was made on our left,
and although the Seventh Regiment did its whole duty, gradually our
left was seen to give way. This emboldened the enemy to press our
right and center again, but they were firm. It was manifest now that
the enemy would soon be in our rear, and as the sun was sinking to
rest in the West, we made a bold dash to cross the river in our rear,
bringing down upon us the enemy's artillery fire of shot and shell,
as well as musketry. It looked hard to tell which way across the river
was best--whether by way of the bridge, or to wade across. It was said
our Lieutenant Colonel, who was on foot when reaching the opposite
bank, and finding his boots full of water, said to a soldier: "Tom,
give me your hand." "No, no, Major," was the reply; "this is no time
for giving hands." The ascent of the long bill on the South side
was made under the heavy fire of the enemy. When at its height, a
stuttering soldier proposed to a comrade to lay down and let him get
behind him. Of course the proposition was declined without thanks.
When we reformed at the top of the hill, there was quite a fund of
jokes told. Amongst others, the one last stated, Tom Paysinger said:
"Nels., if I had been there, I would have killed myself laughing."
Whereupon, the stutterer said: "T-T-Tom Paysinger, I saw a heap of men
down there, but not one that laughed."

War has its humorous as well as its serious side, and many a joke was
cracked in battle, or if not mentioned then, the joke was told soon
afterwards. It is recalled just here that in this battle an officer,
who had escaped being wounded up to that time, was painfully wounded.
When being borne on the way to the rear on a stretcher, he was heard
to exclaim: "Oh! that I had been a good man. Oh! that I had listened
to my mother." When he returned to the army, many a laugh was had at
his expense when these expressions would be reported. But the officer
got even with one of his tormentors, who was one of the bearers of the
litter upon which the officer was borne away, for while this young man
was at his best in imitating the words and tone of the wounded man,
he was suddenly arrested by the words: "Yes, I remember when a shell
burst pretty close you forgot me, and dropped your end of the litter."
The laugh was turned. All this, however, was in perfect good humor.

It has been shown how Kershaw's South Carolina Brigade closed the
breach in Lee's Army on the 6th of May, and turned disaster into a
glorious victory, and as the 12th of May, at "Bloody Angle," near
Spottsylvania Court house, will go down in history as one among the
most memorable battles of all time, I wish to show how another gallant
South Carolina Brigade (McGowan's) withstood the shock of the greater
portion of Grant's Army, and saved Lee's Army from disaster during
the greater part of one day. This account is also taken from
Captain Caldwell's "History of McGowan's Brigade." Being an active
participant, he is well qualified to give a truthful version, and I
give in his own language his graphic description of the battle of the
"Bloody Angle."

       *       *       *       *       *


HISTORY OF MCGOWAN'S BRIGADE.

Reaching the summit of an open hill, where stood a little old house,
and its surrounding naked orchard, we were fronted and ordered forward
on the left of the road.... Now we entered the battle. There were two
lines of works before us; the first or inner line, from a hundred and
fifty to two hundred yards in front of us; the second or outer line,
perhaps a hundred yards beyond it, and parallel to it. There were
troops in the outer line, but in the inner one only what appeared to
be masses without organization. The enemy were firing in front of the
extreme right of the brigade, and their balls came obliquely down our
line; but we could not discover, on account of the woods about the
point of firing, under what circumstances the battle was held. There
was a good deal of doubt as to how far we were to go, or in what
direction.... The truth is, the road by which we had come was not
at all straight, which made the right of the line front much farther
north than the rest, and the fire was too hot for us to wait for
the long loose column to close up, so as to make an entirely orderly
advance. More than this, there was a death struggle ahead, which must
be met instantly. We advanced at a double-quick, cheering loudly, and
entered the inner works. Whether by order or tacit understanding, we
halted here, except the Twelfth Regiment, which was the right of the
brigade. That moved at once to the outer line, and threw itself with
its wanted impetuosity into the heart of the battle.... The brigade
advanced upon the works. About the time we reached the inner lines,
General McGowan was wounded by a minnie ball in the arm, and forced
to quit the field. Colonel Brockman, senior Colonel present, was
also wounded, and Colonel Brown, of the Fourteenth Regiment, assumed
command then or a little later. The four regiments, the First,
Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Rifles (the Twelfth had passed on to the
outer line), closed up and arranged their lines. Soon the order was
given to advance to the outer line. We did so with a cheer and a
double-quick, plunging through mud knee deep and getting in as best we
could. Here, however, lay Harris' Mississippi Brigade. We were ordered
to close to the right. We moved by the flank, up the works, under the
fatally accurate firing of the enemy, and ranged ourselves along
the entrenchments. The sight we encountered was not calculated to
encourage us The trenches dug on the inner side were almost filled
with water. Dead men lay on the surface of the ground and in the pools
of water. The wounded bled, stretched, and groaned, or huddled in
every attitude of pain. The water was crimson with blood. Abandoned
knapsacks, guns, and accoutrements, with ammunition boxes, were
scattered all around. In the rear disabled caissons stood and limbers
of guns. The rain poured heavily, and an incessant fire was kept upon
us from front and flank. The enemy still held the works on the right
of the angle, and fired across the traverses. Nor were these foes
easily seen. They barely raised their heads above the logs at the
moment of firing. It was plainly a question of bravery and endurance
now.

We entered upon the task with all our might. Some fired at the line
lying in our front on the edge of the ridge before described; others
kept down the enemy lodged in the traverses on the right. At one or
two places Confederates and Federals were only separated by the works,
and the latter not a few times reached their guns over and fired
right down upon the heads of the former. So continued the painfully
unvarying battle for more than two hours. At the end of that time
a rumor arose that the enemy was desirous to come in and surrender.
Colonel Brown gives the following in his official report: "About two
o'clock P.M. the firing ceased along the line, and I observed the
enemy, standing up in our front, their colors flying and arms pointing
upwards. I called to them to lay down their arms and come in. An
officer answered that he was waiting our surrender--that we had raised
a white flag, whereupon he had ceased firing. I replied, 'I command
here,' and if any flag had been raised it was without authority, and
unless he came in, firing would be resumed. He begged a conference,
which was granted, and a subordinate officer advanced near the
breastwork and informed me that a white flag was flying on my right.
He was informed that unless his commander surrendered, the firing
would be continued. He started back to his lines, and failing to
exhibit his flag of truce, was shot down midway between the lines,
which was not more than twenty yards at this point. The firing again
commenced with unabating fury." ... The firing was astonishingly
accurate all along the line. No man could raise his shoulders above
the works without danger of immediate death. Some of the enemy lay
against our works in front. I saw several of them jump over and
surrender during the relaxation of the firing. An ensign of a Federal
regiment came right up to us during the "peace negotiations" and
demanded our surrender. Lieutenant Carlisle, of the Thirteenth
Regiment, replied that we would not surrender. Then the ensign
insisted, as he had come under a false impression, he should be
allowed to return to his command. Lieutenant Carlisle, pleased with
his composure, consented. But as he went away a man from another part
of the line shot him through the face, and he came and jumped over
to us. This was the place to test individual courage. Some ordinarily
good soldiers did next to nothing, while others excelled themselves.
The question became pretty plainly, whether one was willing to meet
death, not merely to run the chances of it. There was no further
cessation of fire, after the pause before described. Every now and
then a regular volley would be hurled at us from what we supposed a
fresh line of Federals, but it would gradually tone down to the slow,
particular, fatal firing of the siege. The prisoners who ran into us
now and then informed us that Grant's whole energies were directed
against this point. They represented the wood on the other side as
filled with dead, wounded fighters, and skulkers. We were told that
if we would hold the place till dark, we would be relieved. Dark came,
but no relief. The water became a deeper crimson, the corpses grew
more numerous. Every tree about us, for thirty feet from the ground,
was barked by balls. Just before night a tree six or eight inches in
diameter, just behind the works, was cut down by the bullets of the
enemy. We noticed at the same time a large oak hacked and torn in such
a manner never before seen. Some predicted its fall before morning,
but the most of us considered that out of the question. But about
10 o'clock it did fall forward on our works, wounding some men and
startling a great many more. An officer, who afterwards measured this
tree, informed me that it was twenty-two inches in diameter. This was
entirely the work of rifle balls. Midnight came, still no relief; no
cessation of the firing. Numbers of the troops sank, overpowered, into
the muddy trenches and slept soundly. The rain continued. Just before
daylight we were ordered, in a whisper, which was passed along the
line, to slowly and noiselessly retire from the works.... Day dawned,
and the evacuation was complete.

Thus ended one of the most stubbornly contested battles of the war,
if not of the century. The whole army, from one end to the other, sung
the praises of the gallant South Carolinians, who, by their deeds of
valor, made immortal the "Bloody Angle."

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXXI

From North Anna to Cold Harbor--Joined by the Twentieth South
Carolina.


It was while entrenched south of North Anna that our troops heard of
the death of our great cavalry leader, General J.E.B. Stuart, who fell
mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern, on May the 18th. If the death of
Jackson was a blow to the army and the South, the death of Stuart was
equally so. He was the Murat of the Southern Army, equally admired and
beloved by the infantry as the cavalry. The body of the army always
felt safe when the bugle of Stuart could be heard on the flank or
front, and universal sadness was thrown around the Army of Northern
Virginia, as well as the whole South, by his death. It was conceded
by the North, as well as the South, that Stuart was the finest type
of cavalry leader in either army, Longstreet badly wounded, Stuart
and Jenkins dead, certainly gave the prospects of the campaign just
opening anything but an assuring outlook.

       *       *       *       *       *


TWENTIETH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT.

About this time our brigade was reinforced by the Twentieth South
Carolina Regiment, one of the finest bodies of men that South Carolina
had furnished during the war. It was between one thousand and one
thousand two hundred strong, led by the "silver-tongued orator,"
Lawrence M. Keitt. It was quite an acceptable acquisition to our
brigade, since our ranks had been depleted by near one thousand since
the 6th of May. They were as healthy, well clad, and well fed body of
troops as anybody would wish to see, and much good-humored badgering
was indulged in at their expense by Kershaw's "web feet." From their
enormous strength in numbers, in comparison to our "corporal guards"
of companies, the old soldiers called them "The Twentieth Army Corps."
I here give a short sketch of the regiment prior to its connection
with the brigade.

The Twentieth Regiment was organized under the call for twelve
thousand additional troops from South Carolina, in 1862, along with
the Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth, Holcomb Legion, and other
regiments. The companies composing the Twentieth assembled at the race
course, in Charleston, S.C., in the fall of 1862. The companies had
already organized in the respective counties, and elected officers,
and after assembling in Charleston and organizing the regiment,
elected the following field officers:

    Colonel----L.M. Keitt.
    Lieutenant Colonel----O.M. Dansler.
    Major----S.M. Boykin.
    Adjutant----John Wilson.
    Quartermaster----John P. Kinard.
    Commissary----Brock.
    Surgeon----Dr. Salley.
    Assistant Surgeon----Dr. Barton.
    Chaplain----Rev. W.W. Duncan.

    Company A, Anderson and Pickens----Captain Partlow.
    Company B, Orangeburg----Captain McMichael.
    Company C, Lexington----Captain Leaphart.
    Company D, Orangeburg----Captain Danley.
    Company E, Laurens----Captain Cowen.
    Company F, Newberry----Captain Kinard.
    Company G, Sumter----Captain Moseley.
    Company H, Orangeburg and Lexington----Captain Ruff.
    Company I, Orangeburg and Lexington----Captain Gunter.
    Company K, Lexington----Captain Harmon.

Captain Jno. P. Kinard, of Company F, was made Quartermaster, and
First Lieutenant Jno. M. Kinard was promoted to Captain.

A singularity of one of the companies, I, was that it had twenty-eight
members by the name of Gunter. The Captain and all three Lieutenants
and seven non-commissioned officers were of the name of Gunter, and it
is needless to add that it was called the Gunter Company.

Colonel Keitt, acting as Brigadier General while in Charleston, the
entire management of the regiment was left to Lieutenant Colonel
Dansler. He was a fine officer, a good tactician, and thorough
disciplinarian. A courteous gentleman, kind and sociable to all, he
was greatly beloved by officers and men, and it was with feelings of
universal regret the regiment was forced to give him up, he having
resigned in the spring of 1864, to accept the position of Colonel of
the Twenty-Second Regiment.

The regiment remained at the race course for several months, for drill
and instruction. In February, 1863, they were moved to the west end of
James' Island, near Secessionville, for guard and picket duty. After
this, they were transferred to Sullivan's Island, and quartered in the
old Moultrie House and cottages adjacent. Four companies were ordered
to Battery Marshall, on the east side of the Island, to assist in the
management of the siege guns at that point.

On the 7th of May the Federal gunboats crossed the bar and made an
attack upon Forts Sumter, Moultrie, and the batteries on Morris'
Island. Here the regiment was subjected to a heavy cannonading
from the three hundred pounders from the Federal ironclads. Colonel
Dansler, however, moved the regiment to the east, in the sandhills,
thus avoiding the direct fire of the enemy. One of the ironclads was
sunk and others badly crippled, drawing off after dark. In December
eight companies were moved over to Mt. Pleasant and two to Kinloch's
Landing.

During the memorable siege of Morris' Island, the Twentieth did its
turn at picketing on that island, going over after dark in a steamer
and returning before day.

On the night of the 30th July, 1863, while the regiment was returning
from Morris' Island, the tide being low, the steamer Sumter, on which
the regiment was being transported, was forced to take the main ocean
channel. It was the duty of those on garrison duty at Fort Sumter
to signal Moultrie and the shore batteries of the movements of the
transport steamer. For some cause or other Sumter failed to give the
signals, and Moultrie being aware that there was a steamer in the
harbor and no signals up, opened upon the ill-fated steamer with all
her guns, thinking it one of the enemy's ironclads. This was a signal
for the shore batteries to open their guns, and in a few moments
shells came crashing through the decks and cabins of the crowded
steamer from all sides. This created a panic among the troops, and had
it not been for the self-possession and coolness of the captain of
the steamer, the loss of life would have been appalling. The captain
turned his boat and beached it as soon as possible, not, however,
before the men began leaping over the sides of the vessel in one grand
pell-mell. The dark waves of unknown death were below them, while the
shells shrieked and burst through the steamer. There was but little
choice for the panic stricken men. Fortunately the waters here were
shallow enough for the men to touch bottom and wade out, some to Fort
Johnson, some to Fort Sumter, while others remained in the shallows
until relieved by small boats from shore. The regiment lost sixteen
men, either killed or drowned.

On the 16th or 18th of May, 1864, the regiment was ordered to
Virginia, and reached Richmond about the twenty-second, and was
ordered to join Kershaw's Brigade, reaching it about the 28th of May,
near South Anna River.

After the resignation of Lieutenant Colonel Dansler, Major Boykin
was promoted to that position, and Captain Partlow made Major. By
the death of Colonel Keitt, Boykin and Partlow were raised in regular
grade, and Captain McMichael made Major. Lieutenant Colonel Partlow
was wounded at Deep Bottom soon after this, and did Hot return to duty
until near the close of the war. Colonel Boykin and Major McMichael
were both captured at Cedar Creek, and neither returned until after
peace was declared. The regiment was commanded during the remainder of
the service, with short exceptions, by Captain Leaphart.

Colonel Keitt being senior Colonel now in the brigade, was placed in
command. It was unfortunate for Colonel Keitt and his command, being
transferred to our army just at the moment it was in one of the most
active and vigorous campaigns of the war. The men were ill-prepared to
meet the requirements expected of soldiers, to undergo forced marches
in the burning heat of summer, to accustom themselves so suddenly to
the scant and badly-prepared food, night pickets in the open, in face
of the enemy, and all the hardships incident to a soldier's life in
the field. These troops had seen but little of real service, having
only done garrison duty around Charleston, quartered in barracks or
good tents, while now they had to take the field, with no advantage of
the veterans, in the way of supplies and in accommodations, and with
none of their experience and strength of endurance. They had all the
courage of the veteran troops, but lacked acclimation. Their company
discipline was well enough, and had excellent company and field
officers, but were sadly deficient in regimental and brigade drill. It
is doubtful if either their commander or any of their field officers
had ever been in brigade drill or executed a maneuver in a larger body
than a regiment. Like all new troops in the field, they had overloaded
themselves with baggage, and being thus overloaded, straggling was
universal in the regiment, until they became endured to the fatigues
and hardships of the march. Had they come out two or three months
earlier, and taken on the ways and customs of the soldier in the
field, it would have been much better. Still they deserve the
highest degree of praise for their self-denials, their endurance, and
fortitude in the march and in battle. The necessity of the occasion
caused them to learn rapidly the intricacies in the life of the
veteran, and their action in battle in a few days after their arrival,
stamped them as a gallant body of men.

On the night of the 31st of May orders came to prepare to march. Grant
had withdrawn from our front, and was still rolling along on Lee's
right. Both armies were now moving in the direction of Cold Harbor,
where McClellan, two years before, had tried to stay the flight of
his troops and to check the victorious march of Jackson, Hill, and
Longstreet. Now Grant was tempting fate by moving his beaten troops
to this ill-fated field, there to try conclusions with McClellan's old
antagonist.

The Federals were moving with rapid gait to this strategic point, but
Lee having the inner line, was first on the field. It must be borne in
mind that since the 4th of May the army had been idle scarcely a day.
From that day to the 1st of June it had been one continual battle. If
the infantry was not engaged, it was the artillery that kept hammering
away, while Stuart's Cavalry hovered around the flanks and rear of the
enemy, ready at a moment to swoop like an eagle upon his prey. We
were continually under arms, either on a forced march night and day,
checking the enemy here, baffling him there, driving back his advance
lines, or assaulting his skirmishers. At night the sound of the
enemy's drums mingled with that of our own, while the crack of the
rifles in the sharpshooters' pits was almost continuous. Early on the
morning of June 1st Kershaw's Brigade was aroused and put on the march
at a rapid pace in a southeasterly direction.

When nearing the old battlefield of Cold Harbor the men began to snuff
the scent of battle. Cartridge boxes were examined, guns unslung, and
bayonets fixed, while the ranks were being rapidly closed up. After
some delay and confusion, a line of battle was formed along an old
roadway. Colonel Keitt had never before handled such a body of troops
in the open field, and his pressing orders to find the enemy only
added perplexity to his other difficulties. Every man in ranks knew
that he was being led by one of the most gifted and gallant men in the
South, but every old soldier felt and saw at a glance his
inexperience and want of self-control. Colonel Keitt showed no want of
aggressiveness and boldness, but he was preparing for battle like in
the days of Alva or Turenne, and to cut his way through like a storm
center.

As soon as the line was formed the order of advance was given, with
never so much as a skirmish line in front. Keitt led his men like
a knight of old--mounted upon his superb iron-gray, and looked the
embodiment of the true chevalier that he was. Never before in our
experience had the brigade been led in deliberate battle by its
commander on horseback, and it was perhaps Colonel Keitt's want of
experience that induced him to take this fatal step. Across a large
old field the brigade swept towards a densely timbered piece of
oakland, studded with undergrowth, crowding and swaying in irregular
lines, the enemy's skirmishers pounding away at us as we advanced.
Colonel Keitt was a fine target for the sharpshooters, and fell before
the troops reached the timber, a martyr to the inexorable laws of the
army rank. Into the dark recesses of the woods the troops plunged,
creeping and crowding their way through the tangled mass of
undergrowth, groups seeking shelter behind the larger trees, while the
firing was going on from both sides. The enemy meeting our advance in
a solid regular column, our broken and disorganized ranks could
not cope with them. Some of the regimental officers seeing the
disadvantage at which our troops were fighting, ordered a withdrawal
to the old roadway in our rear. The dense smoke settling in the woods,
shielded our retreat and we returned to our starting point without
further molestation than the whizzing of the enemy's bullets overhead.
The lines were reformed, and Colonel Davis, of the Fifteenth, assumed
command (or perhaps Colonel Henagan).

Colonel William Wallace, of the Second, in speaking of this affair,
says:

"Our brigade, under the command of the lamented Colonel Keitt, was
sent out to reconnoitre, and came upon the enemy in large force,
strongly entrenched. Keitt was killed, and the brigade suffered
severely. A few skirmishers thrown out would have accomplished the
object of a reconnoissance, and would have saved the loss of many
brave men. Our troops finding the enemy entrenched, fell back and
began to fortify. Soon our line was established, and the usual
skirmishing and sharpshooting commenced. That same evening, being on
the extreme left of Kershaw's Division, I received orders to hasten
with the Second Regiment to General Kershaw's headquarters. I found
the General in a good deal of excitement. He informed me that our
lines had been broken on the right of his division, and directed me
to hasten there, and if I found a regiment of the enemy flanking his
position, to charge them. I hurried to the point indicated, found that
our troops to the extent of a brigade and a half had been, driven
from their works, and the enemy in possession of them. I determined
to charge, however, and succeeded in driving them from their
position, with but little loss. Our regiment numbered one hundred and
twenty-seven men. The enemy driven out consisted of the Forty-eighth
and One Hundred and Twelfth New York. We captured the colors of the
Forty-eighth, took some prisoners, and killed many while making
their escape from the trenches. We lost in this charge one of our
most efficient officers, Captain Ralph Elliott, a brother of
General Stephen Elliott. He was a brave soldier and a most estimable
gentleman."

Our lines were formed at right angles to that on which we had fought
that day, and the soldiers were ordered to fortify. The Second and
Third on the left were on an incline leading to a ravine in front of a
thicket; the Fifteenth and Twentieth, on the right of the Third, were
on the brow of a plateau; in front was the broad old field, through
which we had marched to the first advance; the Third Battalion,
Eighth, and Seventh, on extreme right, were on the plateau and fronted
by a thicket of tall pines.

As nearly all regimental commanders had been killed since the 6th of
May, I will give them as they existed on the 1st of June, three weeks
later:

    Second--Major Wm. Wallace.
    Third--Lieutenant Colonel W.D. Rutherford.
    Seventh--Captain James Mitchel.
    Eighth--Major E.S. Stackhouse.
    Twentieth--Lieutenant Colonel S.M. Boykin.
    Third Battalion--Captain Whitener.
    Brigade Commander--Colonel James Henagan.

Grant stretched his lines across our front and began approaching
our works with his formidable parallels. He would erect one line of
breastworks, then under cover of night, another a hundred or two yards
nearer us; thus by the third of June our lines were not one hundred
yards apart in places. Our pickets and those of the enemy were between
the lines down in their pits, with some brush in front to shield them
while on the look out. The least shadow or moving of the branches
would be sure to bring a rifle ball singing dangerously near one's
head--if he escaped it at all. The service in the pits here for two
weeks was the most enormous and fatiguing of any in the service--four
men being in a pit for twenty-four hours in the broiling sun during
the day, without any protection whatever, and the pit was so small
that one could neither sit erect nor lie down.

Early on the morning of the 3rd of June, just three days after our
fiasco at Cold Harbor, Grant moved his forces for the assault. This
was to be the culmination of his plan to break through Lee's lines or
to change his plans of campaign and settle down to a regular siege.
Away to our right the battle commenced. Heavy shelling on both sides.
Then the musketry began to roll along in a regular wave, coming nearer
and nearer as new columns moved to the assault. Now it reaches our
front, and the enemy moves steadily upon our works. The cheering on
our right told of the repulse by our forces, and had a discouraging
effect upon the Federal troops moving against us. As soon as their
skirmish line made its appearance, followed by three lines of battle,
our pickets in front of us were relieved, but many fell before gaining
our breastworks, and those who were not killed had to lie during the
day between the most murderous fire in the history of the war, and sad
to say, few survived. When near us the first line came with a rush at
charge bayonets, and our officers had great difficulty in restraining
the men from opening fire too soon. But when close enough, the word
"fire" was given, and the men behind the works raised deliberately,
resting their guns upon the works, and fired volley after volley into
the rushing but disorganized ranks of the enemy. The first line reeled
and attempted to fly the field, but were met by the next column, which
halted the retreating troops with the bayonet, butts of guns, and
officers' sword, until the greater number were turned to the second
assault. All this while our sharpshooters and men behind our works
were pouring a galling fire into the tangled mass of advancing and
retreating troops. The double column, like the first, came with a
shout, a huzzah, and a charge. But our men had by this time reloaded
their pieces, and were only too eager awaiting the command "fire." But
when it did come the result was telling--men falling on top of men,
rear rank pushing forward the first rank, only to be swept away like
chaff. Our batteries on the hills in rear and those mounted on our
infantry line were raking the field, the former with shell and solid
shot, the latter with grape and canister. Smoke settling on the ground,
soon rendered objects in front scarcely visible, but the steady flashing
of the enemy's guns and the hail of bullets over our heads and against
our works told plainly enough that the enemy were standing to their
work with desperate courage, or were held in hand with a powerful grasp
of discipline. The third line of assault had now mingled with the first
two, and all lying stretched upon the ground and hidden by the dense
smoke, caused the greater number of our bullets to fly over their
heads. Our elevated position and the necessity of rising above the
works to fire, rendered our breastworks of little real advantage;
considering, too, the disparity of numbers, then three lines against
our one, and a very weak line at that. The loud Rebel yell heard far
to our right told us to be of good cheer, they were holding their own,
and repulsing every assault. The conflict in front of Breckenridge's
Division was the bloodiest, with the possible exception of that of
Mayree's Hill, in front of Fredericksburg, and the "Bloody Angle," of
any during the war. Negro troops were huddled together and forced to
the charge by white troops--the poor, deluded, unfortunate beings
plied with liquor until all their sensibilities were so deadened that
death had no horrors. Grant must have learned early in the day the
impossibility of breaking Lee's line by direct charge, for by twelve
o'clock the firing ceased.

This last assault of Grant's thoroughly convinced the hero of
Vicksburg and Missionary Ridge of the impossibility of breaking Lee's
lines by direct advances. He could not surprise him at any point, or
catch him off his guard, for Lee knew every foot of the ground too
well, having fought all over if for two years. It was estimated and
confirmed afterwards by official reports, that Grant had lost sixty
thousand men from his crossing of the Rapidan to the end of the 3rd of
June, just thirty days--more men than Lee had in the commencement of
the campaign. Grant had become wiser the more familiar he became with
Lee and his veterans, and now began to put in new tactics--that of
stretching out his lines so as to weaken Lee's, and let attrition do
the work that shells, balls, and the bayonet had failed to accomplish.
The end showed the wisdom of the plan.

The two regiments on the left of the brigade did not suffer so greatly
as the others, being protected somewhat by the timber and underbrush
in their front. The enemy's dead lay in our front unburied until
Grant's further move to the right, then it became our duty to perform
those rites.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL LAWRENCE MASSILLON KEITT.

Colonel Lawrence Massillon Keitt was the second son of George and Mary
Magdalene Wannamaker Keitt. He was born on the 4th day of October,
1824, in St. Matthews Parish, Orangeburg District, S.C. He received
his early education at Asbury Academy, a flourishing institution near
the place of his birth.

In his thirteenth year he entered Mt. Zion College at Winnsboro,
Fairfield County, where he spent one year in preparation for the South
Carolina College, which he entered in his fourteenth year, graduating
third in his class. He read law in Attorney General Bailey's office
in Charleston, S.C., and was admitted to the bar as soon as he was of
legal age. He opened a law office at Orangeburg, the county seat.

At the first vacancy he was elected a member to the Lower House of
the General Assembly of the State, in which body he served until his
election to the Lower House of Congress in 1853. He served in that
body until December, 1860, when he resigned his seat and returned
to South Carolina on the eve of the secession of his State from the
Union. He was a leading Secessionist and was elected a member of
the Secession Convention. That body after passing the Ordinance of
Secession elected him a delegate to the Provisional Congress of the
Confederate States, which met at Montgomery, Ala. He was a very
active member. On the adjournment of the Provisional Government of
the Confederate States he returned to South Carolina and raised the
Twentieth Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers and went into the
Confederate Army. His command was ordered to Charleston. He served
with his command on James' Island, Sullivan's Island, Morris' Island,
and in Charleston in all the important engagements. He was in command
of Morris' Island twenty-seven days and nights during its awful
bombardment. When ordered to evacuate the island he did so, bringing
off everything without the loss of a man. He was the last person
to leave the island. General Beauregard in his report to the War
Department said it was one of the greatest retreats in the annals of
warfare.

The latter part of May, 1864, he left Charleston with his command and
joined General Lee's Army thirteen miles from Richmond. He carried
about sixteen hundred men in his regiment to Virginia. It was called
the "Twentieth Army Corps." He was assigned to Kershaw's Brigade and
put in command of the brigade. On the first day of June, 1864, while
leading the brigade, mounted on a grey horse, against a powerful force
of the enemy he was shot through the liver and fell mortally wounded.
He died on the 2d of June, 1864. By his request his remains were
brought to South Carolina and laid by the side of his father in
the graveyard at Tabernacle Church. Thus passed away one of South
Carolina's brightest jewels.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXXII

From Cold Harbor to Petersburg.


The field in the front at Cold Harbor where those deadly assaults
had been made beggars description. Men lay in places like hogs in a
pen--some side by side, across each other, some two deep, while others
with their legs lying across the head and body of their dead comrades.
Calls all night long could be heard coming from the wounded and dying,
and one could not sleep for the sickening sound "W--a--t--e--r" ever
sounding and echoing in his ears. Ever and anon a heart-rending wail
as coming from some lost spirit disturbed the hushed stillness of the
night. There were always incentives for some of the bolder spirits,
whose love of adventure or love of gain impelled them, to visit the
battlefield before the burial detail had reached it, as many crisp
five-dollar greenbacks or even hundred-dollar interest-bearing United
States bonds could be found in the pockets of the fallen Federal
either as a part of his wages or the proceeds of his bounty. The
Federal Government was very lavish in giving recruits this bounty as
an inducement to fill the depleted ranks of "Grant the Butcher." Tom
Paysinger, of the Third, who had been detailed as a scout to General
Longstreet, was a master hand at foraging upon the battlefield.
Whether to gain information or to replenish his purse is not known,
but be that as it may, the night after the battle he crept quietly
through our lines and in the stillness and darkness he made his way
among the dead and wounded, searching the pockets of those he found.
He came upon one who was lying face downward and whom he took to be
beyond the pale of resistance, and proceeded to rifle his pockets.
After gathering a few trifles he began crawling on his hands and
knees towards another victim. When about ten steps distant the wounded
Federal, for such it proved to be, raised himself on his elbow,
grasped the gun that was lying beside him, but unknown to Paysinger,
and called out, "You d----n grave robber, take that," and bang! went
a shot at his retreating form. He then quietly resumed his recumbent
position. The bullet struck Paysinger in the thigh and ranging upwards
lodged in his hip, causing him to be a cripple for several long
months. It is needless to say Paysinger left the field. He said
afterwards he "would have turned and cut the rascal's throat, but he
was afraid he was only 'possuming' and might brain him with the butt
of his gun."

We remained in our position for several days and were greatly annoyed
by the shells thrown by mortars or cannon mounted as such, which
were continually bursting overhead or dropping in our works. The
sharpshooters with globe-sighted rifles would watch through the brush
in front of their rifle pits and as soon as a head was thoughtlessly
raised either from our pits, which were now not more than fifty yards
apart, or our breastwork, "crack!" went a rifle, a dull thud, and
one of our men lay dead. It is astonishing how apt soldiers are
in avoiding danger or warding it off, and what obstacles they can
overcome, what work they can accomplish and with so few and ill
assortment of tools when the necessity arises. To guard against the
shells that were continually dropping in our midst or outside of
our works, the soldiers began burrowing like rabbits in rear of our
earthworks and building covered ways from their breastwork to the
ground below. In a few days men could go the length of a regiment
without being exposed in the least, crawling along the tunnels all
dug with bayonets, knives, and a few wornout shovels. At some of these
angles the passer-by would be exposed, and in going from one opening
to another, only taking the fraction of a second to accomplish, a
bullet would come whizzing from some unseen source, either to the
right or left. As soon as one of these openings under a covered
way would be darkened by some one passing, away a bullet would come
singing in the aperture, generally striking the soldier passing
through. So annoying and dangerous had the practice become of shooting
in our works from an unseen source that a detail of ten or twenty men
was sent out under Lieutenant D.J. Griffith, of the Fifteenth, to
see if the concealed enemy might not be located and an end put to
the annoyance. Griffith and his men crept along cautiously in the
underbrush, while some of our men would wave a blanket across the
exposed places in the breastwork to draw the Federal fire, while
Griffith and his detail kept a sharp lookout. It was not long before
they discovered the hidden "Yank" perched in the top of a tall gum
tree, his rifle resting in the fork of a limb. Griffith got as close
as he well could without danger of being detected by some one under
the tree. When all was ready they sighted their rifles at the fellow
up the tree and waited his next fire. When it did come I expect
that Yankee and his comrades below were the worst surprised of any
throughout the war; for no sooner had his gun flashed than ten rifles
rang out in answer and the fellow fell headlong to the ground, a
distance of fifty feet or more. Beating the air with his hands and
feet, grasping at everything within sight or reach, his body rolling
and tumbling among the limbs of the tree, his head at times up, at
others down, till at last he strikes the earth, and with a terrible
rebound in the soft spongy needles Mr. "Yank" lies still, while
Griffith and his men take to their heels. It was not known positively
whether he was killed or not, but one thing Lieutenant Griffith and
his men were sure of--one Yankee, at least, had been given a long ride
in midair.

After Grant's repulse at Cold Harbor he gave up all hopes of reaching
Richmond by direct assault and began his memorable change of base.
Crossing the James River at night he undertook the capture of
Petersburg by surprise. It appears from contemporaneous history that
owing to some inexcusable blunders on our part Grant came very near
accomplishing his designs.

To better understand the campaign around Petersburg it is necessary to
take the reader back a little way. Simultaneous with Grant's advance
on the Rapidan an army of thirty thousand under the Union General
B.F. Butler was making its way up the James River and threatening
Petersburg. It was well known that Richmond would be no longer tenable
should the latter place fall. Beauregard was commanding all of North
Carolina and Virginia on the south side of the James River, but his
forces were so small and so widely scattered that they promised little
protection. When Lee and his veterans were holding back Grant and the
Union Army at the Wilderness, Brocks Cross Roads, and Spottsylvania
C.H., Beauregard with a handful of veterans and a few State troops was
"bottling up Butler" on the James. What Kershaw had been to Lee at the
Wilderness, McGowan at Spottsylvania, General Hagood was to General
Beauregard on the south side around Petersburg. General Beauregard
does not hesitate to acknowledge what obligations he was under to the
brave General Hagood and his gallant band of South Carolinians at the
most critical moments during the campaign, and it is unquestioned that
had not General Hagood come up at this opportune moment, Petersburg
would have fallen a year before it did.

General Beauregard fought some splendid battles on the south side, and
if they had not been overshadowed by the magnitude of Lee's from the
Wilderness to the James, they would have ranked in all probability
as among the greatest of the war. But from one cause and then another
during the whole campaign Beauregard was robbed of his legitimate
fruits of battle.

The low, swampy nature of the country below Richmond, especially
between the James and the Chickahominy, prevented Lee's scouts from
detecting the movements of Grant's Army for some days after the
movement began. Grant had established his headquarters at Wilcox's
Landing, on the James, and had all his forces in motion on the south
of the river by the 13th of June, while Lee was yet north of the
Chickahominy.

General Beauregard and the gallant troops under him deserve the
highest praise for their conduct in successfully giving Butler battle,
while Petersburg was in such imminent peril, and Lee still miles and
miles away. It is scarcely credible to believe with what small force
the plucky little Creole held back such an overwhelming army.

When Grant made his first crossing of the James and began the movement
against Petersburg, General Beauregard had only Wise's Brigade of
infantry, twenty-two pieces of artillery, two regiments of cavalry
under General Bearing, and a few regiments of local militia.

Grant had ordered the Eighteenth Corps (Smith's) by way of the White
House to Bermuda Hundreds, and this corps had crossed the narrow neck
of land between the James and the Appomattox, crossing the latter
river on a pontoon bridge, and was at the moment firing on Petersburg
with a force under his command of twenty-two thousand, with nothing
between General Smith and Petersburg but Beauregard's two thousand men
of all arms. Kant's Cavalry and one division of negro troops, under
Hinks, had joined their forces with Smith after coming to the south
side. Hancock's and Warren's Corps crossed the Chickahominy at Long
Bridge and the James at Wilcox's Landing, and with Grant at the head,
all were pushing on to Petersburg. Wright (Sixth) and Burnside (Ninth)
crossed by way of Jones' Bridge and the James and Appomattox on
pontoon bridges, pushing their way rapidly, as the nature of the
ground permitted, in the direction of Petersburg. Beauregard in the
meantime had been reinforced by his own troops, they having been
transferred temporarily to Lee, at Spottsylvania Court House.

Hoke's Division reached Petersburg at twelve o'clock, on the 15th of
June. Hagood's Brigade, of that division, being transported by rail
from the little town of Chester, reached the city about night. Bushrod
Johnson's Brigade was ordered up from Bermuda on the 16th. Beauregard
being thus reinforced, had ten thousand troops of all arms on the
morning of the 16th, with which to face Meade's Army, consisting
of Hancock's, Smith's, and Burnside's Corps, aggregating sixty-six
thousand men. Meade made desperate and continuous efforts to break
through this weak line of gray, but without effect Only one division
of Federals gained any permanent advantage. Warren, with four
divisions, now reinforced Meade, bringing the Federal Army up to
ninety thousand, with no help for Beauregard yet in sight. From noon
until late at night of the 17th the force of this entire column
was hurled against the Confederate lines, without any appreciable
advantage, with the exception of one division before alluded to. Lee
was still north of the James with his entire army, and undecided as
to Grant's future movements. He was yet in doubt whether Grant had
designs directly against the Capital, or was endeavoring to cut his
communications by the capture of Petersburg. Beauregard had kept
General Lee and the war department thoroughly advised of his peril
and of the overwhelming numbers in his front, but it was not until
midnight of the 17th that the Confederate commander determined to
change his base and cross to the south side of the James. It was at
that hour that Kershaw's Brigade received its orders to move at once.
For the last few days the army had been gradually working its way
towards the James River, and was now encamped near Rice's Station.
From the manner in which we were urged forward, it was evident that
our troops somewhere were in imminent peril. The march started as a
forced one, but before daylight it had gotten almost to a run. All the
regiments stood the great strain without flinching, with the exception
of the Twentieth. The "Old Twentieth Army Corps," as that regiment was
now called, could not stand what the old veterans did, and fell by the
way side. It was not for want of patriotism or courage, but simply a
want of seasoning. Fully half of the "Corps" fell out. When we reached
Petersburg, about sunrise, we found only Wise's Brigade and several
regiments of old men and boys, hastily gotten together to defend their
city, until the regulars came up. They had been fighting in the ranks,
these gray-beards and half-grown boys, for three days, and to their
credit be it said, "they weathered the storm" like their kinsmen in
Wise's Brigade, and showed as much courage and endurance as the best
of veterans. On the streets were ladies of every walk in life, some
waving banners and handkerchiefs, some clapping their hands and giving
words of cheer as the soldiers came by with their swinging step, their
clothes looking as if they had just swum the river. Were the ladies
refugeeing--getting out of harm's way? Not a bit of it. They looked
equally as determined and defiant as their brothers and fathers in
ranks--each and all seemed to envy the soldier his rifle. If Richmond
had become famous through the courage and loyalty of her daughters,
Petersburg was equally entitled to share the glories of her older
sister, Richmond.

Kershaw's Brigade relieved that of General Wise, taking position on
extreme right, resting its right on the Jerusalem plank road, and
extending towards the left over the hill and across open fields. Wise
had some hastily constructed works, with rifle pits in front. These
later had to be relieved under a heavy fire from the enemy's battle
line. As the other brigades of the division came up, they took
position on the left. Fields' Division and R.H. Anderson's, now of
this corps, did not come up for some hours yet. General Anderson, in
the absence of General Longstreet, commanded the corps as senior Major
General. Before our division lines were properly adjusted, Warren's
whole corps made a mad rush upon the works, now manned by a
thin skirmish line, and seemed determined to drive us from our
entrenchments by sheer weight of numbers. But Kershaw displayed no
inclination to yield, until the other portions of our corps came
upon the field. After some hours of stubborn fighting, and failing
to dislodge us, the enemy withdrew to strengthen and straighten their
lines and bring them more in harmony with ours. About four o'clock in
the afternoon Meade organized a strong column of assault, composed of
the Second, Fifth, and the Ninth Army Corps, and commanded in person,
holding one corps in reserve. The artillery of the four corps was put
in position, and a destructive fire was opened upon us by fifty pieces
of the best field artillery. The infantry then commenced the storming
of our works, but Field's Division had come up and was on the line.
General Lee had given strength to our position by his presence, coming
upon the field about eleven o'clock, and gave personal direction
to the movements of the troops. The battle raged furiously until
nightfall, but with no better results on the enemy's side than had
attended him for the last three days--a total repulse at every point.
By noon the next day Lee's whole force south of the James was within
the entrenched lines of the city, and all felt perfectly safe and
secure. Our casualties were light in comparison to the fighting
done during the day, but the enemy was not only defeated, but badly
demoralized.

Kershaw and Fields, of Lee's Army, with ten thousand under General
Beauregard, making a total of twenty thousand, successfully combatted
Grant's whole army, estimated by the Federals themselves as being
ninety thousand. These are some figures that might well be taken
in consideration when deeds of prowess and Southern valor are being
summed up.

Grant seemed determined to completely invest Petersburg on the south
side by continually pushing his lines farther to the left, lengthening
our lines and thereby weakening them. On the 21st of June the Second
and Sixth Corps of the Federal Army moved on to the west of the
Jerusalem plank road, while the Fifth was to take up position on the
east side. In the manoeuver, or by some misunderstanding, the Fifth
Corps became separated from those of the other divisions, thereby
leaving a gap of about a division intervening. General Lee seeing
this opportunity to strike the enemy a blow, and as A.P. Hill was then
coming up, he ordered him to push his force forward and attack the
enemy in flank. Moving his troops forward with that despatch that ever
attended the Third Corps of our army, it struck the enemy a stunning
blow in the flank and rear, driving them back in great disorder,
capturing several thousand prisoners and a battery or two of
artillery. The enemy continued to give way until they came upon their
strong entrenched position; then Hill retired and took his place on
the line. Again Grant started his cavalry out on raids to capture and
destroy the railroads leading into Petersburg and Richmond, the route
by which the entire army of Lee had to look for supplies. But at
Reams' Station Hampton met the larger body of the enemy's cavalry and
after a hard fought battle, in which he utterly routed the enemy, he
captured his entire wagon train and all his artillery. A short time
after this Grant sent Hancock, one of the ablest Generals in the
Federal Army, (a true, thorough gentleman, and as brave as the
bravest, and one whom the South in after years had the pleasure of
showing its gratitude and admiration for those qualities so rare in
many of the Federal commanders, by voting for him for President of
the United States) with a large body of cavalry to destroy the Weldon
Road at all hazard and to so possess it that its use to our army
would be at an end. After another hard battle, in which the enemy
lost five thousand men, Hancock succeeded in his mission and captured
and retained the road. The only link now between the capital and
the other sections of the South on which the subsistence of the army
depended was that by Danville, Va. This was a military road completed
by the government in anticipation of those very events that had now
transpired. Another road on which the government was bending all its
energies to complete, but failed for want of time, was a road running
from Columbia to Augusta, Ga. This was to be one of the main arteries
of the South in case Charleston should fail to hold out and the
junction of the roads at Branchville fall in the hands of the enemy.
Our lines of transportation, already somewhat circumscribed, were
beginning to grow less and less. Only one road leading South by way
of Danville, and should the road to Augusta, Ga., via Columbia and
Branchville, be cut the South or the Armies of the West and that of
the East would be isolated. As gloomy as our situation looked, there
was no want of confidence in the officers and the troops. The rank and
file of the South had never considered a condition of failure. They
felt their cause to be sacred, that they were fighting for rights and
principles for which all brave people will make every sacrifice to
maintain, that the bravery of a people like that which the South had
shown to the world, the spirits that animated them, the undaunted
courage by which the greatest battles had been fought and
victories gained against unprecedented numbers, all this under such
circumstances and under such leadership--the South could not fail.
Momentary losses, temporary reverses might prolong the struggle, but
to change the ultimate results, never. And at the North there
were loud and widespread murmurings, no longer confined to the
anti-abolitionist and pro slavery party, but it came from statesmen
the highest in the land, it came from the fathers and mothers whose
sons had fallen like autumn leaves from the Rapidan to the Appomattox.
The cries and wails of the thousands of orphans went up to high Heaven
pleading for those fathers who had left them to fill the unsatiate
maw of cruel, relentless war. The tears of thousands and thousands
of widows throughout the length and breadth of the Union fell like
scalding waters upon the souls of the men who were responsible for
this holocaust. Their voices and murmuring, though like Rachael's
"weeping for her children and would not be comforted," all this to
appease the Moloch of war and to gratify the ambition of fanatics.
The people, too, of the North, who had to bear all this burden, were
sorely pressed and afflicted at seeing their hard earned treasures or
hoarded wealth, the fruits of their labor, the result of their toil
of a lifetime, going to feed this army of over two millions of men, to
pay the bounties of thousands of mercenaries of the old countries and
the unwilling freedmen soldiers of the South. All this only to humble
a proud people and rob them of their inherent rights, bequeathed
to them by the ancestry of the North and South. How was it with
the South? Not a tear, not a murmur. The mothers, with that Spartan
spirit, buckled on the armor of their sons with pride and courage, and
with the Spartan injunction, bade them "come home with your shield, or
on it." The fathers, like the Scottish Chieftain, if he lost his first
born, would put forward his next, and say, "Another one for Hector."
Their storehouses, their barns, and graneries were thrown open,
and with lavish hands bade the soldiers come and take--come and buy
without money and without price. Even the poor docile slave, for whom
some would pretend these billions of treasure were given and oceans of
blood spilled, toiled on in peace and contentment, willing to make
any and every sacrifice, and toil day and night, for the interest and
advancement of his master's welfare. He was as proud of his master's
achievements, of our victories, and was even as willing to throw his
body in this bloody vortex as if the cause had been his own. The women
of the South, from the old and bending grandmothers, who sat in the
corner, with their needles flying steady and fast, to the aristocratic
and pampered daughter of wealth, toiled early and toiled late with
hands and bodies that never before knew or felt the effects of
work--all this that the soldier in the trenches might be clothed and
fed--not alone for members of their families, but for the soldiers
all, especially those who were strangers among us--those who had left
their homes beyond the Potomac and the Tennessee. The good housewife
stripped her household to send blankets and bedding to the needy
soldiers. The wheel and loom could be heard in almost every household
from the early morn until late at night going to give not comforts,
but necessities of life, to the boys in the trenches. All ranks were
leveled, and the South was as one band of brothers and sisters. All
formality and restraint were laid aside, and no such thing as stranger
known. The doors were thrown open to the soldiers wherever and
whenever they chose to enter; the board was always spread, and a ready
welcome extended. On the march, when homes were to be passed, or along
the sidewalks in cities, the ladies set the bread to baking and would
stand for hours in the doorway or at some convenient window to cut and
hand out slice after slice to the hungry soldiers as long as a loaf
was left or a soldier found.

With such a people to contend, with such heroes to face in the field,
was it any wonder that the North began to despair of ever conquering
the South? There was but one way by which the Northern leaders saw
possible to defeat such a nation of "hereditary madmen in war." It was
by continually wearing them away by attrition. Every man killed in the
South was one man nearer the end. It mattered not what the cost might
be--if two or a dozen soldiers fell, if a dozen households were put in
mourning, and widows and orphans were made by the score--the sacrifice
must be made and endured. The North had found in Grant a fit weapon
by which to give the blow--a man who could calmly see the slaughter
of thousands to gain an end, if by so doing the end in view could be
expedited. The absence of all feelings of humanity, the coolness
and indifference with which he looked upon his dead, his calmness
in viewing the slaughter as it was going on, gained for him the
appellation of "Grant, the Butcher." Grant saw, too, the odds and
obstacles with which he had to contend and overcome when he wrote
these memorable words, "Lee has robbed the cradle and the grave." Not
odds in numbers and materials, but in courage, in endurance, in the
sublime sacrifice the South was making in men and treasure. Scarcely
an able-bodied man in the South--nay, not one who could be of
service--who was not either in the trenches, in the ranks of the
soldiers, or working in some manner for the service. All from sixteen
to fifty were now in actual service, while all between fourteen and
sixteen and from fifty to sixty were guarding forts, railroads, or
Federal prisoners. These prisoners had been scattered all over the
South, and began to be unwieldy. The Federals under the policy of
beating the South by depleting their ranks without battle in the field
had long since refused the exchange of prisoners. They had, by offers
of enticing bounties, called from the shores of the Old Country
thousands of poor emigrants, who would enlist merely for the money
there was in it. Thousands and thousands of prisoners captured could
not speak a word of English. They had whole brigades of Irish and
Dutch, while the Swedes, Poles, Austrians, as well as Italians, were
scattered in the ranks throughout the army. In the capturing of a
batch of prisoners, to a stranger who would question them, it would
seem more like we were fighting the armies of Europe than our kinsmen
of the North. In fact, I believe if the real truth of it was known,
the greater part of the Federal Army in the closing days of the
Confederacy was either foreigners or sons of foreigners.

Were there ever before such people as those of the Southland? Were
there ever such patriotic fathers, such Christian mothers, such brave
and heroic sons and daughters? Does it look possible at this late day
that a cause so just and righteous could fail, with such men and women
to defend it? It is enough to cause the skeptic to smile at the faith
of those who believe in God's interference in human affairs and in the
efficacy of prayers. The cause of the South was just and right, and
no brave men would have submitted without first staking their all upon
the issue of cruel, bloody war. Impartial history will thus record the
verdict.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXXIII

In the Trenches Around Petersburg.


As soon as General Lee's Army was all up and his lines established, we
began to fortify in earnest. The breastworks that were built now were
of a different order to the temporary ones in the Wilderness and at
Cold Harbor. As it was known now that a regular siege had begun, our
breastworks were built proportionately strong. Our lines were moved to
the left to allow a battery to occupy the brow of a hill on our right,
Kershaw's Brigade occupying both slopes of the hills, a ravine cutting
it in two. Field pieces were mounted at intervals along the line with
the infantry, every angle covered by one or more cannon. The enemy
commenced shelling us from mortars from the very beginning of our
work, and kept it up night and day as long as we remained in the
trenches. The day after Kershaw took position Grant began pressing our
picket line and running his parallels nearer and nearer our works. It
was said that Grant won his laurels in the West with picks and shovels
instead of rifles and cannon, but here it looked as if he intended
to use both to an advantage. As soon as he had his lines located, he
opened a fusilade upon Petersburg, throwing shells into the city from
his long-ranged guns, without intermission. It was in the immediate
front of the right of the brigade and the battery on the hill that
the enemy's mine was laid that occasioned the "Battle of the Crater"
a month afterwards. Before we had finished our works, several night
assaults were made upon us, notably the one up the ravine that
separated the Second and Third on the night of the 21st of June. It
was easily repulsed, however, with little loss on our side, the enemy
firing too high. What annoyed the soldiers more than anything else was
the continual dropping of shells in our works or behind them. We could
hear the report of the mortars, and by watching overhead we could see
the shell descending, and no one could tell exactly where it was going
to strike and no chance for dodging. As every old soldier knows, card
playing was the national vice, if vice it could be called, and almost
all participated in it, but mostly for amusement, as the soldiers
scarcely ever had money to hazard at cards. While a quartet was
indulging in this pastime in the trenches, some one yelled, "Lookout,
there comes a shell!" Looking up the disciples of the "Ten Spots" saw
a shell coming down right over their heads. Nothing could be done but
to stretch themselves at full length and await developments. They were
not long in suspense, for the shell dropped right upon the oilcloth on
which they had been playing. There it lay sizzling and spluttering as
the fuse burned lower and lower, the men holding their breath all the
while, the other troops scattering right and left. The thing could not
last; the tension broke, when one of the card-players seized the shell
in his hands and threw it out of the works; just before exploding. It
was the belief in the brigade that those men did not play cards again
for more than thirty days.

Another annoyance was the enemy's sharpshooters, armed with
globe-sighted rifles. These guns had a telescope on top of the barrel,
and objects at a distance could be distinctly seen. Brush screened
their rifle pits, and while they could see plainly any object above
our works, we could not see them. A head uncautiously raised above the
line, would be sure to get a bullet in or near it.

About one hundred yards in our rear, up the ravine, was a good
spring of water. The men could reach this in safety by going down the
breastworks in a stooping posture, then up the ravine to the spring.
A recruit in the Second Regiment had gone to this spring and was
returning. When about twenty paces from the works he undertook,
through a spirit of adventure; or to save a few steps, to run
diagonally across the field to his regiment. It was his last. When
about midway he was caught by a bullet from the enemy's picket, and
only lived long enough to call out, "Oh, mother!" Many lost their
lives here by recklessness or want of caution.

After remaining in the trenches about two weeks, Kershaw's Brigade was
relieved by a part of Hoke's Division and retired to some vacant lots
in the city in good supporting distance of the front line. We were
not out of reach of the shells by any means; they kept up a continual
screaming overhead, bursting in the city. The soldiers got passes
to visit the town on little shopping excursions, notwithstanding
the continual bursting of the shells in the city. The citizens of
Petersburg, white and black, women and children, like the citizens of
Charleston, soon became accustomed to the shelling, and as long as one
did not drop in their immediate vicinity, little attention was paid to
it. One night after a furious bombardment the cry was heard, "The city
is on fire; the city is on fire." A lurid glare shot up out of the
very heart of the city, casting a dim light over the buildings and the
camps near about. Fire bells began ringing, and the old men rushing
like mad to fight the fire. As soon as the enemy discovered that the
city was on fire, they concentrated all their efforts to the burning
buildings. Shells came shrieking from every elevated position on the
enemy's lines, and fell like "showers of meteors on a frolic." Higher
and higher the flames rose until great molten-like tongues seemed to
lick the very clouds. The old men mounted the ladder like boys, and
soon the tops of the surrounding buildings were lined with determined
spirits, and the battle against the flames began in earnest. We could
see their forms against the dark back-ground, running hither and
thither, fighting with all the power and energy of the brave and
fearless men they were. They paid no heed to the screaming, shrieking,
bursting shells all around, but battled bravely to save the city.
After the burning of several contiguous buildings, the flames were
gotten under control, and eventually the fire was extinguished. I have
seen many battles, but never more heroism displayed than by the old
citizens and boys that night in Petersburg. The soldiers were not
allowed to leave their camp, and all the citizens of military age
were away in the army, so the old men and boys had to fight this fire
single-handed and alone, and amid a perfect storm of shot and shell.

Grant had been daily reinforced by recruits and forces from the West.
Butler had received a large reinforcement from Banks, on the lower
Mississippi, and was gradually working his way up to Richmond. A great
number of these troops, to judge from the prisoners we captured,
were foreigners; many could not speak a word of English. Kershaw was
ordered to reinforce the troops on the north side, and on the 13th of
July we crossed the James on a pontoon bridge, near Chaffin's Bluff,
after an all night's march over brush, briars, through field and bog,
and took position on a high ridge running out from the river. In front
of us was a vast swamp of heavy timber and underbrush, called Deep
Bottom. Beyond Deep Bottom the enemy had approached and entrenched,
being supported by gun boats in the James. This position it was
determined to surprise and take by assault. Early at night the brigade
was moved out in this swamp, along a dull road that ran along its
edge, and advanced in the direction of the enemy. No attempt of
assault, was ever more dreaded or looked on with such apprehension,
save, perhaps, our charge on the works at Knoxville, than this night
charge at Deep Bottom. When near the enemy's position, we formed line
of battle, while it was so dark in the dense woods that an object ten
feet away could not be distinguished. We had to take and give commands
in whispers, for fear the enemy would discover our presence. We moved
forward gradually, a few steps at a time, each step a little nearer
the enemy, who lay asleep behind their works. We had advanced,
perhaps, two hundred yards, and as yet had encountered none of the
enemy's pickets or videttes, showing how securely they felt in regard
to a night attack. While halting to adjust our lines, which had to
be done every few paces, Colonel Rutherford and myself were
reconnoitering in front, and discovered a white object a few feet
away. The men saw it, too, and thought it a sheep. The Colonel
advanced and gave it a slight jab with his sword. In a moment a white
blanket was thrown off, and there lay, as nicely coiled up as little
pigs, two of the Yankee sentinels. They threw up their hands in a
dazed kind of way, and to our whispered threats and uplifted
swords, uttered some unintelligible jargon. We soon saw they did
not understand a word of English. So it was we captured almost
their entire picket line, composed of foreigners of Banks' Army, of
Louisiana. Just then, on our right, whether from friend or foe, I
never learned, several discharges of rifles alarmed both armies. It
was too late then to practice secrecy, so the command "charge" was
given. With a tremendous yell, we dashed through the tangled, matted
mass of undergrowth, on towards the enemy's line. Aroused thus
suddenly from their sleep, they made no other resistance than to fire
a few shots over our head, leaving the breastworks in haste. Some lay
still, others ran a few rods in the rear, and remained until captured,
while the greater part scampered away towards their gun boats.

Colonel Henagan, of the Eighth, being in command of the brigade,
ordered breastworks to be thrown up on the opposite side of an old
road, in which the enemy lay and which they had partly fortified. The
next day, about 3 o'clock, the enemy opened upon us a heavy fusilade
with their siege mortars and guns from their gun boats and ironclads
in the James. These were three hundred-pounders, guns we had never
before been accustomed to. Great trees a foot and a half in diameter
were snapped off like pipe-stems. The peculiar frying noise made in
going through the air and their enormous size caused the troops
to give them the name of "camp kettles." They passed through our
earthworks like going through mole hills. The enemy advanced in line
of battle, and a considerable battle ensued, but we were holding our
own, when some watchers that Colonel Henagan had ordered in the tops
of tall trees to watch the progress of the enemy, gave the warning
that a large body of cavalry was advancing around our left and was
gaining our rear. Colonel Henagan gave the command "retreat," but the
great "camp kettles" coming with such rapidity and regularity, our
retreat through this wilderness of shrubbery and tangled undergrowth
would have ended in a rout had not our retreat been impeded by this
swamp morass. We reached the fortification, however, on the bluff, the
enemy being well satisfied with our evacuation of the position so near
their camp.

The brigade, with the exception of marching and counter-marching,
relieving other troops and being relieved, did no further service than
occupying the lines until the 6th of August. The brigade boarded the
train on that day at Chester for destination at that time unknown.

About the first of July the enemy, commanded by General Burnside,
undertook to blow up a portion of our lines by tunneling under the
works at a convenient point suitable for assault, and attempted to
take our troops by surprise. The point selected was that portion of
the line first held by Kershaw's Brigade, near Cemetery Hill, and in
front of Taylor's Creek, near Petersburg. The continual night assaults
on us at that point and the steady advance of their lines were to gain
as much distance as possible. From the base of the hill at Taylor's
Creek they began digging a tunnel one hundred and seventy yards long,
and at its terminus were two laterals, dug in a concave towards our
works, of thirty-seven feet each. In these laterals were placed eight
hundred pounds of powder, with fuse by which all could be exploded at
once.

General Beauregard, who commanded at this point, had been apprised of
this undertaking, and at first had sunk counter-mines. But this was
abandoned, and preparations were made to meet the emergency with arms.
At this point and near the "Crater," as it was afterwards called,
were stationed Colquit's (Ga.), Gracie's (Ala.), and Elliott's (S.C.)
Brigades. Elliott's was posted immediately over it with Pegram's
Battery. Rear lines had been established by which the troops could
take cover, and reinforcements kept under arms night and day, so that
when the explosion did take place, it would find the Confederates
prepared. Batteries were placed at convenient places to bear upon the
line and the place of explosion.

On the morning of the 30th of July, everything being in readiness,
the fuse was placed, and at 3.30 o'clock the light was applied. Before
this terrible "Crater," soon to be a hollocu of human beings,
were massed Ledlie's, Potter's, Wilcox's, and Ferrero's Divisions,
supported by Ames'. In the front was Ferrero's Division of negro
troops, drunk and reeling from the effects of liquor furnished them by
the wagon loads. This body of twenty-three thousand men were all under
the immediate command of Major General Ord. On the left of Burnside,
Warren concentrated ten thousand men, while the Eighteenth Corps, with
that many more, were in the rear to aid and support the movement--the
whole being forty-three thousand men, with eight thousand pounds
of gun-powder to first spring the mine. General Sheridan, with his
cavalry, was to make a demonstration in our front and against the
roads leading to Petersburg. Hancock, too, was to take a part, if all
things proved successful--fifty thousand men were to make a bold dash
for the capture of the city. Immediately over the mine was Elliott's
Brigade, consisting of the Seventeenth, Twenty-sixth, Twenty-third,
Twenty-second, and Eighteenth South Carolina Regiments. At 3.30
o'clock the fuse was lighted, and while the Confederates, all
unconscious of the impending danger, lay asleep, this grand
aggregation of men of Grant's Army waited with bated breath and
anxious eye the fearful explosion that eight thousand pounds of
powder, under a great hill, were to make. Time went on, seconds into
minutes. The nerves of the assaulters were, no doubt, at extreme
tension. Four o'clock came, still all was still and silent. The
Federal commanders held their watches in hand and watched the tiny
steel hands tick the seconds away. The streaks of day came peeping up
over the hills and cast shadows high overhead. The fuse had failed! A
call was made for a volunteer to go down into the mine and relight the
fuse. A Lieutenant and Sergeant bravely step forward and offered to
undertake the perilous mission. They reach the mouth of the tunnel
and peer in. All was dark, silent, sombre, and still. Along they grope
their way with a small lantern in their hands. They reach the barrel
of powder placed at the junction of the main and the laterals. The
fuse had ceased to burn. Hurriedly they pass along to the other
barrels. Expecting every moment to be brown into space, they find all
as the first, out. The thousands massed near the entrance and along
Taylor's Creek, watched with fevered excitement the return of the
brave men who had thus placed their lives in such jeopardy for a cause
they, perhaps, felt no interest. Quickly they placed new fuse, lit
them, and quickly left the gruesome pit. Scarcely had they reached
a place of safety than an explosion like a volcano shook the earth,
while the country round about was lit up with a great flash. The earth
trembled and swayed--great heaps of earth went flying in the air,
carrying with it men, guns, and ammunition. Cannon and carriages were
scattered in every direction, while the sleeping men were thrown high
in the air.

But here I will allow Colonel F.W. McMaster, an eye witness, who
commanded Elliott's Brigade after the fall of that General, to tell
the story of the "Battle of the Crater" in his own words. I copy
his account, by permission, from an article published in one of the
newspapers of the State.

BY COLONEL F.W. McMASTER.

In order to understand an account of the battle of the "Crater," a
short sketch of our fortifications should be given.

Elliott's Brigade extended from a little branch that separated it
from Ransom's Brigade on the north, ran three hundred and fifty yards,
joining Wise's Brigade on the south. Captain Pegram's Virginia Battery
had four guns arranged in a half circle on the top of the hill, and
was separated from the Eighteenth and Twenty-second South Carolina
Regiments by a bank called trench cavalier.

The Federal lines ran parallel to the Confederate. The nearest point
of Pegram's Battery to the Federal lines was eighty yards; the rest
of the lines was about two hundred yards apart. The line called gorge
line was immediately behind the battery, and was the general passage
for the troops. The embankment called trench cavalier was immediately
in rear of the artillery and was constructed for the infantry in case
the battery should be taken by a successful assault.

The general line for the infantry, which has been spoken of as
a wonderful feat of engineering, was constructed under peculiar
circumstances. Beauregard had been driven from the original lines made
for the defense of Petersburg, and apprehensive that the enemy, which
numbered ten to one, would get into the city, directed his engineer,
Colonel Harris, to stake a new line. This place was reached by General
Hancock's troops at dark on the third day's fighting, and our men were
ordered to make a breastwork. Fortifications without spades or shovels
was rather a difficult feat to perform, but our noble soldiers went
to work with bayonets and tin cups, and in one night threw up a bank
three feet high--high enough to cause Hancock to delay his attack.
In the next ten days' time the ditches were enlarged until they were
eight feet high and eight feet wide, with a banquette of eighteen
inches high from which the soldiers could shoot over the breastwork.

Five or six traverses were built perpendicularly from the main trench
to the rear, so as to protect Pegram's guns from the enfilading fire
of the big guns on the Federal lines a mile to the north. Besides
these traverses there were narrow ditches five or six feet deep which
led to the sinks.

The only safe way to Petersburg, a mile off, was to go down to the
spring branch which passed under our lines at the foot of the hill,
then go to the left through the covered way to Petersburg, or to
take the covered way which was half way down the hill to Elliott's
headquarters.

At this point a ravine or more properly a swale ran up the hill
parallel to our breastworks. It was near Elliott's headquarters where
Mahone's troops went in from the covered way and formed in battle
array.

The soldiers slept in the main trench. At times of heavy rains the
lower part of the trench ran a foot deep in water. The officers slept
in burrows dug in the sides of the rear ditches. There were traverses,
narrow ditches, cross ditches and a few mounds over officers' dens,
so that there is no wonder that one of the Federal officers said the
quarters reminded him of the catacombs of Rome.

An ordinary mortal would not select such a place for a three mouths'
summer residence.

About ten days after the battle, and while I was acting Brigadier
General and occupying General Elliott's headquarters, a distinguished
Major General visited me and requested me to go over the lines with
him. I gladly complied with the request. He asked me where the men
rested at night. I pointed out the floor of the ditch. He said, "But
where do the officers sleep?" We happened then to be in the narrow
ditch in front of my quarters, and I pointed it out to him. He
replied, in language not altogether suitable for a Sunday School
teacher, that he would desert before he would submit to such
hardships.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE "CRATER."

The explosion took place at 4.45 A.M. The "Crater" made by eight
thousand pounds of gun powder was one hundred and thirty-five feet
long, ninety-seven feet broad and thirty feet deep. Two hundred and
seventy-eight men were buried in the debris--Eighteenth Regiment,
eighty-two; Twenty-second, one hundred and seventy, and Pegram's
Battery, twenty-two men.

To add to the terror of the scene the enemy with one hundred and
sixty-four cannon and mortars began a bombardment much greater than
Fort Sumter or battery were ever subjected to. Elliott's Brigade near
the "Crater" was panic stricken, and more than one hundred men of the
Eighteenth Regiment covered with dirt rushed down. Two or three noble
soldiers asked me for muskets. Some climbed the counterscarpe and
made their way for Petersburg. Numbers of the Seventeenth joined the
procession. I saw one soldier scratching at the counterscape of the
ditch like a scared cat. A staunch Lieutenant of Company E. without
hat or coat or shoes ran for dear life way down into Ransom's
trenches. When he came to consciousness he cried out, "What! old Morse
running!" and immediately returned to his place in line.

The same consternation existed in the Federal line. As they saw the
masses descending they broke ranks, and it took a few minutes to
restore order.

       *       *       *       *       *


FEDERAL CHARGE.

About fifteen minutes after the explosion General Ledlie's Corps
advanced in line. The cheval-de-frise was destroyed for fifty yards.
Soon after General Wilcox's Corps came in line and bore to Ledlie's
left. Then Potter's Corps followed by flanks and was ordered to the
right of Ledlie's troops.

The pall of smoke was so great that we could not see the enemy until
they were in a few feet of our works, and a lively fusillade was
opened by the Seventeenth Regiment on the north side of the "Crater."
I saw Starling Hutto, of Company H, a boy of sixteen, on the top of
the breastworks, firing his musket at the enemy a few yards off with
the coolness of a veteran. As soon as I reached him I dragged him down
by his coat tail and ordered him to shoot from the banquette. On
the south of the "Crater" a few men under Major Shield, of the
Twenty-second, and Captain R.E. White, with the Twenty-third Regiment,
had a hot time in repelling the enemy.

Adjutant Sims and Captain Floyd, of the Eighteenth Regiment, with
about thirty men, were cut off in the gorge line. They held the line
for a few minutes. Adjutant Sims was killed and Captain Floyd and his
men fell back into some of the cross ditches and took their chances
with the Seventeenth.

It was half an hour before the Federals filled the "Crater," the gorge
line and a small space of the northern part of the works not injured
by the explosion. All this time the Federals rarely shot a gun on the
north of the "Crater."

Major J.C. Coit, who commanded Wright's Battery and Pegram's battery,
had come up to look after the condition of the latter. He concluded
that two officers and twenty men were destroyed. Subsequently he
discovered that one man had gone to the spring before the explosion,
that four men were saved by a casemate and captured.

Colonel Coit says he took twenty-five minutes to come from his
quarters and go to Wright's Battery, and thinks it was the first gun
shot on the Federal side. Testimony taken in the court of inquiry
indicate the time at 5.30 A.M.

       *       *       *       *       *


GENERAL STEPHEN ELLIOTT.

General Stephen Elliott, the hero of Fort Sumter, a fine gentleman and
a superb officer, came up soon after the explosion. He was dressed in
a new uniform, and looked like a game cock. He surveyed the scene for
a few minutes; he disappeared and in a short time he came up to me
accompanied by Colonel A.R. Smith, of the Twenty-sixth, with a few
men, who were working their way through the crowd. He said to me:
"Colonel, I'm going to charge those Yankees out of the 'Crater'; you
follow Smith with your regiment."

He immediately climbed the counter scrape. The gallant Smith followed,
and about half a dozen men followed. And in less than five minutes he
was shot from the "Crater" through his shoulder. I believe it was the
first ball shot that day from the northern side of the "Crater."
He was immediately pulled down into the ditch, and with the utmost
coolness, and no exhibition of pain turned the command over to me, the
next ranking officer. Colonels Benbow and Wallace were both absent on
furlough.

I immediately ordered John Phillips, a brave soldier of Company I, to
go around the "Crater" to inform the commanding officer of the serious
wounding of General Elliott, and to inquire as to the condition of the
brigade on the south side. Major Shield replied that Colonel Fleming
and Adjutant Quattlebaum, with more than half the Twenty-second,
were buried up, but with the remainder of his men and with the
Twenty-third, under Captain White, and a part of Wise's Brigade we had
driven the Yankees back, and intended to keep them back.

Being satisfied that the object of the mine was to make a gap in
our line by which General Meade could rush his troops to the rear, I
ordered Colonel Smith to take his Regiment, and Captain Crawford with
three of my largest Companies, Companies K, E and B, containing nearly
as many men as Smith's, to proceed by Elliott's headquarters up the
ravine to a place immediately in rear of the "Crater"--to make the men
lie down--and if the enemy attempted to rush down to resist them to
the last extremity. This was near 6 o'clock A.M., and the enemy had
not made any advance on the North side of the "Crater."

By this time the "Crater" was packed with men. I counted fourteen
beautiful banners. I saw four or five officers waiving swords and
pointing towards Petersburg, and I supposed they were preparing for a
charge to the crest of the hill.

       *       *       *       *       *


ELLIOTT'S BRIGADE.

The line and strength of the Brigade from left to right was as
follows:

    Twenty-sixth Regiment, two hundred and fifty men;
    Seventeenth, four hundred;
    Eighteenth, three hundred and fifty;
    Twenty-second, three hundred;
    Twenty-third, two hundred.

In all one thousand and five hundred men, a full estimate.

       *       *       *       *       *


BENBOW'S REGIMENT.

The first severe attack of the enemy was on the South of the "Crater,"
which was defended by a part of the Twenty-second under Major Shedd,
and Benbow's Twenty-third under Captain White. The enemy attacked with
fury. Our men fought nobly, but were driven down their ditch. Wise's
Brigade then joined in, and our men rushed back and recovered the
lost space. About this time they shot Colonel Wright, leading the
Thirteenth Minnesota regiment, and then the Federals slacked their
efforts and bore to their right, and multitudes of them climbed the
"Crater" and went to the rear of it and filled the gorge line and
every vacant space on the North side. No serious aggressive attack
was made on the Twenty-third Regiment during the rest of the day. The
principal reason I suppose was the direct line to Cemetery Hill was
through the Seventeenth Regiment. Every Federal officer was directed
over and over again to rush to the crest of the hill.

       *       *       *       *       *


SEVENTEENTH REGIMENT.

The Federals being checked on the South of the "Crater" charged
Company A, the extreme right Company, next to the "Crater." Captain
W.H. Edwards was absent sick, and a few of the men were covered with
dirt by the explosion and were consequently demoralized. Private
Hoke was ordered to surrender--declared he never would surrender to a
Yankee. He clubbed his musket and knocked down four of his assailants,
and was bayoneted. There were five men killed in Company A. Company
F was the next attacked, and private John Caldwell shot one man and
brained two with the butt of his musket. Lieutenant Samuel Lowry, a
fine young man of twenty years, and four privates were killed. Company
D surrendered in a traverse, and twenty-seven men were killed. Had the
splendid Lieutenant W.G. Stevenson been present the result would have
been different. Fourteen out of twenty-seven of these men died in
prison of scurvy at Elmira, N.Y. Private J.S. Hogan, of Company D,
leaped the traverse. He joined in Mahone's charge, and after the fight
was sickened by the carnage; went to the spring to revive himself,
then went into the charge under General Sanders. After the battle he
procured enough coffee and sugar to last him a month. This young rebel
seemed to have a furor for fighting and robbing Yankees. At the battle
of Fort Steadman he manned a cannon which was turned on the enemy, and
in the retreat from Petersburg he was in every battle. He was always
on the picket line, by choice, where he could kill, wound or capture
the enemy. He feasted well while the other soldiers fed on parched
corn, and surrendered at Appomattox with his haversack filled with
provisions.

Company C, the next Company, had fourteen men killed. Its Captain,
William Dunovant, was only eighteen years of age, and as fine a
Captain as was in Lee's Army. lieutenant C. Pratt, a fine officer not
more than twenty-five years old, was killed. The command devolved on
Sergeant T.J. LaMotte. G and H had two each; I, three; K, five; and B,
one; F, five.

The Federals had the advantage over the Seventeenth because there were
some elevated points near the "Crater" they could shoot from. After
being driven down about fifty yards there was an angle in the ditch,
and Sergeant LaMotte built a barricade, which stopped the advance.
A good part of the fighting was done by two men on each side at a
time--the rest being cut off from view.

       *       *       *       *       *


LOOKING AFTER SMITH'S MEN.

About 6:30 I went down a narrow ditch to see if Smith and his men
were properly located to keep the enemy from going down to the ravine
before I got back. I saw there was a vacant space in our trench. I
hustled in and saw two muskets poked around an angle, as I got in
the muskets were fired and harmlessly imbedded the balls in the
breastworks. I immediately concluded that it was not very safe for the
commander being on the extreme right of his men and went lower down.
In a short time I again went in a ditch a little lower down the hill,
anxious about the weak point on our line. I was smoking a pipe with a
long tie-tie stem. As I returned I observed a rush down the line. As
I got in the ditch the bowl of the pipe was knocked off. A big brawny
fellow cried out, "Hold on men! the Colonel can't fight without his
pipe!" He wheeled around, stopped the men until he picked up the bowl
and restored it to me. I wish I knew the name of this kind-hearted old
soldier.

The principal fighting was done by the head of the column. A few game
fellows attempted to cross the breastworks. A Captain Sims and a negro
officer were bayoneted close together on our breastworks, but hundreds
of the enemy for hours stuck like glue to our outer bank.

       *       *       *       *       *


A LONG AND LAZY FIGHT.

The sun was oppressively hot. There was very little musketry, the
cannonading had closed; it was after 7 o'clock, and the soldiers on
both sides, as there was not much shooting going on, seemed to resort
to devices to pass the time. I saw Captain Steele throwing bayonets
over a traverse. I saw Lamotte on one knee on the ground, and asked
what he was doing. He whispered, "I'm trying to get the drop on a
fellow on the other side." They would throw clods of clay at each
other over the bank. As an Irishman threw over a lump of clay I
heard him say, "Tak thart, Johnny." We all wished that Beauregard had
supplied us with hand grenades, for the battle had simmered down to a
little row in the trenches.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE BATTLE THAT CONQUERED MEADE.

At 8.10 A.M. Ferrero's four thousand three hundred negroes rushed
over and reached the right flank of the Seventeenth. This horde of
barbarians added greatly to the thousands of white men that packed
themselves to the safe side of the breastworks. Thousands rushed down
the hill side. Ransom's Twenty-sixth and Twenty-fifth Regiments were
crazy to get hold of the negroes. "Niggers" had been scarce around
there during the morning, now they were packed in an acre of ground
and in close range. The firing was great all down the hill side, but
when it got down to the branch the musketry was terrific, and Wright's
Battery two hundred yards off poured in its shells. About half past
8 o'clock, at the height of the battle, there was a landslide amongst
the negroes. Colonel Carr says two thousand negroes rushed back and
lifted him from his feet and swept him to the rear. General Delavan
Bates, who was shot through the face, said at that time that Ransom's
Brigade was reported to occupy those lines.

When the battle was at its highest the Seventeenth was forced down
its line about thirty yards. Lieutenant Colonel Fleming, of Ransom's
Forty-ninth Regiment, came up to me and pointed out a good place to
build another barricade. I requested him to build it with his own men,
as mine were almost exhausted by the labors of the day. He cheerfully
assented, stepped on a banquette to get around me, and was shot in the
neck and dropped at my feet.

At this moment of time an aide of General Bushrod Johnson told me
that the General requested me to come out to Elliott's headquarters. I
immediately proceeded to the place, and General Mahone came up. I was
introduced to him, and suggested to him when his men came in to form
them on Smith's men who were lying down in the ravine. A few minutes
afterwards, by order of General Johnson, Captain Steele brought out
the remnant of the Seventeenth Regiment, and they marched in the
ravine back of Mahone's men.

       *       *       *       *       *


MAHONE'S CHARGE.

By this time General Mahone's Brigade of Virginians, eight hundred men
strong, was coming in one by one, and were formed a few steps to the
left and a little in advance of Smith's and Crawford's men. I was
standing with General Johnson, close to Elliott's headquarters, and
could see everything that transpired in the ravine. It took Mahone so
long to arrange his men I was apprehensive that the enemy would make a
charge before he was ready. A few Federal officers began to climb out
of the main ditch until they numbered perhaps twenty-five men. General
Mahone was on the extreme right it seemed to me busy with some men--I
have heard since they were some Georgians. Captain Girardey had gone
to Colonel Weisinger, who was worried with the delay, and told him
General Mahone was anxious to take some of the Georgians with him. But
the threatening attitude of the enemy precipitated the charge.

The noble old Roman, Colonel Weisinger, cried out "Forward!" and eight
hundred brave Virginians sprung to their feet and rushed two hundred
yards up the hill. It had not the precision of a West Point drill, but
it exhibited the pluck of Grecians at Thermopylae. The men disappeared
irregularly as they reached the numerous ditches that led to the main
ditch until all were hid from view. The firing was not very great for
the bayonet and butt of the muskets did more damage than the barrel.
If any one desires a graphic description of a hand to hand fight I beg
him to read the graphic detailed account given by Mr. Bernard in his
"War Talks of Confederate Veterans."

In a few minutes the enemy in the ditches up to fifty yards of the
"Crater" were killed or captured. The whole battlefield of three acres
of ground became suddenly quiet comparatively.

Mahone in an hour's time sent in the Georgia Brigade, under General
Wright. There was such a heavy fire from the "Crater" the brigade was
forced to oblique to the left and banked on Mahone's men. In a few
minutes after they landed at the foot of the "Crater" in their second
charge.

Sanders' Alabama Brigade came up at this time. Besides his Alabamians
were Elliott's Brigade and Clingman's Sixty-first North Carolina.
The charge was made about one o'clock P.M., and the Federal artillery
poured all its fire on the "Crater" for some minutes, slaughtering
many of their own men. At this charge Lieutenant Colonel Gulp, who was
absent at the explosion, being a member of a courtmartial, came up and
took charge of the Seventeenth in the ravine, where Captain Steele had
them. In the charge of the "Crater" under Sanders were Colonel
Gulp, Colonel Smith and Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Hudson with the
Twenty-sixth, and a large number of privates, especially from the
Seventeenth Regiment, which also had a good many in Mahone's charge.

A good many of the Twenty-third joined in the charge, and Private W.H.
Dunlap, Company C, Twenty-third Regiment, now of Columbia, was the
first man who got in the "Crater" on the south side.

While the men were piled up around the "Crater" Adjutant Fant heard
some Alabama soldiers picking out the fine banners within, and he was
lucky to get two of them. He laid them down, and in a minute they were
spirited away.

A little incident recited by Honorable George Clark Sanders, Adjutant
General, illustrates how true politeness smoothes the wrinkled brow of
war. He says that he saw a fine looking Federal officer making his
way out of the "Crater" with much pain, using two reversed muskets for
crutches, seeing one leg was shot off. He said I'm very sorry to
see you in so much pain. The soldier replied the pain occurred at
Spottsylvania a year ago. This is a wooden leg shot off to-day--then
gave his name as General Bartlett, but Colonel Sanders kindly helped
him out.

The horrors of war are sometimes relieved with incidents which amuse
us. Adjutant Fant tells an amusing incident of Joe Free, a member of
Company B. The Adjutant had gone In the afternoon to the wagon yard
to be refreshed after the labors of the day. There was a group of men
reciting incidents. The Adjutant overheard Free say He had gone into
an officer's den for a few minutes to shade his head from the heat of
the sun, as he was suffering from an intense headache, and as he began
to creep out he saw the trench full of negroes. He dodged back again.
Joe says he was scared almost to death, and that he "prayed until
great drops of sweat poured down my face." The Adjutant knew that his
education was defective and said, "What did you say, Joe?" "I said
Lord have mercy on me! and keep them damned niggers from killing me!"

It was an earnest and effective prayer, for Mahone's men in an hour
afterwards released him.

In a recent letter received from Captain E.A. Crawford, he says the
enemy formed three times to charge, but we gave them a well directed
volley each time and sent them into the rear line in our trench. When
Mahone came in and formed my three companies charged with him.
Colonel Smith told me they charged four times. Cusack Moore, a very
intelligent private of Company K, said they charged five times. After
the charge Captain Crawford requested General Mahone to give him
permission to report to his regiment, and he ordered him to report to
General Sanders, and he joined in that charge with his men. Company
K had fifty-three men, Captain Cherry; Company E, forty, and Captain
Burley, Company B, twenty-five; in all, one hundred and eighteen men.

Lieutenant Colonel Culp was a member of a military court doing duty in
Petersburg at the time of the explosion, and could not get back until
he reported to me at Elliott's headquarters. I made some extracts from
his letter recently received: "I recollect well that in the charge
(the final one) which we made that model soldier and Christian
gentleman, Sergeant Williams, of Company K, was killed, and that one
of the Crowders, of Company B, was killed in elbow touch of me after
we got into the works. These casualties, I think, well established the
fact that Companies K and B were with me in the charge, and, as far
as I know now, at least a portion of all the companies were with me.
I recollect that poor Fant was with as very distinctly, and that
he rendered very efficient service after we got to the 'Crater' in
ferreting out hidden Federals, who had taken shelter there, and who,
for the most part, seemed very loath to leave their biding places. I
feel quite confident that Capt. Crawford was also there, but there is
nothing that I can recall at this late day to fasten the fact of his
presence on my mind, except that he was always ready for duty, however
perilous it might be, and I am sure his company was there, in part at
least. So, too, this will apply to all of the officers of our regiment
whose duty it was to be there on that occasion, and who were not
unavoidably kept away. In the charge that we made we were to be
supported by the Sixty-first North Carolina. They were on our left,
and I suppose entered the works entirely to the left of the 'Crater,'
for I am sure that our regiment, small as it was, covered the
'Crater,' and when I reached the old line with my command we found
ourselves in the very midst of the old fort, which, I may say, had
been blown to atoms in the early morning. When we arrived the Federals
began, in some instances, to surrender to us voluntarily, others, as
before intimated, had to be pulled out of their hiding places. And
with these prisoners we captured quite a number of colors, probably
as many as a dozen, certainly not less than eight or ten. I was so
occupied in trying to clear the trenches of the enemy that I gave no
attention to these colors after they fell into the hands of our men,
and afterwards learned, to my sorrow, that they had fallen into hands
which were not entitled to them. Suffice it to say that few, if any
of them, could be found. After perfect quiet had been restored, and we
were thus robbed of these significant trophies of our triumph at which
we felt quite a keen disappointment, it is pleasing to me to say that
I think that every man of our regiment who was present acted his part
nobly in the performance of the hazardous duty assigned us on that
memorable occasion. You gave me the order to make the final charge
already referred to."

       *       *       *       *       *


THE ARTILLERY.

The Confederates only had twenty-six cannon, and only three of them
were conspicuous. The Federals had one hundred and sixty-four cannon
and mortars. They fired five thousand and seventy-five rounds. They
had only one man killed and two wounded.

General Hunt and others spoke slightingly of our guns, with two
exceptions, Wright's Battery and Davenport's, which is mentioned
as the two-gun battery. General Hunt the day before had accurately
prepared to silence all these guns, except the Davenport Battery.
General Hunt said he expected a company of infantry would take us
in fifteen minutes after Pegram's Battery was gone. But the Wright
Battery was a complete surprise. It was constructed just behind
Ransom's Brigade, about one hundred yards. General Hunt never could
locate the place, and shot at short range above five hundred shells
doing no damage, but honeycombing the surrounding ground.

Wright's Battery was in five hundred yards of the "Crater," and
Colonel Coit informed me he shot about six hundred rounds of shell and
shrapnel at short range.

In my opinion it did more damage than all our guns put together. Its
concealed location gave it a great advantage overall other guns.

Davidson's Battery had only one gun, which only could shoot in one
line. But it created more anxiety amongst the enemy than any other.
The infantry officers constantly alluded to its destructive power,
and they dug a trench to guard against its fire. Major Hampton Gibbes
commanded it until he was wounded, and then Captain D.N. Walker for
the rest of the day did his duty nobly, and no doubt killed many
Federals. General Warren was ordered to capture this gun about 8.30,
but at 8.45 he was ordered to do nothing "but reconnoitre." This was
before Mahone came up.

The most interesting of our guns were the two coehorns of Major John
C. Haskell, because all of his shells were emptied into the "Crater,"
which was packed with men. General Mahone says: "In the meantime
Colonel Haskell, a brilliant officer of our artillery, hunting a place
where he could strike a blow at our adversary, presented himself for
any service which I could advise. There were two coehorn mortars in
the depression already referred to, and I suggested to him that he
could serve them. I would have them taken up to the outside of the
'Crater,' at which place he could employ himself until one o'clock,
as perhaps no such opportunity had ever occurred or would be likely
to occur for effective employment of these little implements of war.
Colonel Haskell adopted the suggestion, and the mortars being removed
to a ditch within a few feet of the 'Crater,' they were quickly at
work emptying their contents upon the crowded mass of men in this
horrible pit."

Lieutenant Bowley, a Federal officer, says: "A mortar battery also
opened on us. After a few shots they got our range so well that the
shells fell directly among us. Many of them did not explode at all,
but a few burst directly over us and cut the men down cruelly."
He also speaks of a few Indians from Michigan. "Some of them were
mortally wounded, and, drawing their blouses over their faces, they
chanted a death song and died--four of them in a group."

       *       *       *       *       *


A FEAST AFTER A FAMINE.

About 3 o'clock p.m. absolute quietness prevailed over the battlefield
where the carnage of war rioted a few hours before. My Orderly, M.C.
Heath, a boy of sixteen, who now is a distinguished physician of
Lexington, Ky., came to me at Elliott's headquarters and told me
that the Lieutenant Colonel and Adjutant sent their compliments and
requested me to come to dinner at my den in the trench. I went, and
had to step over the dead bodies--all negroes. A narrow ditch led to a
plaza six feet square, where a half dozen men, in fine weather, could
sit on campstools. On the breastworks hung a dead negro. In the ditch
I had to step over another dead negro. As I got to my plaza I saw two
more negroes badly wounded in a cell two feet deeper than the plaza
where I slept. One of the negroes was resting his bloody head on a
fine copy of Paley's philosophy, which I came across in my wanderings.
Heath's big basket was well stored with good viands, and we ate with
the ferocity of starving men, regaling ourselves with the incidents
of battle, without any expressions of sorrow for our friends, Colonel
David Fleming and Adjutant Quattlebaum, who a few yards above were
entombed in our old sleeping place in the "Crater" which we occupied
as our quarters until they succeeded us ten days before, or any
lamentations for the hundreds of dead and dying on the hillside
around.

The joy of the glorious victory drowned out all sentiments of grief
for a season, and it seemed a weird holiday.

       *       *       *       *       *


A BLUNDER IN BEAUREGARD'S BOOK.

Mr. Barnard, in his interesting article on the "Crater," criticises a
remarkable paragraph in Colonel Roman's work, "basing his statements
made by General Bushrod Johnson and Colonel McMaster." The only
objection to my statement was I said Mahone's charge was at 10 o'clock
a.m.

The paragraph is as follows:

    "Such was the situation. The Federals unable to advance
    and fearing to retreat, when, at 10 o'clock, General Mahone
    arrived with a part of his men, who had laid down in the
    shallow ravine to the rear of Elliott's salient held by the
    forces under Colonel Smith, there to await the remainder
    of the Division, but a movement having occurred among the
    Federals, which seemed to menace an advance, General Mahone
    then forwarded his Brigade with the Sixty-first North
    Carolina, of Hoke's Division, which had now also come up.
    The Twenty-fifth and Forty-ninth North Carolina, and the
    Seventeenth South Carolina, all under Smith, which were formed
    on Mahone's left, likewise formed in the 'Crater' movement,
    and three-fourths of the gorge line was carried with that
    part of the trench on the left of the 'Crater' occupied by the
    Federals. Many of the latter, white and black, abandoned
    the breach and fled under a scourging flank fire of Wise's
    Brigade."

This is confusion worse confounded. It is difficult to find a
paragraph containing so many blunders as the report of General Johnson
to Colonel Roman.

The Sixty-first North Carolina of Hoke's Brigade was not present
during the day, except at Sander's charge two hours afterwards. The
Twenty-fifth and Forty-ninth North Carolina were not present at all,
but remained in their trench on the front line.

Smith's men on the extreme right did not as a body go into Mahone's
charge. Captain Crawford with one hundred and eighteen men did charge
with Mahone. In fact he commanded his own men separate from Smith,
although he was close by.

Colonel Roman's account taken from General Johnson's statement is
unintelligible.

       *       *       *       *       *


TIME OF MAHONE'S CHARGE.

I dislike to differ with Mr. Bernard, who has been so courteous to me,
and with my friend, Colonel Venable, for we literally carried muskets
side by side as privates in dear old Captain Casson's company, the
Governor's Guards, in Colonel Kershaw's Regiment, at the first battle
of Manassas, and I shot thirteen times at Ellsworth's Zouaves. Venable
was knocked down with a spent ball and I only had a bloody mouth. And
the rainy night which followed the battle we sheltered ourselves under
the same oilcloth. But I can't help thinking of these gentlemen as
being like all Virginians, which is illustrated by a remark of a great
Massachusetts man, old John Adams, in answering some opponent, said:
"Virginians are all fine fellows. The only objection I have to you is,
in Virginia every goose is a swan."

Colonel Venable says: "I am confident the charge of the Virginians was
made before 9 o'clock a.m." Mr. Bernard says, in speaking of the time:
"Mahone's Brigade left the plank road and took to the covered way."
"It is now half-past 8 o'clock." In a note he says: "probably between
8.15 and 8.30." "At the angle where the enemy could see a moving
column with ease the men were ordered to run quickly by, one man at a
time, which was done for the double purpose of concealing the approach
of a body of troops and of lessening the danger of passing rifle balls
at these points."

It took Mahone's Brigade, above eight hundred men, to walk at least
five hundred yards down this covered way and gulch, one by one,
occasionally interrupted by wounded men going to the rear, at least
twenty minutes. At a very low estimate it took them half an hour to
form in the ravine, to listen to two short speeches, and the parley
between Weisinger and Girardey. With the most liberal allowance this
will bring the charge at 9.15 A.M., but it took more time than that.

Captain Whitner investigated the time of the charge in less than a
month after the battle. I extract the following, page 795, 40th "War
of Rebellion:" "There is a great diversity of opinion as to the time
the first charge was made by General Mahone * * * But one officer of
the division spoke with certainty, Colonel McMaster, Seventeenth South
Carolina Volunteers. His written statement is enclosed." Unluckily the
paper was "not found." But there is no doubt I repeatedly said it was
about ten o'clock A.M.

General Mahone took no note of the time, but says: "According to
the records the charge must have been before nine o'clock. General
Burnside in his report fixes the time of the charge and recapture of
our works at 8.45 A.M." 40th "War of Rebellion," page 528. He is badly
mistaken. General Burnside says: "The enemy regained a portion of his
line on the right. This was about 8.45 A.M., but not all the colored
troops retired. Some held pits from behind which they had advanced
severely checking the enemy until they were nearly all killed."

[Illustration: James Evans, Major and Surgeon, 3d S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: Capt. D.A. Dickert, Co. H, 3d S.C. Regiment. (Age 15
years when he first entered service.)]

[Illustration: Capt. L.P. Foster, Co. K, 3d S.C. Regiment.]

[Illustration: J.E. Tuesdale, Co. G, 2d S.C. Regiment.]

"At 9.15 I received, with regret, a peremptory order from the General
commanding to withdraw my troops from the enemy's lines."

Now this battle indicated as at 8:45 was a continuation, of the one
that many officers said was about half-past eight o'clock. And both
Mahone and Mr. Bernard were mistaken in stating that the great firing
and retreat of soldiers was the result of the Virginian's charge,
whereas at this time Mahone's Brigade was at the Jerusalem plank road.
Moreover, when Mahone did come up his eight hundred men could not
create one-fourth of the reverberation of the Seventeenth Regiment,
Ransom's Brigade, and the thousands of the enemy. Besides Mahone's
men's fighting was confined to the ditches, and they used mostly the
butts and bayonets instead of the barrels of their muskets. No it
was the fire of Elliott's men, Ransom's men, the torrent of shells
of Wright's Battery and the enemy, Ord's men, and the four thousand
negroes, all of them in an area of one hundred yards. The part of the
line spoken of by Generals Delavan Bates and Turner and others as
the Confederate line were mere rifle pits which the Confederates held
until they had perfected the main line, and then gave up the pits.
They were in the hollow, where the branch passes through to the
breastworks.

Now the tumultuous outburst of musketry, Federal and Confederate, and
the landslide of the Federals, was beyond doubt before I went out to
Elliott's headquarters on the order of General Johnson.

For two hours before this Meade had been urging Burnside to rush to
the crest of the hill until General B. was irritated beyond measure,
and replied to a dispatch: "Were it not insubordination I would say
that the latter remark was unofficer like and ungentlemanly." Before
this time Grant, Meade and Ord had given up hope. They had agreed
to withdraw, hence the positive order to withdraw my troops from the
enemy's line at 9.15.

Now this must have been before Mahone came up, for there is no
allusion to a charge by any Federal General at the court of inquiry.
With the 8.30 charge made at the hollow, there was a synchronous
movement made by General Warren on the south of the "Crater," but at
8.45 he was informed that it was intended alone for a reconnoissance
of the two-gun battery.

At 9.15 General Warren sends dispatch: "Just before receiving your
dispatch to assault the battery on the left of the 'Crater' occupied
by General Burnside the enemy drove his troops out of the place and I
think now hold it. I can find no one who for certainty knows, or seems
willing to admit, but I think I saw a Rebel flag in it just now, and
shots coming from it this way. I am, therefore, if this (be) true no
more able to take this battery now than I was this time yesterday. All
our advantages are lost."

The advantages certainly were not lost on account of Mahone's men, but
on account of the losses two hundred yards down the hill, of which he
had doubtless been advised. He saw what he thought was a "Rebel
flag," but for a half an hour he had heard of the terrific castigation
inflicted on the Federals down the hill.

But here is something from the court of inquiry that approximates the
time of Mahone's charge.

General Griffen, of Potter's Ninth Corps, in reply to the question
by the court: "When the troops retired from the 'Crater' was it
compulsory from the enemy's operations, or by orders from your
commanders?" Answer. "Partly both. We retired because we had orders.
At the same time a column of troops came up to attack the 'Crater,'
and we retired instead of stopping to fight. This force of the enemy
came out of a ravine, and we did not see them till they appeared on
the rising ground."

"What was the force that came out to attack you? The force that was
exposed in the open?" Answer, "five or six hundred soldiers were all
that we could see. I did not see either the right or left of the line.
I saw the center of the line as it appeared to me. It was a good line
of battle. Probably if we had not been under orders to evacuate we
should have fought them, and tried to hold our position, but according
to the orders we withdrew."

General Hartranft, of Ninth Corps, says in answer to the question
"Driven out?" "They were driven out the same time, the same time I had
passed the word to retire. It was a simultaneous thing. When they saw
the assaulting column within probably one hundred feet of the works I
passed the word as well as it could be passed for everybody to retire.
And I left myself at that time. General Griffen and myself were
together at that time. The order to retire we had endorsed to the
effect that we thought we could not withdraw the troops that were
there on account of the enfilading fire over the ground between our
rifle pits and the 'Crater' without losing a great portion of them,
that ground being enfiladed with artillery and infantry fire. They
had at that time brought their infantry down along their pits on both
sides of the 'Crater,' so that their sharpshooters had good range, and
were in good position. Accordingly we requested that our lines should
open with artillery and infantry, bearing on the right and left of
the 'Crater,' under which fire we would be able to withdraw a greater
portion of our troops, and, in fact, everyone that could get away.
While we were in waiting for the approach of that endorsement and the
opening of the fire, this assaulting column of the enemy came up and
we concluded--General Griffin and myself--that there was no use in
holding it any longer, and so we retired."

This proves beyond doubt that Mahone's charge was after 9.15. It
probably took Burnside some minutes to receive this order and some
minutes for him and Griffin to send it down the line, and to send
orders to the artillery to open on their flanks to protect them. This
would bring Mahone's charge to 9.30 or 9.45.

       *       *       *       *       *


SMITH AND CRAWFORD SAVE PETERSBURG.

I ordered Smith to take his regiment, the Twenty-sixth, and Crawford
with Companies K, E, and B, to lie down in the ravine. Every General
was ordered to charge to the crest. Had the enemy gotten beyond
Smith's line fifty yards they could have marched in the covered way to
Petersburg; not a cannon or a gun intervened. General Potter says
his men charged two hundred yards beyond the "Crater," when they
were driven back. Colonel Thomas said he led a charge which was not
successful; he went three or four hundred yards and was driven back.
General Griffin says he went about two hundred yards and was driven
back. Colonel Russell says he went about fifty yards towards Cemetery
Hill and "was driven back by two to four hundred infantry, which rose
up from a little ravine and charged us." Some officer said he went
five hundred yards beyond the "Crater." There was the greatest
confusion about distances. General Russell is about right when he said
he went about fifty yards behind the "Crater." When they talk of two
or three hundred yards they must mean outside the breastworks towards
Ransom's Brigade.

From the character of our breastworks, or rather our cross ditches, it
was impracticable to charge down the rear of our breastworks. The only
chance of reaching Petersburg was through the "Crater" to the rear.
Smith and Crawford, whose combined commands did not exceed two hundred
and fifty men, forced them back. Had either Potter, Russell, Thomas,
or Griffin charged down one hundred yards farther than they did, the
great victory would have been won, and Beauregard and Lee would have
been deprived of the great honor of being victors of the great battle
of the "Crater."

       *       *       *       *       *


ELLIOTT'S BRIGADE.

After the explosion, with less than one thousand two hundred men, and
with the co-operation of Wright's Battery and Davenport's Battery, and
a few men of Wise's Brigade, resisted nine thousand of the enemy from
five to eight o'clock. Then four thousand five hundred blacks rushed
over, and the Forty-ninth and Twenty-fifth North Carolina, Elliott's
Brigade, welcomed them to hospitable graves at 9 o'clock A.M.

At about 9.30 A.M. old Virginia--that never tires in good works--with
eight hundred heroes rushed into the trench of the Seventeenth and
slaughtered hundreds of whites and blacks, with decided preference for
the Ethiopians.

Captain Geo. B. Lake, of Company B, Twenty-second South Carolina, who
was himself buried beneath the debris, and afterwards captured, gives
a graphic description of his experience and the scenes around the
famous "Crater." He says in a newspaper article:

BY CAPTAIN GEORGE B. LAKE.

The evening before the mine was sprung, or possibly two evenings
before, Colonel David Fleming, in command of the Twenty-second South
Carolina Regiment--I don't know whether by command of General
Stephen Elliott or not--ordered me to move my company, Company B,
Twenty-second South Carolina, into the rear line, immediately in rear
of Pegram's four guns. I had in my company one officer, Lieutenant
W.J. Lake, of Newberry, S.C., and thirty-four enlisted men. This rear
line was so constructed that I could fire over Pegram's men on the
attacking enemy.

The enemy in our front had two lines of works. He had more men in his
line nearest our works than we had in his front. From this nearest
line he tunnelled to and under Pegram's salient, and deposited in a
magazine prepared for it not less than four tons of powder, some of
their officers say it was six tons. We knew the enemy were mining, and
we sunk a shaft on each side of the four-gun battery, ten feet or more
deep, and then extended the tunnel some distance to our front. We were
on a high hill, however, and the enemy five hundred and ten feet in
our front, where they began their work, consequently their mine was
far under the shaft we sunk. At night when everything was still, we
could hear the enemy's miners at work. While war means kill, the idea
of being blown into eternity without any warning was anything but
pleasant.

       *       *       *       *       *


THAT TERRIBLE SATURDAY MORNING.

On that terrible Saturday morning, July 30, 1864, before day had yet
dawned, after the enemy had massed a large number of troops in front
of our guns, the fuse which was to ignite the mine was fired. The
enemy waited fully an hour, but there was one explanation, the fuse
had gone out. A brave Federal officer, whose name I do not know,
volunteered to enter the tunnel and fire it again, which he did.

A minute later there was a report which was heard for miles, and the
earth trembled for miles around. A "Crater" one hundred and thirty
feet long, ninety-seven feet in breadth, and thirty feet deep, was
blown out. Of the brave artillery company, twenty-two officers and
men were killed and wounded, most of them killed. Hundreds of tons of
earth were thrown back on the rear line, in which my command was.

       *       *       *       *       *


A WHOLE COMPANY BURIED.

Here was the greatest loss suffered by any command on either side
in the war, myself, my only Lieutenant, W.J. Lake, and thirty-four
enlisted men were all buried, and of that little band thirty-one were
killed. Lieutenant Lake and myself and three enlisted men were taken
out of the ground two hours after the explosion by some brave New
Yorkers. These men worked like beavers, a portion of the time under
perpetual fire.

       *       *       *       *       *


BURIED THIRTY FEET DEEP.

Colonel Dave Fleming and his Adjutant, Dick Quattlebaum, were also in
the rear line, only a few feet to my left, and were buried thirty
feet deep; their bodies are still there. I do not know how many of
the Federal troops stormed the works, but I do know the Confederates
captured from them nineteen flags. The attacking columns were composed
of white men and negroes; sober men and men who were drunk; brave men
and cowards.

One of the latter was an officer high in command. I have lost his
name, if I ever knew it. He asked me how many lines of works we had
between the "Crater" and Petersburg, when I replied, "Three." He asked
me if they were all manned. I said, "Yes." He then said, "Don't you
know that I know you are telling a d----d lie?" I said to him. "Don't
you know that I am not going to give you information that will be of
any service to you?" He then threatened to have me shot, and I believe
but that for the interference of a Federal officer he would have done
so.

       *       *       *       *       *


DEATH TO ADVANCE AND DEATH TO RETREAT.

I had just seen several of our officers and men killed with bayonets
after they had surrendered, when the enemy, who had gone through the
"Crater" towards Petersburg, had been repulsed, and fell back in
the "Crater" for protection. There was not room in the "Crater" for
another man. It was death to go forward or death to retreat to their
own lines. It is said there were three thousand Yankees in and around
the "Crater," besides those in portions of our works adjacent thereto.

Then the Coshorn mortars of the brave Major Haskell and other
commanders of batteries turned loose their shells on the "Crater." The
firing was rapid and accurate. Some of these mortars were brought up
as near as fifty yards to the "Crater." Such a scene has never before
nor never will be witnessed again. The Yankees at the same time
were using one hundred and forty pieces of cannon against our works
occupied by Confederate troops.

Elliott's Brigade in the day's fight lost two hundred and
seventy-eight officers and men. Major General B.R. Johnson's Division,
Elliott's Brigade included, lost in the day, nine hundred and
thirty-two officers and men. This was the most of the Confederate
loss.

       *       *       *       *       *


FEDERAL TOTAL LOSS OVER FIVE THOUSAND.

While the enemy acknowledged a loss of from five to six thousand
men--and that I am sure is far below their real loss--I make another
quotation from Major General B.R. Johnson's official report:

"It is believed that for each buried companion they have taken a
tenfold vengeance on the enemy, and have taught them a lesson that
will be remembered as long as the history of our wrongs and this great
revolution endures."

Virginians, Georgians, North Carolinians, South Carolinians and others
who may have fought at the "Crater," none of you have the right to
claim deeds of more conspicuous daring over your Confederate brethren
engaged that day. Every man acted well his part.

What about the four cannons blown up? you ask. One piece fell about
half way between the opposing armies, another fell in front of our
lines, not so near, however, to the enemy, a third was thrown from the
carriage and was standing on end, half buried in the ground inside the
"Crater," the fourth was still attached to the carriage, but turned
bottom side up, the wheels in the air, and turned against our own men
when the enemy captured it. That day, however, they all fell into the
hands of the Confederates, except the one thrown so near the enemy's
works, and in time we regained that also.

       *       *       *       *       *


CAPTAIN LAKE A PRISONER.

Before the fighting was over the Yankee officer who could curse a
prisoner so gallantly ordered two soldiers to take charge and carry me
to their lines, no doubt believing that the Confederates would succeed
in recapturing the "Crater." We had to cross a plain five hundred and
ten feet wide that was being raked by rifle balls, cannon shot and
shell, grape and canister. It was not a very inviting place to go, but
still not a great deal worse than Haskell's mortar shells that were
raining in the center. I had the pleasure of seeing one of my guards
die. The other conducted me safely to General Patrick's headquarters.
Patrick was the Yankee provost marshall.

When I was placed under guard near his quarters he sent a staff
officer to the front to learn the result of the battle.

After a short absence he galloped up to General Patrick and yelled out
"We have whipped them!"

Patrick said: "I want no foolishness, sir!"

The staff officer then said: "General, if you want the truth, they
have whipped us like hell."

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXXIV

Leaves the Trenches in the Shenandoah Valley.


To relieve the tension that oppressed both Richmond and Petersburg,
General Lee determined to dispatch a force to the Valley to drive the
enemy therefrom, to guard against a flank movement around the north
and west of Richmond, and to threaten Washington with an invasion of
the North. The Second Corps of the army was ordered Northwest. General
Ewell being too enfeebled by age and wounds, had been relieved of his
command in the field and placed in the command of Henrico County.
This embraced Richmond and its defensive, the inner lines, which were
guarded and manned by reserves and State troops. General Early, now
a lieutenant General, was placed in command of the expedition. Why
or what the particular reason a corps commander was thus placed in
command of a department and a separate army, when there were full
Generals occupying inferior positions, was never known. Unless we take
it that Early was a Virginian, better informed on the typography of
the country, and being better acquainted with her leading citizens,
that he would find in them greater aid and assistance than would a
stranger. The department had hopes of an uprising in the "Pan Handle"
of Maryland in recruits from all over the States. The prestige of
Early's name might bring them out. Early was a brave and skillful
General. Being a graduate of West Point, he was well versed in the
tactical arts of war; was watchful and vigilant, and under a superior
he was second to none as a commander. But his Valley campaign--whether
from failures of the troops or subaltern officers, I cannot say--but
results show that it was a failure. There could be no fault found
with his plans, nor the rapidity of his movements, for his partial
successes show what might have been accomplished if faithfully carried
out. Still, on the whole, his campaign in the Valley was detrimental,
rather than beneficial, to our cause. Early had already made a dash
through the Valley and pushed his lines beyond the Potomac, while his
cavalry had even penetrated the confines of Washington itself. It was
said at the time, by both Northern and Southern military critics, that
had he not wavered or faltered at the critical moment, he could have
easily captured the city. No doubt his orders were different--that
only a demonstration was intended--and had he attempted to exceed his
orders and failed, he would have received and deserved the censure of
the authorities. The bane of the South's civic government was that the
Executive and his military advisors kept the commanders of armies too
much under their own leading strings, and not allowing them enough
latitude to be governed by circumstances--to ride in on the flow tide
of success when an opportunity offered. But the greatest achievements,
the greatest of victories, that history records are where Generals
broke away from all precedent and took advantage of the success of the
hour, that could not have been foreseen nor anticipated by those who
were at a distance. Be that as it may, Early had gone his length, and
now, the last of July, was retreating up the Valley.

Kershaw, with his division, was ordered to join him, and on the 6th of
August the troops embarked at Chester Station and were transported to
Mitchel Station, on the Richmond and Mannassas Railroad, not far from
Culpepper. On the 12th the troops marched by Flint Hill, crossed the
Blue Ridge, and camped near the ancient little hamlet of Front Royal.
The next day we were moved about one mile distant to a large spring,
near the banks of the beautiful and now classic Shenandoah. How
strange to the troops of the far South to see this large river running
in the opposite direction from all our accustomed ideas of the flow
of rivers--that water seeks its level and will therefore run South, or
towards the coast. But here the stream rises in the south and runs
due north towards the Potomac. After long and fatiguing marches, the
soldiers here enjoyed a luxury long since denied them on account of
their never ceasing activity. The delight of a bath, and in the pure,
clear waters of the Shenandoah, was a luxury indeed. On the 17th of
August the march was again resumed, and we reached Winchester, Va., on
the next day. Remaining two days near the old city which had become so
dear to the hearts of all the old soldiers through the hospitality and
kindness of her truly loyal people, and being the place, too, of much
of our enjoyment and pleasure while camping near it two years before,
we left on the 21st, going in the direction of Charleston.

On nearing the latter place we found the enemy in force, and had to
push our way forward by heavy skirmishing. When within two miles
of Charlestown, we halted and went into camp, and threw our pickets
beyond the town on the north. On the 25th we moved through the city
and took the Harper Ferry Road, two miles beyond. Here we took up
camp, and were in close proximity to the enemy, who lay in camp near
us. A heavy skirmish line was thrown out about half a mile in our
front. Lieutenant Colonel Maffett of the Third, but commanding
the Seventh, was deployed in a large old field as support. We were
encamped in line of battle in a beautiful grove overlooking and in
full view of our skirmishers.

The enemy seemed to display little activity. Now and then a solitary
horseman could be seen galloping away in the direction of his camp.

The want of alertness on the part of the enemy threw our pickets off
their guard. Colonel Maffett was lounging under the shade of a tree in
the rear of the skirmish line, with a few of the reserves, while those
on the picket line lay at convenient distances, some with their coats
off, others lying under the shade of trees or in the corners of a
fence, all unconscious of an approaching enemy. The Federals had
surveyed the field, and seeing our pickets so lax, and in such bad
order for defense, undertook to surprise them. With a body of cavalry,
concealed by the forest in their front, they made their way, under
cover of a ravine, until within a short distance of the unsuspecting
pickets. Then, with a shout and a volley, they dashed upon the line
and over it, capturing nearly all, made their way to the rear, and
there captured lieutenant Colonel Maffett and many of his reserves.

Commotion struck our camp. Drums beat, men called to arms, line of
battle formed, and an advance at double-quick was made through the old
field, in the direction of our unfortunate friends. But all too late.
The surprise had been complete and the captured prisoners had been
hurried to the rear. Colonel Maffett's horse, which was grazing near
the scene of the skirmish, galloped through the enemy's disorganized
lines, some trying to head him off, others to capture him, but he
galloped defiantly on to camp. The enemy amused themselves by throwing
a few shells into our lines.

The horse of Colonel Maffett was carried home by his faithful body
servant, Harry, where both lived to a ripe old age. Not so with the
unfortunate master. Reared in the lap of luxury, being an only son
of a wealthy father and accustomed to all the ease and comforts that
wealth and affluence could give, he could not endure the rigor and
hardships of a Northern prison, his genial spirits gave way,
his constitution and health fouled him, and after many months of
incarceration he died of brain fever. But through it all he bore
himself like a true son of the South. He never complained, nor was his
proud spirit broken by imprisonment, but it chafed under confinement
and forced obedience to prison rule and discipline. The Confederacy
lost no more patriotic, more self-sacrificing soldier than Lieutenant
Colonel Robert Clayton Maffett.

On the 27th we marched to Princeton, and remained until the 31st,
picketing on the Opequan River, then returned to Charlestown. On
the day before, the Third Regiment went out on the Opequan, being in
hearing of the church bells and in sight of the spires of Washington.
What an anomaly! The Federals besieging the Confederate capital, and
the Confederates in sight of Washington.

From Charlestown we were moved back to Winchester and went into camp
for a few days. So far Early's demonstration had been a failure.
Either to capture Washington or weaken Grant, for day in and day
out, he kept pegging away at Petersburg and the approaches to it
and Richmond. These seemed to be the objective points, and which
eventually caused the downfall of the two places. The enemy in our
front had moved up to Berryville, a small hamlet about eight miles
from Winchester, and on the 30th of September we were ordered out to
attack the plan. The Federals had fortified across the turn-pike
and had batteries placed at every commanding point. In front of this
fortification was a large old field, through which we had to advance.
The Brigade was formed in line of battle in some timber at the edge
of the opening and ordered forward. The frowning redoubts lined with
cannon and their formidable breastwork, behind which bristled the
bright bayonets, were anything but objects to tempt the men as they
advanced to the charge. As soon as we entered the opening the shells
came plunging through our ranks, or digging up the earth in front. But
the Brigade marched in good order, not a shot being fired, the enemy
all the while giving us volley after volley. The men began to clamor
for a charge, so much so that when we were about half way through the
old field the command came "charge." Then a yell and a rush, each man
carrying his gun in the most convenient position, and doing all in
his power to reach the work first. The angle in front of the Third was
nearer than the line in front of the other Regiments. Just before we
reached the works the enemy fled to a grove in rear under an incline
and began firing on our troops, who had now reached the work and began
to fire from the opposite side. The firing in this way became general
all along the line. The Artillery had withdrawn to the heights in rear
and opened upon us a tremendous fire at short range. The enemy could
be seen from our elevated position moving around our right through a
thicket of pines, and some one called out to the troops immediately
on the right of the Third Regiment, "The enemy are flanking us." This
caused a momentary panic, and some of the Brigade left the captured
work and began running to the rear. Colonel Rutherford ordered some
of his officers to go down the line and get the demoralized troops to
return to the ranks, which was accomplished without much delay.

The enemy in front began slackening their fire, which caused some of
the men to leap over the works and advance to the brow of a hill
just in front of us to get a better view. The enemy rallied and began
pouring a heavy fire into the bold spirits who had advanced beyond the
lines, wounding quite a number. General Kershaw, with a brigade of the
division, crossed over the turn-pike and began a counter-move on the
enemy's right, which caused such panic, that in a few minutes their
whole line withdrew beyond the little town. Acting Assistant Adjutant
General Pope, on the brigade staff, received a painful wound in the
cheek, but outside of a sprinkling throughout the brigade of wounded,
our loss was slight.

That night the enemy was reinforced, and about 9 o'clock next day
there was a general advance. The enemy had changed his direction, and
now was approaching parallel to the turn-pike. I was in command of the
brigade skirmishers during the night, posted in a large old field on
left of the turn-pike. Just as a detail, commanded by an officer
of the Twentieth, came to relieve me, the enemy was seen advancing
through a forest beyond the old field. The officer, not being familiar
with the skirmish tactics, and never being on a skirmish line during
action before, asked me to retain the command and also my line of
skirmishers and conduct the retreat, which I did. The brigade at that
time was on the retreat, and this double skirmish line covered and
protected the rear. If there is any sport or amusement at all in
battle, it is while on skirmish line, when the enemy is pressing you.
On a skirmish line, usually, the men are posted about ten paces apart
and several hundred yards in front of the main line of battle, to
receive or give the first shock of battle. In our case the line was
doubled, making it very strong, as strong, in fact, as some of the
lines of General Lee's at that time holding Petersburg. When the
enemy's skirmishers struck the opening our line opened upon them,
driving them helter-skelter back into the woods. I ordered an advance,
as the orders were to hold the enemy in check as long as possible to
give our main line and wagon train time to get out of the way. We kept
up the fire as we advanced, until we came upon the enemy posted behind
trees; then, in our turn, gave way into the opening. Then the enemy
advanced, so forward and backward the two lines advanced and receded,
until by the support of the enemy's line of battle we were driven
across the turn-pike, where we assembled and followed in rear of the
brigade. There is nothing in this world that is more exciting, more
nerve stirring to a soldier, than to participate in a battle line of
skirmishers, when you have a fair field and open fight. There it
takes nerve and pluck, however, it is allowed each skirmisher to take
whatever protection he can in the way of tree or stump. Then on the
advance you do not know when to expect an enemy to spring from behind
a tree, stump, or bush, take aim and fire. It resembles somewhat the
order of Indian warfare, for on a skirmish line "all is fair in war."

We returned without further molestation to the vicinity of Winchester,
the enemy not feeling disposed to press us. It was never understood
whose fault it was that a general engagement did not take place, for
Early had marched and began the attack, and pressed the enemy from his
first line of works, then the next day the enemy showed a bold front
and was making every demonstration as if to attack us.

General Kershaw having been promoted to Major General, General James
Connor was sent to command the brigade. He was formerly Colonel of
the Twenty-second North Carolina Regiment, promoted to Brigadier, and
commanded McGowan's Brigade after the battle of Spottsylvania Court
House. After the return of General McGowan, he was assigned to the
command of Laws' Brigade, and about the 6th or 7th of September
reached us and relieved Colonel Henagan, of the Eighth, who had
so faithfully led the old First Brigade since the battle of the
Wilderness.

While in camp near Winchester, the Eighth Regiment, under Colonel
Henagan, was sent out on picket on the Berryville road. In the morning
before day General Sheridan, with a large force of cavalry, made
a cautious advance and captured the videttes of the Eighth, which
Colonel Henagan had posted in front, and passing between the regiment
and the brigade, made a sudden dash upon their rear, capturing all of
the regiment, with Colonel Henagan, except two companies commanded by
the gallant Captain T.F. Malloy. These two companies had been thrown
out on the right, and by tact and a bold front Captain Malloy saved
these two companies and brought them safely into camp. The whole
brigade mourned the loss of this gallant portion of their comrades.
Colonel Henagan, like Colonel Maffett, sank under the ill treatment
and neglect in a Northern prison and died there.

       *       *       *       *       *


COL. J.W. HENAGAN.

Col. J.W. Henagan was born November 22nd, 1822, in Marlboro County,
S.C., Was the son of E.L. Henagan and wife, Ann McInnis. His father
was a Scotch-Irishman. His mother Scotch. Was educated at Academy in
Bennettsville and Parnassus. Was elected Sheriff of Marlboro County
in October, 1852, and went into office February, 1853. In 1860 was
elected to the Legislature. Was re-elected to the Legislature in 1863.

Prior to the war was prominent in militia service, serving
consecutively as Captain, Colonel and Brigadier General. In March,
1861, volunteered, and in April became Lieutenant Colonel of Eighth
Regiment South Carolina Volunteers and went with the Regiment to
Virginia. Was in battle of Bull Run or First Manassas. In 1862 he
became by election Colonel of the Eighth South Carolina Volunteers and
served in that capacity until his capture near Winchester in the fall
of 1864 when he was sent a prisoner to Johnson's Island, Ohio. Here he
died a prisoner of war, April 22, 1865.

No Regiment of the Confederacy saw harder service or was engaged in
more battles than the Eighth South Carolina of Kershaw's Brigade
and no officer of that Brigade bore himself with more conspicuous
gallantry than Colonel Henagan. He was always at his post and ready to
go forward when so ordered. There was little or no fear in him to move
into battle, and he was always sure, during the thickest of the fight,
cheering on his men to victory.

Colonel Henagan, as a citizen of the County, was as generous as brave.
His purse was open to the needs of the poor. Did not know how or could
not refuse the appeals to charity. He was the eldest son of a large
family. When about twenty years old his father died and left on his
shoulders the responsibility of maintaining and educating several
younger brothers and sisters. He never swerved from this duty, but
like the man that he was, did his work nobly. He was a dutiful son,
a kind brother, a friend to all. He knew no deception, had no respect
for the sycophant. Loved his country. A friend to be relied on. Was
a farmer by profession. A good politician. Was a very quiet man, but
always expressed his views firmly and candidly when called upon.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL ROBERT CLAYTON MAFFETT.

Colonel Robert Clayton Maffett was born in Newberry County, about
the year 1836. Was the only son of Captain James Maffett, long time a
member of the General Assembly of South Carolina. At the breaking out
of the war Colonel Maffett was Colonel of the Thirty-ninth Regiment of
State Militia. From this regiment two companies were formed in answer
to the first call for volunteers. One of these companies elected
him Captain, which afterwards became Company C, Third South Carolina
Regiment. His company was one of the few that reorganized before the
expiration of the term of the first twelve months' enlistment, and
again elected Colonel Maffett as its Captain. After a thirty days'
furlough, just before the seven days' battle, he returned with his
company and became senior Captain in command. He soon became Major
by the death of Lieutenant Colonel Garlington, Major Rutherford being
promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. After the death of Colonel Nance, 6th
of May, he became Lieutenant Colonel. He participated in nearly all
the great battles in which the regiment was engaged, and was often in
command. He was several times wounded, but not severely. At the time
of his capture he was in command of the Seventh Regiment. Colonel
Maffett was conspicuous for his fine soldierly appearance, being a
perfect type of an ideal soldier.

He was loved and admired by the men as few officers of his station
were. In camp he was the perfect gentleman, kind and indulgent to his
men, and in battle he was cool, collected, and gallant. He died in
prison only a short while before the close of the war, leaving a wife
and one daughter of tender age.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXXV

Reminiscences of the Valley.


Y.J. Pope, Adjutant of the Third South Carolina, but then acting as
Assistant Adjutant General on General Connor's Staff, gives me here
a very ludicrous and amusing account of a "Fox hunt in the valley."
A hunt without the hounds or without the fox. No man in Kershaw's
Brigade was a greater lover of sport or amusement of any kind than
Adjutant Pope. In all our big snow "festivals," where hundreds would
engage in the contest of snow-balling, Adjutant Pope always took a
leading part. It was this spirit of sport and his mingling with the
common soldier, while off duty, that endeared Pope so much to the
troop. With his sword and sash he could act the martinet, but when
those were laid aside Adjutant Pope was one of the "boys," and engaged
a "boat" with them as much as any one in the "Cross Anchors," a
company noted for its love of fun.

Says, Adjutant Pope, now a staid Judge on the Supreme Court Bench.

"The Third South Carolina Infantry had been placed on pickets in front
of Early in September, 1864. The point at which picket were posted
were at two fords on the Opequan River, Captain Dickert, with his
company, was posted at some distance from the place where the other
portion of the Regiment was posted to cover one of the fords. I can
see now the work laid cut for Captain Dickert, ought to have been
assigned to the Cavalry for a company of Infantry, say a half mile
from the Regiment, might have been surrounded too quickly for the
company to be retired or to receive assistance from the Regiment.
Well, as it was, no harm came of it for the company held the ford
unassailable. A company of the Regiment was placed at a ford on the
highway as it crossed the river. While a few officers were enjoying a
nice supper here comes an order to call in the companies on picket and
to follow the Regiment with all possible speed towards Winchester,
to which latter place the army of Early had already gone. Guides were
sent to us, and our Regiment had marched by country road until
we struck the turn-pike. The march was necessarily rapid lest the
Regiment might be assailed by overwhelming numbers of the enemy. The
soldiers did not fancy this rapid marching.

"To our surprise and horror, after we had reached the turn-pike
road, and several miles from our destination, the soldiers set up an
imitation of barking, just as if a lot of hounds in close pursuit of a
fresh jumped fox. Now any one at all familiar with the characteristic
of the soldier know imitation is his weak point, one yell, all yell,
one sing, all sing, if one is merry, all are merry. We were near the
enemy, and the Colonel knew the necessity of silence, and caution
Colonel Rutherford was, of course indignant at this outburst of good
humor in the dark watches of the night, and the enemy at our heels
or flank. He sent back orders by me (Pope) to pass down the lines
and order silence. But 'bow-wow,' 'bow,' 'bow-wow,' 'yelp, yelp,' and
every conceivable imitation of the fox hound rent the air. One company
on receiving the orders to stop this barking would cease, but others
would take it up. 'Bow-wow,' 'toot,' 'toot,' 'yah-oon,' 'yah-oon,'
dogs barking, men hollowing, some blowing through their hands to
imitate the winding of the huntman's horn. 'Stop this noise,' 'cease
your barking,' 'silence,' still the chase continued. 'Go it, Lead,'
'catch him, Frail,' 'Old Drive close to him,' 'hurah Brink,' 'talk to
him old boys.' The valley fairly rung, with this chase. Officers even
could not refrain from joining in the encouragement to the excited
dogs as the noise would rise and swell and echoe through the distant
mountain gorges to reverberate up and down the valley--at last wore
out by their ceaseless barking and yelling, the noise finally died
out, much to the satisfaction of the Colonel commanding, myself and
the officers who were trying to stop it. As mortified as I was at my
inability to execute the orders of Colonel Rutherford, still I never
laughed so much in my life at this ebullition of good feelings of the
men, after all their toils and trials, especially as I would hear some
one in the line call out as if in the last throes of exhaustion, 'Go
on old dog,' 'now you are on him,' 'talk to him, old Ranger.' What
the Yankees thought of this fox chase at night in the valley, or what
their intentions might have been is not known, but they would have
been mighty fools to have tackled a lot of old 'Confeds' out on a lark
at night."

The negro cooks of the army were a class unique in many ways. While
he was a slave, he had far more freedom than his master, in fact had
liberties that his master's master did not possess. It was the first
time in the South's history that a negro could roam at will, far
and wide, without a pass. He could ride his dead master's horse from
Virginia to Louisiana without molestation. On the march the country
was his, and so long as he was not in the way of moving bodies of
troops, the highways were open to him. He was never jostled or pushed
aside by stragglers, and received uniform kindness and consideration
from all. The negro was conscious of this consideration, and never
took advantage of his peculiar station to intrude upon any of the
rights or prerogatives exclusively the soldier's. He could go to the
rear when danger threatened, or to the front when it was over. No
negro ever deserted, and the fewest number ever captured. His master
might fall upon the field, or in the hands of the enemy, but the
servant was always safe. While the negro had no predilection for war
in its realities, and was conspicuous by his absence during the raging
of the battles, still he was among the first upon the field when it
was over, looking after the dead and wounded. At the field hospitals
and infirmaries, he was indispensable, obeying all, serving all,
without question or complaint. His first solicitude after battle
was of his master's fate--if dead, he sought him upon the field; if
wounded, he was soon at his side. No mother could nurse a child with
greater tenderness and devotion than the dark-skinned son of the South
did his master.

At the breaking out of the war almost every mess had a negro cook,
one of the mess furnishing the cook, the others paying a proportional
share for hire; but as the stringency of the Subsistence Department
began to grow oppressive, as the war wore on, many of these negroes
were sent home. There was no provision made by the department for his
keep, except among the officers of the higher grade; so the mess had
to share their rations with the cook, or depend upon his ability as a
"forager." In the later years of the war the country occupied by the
armies became so devastated that little was left for the "forager."
Among the officers, it was different. They were allowed two rations
(only in times of scarcity they had to take the privates' fare). This
they were required to pay for at pay day, and hence could afford to
keep a servant. Be it said to the credit of the soldiers of the South,
and to their servants as well, that during my four years and more of
service I never heard of, even during times of the greatest scarcity,
a mess denying the cook an equal share of the scanty supply, or a
servant ever found stealing a soldier's rations. There was a mutual
feeling of kindness and honesty between the two. If all the noble,
generous and loyal acts of the negroes of the army could be recorded,
it would fill no insignificant volume.

There was as much cast among the negroes, in fact more, as among the
soldiers. In times of peace and at home, the negro based his claims
of cast upon the wealth of his master. But in the army, rank of his
master overshadowed wealth. The servant of a Brigadier felt royal as
compared to that of a Colonel, and the servant of a Colonel, or even
a Major, was far ahead, in superiority and importance, to those
belonging to the privates and line officers. The negro is naturally
a hero worshiper. He gloried in his master's fame, and while it might
often be different, in point of facts, still to the negro his master
was "the bravest of the brave."

As great "foragers" as they were, they never ventured far in front
while on the advance, nor lingered too dangerously in the rear on the
retreat. They hated the "Yankee" and had a fear of capture. One day
while we were camped near Charlestown an officer's cook wandered too
far away in the wrong direction and ran up on the Federal pickets.
Jack had captured some old cast-off clothes, some garden greens and an
old dominicker rooster. Not having the remotest idea of the topography
of the country, he very naturally walked into the enemy's pickets.
He was halted, brought in and questioned. The Federals felt proud of
their capture, and sought to conciliate Jack with honeyed words and
great promises. But Jack would have none of it.

"Well, look er here," said Jack, looking suspiciously around at the
soldiers; "who you people be, nohow?"

"We are Federal soldiers," answered the picket.

"Well, well, is you dem?"

"Dem who?" asked the now thoroughly aroused Federal.

"Why dem Yankees, ob course--dem dat cotched Mars Clayt."

The Federal admitted they were "Yankees," but that now Jack had no
master, that he was free.

"Is dat so?" Then scratching his head musingly, Jack said at last, "I
don know 'bout dat--what you gwine do wid me, anyhow; what yer want?"

He was told that he must go as a prisoner to headquarters first, and
then dealt with as contrabands of war.

"Great God Almighty! white folks, don't talk dat er way." The negro
had now become thoroughly frightened, and with a sudden impulse
he threw the chicken at the soldier's feet, saying, "Boss, ders a
rooster, but here is me," then with the speed of a startled deer Jack
"hit the wind," to use a vulgarism of the army.

"Halt! halt!"--bang, whiz, came from the sentinel, the whole picket
force at Jack's heels. But the faithful negro for the time excelled
himself in running, and left the Federals far behind. He came in camp
puffing, snorting, and blowing like a porpoise. "Great God Almighty!
good people, talk er 'bout patter-rollers, day ain't in it. If dis
nigger didn't run ter night, den don't talk." Then Jack recounted his
night's experience, much to the amusement of the listening soldiers.

Occasionally a negro who had served a year or two with his young
master in the army, would be sent home for another field of
usefulness, and his place taken by one from the plantation. While a
negro is a great coward, he glories in the pomp and glitter of war,
when others do the fighting. He loves to tell of the dangers (not
sufferings) undergone, the blood and carnage, but above all, how the
cannon roared round and about him.

A young negro belonging to an officer in one of the regiments was
sent home, and his place as cook was filled by Uncle Cage, a venerable
looking old negro, who held the distinguished post of "exhorter" in
the neighborhood. His "sister's chile" had filled Uncle Cage's head
with stories of war--of the bloodshed on the battlefield, the roar
of cannon, and the screaming of shells over that haven of the negro
cooks, the wagon yards--but to all the blood and thunder stories of
his "sister's chile" Uncle Cage only shook his head and chuckled, "Dey
may kill me, but dey can't skeer dis nigger." Among the other stories
he had listened to was that of a negro having his head shot off by
a cannon ball. Sometime after Uncle Cage's installation as cook the
enemy made a demonstration as if to advance. A few shells came over
our camp, one bursting in the neighborhood of Uncle Cage, while he was
preparing the morning meal for his mess.

Some of the negroes and more prudent non-combattants began to hunt
for the wagon yard, but Uncle Cage remained at his post. He was just
saying:

"Dese yer young niggers ain't no account; dey's skeered of dere own
shad--"

"Boom, boom," a report, and a shell explodes right over his head,
throwing fragments all around.

Uncle Cage made for the rear, calling out as he ran, "Oh, dem cussed
Yankees! You want er kill er nudder nigger, don't you?" Seeing the men
laughing as he passed by in such haste, he yelled back defiantly, "You
can laff, if you want to, but ole mars ain't got no niggers to fling
away."

"Red tape" prevailed to an alarming extent in the War Department, and
occasionally a paroxysm of this disease would break out among some of
the officers of the army, especially among the staff, "West Pointers,"
or officers of temporary high command--Adjutant Pope gives his
experience, with one of those afflicted functionaries, "Where as
Adjutant of the Third South Carolina," says he, I had remained as such
from May, 1862, till about the 1st of September, 1864, an order came
from brigade headquarters, for me to enter upon the responsibilities
of acting Assistant Adjutant General of Kershaw's Brigade. When
General Connor was disabled soon after, and the Senior Colonel of the
brigade, present for duty, the gallant William D. Rutherford, received
his death-wound, General Kershaw, commanding division, sent the
Assistant Adjutant General of the division, (a staff officer), Major
James M. Goggans, to command the brigade. About the 17th of October
there came a delegation to brigade headquarters, to learn, if
possible, whether there could be obtained a leave of absence for
a soldier, whose wife was dead, leaving a family of children to be
provided for.

I was a sympathetic man, and appreciated the sad condition of the poor
soldier, who had left his all to serve his country, and now had at
home, a house full of motherless children. I said "wait till I see
the brigade commander," and went to Major Goggans, relating the
circumstances, and was assured of his approval of the application
for leave of absence in question. This news, the spokesman of the
delegation, gladly carried back to the anxiously awaiting group. Soon
papers were brought to headquarters, signed by all the officers below.
When the papers were carried by me to the brigade commander for his
approval, it raised a storm, so to speak, in the breast of the newly
appointed, but temporary Chieftain. "Why do you bring me this paper
to sign this time of day?" it being in the afternoon. "Do you not know
that all papers are considered at nine o'clock A.M.?" In future, and
as long as I am in command of the Brigade, I want it understood that
under no considerations and circumstances, I wish papers to be signed,
brought to me before or after nine o'clock A.M. The faces of the
officers composing the delegation, when the news was brought to them,
plainly expressed their disgust; they felt, at the idea, that no
grief, however great, would be considered by the self-exalted Chief;
except as the clock struck nine in the morning.

Circumstances and occurrences of this kind were so rare and
exceptional, that I record the facts given by Judge Pope, to expose an
exception to the general rule of gentlemanly deportment of one officer
to another, so universal throughout the army. The kindness, sympathy
and respect that superiors showed to subalterns and privates became
almost a proverb. While in a reminiscent mood, I will give a story of
two young officers as given by the writer of the above. He claims to
have been an eye witness and fully competent to give a true recital.
It is needless to say that the writer of these memoirs was one of
the participants, and as to the story itself, he has only a faint
recollection, but the sequel which he will give is vivid enough, even
after the lapse of a third of a century. Judge Pope writes, "It
is needless to say that the Third South Carolina Regiment had a
half-score or more young officers, whose conduct in battle had
something to do with giving prestige to the regiment, whose jolly good
nature, their almost unparallel reciprocal love of officers and men,
helped to give tone and recognition to it, their buoyancy of spirits,
their respect for superiors and kindness and indulgence to their
inferiors, endeared them to all--the whole command seemed to embibe of
their spirit of fun, mischief and frolic." Captains L.W. Gary, John
W. Watts, John K. Nance, Lieutenants Farley and Wofford, Adjutant Pope
and others, whom it may be improper to mention here, (and I hope I
will not be considered egotistical or self praise, to include myself),
were a gay set. Their temperatures and habits, in some instances, were
as wide as the poles, but there was a kind of affinity, a congeniality
of spirits between them, that they were more like brothers in reality
than brothers in arms, and all might be considered a "chip of the old
block." Nor would our dearly beloved, kind, generous hearted Colonel
Rutherford, when off duty, feel himself too much exalted to take a
"spin with the boys" when occasions and circumstances admitted. Many,
many have been the jolly carousals these jolly knights enjoyed while
passing through some town or city. The confinement and restrictions of
camp life induced them, when off duty and in some city, to long for a
"loosening of the bit" and an ebullition of their youthful spirits.

Judge Pope, continuing, says: "In the spring of 1864 Longstreet's
soldiers were ordered from East Tennessee, to join Lee in Virginia,
and it follows that there was joy in the camp among the soldiers,
for who does not love Virginia? In route the command was halted
in Lynchburg, and what was more natural for the fun-loving, jovial
members of the old brigade, after being isolated so long, cut off
from civilization as it seemed to them, shut up in the gorges of the
mountains, than to long for a breath of fresh air--to wish for the
society and enjoy the hospitality of the fair ladies of old Virginia,
especially the quaint old city of Lynchburg. With such feelings, two
handsome and gallant Captains of the Third Regiment applied for and
obtained leave of absence for the day. I will call this jolly couple
John and Gus. To say that these two young Captains--one of the right
and the other of the left color company--were birds rare, would scarce
express it. They were both in their 'teens,' and small of statue
withal. They were two of the youngest, as well as the smallest,
officers in the brigade. Notwithstanding their age and build, they
would not hesitate to take a 'bout' with the strongest and the
largest. As one would say to the other, 'When your wind fails you, I
will leg him.' Now, these two knights, out on a lark and lookout for
adventure, did not hesitate to shie their castors in the ring and
cross lances the first opportunity presented. No doubt, after being a
while with the famous Sancho Panza at the wine skins, they could
see as many objects, changed through enchantment, as the Master Dan
Quixote did, and demanded a challenge from them. In walking up a side
street in the city, they, as by enchantment, saw walking just in front
of them, a burly, stout built man, dressed out in the finest broad
cloth coat. What a sight for a soldier to see! a broad cloth coat!"
and he a young man of the army age. Ye gods was it possible. Did their
eyes deceive them, or had they forgotten this was a Sabbath day, and
the city guard was accustomed to wear his Sunday clothes. There were
a set of semi-soldiers in some cities known as "city guards," whose
duties consisted of examining soldier's furloughs and passes in cities
and on trains. Their soft places and fine clothes were poison to the
regular soldiers, and between whom, a friendly and good natured feud
existed. There was another set that was an abomination to both, the
gambler, who, by money or false papers, exempted themselves. Richmond
was their city of refuge, but now and then one would venture out into
a neighboring town.

"'Come out of that coat; can't wear that in the city to-day,' was the
first salutation the jolly knights gave the fine dressed devotee of
the blue cloth.

"'What, do you wish to insult me?' indignantly replied the man,
turning and glaring at the two officers with the ferocity of a tiger.

"'Oh, no,' says John, 'we want that coat;' and instinctively the young
Captains lay hands upon the garment that gave so much offense.

"'Hands off me, you cowardly young ruffians!'

"'Oh, come out of that coat,' replied the jolly couple.

"'Rip, rip,' went the coat; 'biff, biff,' went the non-combattant's
fist. Right and left he struck from the shoulders, to be replied to
with equal energy by the fists of the young men.

"'Rip, rip,' goes the coat, 'bang, biff,' goes the fists. Down in the
street, over in the gutter, kicks and blows, still 'rip, rip,' goes
the coat.

"'Help!' cries the non-combatant.

"'Yes,' cries Gus, 'help with the coat John.'

"The noise gathered the crowd. With the crowd came Lieutenant H.L.
Farley. The burly frame of Farley soon separated the fighters. The
gambler seeing his hopelessness in the face of so much odds, rose to
his feet, and made a dash for liberty, leaving in the hands of each of
the boys a tail of the much prized coat, all 'tattered and torn.' The
gambler made quite a ludicrous picture, streaking it through town with
his coat-tails off."

This is Pope's story, but I will here tell the sequel which was not
near so amusing to me.

Sometime afterwards, the writer and participant in the fray of the
"coat-tail" was slightly wounded, and was sent to Lynchburg to the
hospital, formerly a Catholic college, if I am not mistaken. After
being there for a time with my wounded brother officers (this was a
hospital for officers alone) I became sufficiently convalescent to
feel like a stroll through the city. I felt a little tender, lest I
might meet unexpectedly my unknown antagonist and erstwhile hostile
enemy; but one night I accepted the invitation of a tall, robust-built
Captain from Tennessee (a room-mate, and also convalescent from a
slight wound) to take a stroll. Being quite small, friendless, and
alone, I did not object to this herculean chaperone. After tiring of
the stroll, we sauntered into a soldier's cheap restaurant and called
for plates. While we were waiting the pleasure of "mine host," the
tread of footsteps and merry laughter of a crowd of jolly roisters met
our ears, and in walked some soldiers in the garb of "city police,"
and with the crowd was my man of the "long coat-tail." My heart sank
into the bottom of my boots, my speech failed me, and I sat stupified,
staring into space. Should he recognize me, then what? My thought ran
quick and fast. I never once expected help from my old Tennessean.
As we were only "transient" acquaintances, I did not think of the
brotherhood of the soldier in this emergency. The man of the "long
coat" approached our table and raised my hat, which, either by habit
or force of circumstances, I will not say, I had the moment before
pulled down over my eyes.

"Hey, my fine young man, I think I know you. Aren't you the chap that
torn my coat sometime ago? Answer me, sir," giving me a vigorous shake
on the shoulder. "You are the very d----n young ruffian that did it,
and I am going to give you such a thrashing as you will not forget."

I have never yet fully decided what answer I was going to
make--whether I was going to say yes, and ask his pardon, with the
risk of a thrashing, or deny it--for just at that moment the "tall
sycamore of the Holston" reached out with his fist and dealt my
assailant a blow sufficient to have felled an ox of the Sweetwater.
Sending the man reeling across the room, the blood squirting and
splattering, he said:

"Gentlemen, I came here with this boy, and whoever whips him has first
got to walk my log, and that is what few people can do."

The old "sycamore" from Tennessee looked to me at that precious moment
as tall as a church steeple, and fully as large around. In all my
whole life never was a man's presence so agreeable and his services so
acceptable. It gave me a confidence in myself I never felt before nor
since. His manly features and giant-like powers acted like inspiration
upon me, and I felt for the time like a Goliath myself, and rose to
my feet to join in the fray. But my good deliverer pushed me back and
said:

"Stand aside, young man, I have tickets for both in here," and
with that he began to wield his mighty blows first here and then
there--first one and then another went staggering across the room,
until the crowd gathered outside and put an end to the frolic. No
explanations were given and none asked. Taking me by the arm, the big
Captain led me away, saying, after we had gone some little distance:

"Young man, that was a narrow escape you made, and it was lucky I was
on hand."

He spoke with so much candor and logic, that I did not have the heart
nor disposition to doubt or contradict it.

I would be willing to qualify before a grand jury to my dying day that
I had had a close call.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXXVI

Leaves the Valley--Return to Early--Second Valley Campaign.


On the 15th of September we began our return to Lee, marching about
six miles south of Middleton. The next day we took up the march again
to within fifteen miles of Luray Court House, then to within eleven
miles of Sperryville, on the turn-pike, between the two points.
Virginia or that part of it is blessed for her good roads on the main
thoroughfares. The road from Staunton to the Potomac is one of the
finest in America, being laid with cobble stones the entire length,
upwards of one hundred and twenty-five miles. Then the road engineers
did one thing that should immortalize them, that is in going around
hills instead of over them, as in our State. Those engineers of old
worked on the theory that the distance around a hill was no greater
than over it, and much better for travel.

Over the Blue Ridge at Thornton Gap and to within five miles of
Woodville, reaching Culpepper at three o'clock P.M., the 9th. Our ears
were greeted with the distant roar of artillery, which proved to be
our artillery firing at a scouting party of United States cavalry. On
through Culpepper we marched, to within one mile of Rapidan Station,
our starting point of near two months before. And what a fruitless
march--over the mountains, dusty roads, through briars and thickets,
and heat almost unbearable--fighting and skirmishing, with nightly
picketing, over rivers and mountain sides, losing officers, and many,
too, being field officers captured. While in camp here we heard of
Early's disaster in the Valley, which cast a damper over all the
troops. It seems that as soon as Sheridan heard of our detachment from
Early's command he planned and perfected a surprise, defeating him in
the action that followed, and was then driving him out of the Valley.
Could we have been stopped at this point and returned to Early, which
we had to do later, it would have saved the division many miles of
marching, and perhaps further discomfiture of Early and his men. But
reports had to be made to the war department.

Orders came for our return while we were continuing our march to
Gordonsville, which place we reached on the 23rd of September, at 4
o'clock, having been on the continuous march for exactly fifty days.
On the morning of the 24th we received the orders to return to the
relief of Early, and at daylight, in a blinding rain, we commenced to
retrace our steps, consoling ourselves with the motto, "Do your
duty, therein all honor lies," passing through Barboursville and
Standardville, a neat little village nestled among the hills, and
crossed the mountain at Swift Run Gap. We camped about one mile of the
delightful Shenandoah, which, by crossing and recrossing its clear,
blue-tinged waters and camping on its banks so often, had become near
and dear to all of us, and nothing was more delightful than to take
a plunge beneath its waters. But most often we had to take the water
with clothes and shoes on in the dead of winter, still the name of the
Shenandoah had become classic to our ears.

The situation of Early had become so critical, the orders so
imperative to join him as soon as possible, that we took up the march
next morning at a forced speed, going twelve miles before a halt, a
feat never before excelled by any body of troops during the war.
When within two miles of Port Republic, a little beyond its two roads
leading off from that place, one to Brown's Gap, we encountered the
enemy's cavalry. Here they made an attack upon our brigade, but were
repulsed at first fire from the infantry rifles. There was one
thing demonstrated during this war, that whatever might have been
accomplished in days of old, the cavalry on either side could not
stand the fire of the infantry. And it seemed that they had a kind
of intuition of the fact whenever the infantry was in their front.
Nothing better as an excuse did a cavalry commander wish, when met
with a repulse, than to report, "We were driving them along nicely
until we came upon the enemy's infantry, then we had to give way."

This report had been made over and over again, until it became
threadbare; but a cavalry officer thought it a feather in his cap to
report his defeat or repulse by, "We met their infantry." We made a
junction with Early near Brown's Gap, on the 26th, and camped at night
with orders to be prepared to march at daylight. The troops of Early's
were in a despondent mood, but soon their spirits revived at the
sight of Kershaw's Division. We moved forward in the direction of
Harrisonburg, our duty being to guard the two roads leading thereto.
Early sent the other part of the army to the left and forward of us,
and in this order we marched on to Waynesboro. Reaching there next
day, the enemy's cavalry scattered when our troops came in sight.
We began, on October 1st, moving in the direction of the turn-pike,
leading from Winchester to Staunton, striking near Harrisonburg on the
6th.

We began the forward movement down the Valley on the 7th, the enemy
slowly giving way as we advanced. We passed through those picturesque
little cities of the Valley, Harrisonburg, New Market, and Woodstock,
marching a day or two and then remaining in camp that length of
time to give rest to the troops, after their long march. It must be
remembered we had been two months cut off from the outside world--no
railroad nearer than Staunton, the men being often short of rations
and barefooted and badly clad; scarcely any mail was received during
these two months, and seldom a paper ever made its appearance in
camp. We only knew that Lee was holding his own. We reached and passed
through Strausburg on the 13th. In the afternoon of this day, while
we were on the march, but at the time laying by the side of the
turn-pike, the enemy tried to capture some of our artillery. We had
heard firing all day in our front, but thought this the effects of the
enemy's sullen withdrawal. While resting by the road side, the enemy
made a spirited attack upon the troops in front. We were hurriedly
rushed forward, put in line of battle, advanced through an uneven
piece of ground, and met the enemy posted behind a hill in front. They
opened upon us at close range, killing and wounding quite a number,
but as soon as our brigade made the first fire, they fled to a brick
wall, running at an angle from the turn-pike. General Connor fell at
the first fire, badly wounded in the knee, from the effects of which
he lost his leg, and never returned, only to bid his brigade farewell
in the pine regions of North Carolina. Colonel Rutherford being next
in command, advanced the troops to the top of the hill and halted. In
going out in front to reconnoitre in the direction of the stone wall,
a party of the enemy, who had concealed themselves behind it, rose
and fired, mortally wounding the gallant and much beloved Colonel. A
charge was made, and the enemy fled to a thicket of pine timber and
made their escape. This was a bloody little battle for the brigade,
and some of its loss was irreparable. We halted after driving the
enemy away, and at night withdrew to Fisher's Hill and camped for
the night. Fisher's Hill is a kind of bluff reaching out from the
Massanutten Mountain on our right; at its base ran Cedar Creek. It
is a place of great natural strength. In the presence of some of his
friends Colonel Rutherford passed away that night, at one o'clock, and
his remains were carried to his home by Captain Jno. K. Nance. General
Connor had his leg amputated. The brigade was without a field officer
of higher grade than Major, and such officer being too inexperienced
in the handling of so large a number of men, Major James Goggans,
of the division staff, was ordered to its command. While some staff
officers may be as competent to handle troops in the field as the
commanders themselves, still in our case it was a lamentable failure.
Major Goggans was a good staff officer, a graduate of West Point, but
he was too old and inexperienced to command troops of such vigor and
enthusiasm as the South Carolinians who composed Kershaw's Brigade.

We remained a short time on Fisher's Hill, throwing up some slight
fortifications. Kershaw's Brigade was encamped in a piece of woods on
the left of the turn-pike as you go north.

       *       *       *       *       *


COLONEL WILLIAM DRAYTON RUTHERFORD.

Colonel William Drayton Rutherford was the son of Dr. Thomas B.
Rutherford and Mrs. Laura Adams Rutherford, his wife. He was born on
the 21st of September, 1837, in Newberry District, South Carolina.
By his father he was a descendant of Virginians, as well as of that
sturdy and patriotic stock of Germans who settled what was known as
the "Fork." By his mother he was a descendant of the New England Adams
family--what a splendid boy and man he was! He was educated in the
best schools in our State, and spent sometime abroad. At the sound of
arms he volunteered and was made Adjutant of the Third South Carolina
Infantry. At the reorganization of the regiment, in May, 1862, he
was elected Major of his regiment. When Lieutenant Colonel B. Conway
Garlington was killed at Savage Station, June 29th, 1862, Rutherford
became Lieutenant Colonel of his regiment. When Colonel James D. Nance
fell in the battle of the Wilderness, on the 6th day of May, 1864, he
became Colonel of the Third South Carolina Regiment. He was a gallant
officer and fell in the front of his regiment at Strausburg, Va., on
the 13th of October, 1864.

He married the beautiful and accomplished Miss Sallie H. Fair, only
daughter of Colonel Simeon Fair, in March, 1862, and the only child
of this union was "the daughter of the regiment," Kate Stewart
Rutherford, who is now Mrs. George Johnstone.

Colonel Rutherford was in the battles of First Manassas, Williamsburg,
Savage Station, Malvern Hill, First Fredericksburg (12th December,
1862, where he was badly wounded), Knoxville, Wilderness, Brock's Road
(and other battles about Spottsylvania), North Anna Bridge, Second
Cold Harbor, Deep Bottom, Berryville, and Strausburg.

He was a delight to his friends, by reason of his fare intelligence,
warm heart, and generous impulses; to his family, because he was
always so considerate of them, so affectionate, and so brimful of
courtesy; but to his enemies (and he never made any except among the
vicious), he was uncompromisingly fierce.

I will state here that General James Connor had been in command of
the brigade for about two or three months, Colonel Kennedy, the senior
officer of the brigade, being absent on account of wounds received at
the Wilderness. There is no question but what General Connor was one
of the best officers that South Carolina furnished during the war. But
he was not liked by the officers of the line or the men. He was
too rigid in his discipline for volunteers. The soldiers had become
accustomed to the ways and customs of Kershaw and the officers
under him, so the stringent measures General Connor took to prevent
straggling and foraging or any minor misdemeanor was not calculated to
gain the love of the men. All, however, had the utmost confidence
in his courage and ability, and were willing to follow where he led.
Still he was not our own Joseph Kershaw. Below I give a short sketch
of his life.

       *       *       *       *       *


GENERAL JAMES CONNOR.

General James Connor, son of the late Henry Connor, was born in
Charleston, S.C., 1st of September, 1829. Graduated at the South
Carolina College, 1849, same class with D. Wyatt Aiken, Theo G.
Barker, C.H. Simonton, and W.H. Wallace (Judge). Read law with J.L.
Pettigrew. Admitted to the bar in 1852. Practiced in Charleston.
Appointed United States District Attorney for South Carolina in
1856, Hon. A.G. Magrath then District Judge. As District Attorney,
prosecuted Captain Carrie, of the "Wanderer," who had brought a
cargo of Africans to the State; also prosecuted T.J. Mackey for
participation in Walker's filibustering expedition. Always justified
the expectations of his friends in their high opinion of his talents
and marked ability in all contingencies. Resigned as District Attorney
in December, 1860. Was on the committee with Judge Magrath and W.F.
Colcock, charged to urge the Legislature to call a convention of the
people to consider the necessity of immediate Secession, and upon the
passage of the Secession Ordinance, prepared for active service in the
army. But upon the formation of the Confederate States Government
he was appointed Confederate States of America District Attorney for
South Carolina, but declined. Went into the service as Captain of
the Montgomery Guards, and in May, 1861, was chosen Captain of the
Washington Light Infantry, Hampton Legion. In July, 1861, he became
Major, and in June, 1863, was appointed Colonel of the Twenty-second
North Carolina Volunteers. Being disabled for field duty, temporarily,
was detailed as one of the judges of the military court of the
Second Army Corps. With rank of Colonel, June, 1864, was commissioned
Brigadier General, and by assignment commanded McGowan's and Laws'
Brigades. Subsequently, as Acting Major General, commanded McGowan's,
Laws', and Bushrod Johnson's Brigades. On return of McGowan to duty,
was assigned permanently to command of Kershaw's Brigade.

He engaged in the following battles: Fort Sumter, First Manassas,
Yorktown, New Stone Point, West Point, Seven Pines, Mechanicsville,
Chancellorsville, Riddle's Shop, Darby's Farm, Fossil's Mill,
Petersburg, Jerusalem, Plank Road, Reams' Station, Winchester, Port
Republic, and Cedar Run. Severely wounded in leg at Mechanicsville and
again at Cedar Run, October 12th, 1864. Leg amputated.

Returning to Charleston after the war, he resumed law practice with
W.D. Portier. Was counsel for the South Carolina Railway. In 1878
was Receiver of the Georgia and Carolina Railway. Was candidate
for Lieutenant Governor in 1870. Elected Attorney General in 1876,
resigned in 1877. Was at one time since the war M.W.G.M. of the Grand
Lodge of Masons in this State.

One of the most distinguished looking and fearless officers of the
Twentieth South Carolina Regiment was killed here, Captain John M.
Kinard. Captain Kinard was one of the finest line officers in the
command--a good disciplinarian and tactician, and a noblehearted,
kind-hearted gentleman of the "Old School." He was rather of a
taciturn bend, and a man of great modesty, but it took only a glimpse
at the man to tell of what mould and mettle he was made. I give a
short sketch of his life.

       *       *       *       *       *


CAPTAIN JOHN MARTIN KINARD.

Captain John Martin Kinard was born July 5, 1833, in the section
of Newberry County known as the Dutch Fork, a settlement of German
emigrants, lying a few miles west of Pomaria. In 1838 his father,
General Henry H. Kinard, was elected Sheriff of Newberry County,
and moved with his family to the court house town of Newberry. Here
Captain Kinard attended school until he was about seventeen years
old, when he went to Winnsboro, S.C., to attend the famous Mount Zion
Academy. He entered South Carolina College in 1852, but left before
finishing his college course to engage in farming, a calling for which
he had had a passionate longing from his boyhood days. Having married
Mary Alabama, the daughter of Dr. P.B. Ruff, he settled on his
grandfather's plantation now known as Kinards. While living here his
wife died, and a few years afterwards he married Lavinia Elizabeth,
the daughter of Dr. William Rook.

When the State called her sons to her defense, he answered promptly,
and enlisted as First Lieutenant in a company commanded by his uncle,
John P. Kinard. His company was a part of the Twentieth Regiment,
Colonel Lawrence Keitt, and was known as Company F. During the first
years of the war he was engaged with his company in the defense of
Charleston Harbor, rising to the rank of Captain on the resignation of
his uncle.

While serving with his regiment in Virginia, to which place it had
been moved in 1864, Captain Kinard came home on furlough. Very soon,
however, he set out for the front again, and was detailed for duty
in the trenches around Richmond. While engaged here he made repeated
efforts to be restored to his old company, and joined them with a glad
heart in October, 1864. On the 13th of October, a few days after his
return, he warned his faithful negro body-guard, Ham Nance, to keep
near, as he expected some hot fighting soon. And it came. The next
day the enemy was met near Strausburg, and Captain Kinard fell, with a
bullet in his heart. He died the death of the happy warrior, fighting
as our Anglo-Saxon forefathers fought, in the midst of his kinsmen
and friends. Ham Nance bore his body from the field, and never left it
until he returned it to his home in Newberry.

Captain Kinard left three children. By his first wife, a daughter,
Alice, now the wife of Elbert H. Aull, Esq.; by his second wife, two
sons, John M. Kinard, Commandant of the John M. Kinard Camp, Sons of
Veterans, and James P. Kinard.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER XXXVII

Battle of Cedar Creek or Fisher's Hill, 19th October, 1864.


After the retreat of the enemy across Cedar Creek, on the 13th, the
brigade returned to Fisher's Hill, and encamped in a beautiful grove.
It was now expected that we would have a long, sweet rest--a rest so
much needed and devoutly wished for, after two months of incessant
marching and fighting. The foragers now struck out right and left
over the mountains on either side to hunt up all the little delicacies
these mountain homes so abounded in--good fresh butter-milk, golden
butter--the like can be found nowhere else in the South save in
the valleys of Virginia--apple butter, fruits of all kinds, and
occasionally these foragers would run upon a keg of good old mountain
corn, apple jack, or peach brandy--a "nectar fitting for the gods,"
when steeped in bright, yellow honey. These men were called "foragers"
from their habit of going through the country, while the army was on
the march or in camp, buying up little necessaries and "wet goods,"
and bringing them into camp to sell or share with their messmates. It
mattered not how long the march, how tired they were, when we halted
for the night's camp, while others would drop, exhausted, too tired
to even put up their tents or cook a supper, these foragers would
overcome every obstacle, climb mountains, and wade rivers in search
of something to eat or drink, and be back in camp before day. In every
regiment and in almost every company you could find these foragers,
who were great stragglers, dropping in the rear or flanking to the
right or left among the farm houses in search of honey, butter, bread,
or liquors of some kind. Some of these foragers in the brigade were
never known to be without whiskey during the whole war. Where, how, or
when they got it was as a sealed book to the others. These foragers,
too, when out on one of their raids, were never very particular
whether the owner of the meat or spring house, or even the cellar, was
present or not, should they suspicion or learn from outside parties
that these places contained that for which they were looking. If at
night, they would not disturb the old man, but while some would watch,
others would be depredating upon his pig pen, chicken roost, or milk
house. It was astonishing what a change in the morals of men army life
occasioned. Someone has said, "A rogue in the army, a rogue at home;"
but this I deny. Sometimes that same devilish, schoolboy spirit that
actuates the truant to filch fruit or melons from orchards of others,
while he had abundance at home, caused the soldier oftentimes to make
"raids," as they called these nocturnal visits to the farm houses
outlying the army's track. I have known men who at home was as
honorable, honest, upright, and who would scorn a dishonest act, turn
out to be veteran foragers, and rob and steal anything they could get
their hands on from the citizens, friend or foe alike. They become
to look upon all as "fish for a soldier's net." I remember the first
night on Fisher's Hill, after fighting and marching all day, two of
my men crossed over the Massanutton Mountain and down in the Luray
Valley, a distance of ten miles or more, and came back before day
with as unique a load of plunder as I ever saw. While in some of the
mountain gorges they came upon a "spring house" a few hundred feet
from the little cabin, nestled and hid in one of those impenetrable
caves, where the owner, no doubt, thought himself safe from all the
outside world. They had little difficulty in gaining an entrance, but
all was dark, so kneeling down and examining the trough they found
jars of pure sweet milk, with the rich, yellow cream swimming on top.
This, of course, they could not carry, so they drank their fill. While
searching around for anything else that was portable, they found a lot
of butter in a churn, and to their astonishment, a ten-gallon keg
of peach brandy. Now they were in the plight of the man who "when it
rained mush had no spoon." They had only their canteens, but there was
no funnel to pour through. But the mother of invention, as usual, came
to their assistance. They poured out the milk in the jars, filled two
for each, and returned over the mountain with a jar of brandy under
each arm. The next morning I found, to my surprise, hanging to the
pole of my tent, my canteen filled with the choicest brandy. Whiskey
sold for $1.00 per drink, so their four jars of brandy added something
to their month's pay. As a Captain of a company, I could not give
leave of absence, nor could I excuse any who left camp against orders
or without permission. So I had it understood that should any of my
men wish to undertake a foraging expedition, not to ask my permission,
but go; and if they did not get caught by outside guards, I would
not report nor punish them, but if they got caught, not to expect any
favors or mercy at my hands. While I never countenanced nor upheld
foraging, unless it was done legitimately and the articles paid for,
still when a choice piece of mutton or pork, a mess tin of honey, or
canteen of brandy was hanging on my rifle pole in the morning, I only
did what I enjoined on the men, "say nothing and ask no question." And
so it was with nearly all the Captains in the army. And be it said to
the credit of the Southern troops, pilfering or thieving was almost an
unknown act while camping in our own country. It was only done in
the mountains of Virginia or East Tennessee, where the citizens were
generally our enemies, and who were willing to give aid and comfort
to the Federals, while to the Southern troops they often denied the
smallest favors, and refused to take our money.

On the night of the 18th of October we received orders to prepare for
marching at midnight. No drums were to be beaten, nor noise of any
kind made. From this we knew an advance was to be made, as Gordon's
Division had orders to march soon after nightfall. The most profound
secrecy, the absence of all noise, from rattling of canteens or tin
cups, were enjoined upon the men. They were to noiselessly make their
way over the spur of the Massanutton Mountain, which here butted out
in a bold promontory, dividing the Shennandoah and the Luray Valleys,
and strike the enemy in the flank away to our right. The other
divisions were to be in readiness to attack as the roll of battle
reached their front or right. The enemy was posted on an almost
impregnable position on the bluff overlooking Cedar Creek, while in
their rear was a vast plateau of several miles in extent. The enemy's
breastworks were built of strong timbers, with earth thrown against
them, with a deep trench on the inside, being deeper from the bottom
of the trench to the top of the works than the heights of the soldiers
when standing. Thus a step of three or four feet was built for the
troops to stand on and fire. The breastworks wound in and out with the
creek, some places jutting out almost to the very brink; at others,
several hundred yards in the rear; a level piece of bottom land
intervening. This ridge and plateau were some fifty feet or more above
the level of the creek, and gave elegant position for batteries. In
front of this breastwork, and from forty to fifty feet in breadth, was
an abattis constructed of pine trees, the needles stripped, the limbs
cut and pointed five to ten feet from the trunks. These were packed
and stacked side by side and on top of each other, being almost
impossible for a single man even to pick his way through, and next to
impossible for a line of battle to cross over. All along the entire
length of the fortifications were built great redoubts of earthwork in
the form of squares, the earth being of sufficient thickness to turn
any of our cannon balls, while all around was a ditch from twelve to
fifteen feet deep--only one opening in the rear large enough to admit
the teams drawing the batteries. Field pieces were posted at each
angle, the infantry, when needed, filled the space between. These
forts were built about two hundred yards apart, others being built
in front of the main line. This I believe was the most completely
fortified position by nature, as well as by hand, of any line occupied
during the war, and had the troops not been taken by surprise and
stood their ground, a regiment strung out could have kept an army at
bay.

General Gordon's troops left camp earlier than did Kershaw's,
beginning their winding march at single file around the mountain side,
over the great promontory, down in the plain below, through brush and
undergrowth, along dull trails, catching and pulling themselves along
by the bushes and vines that covered the rough borders and ledges of
the mountain. Sometime after midnight Kershaw moved out across the
turn-pike in the direction of the river, the Second South Carolina
in front, under Captain McCulcheon; then the Third, under Major Todd;
then the Eighth, Twentieth, Fifteenth, and the Seventh. The James' or
Third Battalion having some months before been organized into brigade
sharpshooters, adding two companies to it, preceded the brigade, and
was to charge the fords and capture the pickets. When near the river
the brigade was halted, and scouting parties sent ahead to see how the
land lay. A picked body moved cautiously along in front, and when all
was in readiness, a charge was made--a flash, a report or two, and the
enemy's out post at this point was ours. As we were feeling our way
along the dull road that led to this ford, one poor fellow, who had
been foremost in the assault on the pickets, was carried by us on
a litter. Nothing but a low, deep groan was heard, which told too
plainly that his last battle had been fought. The river crossed, the
brigade continued in columns of fours, moving rapidly forward that
all would be in readiness by the time Gordon's guns opened to announce
that he was in position and ready.

Now our line of battle was formed, and never before or since was the
brigade called in action with so few officers. Not a Colonel, nothing
higher than a Major, in the entire brigade, the brigade itself being
commanded by a staff officer, who had never so much as commanded a
company before. At the close of the day there were but few officers in
the command of the rank of Captain even.

Just at the beginning of dawn we heard the guns of Gordon belching
forth far to our right. The cannon corps of the enemy roused up from
their slumbers and met the attack with grape and cannister, but Gordon
was too close upon them, the assault so sudden, that the troops gave
way. Nearer and nearer came the roll of battle as each succeeding
brigade was put in action. We were moving forward in double-quick to
reach the line of the enemy's breastworks by the time the brigade on
our right became engaged. Now the thunder of their guns is upon
us; the brigade on our right plunges through the thicket and throw
themselves upon the abattis in front of the works and pick their way
over them. All of our brigade was not in line, as a part was cut off
by an angle in Cedar Creek, but the Second and Third charged through
an open field in front of the enemy's line. As we emerged from a
thicket into the open we could see the enemy in great commotion, but
soon the works were filled with half-dressed troops and they opened a
galling fire upon us. The distance was too great in this open space
to take the works by a regular advance in line of battle, so the men
began to call for orders to "charge." Whether the order was given or
not, the troops with one impulse sprang forward. When in a small swale
or depression in the ground, near the center of the field, the abattis
was discovered in front of the works. Seeing the impossibility to make
their way through it under such a fire, the troops halted and returned
the fire. Those behind the works would raise their bare heads above
the trenches, fire away, regardless of aim or direction, then fall
to the bottom to reload. This did not continue long, for all down the
line from our extreme right the line gave way, and was pushed back
to the rear and towards our left, our troops mounting their works and
following them as they fled in wild disorder. "Over the works, cross
over," was the command now given, and we closed in with a dash to the
abattis--over it and down in the trenches--before the enemy realized
their position. Such a sight as met our eyes as we mounted their works
was not often seen. For a mile or more in every direction towards the
rear was a vast plain or broken plateau, with not a tree or shrub
in sight. Tents whitened the field from one end to the other for a
hundred paces in rear of the line, while the country behind was one
living sea of men and horses--all fleeing for life and safety. Men,
shoeless and hatless, went flying like mad to the rear, some with
and some without their guns. Here was a deserted battery, the horses
unhitched from the guns; the caissons were going like the wind,
the drivers laying the lash all the while. Cannoneers mounted the
unhitched horses barebacked, and were straining every nerve to keep
apace with caissons in front. Here and there loose horses galloped at
will, some bridleless, others with traces whipping their flanks to a
foam. Such confusion, such a panic, was never witnessed before by the
troops. Our cannoneers got their guns in position, and enlivened
the scene by throwing shell, grape, and cannister into the flying
fugitives. Some of the captured guns were turned and opened upon the
former owners. Down to our left we could see men leaving the trenches,
while others huddled close up to the side of the wall, displaying a
white flag. Our ranks soon became almost as much disorganized as those
of the enemy. The smoking breakfast, just ready for the table, stood
temptingly inviting, while the opened tents displayed a scene almost
enchanting to the eyes of the Southern soldier, in the way of costly
blankets, overcoats, dress uniforms, hats, caps, boots, and shoes all
thrown in wild confusion over the face of the earth. Now and then a
suttler's tent displayed all the luxuries and dainties a soldier's
heart could wish for. All this fabulous wealth of provisions and
clothing looked to the half-fed, half-clothed Confederates like the
wealth of the Indies. The soldiers broke over all order and discipline
for a moment or two and helped themselves. But their wants were few,
or at least that of which they could carry, so they grab a slice of
bacon, a piece of bread, a blanket, or an overcoat, and were soon in
line again following up the enemy. There was no attempt of alignment
until we had left the breastworks, then a partial line of battle was
formed and the pursuit taken up. Major Todd, of the Third, having
received a wound just as we crossed the works, the command of the
regiment devolved on the writer. The angle of the creek cutting off
that portion of the brigade that was in rear, left the Second and
Third detached, nor could we see or hear of a brigade commander. The
troops on our right had advanced several hundred yards, moving at
right angle to us, and were engaging the enemy, a portion that had
made a stand on the crest of a hill, around an old farm house.
Not knowing what to do or where to go, and no orders, I accepted
Napoleon's advice to the lost soldier, "When a soldier is lost and
does not know where to go, always go to where you hear the heaviest
firing." So I advanced the regiment and joined it on the left of
a Georgia brigade. Before long the enemy was on the run again, our
troops pouring volley after volley into them as they fled over stone
fences, hedges, around farm houses, trying in every conceivable way
to shun the bullets of the "dreaded gray-backs." I looked in the rear.
What a sight! Here came stragglers, who looked like half the army,
laden with every imaginable kind of plunder--some with an eye to
comfort, had loaded themselves with new tent cloths, nice blankets,
overcoats, or pants, while others, who looked more to actual gain in
dollars and cents, had invaded the suttler's tents and were fairly
laden down with such articles as they could find readiest sale for. I
saw one man with a stack of wool hats on his head, one pressed in
the other, until it reached more than an arm's length above his head.
Frying-pans were enviable utensils in the army, and tin cups--these
articles would be picked up by the first who came along, to be thrown
aside when other goods more tempting would meet their sight.

After getting the various brigades in as much order as possible,
a general forward movement was made, the enemy making only feeble
attempts at a stand, until we came upon a stone fence, or rather a
road hedged on either side by a stone fence, running parallel to our
line of battle. Here we were halted to better form our columns. But
the halt was fatal--fatal to our great victory, fatal to our army,
and who can say not fatal to our cause. Such a planned battle, such
complete success, such a total rout of the enemy was never before
experienced--all to be lost either by a fatal blunder or the greed
of the soldier for spoils. Only a small per cent comparatively was
engaged in the plundering, but enough to weaken our ranks. It was late
in the day. The sharpshooters (Third Battalion) had been thrown out
in a cornfield several hundred yards in our front. The men lay in the
road behind the stone fence without a dream of the enemy ever being
able to rally and make an advance. Some were inspecting their captured
plunder; others sound asleep, after our five miles' chase. The sun was
slowly sinking in the west. Oh, what a glorious victory! Men in
their imagination were writing letters home, telling of our brilliant
achievements--thirty pieces of artillery captured, whole wagon trains
of ordnance, from ten to twenty thousand stands of small arms, horses
and wagons, with all of Sheridan's tents and camp equippage--all was
ours, and the enemy in full retreat!

But the scenes are soon to be shifted. Sheridan had been to
Winchester, twenty miles away. He hears the firing of guns in the
direction of Fisher's Hill, mounts his black charger, and with none
to accompany him but an orderly, he begins his famous ride from
Winchester. Louder and louder the cannon roar, faster and faster his
faithful steed leaps over the stoney pike, his rider plunging the
steel rowels into the foaming sides. Now he is near enough to hear the
deep, rolling sound of the infantry, accompanied by the dreaded Rebel
yell. He knew his troops were retreating from the sound he hears.
A few more leaps, and he comes face to face with his panic stricken
troops. The road was crowded, the woods and fields on either side
one vast swarm of fleeing fugatives. A few of the faithful were still
holding the Confederates at bay, while the mass were seeking safety
in flight. His sword springs from its scabbard, and waving it over his
head, he calls in a loud voice, "Turn, boys, turn; we are going back."
The sound of his voice was electrical. Men halt, some fall, others
turn to go back, while a few continue their mad flight. A partial line
is formed, Sheridan knowing the effect of a show of forward movement,
pushes his handful of men back to meet the others still on the run.
They fall in. Others who have passed the line in their rush, return,
and in a few moments this wild, seething, surging, panic stricken
mass had turned, and in well formed lines, were now approaching the
cornfield and woods in which our pickets and skirmishers lay, all
unconscious of the mighty change--a change the presence of one man
effected in the morale of the routed troops. They rush upon our
sharpshooters, capturing nearly the whole line, killing Captain
Whitner, the commander, and either capturing or wounding nearly all
the commissioned officers. Before we knew it, or even expected it, the
enemy was in our front, advancing in line of battle. The men hadn't
time to raise a gun before the bullets came whizzing over our heads,
or battering against the stone wall. We noticed away to our right the
lines give way. Still Kershaw's Brigade held their position, and beat
back the enemy in our front. But in the woods on our left some troops
who were stationed there, on seeing the break in the line beyond us,
gave way also. Someone raised the cry and it was caught up and hurried
along like all omens of ill luck, that "the cavalry is surrounding
us." In a moment our whole line was in one wild confusion, like
"pandemonium broke loose." If it was a rout in the morning, it was
a stampede now. None halted to listen to orders or commands. Like
a monster wave struck by the head land, it rolls back, carrying
everything before it by its own force and power, or drawing all within
its wake. Our battle line is forced from the stone fence. We passed
over one small elevation, down through a vale, and when half way up
the next incline, Adjutant Pope, who was upon the staff of our brigade
commander, met the fleeing troops and made a masterly effort to stem
the tide by getting some of the troops in line. Around him was formed
a nucleus, and the line began to lengthen on either side, until we had
a very fair battle line when the enemy reached the brow of the hill we
had just passed. We met them with a stunning volley, that caused the
line to reel and stagger back over the crest. Our lines were growing
stronger each moment. Pope was bending all his energies to make
Kershaw's Brigade solid, and was in a fair way to succeed. The troops
that had passed, seeing a stand being made, returned, and kept up the
fire. It was now hoped that the other portion of the line would act
likewise and come to our assistance, and we further knew that each
moment we delayed the enemy would allow that much time for our wagon
train and artillery to escape. But just as all felt that we were
holding our own, Adjutant Pope fell, badly wounded by a minnie ball
through the eye, which caused him to leave the field. Then seeing no
prospects of succor on our right or left, the enemy gradually passing
and getting in our rear, the last great wave rolls away, the men
break and fly, every man for himself, without officers or orders--they
scatter to the rear. The enemy kept close to our heels, just as
we were rising one hill their batteries would be placed on the one
behind, then grape and cannister would sweep the field. There were no
thickets, no ravines, no fences to shield or protect us. Everything
seemed to have been swept from off the face