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Lieutenant General 

Jubal Anderson Early 

C. S. A. 


Lieutenant General 

Jubal Anderson Early 

\*J* O. A. 


With Notes by 

R. H. Early 

Philadelphia & London 

J. B. Lippincott Company 








IT becomes my duty and privilege to undertake the 
publication of General Early s narrative of the war left 
in manuscript form at the time of his death, March 2, 
1894. Its preparation covered the term of years begin 
ning immediately after the close of the war and continu 
ing to the end of his life. Impressed with the belief 
that " truth crushed to earth will rise again," he labored 
conscientiously at his task, the motive of his writing be 
ing the wish that a detailed history, accurate as far as 
lay within his compassing, might be handed down to 
posterity. He was well equipped for the work under 
taken and his efforts met with the encouragement of his 
former comrades. In submitting to the public the result 
of his long labor, I feel confident of its being accorded the 
just consideration for which he strove. 

June, 1912 



WHEN the question of practical secession from the 
United States arose, as a citizen of the State of Virginia, 
and a member of the Convention called by the authority 
of the Legislature of that State, I opposed secession with 
all the ability I possessed, with the hope that the horrors 
of civil war might be averted and that a returning sense 
of justice on the part of the masses of the Northern 
States would induce them to respect the rights of the 
people of the South. 

While some Northern politicians and editors were 
openly and sedulously justifying and encouraging seces 
sion, I was laboring honestly and earnestly to preserve 
the Union. 

As a member of the Virginia Convention, I voted 
against the ordinance of secession on its passage by that 
body, with the hope that even then, the collision of arms 
might be avoided and some satisfactory adjustment ar 
rived at. The adoption of that ordinance wrung from 
me bitter tears of grief ; but I at once recognized my duty 
to abide the decision of my native State, and to defend 
her soil against invasion. Any scruples which I may 
have entertained as to the right of secession were soon 
dispelled by the unconstitutional measures of the authori 
ties at Washington and the frenzied clamor of the peo 
ple of the North for war upon their former brethren of 
the South. I recognized the right of resistance and revo 
lution as exercised by our fathers in 1776 and without 
cavil as to the name by which it was called, I entered 
the military service of my State, willingly, cheerfully, 
and zealously. 

When the State of Virginia became one of the Con 
federate States and her troops were turned over to the 
Confederate Government, I embraced the cause of the 


whole Confederacy with equal ardor, and continued in 
the service, with the determination to devote all the 
energy and talent I possessed to the common defence. 
I fought through the entire war, without once regretting 
the course I pursued, with an abiding faith in the jus 
tice of our cause. 

It was my fortune to participate in most of the great 
military operations in which the army in Virginia was 
engaged both before and after General Lee assumed the 
command. In the last year of this momentous struggle, 
I commanded, at different times, a division and two corps 
of General Lee s Army in the campaign from the Eap- 
idan to James Elver, and subsequently, a separate force 
which marched into Maryland, threatened Washington 
City and then went through an eventful campaign in 
the valley of Virginia. No detailed reports of the oper 
ations of these different commands were made before the 
close of the war and the campaign in Maryland and the 
Valley of Virginia has been the subject of much com 
ment and misapprehension. I have now written a narra 
tive of all my commands before and during the closing 
year of the war and lay it before the world as a contribu 
tion to the history of our great struggle for indepen 
dence. In giving that narrative, I have made such state 
ments of the positions and strengths of the opposing 
forces in Virginia and such reference to their general 
operations as were necessary to enable the reader to 
understand it, but I do not pretend to detail the opera 
tions of other commanders. 

My operations and my campaign stand on their own 
merits. And in what I have found it necessary to say in 
regard to the conduct of my troops, I do not wish to be 
understood as, in any way, decrying the soldiers who con 
stituted the rank and file of my commands. I believe 
that the world has never produced a body of men su 
perior, in courage, patriotism, and endurance, to the 
private soldiers of the Confederate armies. I have re 
peatedly seen those soldiers submit, with cheerfulness, 


to privations and hardships which would appear to be 
almost incredible; and the wild cheers of our brave men, 
when their thin lines were sent back opposing hosts of 
Federal troops, staggering, reeling and flying, have often 
thrilled every fibre in my heart. I have seen, with my own 
eyes, ragged, barefooted, and hungry Confederate sol 
diers perform deeds which, if performed in days of yore 
by mailed warriors in glittering armor, would have in 
spired the harp of the minstrel and the pen of the poet. 

Having been a witness of and participant in great 
events, I have given a statement of what I saw and did, 
for the use of the future historian. I have not under 
taken to speculate as to the causes of our failures, as 
I have seen abundant reason for it in the tremendous 
odds brought against us. Having had some means of 
judging, I will say that, in my opinion, both Mr. Davis 
and General Lee, in their respective spheres, did all 
for the success of our cause which it was possible for 
mortal men to do and it is a great privilege and com 
fort for me so to believe. In regard to my own services, 
I have the consciousness of having done my duty to my 
country, to the very best of my ability. 

During the war, slavery was used as a catch-word 
to arouse the passions of a fanatical mob, and to some 
extent the prejudices of the civilized world were ex 
cited against us ; but the war was not made on our part 
for slavery. High dignitaries in both church and state 
in Old England, and puritans in New England, had par 
ticipated in the profits of a trade by which the ignorant 
and barbarous natives of Africa were brought from that 
country and sold into slavery in the American Colonies. 
The generation in the Southern States which defended 
their country in the late war, found amongst them, in a 
civilized and Christianized condition, 4,000,000 of the 
descendants of those degraded Africans. The Creator 
of the Universe had stamped them, indelibly, with a 
different color and an inferior physical and mental or 
ganization. He had not done this from mere caprice 



or whim, but for wise purposes. An amalgamation of 
the races was in contravention of His designs or He 
would not have made them so different. This immense 
number of people could not have been transported back 
to the wilds from which their ancestors were taken, or, 
if they could have been, it would have resulted in their 
relapse into barbarism. Reason, common sense, true 
humanity to the black, as well as the safety of the white 
race, required that the inferior race should be kept in 
a state of subordination. The conditions of domestic 
slavery, as it existed in the South, had not only resulted 
in a great improvement in the moral and physical con 
dition of the negro race, but had furnished a class of 
laborers as happy and contented as any in the world, 
if not more so. Their labor had not only developed the 
immense resources of the immediate country in which 
they were located, but was the main source of the great 
prosperity of the United States, and furnished the means 
for the employment of millions of the working classes in 
other countries. Nevertheless, the struggle made by the 
people of the South was not for the institution of slavery, 
but for the inestimable right of self-government, against 
the domination of a fanatical faction at the North; and 
slavery was the mere occasion of the development of the 
antagonism between the two sections. That right of 
self-government has been lost, and slavery violently 

When the passions and infatuations of the day shall 
have been dissipated by time, and all the results of the 
late war shall have passed into irrevocable history, the 
future chronicler of that history will have a most im 
portant duty to perform, and posterity, while poring 
over its pages, will be lost in wonder at the follies and 
crimes committed in this generation. 

Each generation of men owes the debt to posterity 
to fraud down to it a correct history of the more impor 
tant events that have transpired in its day. The his- 


tory of every people is the common inheritance of man 
kind, because of the lessons it teaches. 

For the purposes of history, the people of the late 
Confederate States were a separate people from the peo 
ple of the North during the four years of conflict which 
they maintained against them. 

No people loving the truth of history can have any 
object or motive in suppressing or mutilating any fact 
which may be material to its proper elucidation. 

The sole merit I claim for the narrative now given 
to the public is its truthfulness. In writing it, I have 
received material aid from an accurate diary kept by 
Lieutenant William W. Old, aide to Major General Ed 
ward Johnson, who was with me during the campaign in 
Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley until August 12th, 
1864; and the copious notes of Captain Jed. Hotchkiss, 
who acted as Topographical Engineer for the Second 
corps and the Army of the Valley District, and recorded 
the events of each day from the opening of the cam 
paign on the Rapidan in May, 1864, until the affair at 
Waynesboro, in March, 1865. 




























































INDEX. . 481 






permission of A. H. Flecker) 74 

MAJOR ANDREW L. PITZER (On General Early s Staff) 106 

MAJOR SAMUEL HALE (On General Early s Staff). . . 144 

CAPTAIN SAMUEL H. EARLY (On General Early s Staff) 186 

MAJOR JOHN WARWICK DANIEL (On General Early s Staff) 188 





MEXICO, 1865 464 




ACCORDING to the record in the family Bible, I was 
born on the third day of November, 1816, in the County 
of Franklin, in the State of Virginia. My father, Joab 
Early, 1 who is still living, is a native of the same county, 
and while resident there, he enjoyed the esteem of his 
fellow-citizens and held several prominent public posi 
tions, but in the year 1847, he removed to the Kanawha 
Valley in Western Virginia. My mother s maiden name 
was Ruth Hairs ton, and she was likewise a native of 
the County of Franklin, her family being among the most 
respected citizens. She died in the year 1832, leaving 
ten children surviving her, I being the third child and 
second son. She was a most estimable lady, and her 
death was not only the source of the deepest grief to 
her immediate family, but caused universal regret in the 
whole circle of her acquaintances. 

Until I was sixteen I enjoyed the benefit of the best 
schools in my region of country and received the usual 
instruction in the dead languages and elementary math 
ematics. In the spring of 1833, while General Jackson 
was President, I received, through the agency of our 
member of Congress, the Hon. N. H. Claiborne, an ap 
pointment as cadet in the United States Military 
Academy at West Point. 

I repaired to the Academy at the end of May and 
was admitted about the first of June in the same year. 
I went through the usual course and graduated in the 
usual time, in June, 1837. There was nothing worthy of 
particular note in my career at West Point. I was 
never a very good student, and was sometimes quite re 
miss, but I managed to attain a respectable stand in all 

1 Died at the home of his son, Robert H. Early, in Lexington, Mo., 1870. 



my studies. My highest stand in any branch was in mili 
tary and civil engineering and that was sixth. In the 
general standing on graduation my position was eigh 
teenth in a class of fifty. 

I was not a very exemplary soldier and went through 
the Academy without receiving any appointment as a 
commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the corps 
of cadets. I had very little taste for scrubbing brass, 
and cared very little for the advancement to be obtained 
by the exercise of that most useful art. 

Among those graduating in my class were General 
Braxton Bragg, Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton. 
Major Generals Arnold Elzey and Wm. H. T. Walker, 
and a few others of the Confederate Army; and Major 
Generals John Sedgwick, Joseph Hooker, and Wm. H. 
French and several Brigadier Generals of minor note 
in the Federal Army. Among my contemporaries at 
West Point were General Beauregard, Lieutenant Gen 
eral Ewell, Major General Edward Johnson and some 
others of distinction in the Confederate Army; Major 
Generals McDowell and Meade and several others in the 
Federal Army. 

The whole of my class received appointments in the 
United States Army shortly after graduation. By rea 
son of the Indian War in Florida, there had been a 
number of resignations and deaths in the army and very 
few of the class had to go through the probation of 
brevet lieutenants. I was appointed Second Lieutenant 
in the Third Regiment of Artillery, and was assigned to 
Company " E," which afterward became celebrated as 
Sherman s battery. We did not enjoy the usual leave 
of absence, but in August, 1837, a number of my class, 
myself included, were ordered to Fortress Monroe to 
drill a considerable body of recruits which were in ren 
dezvous at that place, preparatory to being sent to 
Florida, where the Seminole War was still in progress. 
From Fortress Monroe, with several other officers, I 
accompanied a body of recruits which sailed for Florida, 



and we landed at Tampa Bay in October, 1837. From 
Tampa Bay I went to Gary s Ferry, on Black Creek, and 
there joined my company, which was comprised almost 
entirely of recruits recently joined. My Captain (Lyon) 
was an invalid from age and infirmity, and both the 
First Lieutenants were absent on special duty, so that 
being the senior Second Lieutenant, I was assigned to the 
command of the company. In that capacity I went 
through the campaign of 1837-8 under General Jessup, 
from the St. John s Eiver south into the Everglades, 
and was present at a skirmish with the Indians on the 
Lockee Hatchee, near Jupiter Inlet, in January, 1838. 
This was my first " battle, " and though I heard some 
bullets whistling among the trees, none came near me, 
and I did not see an Indian. 

The party of Seminoles with which we had the skir 
mish was subsequently pursued into the Everglades and 
induced to come in and camp near us at Fort Jupiter, 
under some stipulations between General Jessup and 
the chiefs, about which there was afterwards some mis 
understanding which resulted in the whole party being 
surrounded and captured; and my company was em 
ployed with the rest of the troops in this work. This 
was my last "warlike exploit " for many years. After 
this we remained near the sea-coast, inactive for the 
most of the time, until late in the spring, when, as all 
active hostilities had ceased, we were marched across to 
Tampa Bay, from whence my company, with some other 
troops, was shipped to New Orleans, and then sent up 
the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Eivers to Ross 
Landing (now Chattanooga) to report to General Scott, 
who had charge of the removal of the Cherokees, with 
whom some difficulty was apprehended. My company 
was stationed near Ross Landing, and it was soon dis 
covered that there would be no trouble with the Indians. 

It had not been my purpose to remain permanently 
in the army, and, as there was to be no difficulty with 
the Cherokees, and the Seminole War was thought to be 



at an end, I determined to resign for the purpose of 
going into civil life. I tendered my resignation and 
received a leave of absence until it could be acted on. 
Under this leave I started from Ross Landing, on 
July 4, 1838, for my home, by the way of Nashville and 
Louisville. Upon arriving at Louisville, I found from 
the papers that the army had been increased, and that 
I was made a first lieutenant in my regiment. Had this 
news reached me before the tendering of my resignation, 
that resignation might have been withheld, but it was 
now too late to alter my plans. 

In the fall of 1838, I commenced the study of law 
in the office of N. M. Taliaferro, Esq., an eminent law 
yer residing at the county seat of my native county, 
who some years afterward became a judge of the Gen 
eral Court of Virginia. I obtained license to practise 
law in the early part of the year 1840, and at once en 
tered the profession. In the spring of the year 1841, I 
was elected by a small majority, as one of the delegates 
from the County of Franklin, to the Virginia Legisla 
ture, and served in the session of 1841 and 1842, being 
the youngest member of the body. 

In the following spring, I was badly beaten by my 
former preceptor in the law, who was a member of the 
Democratic Party, while I was a supporter of the prin 
ciples of the Whig Party, of which Mr. Clay was the 
principal leader. 

My political opponent, though a personal friend, Mr. 
Taliaferro, held the position of prosecuting attorney 
in the circuit courts of several counties, and as these 
offices were rendered vacant by his election to the Legis 
lature, I received the appointments for the Counties of 
Franklin and Floyd, having previously been appointed 
prosecuting attorney in the county court of Franklin. 
These appointments I held until the reorganization of 
the State government under the new constitution of 

In the meantime, I continued the practice of law in 



my own and the adjoining counties, with very fair suc 
cess until the breaking out of the war between the United 
States and Mexico, consequent upon the annexation of 
Texas. Though I had voted, in the presidential elec 
tion of 1844, for Mr. Clay, who opposed the annexation 
of Texas, yet, when war ensued, I felt it to be my duty 
to sustain the government in that war and to enter the 
military service if a fitting opportunity offered. When 
the regiment of volunteers from Virginia was called for 
by the President, I received from the Governor and 
Council of State the appointment as Major in that regi 
ment, and was mustered into service on the 7th of Jan 
uary, 1847. Colonel John F. Hamtramck, of the County 
of Jefferson, and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas B. Ran- 
dolph, of the County of Warren, were the other field offi 
cers. The regiment was ordered to rendezvous at For 
tress Monroe and the superintendence of the drilling 
there and the embarkation for Mexico were entrusted 
to me. Two extra companies were allowed to the regi 
ment, and, on account of some delay in the organization 
of them, I did not sail from Fortress Monroe with the 
last detachment of these companies until March 1st, ar 
riving at Brazos Santiago on the 17th, to learn, for the 
first time, the news of General Taylor s victory at Buena 
Vista. We proceeded up the Eio Grande at once and 
the whole regiment was assembled at Camargo, under 
the command of the Colonel, the day after my arrival 

About the first of April the regiment moved from 
Camargo for Monterey, by the way of a little town 
called China, as an escort for a provision train. One- 
half of the regiment was left temporarily at China under 
Lieutenant Colonel Eandolph, and the other half moved 
to Monterey under my command Colonel Hamtramck 
having become too sick to remain on duty. We were 
encamped at the Walnut Spring near General Taylor s 
headquarters, and there I met, for the first time, Colonel 
Jeffersor Davis, of the First Mississippi Regiment, who 



has become illustrious as the President of the Confeder- 
rate States. I was struck with his soldierly bearing, and 
he did me the honor of complimenting the order and regu 
larity of my camp. After being here a short time, the 
battalion under my command relieved an Ohio regi 
ment, which had been garrisoning Monterey, but was go 
ing home, and for two months I acted as miltary gov 
ernor of the city. It was generally conceded by officers 
of the army and Mexicans that better order reigned in 
the city during the time I commanded there, than had 
ever before existed, and the good conduct of my men 
won for them universal praise. Some time in the month 
of June, the whole regiment, under the command of the 
Colonel, moved to Buena Vista, a few miles from Sal- 
tillo, and joined the forces of General Wool, at that 
point. It remained near that locality for the balance 
of the war, for the most part inactive, as all fighting on 
that line, except an occasional affair with guerillas, 
ceased after the battle of Buena Vista. I had, there 
fore, no opportunity of seeing active service. For a 
short time I was attached, as acting Inspector General, 
to the staff of Brigadier General Caleb Cushing, who 
commanded the brigade to which my regiment was at 
tached, until he was ordered to the other line. During 
this period I contracted, in the early part of the fall 
of 1847, a cold and fever, which eventuated in chronic 
rheumatism, with which I have ever since been afflicted. 
My condition became such that I received a leave of ab 
sence in the month of November, and returned to the 
States, on a visit to my friends in the Kanawha Valley. 
After improving a little I started back to Mexico, 
and on my way I had the luck to meet with that fate, 
which is very common to Americans who travel much, 
that is, I was on a steamboat which was blown up, the 
8th of January, 1848, on the Ohio River, a few miles be 
low the mouth of the Kanawha. I had a very narrow 
escape, as half of my state-room was carried off and 
some pieces of the boiler protruded through the floor, 



cutting and burning my feet when I jumped out of the 
berth. The explosion took place about 1.00 o clock at 
night, when it was very dark and extremely cold, and 
before the passengers, who were not killed, could get 
ashore and obtain shelter, they were very much exposed; 
but, after getting over the first effects of the slight in 
jury received, I experienced a decided improvement in 
my rheumatism, though I would not advise blowing up 
in a western steamboat as an infallible remedy. 

I rejoined the regiment about the first of February, 
and commanded the greater part of it during the rest 
of the war three or four companies having been de 
tached to the town of Parras as Colonel Hamtramck 
had returned to Virginia on recruiting service. At the 
close of the war, I carried the regiment to the mouth of 
the Rio Grande, and had it embarked at Brazos for 
Fortress Monroe, going on one of the vessels myself. I 
was mustered out of the service with the rest of the 
regiment in the first part of April, 1848, being the only 
field officer on duty with it. It had no opportunity of 
reaping laurels during the war, but I can say that it 
had not sullied the flag of the State, which constituted 
the regimental colors, by disorderly conduct or acts of 
depredation on private property, and non-combatants. 
It had been my fortune to have the disagreeable duty of 
breaking in the regiment at the beginning and I had 
commanded it for a much longer time than any other 
field officer. Being rather a strict disciplinarian and, 
in consequence thereof, naturally regarded by inexpe 
rienced troops as harsh in my treatment of them, I was 
by no means popular with the mass of the regiment prior 
to the commencement of the return march from Sal- 
tillo, but I can safely say that, on the day they were 
mustered out of service at Fortress Monroe, I was the 
most popular officer in the regiment, and I had the satis 
faction of receiving from a great many of the men the 
assurance that they had misjudged me in the beginning 
and were now convinced that I had been their best 
friend all the time. 



I returned to the practice of law and continued it 
until the commencement of the late struggle between the 
Southern and Northern States. 

After my return from Mexico, I was the only one of 
my name left in my county, as all the rest of my father s 
family had removed to the Kanawha Valley. 

In the year 1850 I was a candidate for the conven 
tion called to revise the constitution of Virginia, but I 
was defeated by an overwhelming majority, receiving 
only about two hundred votes in a district polling sev 
eral thousand. I opposed firmly and unflinchingly all 
the radical changes, miscalled reforms, which were pro 
posed, and as the people seemed to run wild in favor 
of them, not only was I beaten, but so were all other 
candidates professing similar sentiments. 

In the year 1853, I was again a candidate for the 
Legislature, but was badly beaten, as the county had be 
come strongly wedded to the opposite party. 

My practice had become very considerable, and at 
the close of my professional career, I believe I was re 
garded as among the best lawyers in my section of the 
State. My most important contest at the bar and my 
greatest triumph was in a contested will case in Lowndes 
County, Mississippi, in the autumn of 1852, in which a 
very large amount of property was involved. I went to 
Mississippi to attend to this case specially, and I con 
tended single-handed and successfully with three of the 
ablest lawyers of that State. 

I had in a very limited degree the capacity for popu 
lar speaking as generally practised in the States, and 
it was regarded that my forte at the law was not be 
fore a jury as an advocate, but on questions of law be 
fore the court, especially in cases of appeal. 

I was never blessed with popular or captivating man 
ners, and the consequence was that I was often mis 
judged and thought to be haughty and disdainful in my 
temperament. When earnestly engaged about my busi 
ness, in passing through a crowd I would frequently 



pass an acquaintance without noticing him, because of 
the preoccupation of my mind, and this often gave of 
fence. From all of which it resulted that I was never 
what is called a popular man. I can say, however, that 
those who knew me best, liked me best, and the preju 
dices against me were gradually wearing off as the peo 
ple became better acquainted with me. 

My labors in my profession were rather spasmodic, 
and by procrastination, I would often have to compass 
a vast deal of work in a very short time, on the eve of 
or during the session of a court. I was careless in se 
curing and collecting my fees, very often relying on 
memory as the only evidence of them, and the conse 
quence was that my practice was never very lucrative. 

I have now given a sketch of my life up to the time 
of the beginning of the great struggle in the South for 
independence, and like most men, I had done many things 
which I ought not to have done, and left undone many 
things which I ought to have done, but I had done some 
good, and had not committed any very serious wrong, 
considering it in a mere worldly point of view. I would, 
however, by no means, commend my life as a pattern 
for the young, unless it be in the sincerity and integrity 
of purpose by which I claim to have ever been actuated. 

As there have been some descriptions of my person 
attempted, in which I have failed to recognize the slight 
est resemblance, I will state that, up to the time of my 
service in Mexico, I was quite erect and trim in stature. 
My average weight for many years was from 154 to 
164 pounds during the war it was about 170 pounds. 
The stoop with which I am now afflicted is the result of 
rheumatism contracted in Mexico, and when casual ob 
servers have seen me bent up, it has been very often 
the result of actual pain to which I have been very much 
subjected for the last nineteen years. One writer, who 
was actuated by the most friendly motives and ought 
to have known better, has described me as having a 
rough, curly head and shaggy eye-brows, whereas the 


fact is that my hair always has been, and what is left 
still is, as straight as an Indian s, and my eyebrows are 
very moderate and smooth. Some writer, who certainly 
never put himself in a position to see me during the 
war, has described my dress as being habitually like 
that of a stage-driver. All tailors who have ever worked 
for me up to the present time will testify to the fact 
that I have always been one of the most particular men 
about the cut and fit of my clothes among their 

During the war I was almost constantly in the camp 
or field, except when wounded, and I had no time to get 
new clothes if I had been able. My tastes would always 
have induced me to dress neatly and genteelly if I could 
have indulged them. 

So much for my life previous to the war. Henceforth 
it will be developed in my narrative. 




AFTER the fall of Fort Sumter, the Government at 
Washington commenced concentrating a large force at 
that city under the superintendence of Lieutenant 
General Scott of the United States Army, and it was 
very apparent that Virginia would be invaded. 

When the ordinance of secession had been passed by 
the Virginia convention, and the authority had been 
given to the Governor to call out troops for the defence 
of the State, Governor Letcher called for volunteers. 
The Navy Yard at Gosport, near Norfolk, and the 
arsenal and armory at Harper s Ferry were taken pos 
session of by militia forces hastily assembled, but not 
until the United States officers had partially destroyed 

As soon as General Lee reached Richmond, which was 
very shortly after his appointment to the command of 
the Virginia forces, he entered actively on the work 
of reorganization. 

The day the convention took recess to await the result 
of the popular vote, I tendered my services to the Gov 
ernor, and received from him the commission of Colonel 
in the volunteer service of the State. On reporting to 
General Lee, I was ordered to repair to Lynchburg, and 
take command of all the Virginia volunteers who should 
be mustered into service at that place, and organize them 
into regiments, as they were received by companies. I 



took command at Lynchburg on the 16th of May, and 
proceeded to organize the volunteers, which were being 
mustered into the Virginia service at that point, by 
Lieutenant Colonel Daniel A. Langhorne. 

While there, I organized and armed three regiments, 
to-wit: The 28th Virginia Regiment (Colonel R. T. 
Preston) and the 24th Virginia Regiment (my own), 
both as infantry, and the 30th Virginia Regiment 
(Colonel R. C. W. Radford), as cavalry. This latter 
regiment was subsequently designated the 2d Virginia 

On the 24th of May, the day after the election in 
Virginia ratifying the ordinance, of secession, the 
Federal troops, under the command of Brigadier General 
McDowell, crossed over from "Washington into Virginia, 
the bands playing and the soldiers singing "John 
Brown s soul goes marching on"; and John Brown s 
mission was, subsequently, but too well carried out in 
Virginia and all the Southern States under the inspira 
tion of that anthem. 

The Confederate Government had sent some troops 
to Virginia, and a portion of them along with some of 
the Virginia troops were concentrated at and near 
Manassas Junction on the Orange & Alexandria Rail 
road, about thirty miles from Washington. Brigadier 
General Beauregard was sent to take command of the 
troops at Manassas, and other troops had been sent to 
Harper s Ferry, to the command of which General 
Joseph E. Johnston was assigned. As soon as it was 
ascertained that the Federal troops had crossed over 
and occupied Alexandria, I commenced sending the regi 
ments organized by me, as they were ready, to Manassas. 
The infantry was armed with smooth-bore percussion 
muskets, but there were no belts or bayonet scabbards 
or cartridge boxes for them, and they had to be supplied 
with cloth pouches for their ammunition. The cavalry 
regiment, consisting of nine companies, was armed prin 
cipally with double-barrelled shot guns, and sabres of 
an old pattern which had been collected in the country 



from old volunteer companies. The State had very few 
arms of any kind, and those furnished the infantry had 
been borrowed from North Carolina. There were no 
cavalry arms of any value. 

I also armed and sent off a number of companies to 
be attached to regiments already in the field. 

Having attended the convention when it re-assembled 
in June, as soon as the ordinance of secession was 
signed, I received orders to turn over the command at 
Lynchburg to Colonel Langhorne and join my regiment 
in the field. The Confederate Government had now 
reached Richmond, and that city became the capital of 
the Confederacy. 

I reached Manassas and reported to General 
Beauregard on the 19th of June. I found my regiment 
(the 24th Virginia) under Lieutenant Colonel Peter 
Hairston, located about four miles east of the Junction, 
for the purpose of watching the fords of Bull Run 
immediately above its junction with the Occoquon, and 
those on the latter stream above the same point. At 
this time no brigades had been formed, but in a few days 
the regiments under General Beauregard s command 
were organized into six brigades, as follows : a brigade of 
South Carolina troops under Brigadier General Bonham, 
a brigade of Alabama and Louisiana troops under 
Brigadier General Ewell, a brigade of South Carolina 
and Mississippi troops under Brigadier General D. R. 
Jones, a brigade of Virginia troops under Colonel George 
H. Jerrett, who was subsequently replaced by Brigadier 
General Longstreet, a brigade of Virginia troops under 
Colonel Philip St. George Cocke, and a brigade composed 
of the 7th and 24th Virginia, and the 4th South Carolina 
Regiments under my command, but the 4th South Caro 
lina had been sent to Leesburg in Loudoun and did not 
join, it being subsequently replaced by the 7th Louisiana 
! Regiment. 

After this organization the troops were located as 

i follows: the 4th South Carolina Regiment and Wheat s 

Louisiana Battalion were at Leesburg under Colonel 


Evans; Bonham s brigade was at Fairfax Court-House, 
Cocke s at Centreville, and Swell s brigade at and near 
Fairfax Station, all in front of Bull Run; while D. R. 
Jones 7 brigade was encamped on the south of the Run 
near the railroad, at a place called Camp Walker, Long- 
street s at the Junction, and the 7th and 24th Virginia 
Regiments of my brigade, camped separately, northeast 
and east of the Junction, from three to four miles dis 
tant. The cavalry, consisting of Colonel R. C. W. Rad- 
ford s regiment of nine companies and several unat 
tached companies, was employed mainly on scouting and 
picketing duty with Evans, Bonham, and Ewell, one 
company being on my right to watch the lower fords of 
the Occoquon, and the landings on the Potomac below 
the mouth of the Occoquon, where it was subsequently 
joined by another. 

It was my duty to watch the right of our line, and 
the two companies of cavalry on that flank, Eugene 
Davis and W. W. Thornton s companies of Virginia 
cavalry, were placed under my command, and Captain 
John Scott was assigned to the immediate command of 

A few days after my arrival, under orders from 
General Beauregard, I made a reconnaissance to the 
village of Occoquon, near the mouth of the stream of 
that name, with the 24th Regiment, and examined the 
landings of the Potomac as far down as Freestone Point. 

Early in July General Beauregard summoned all his 
brigade commanders to a conference at Fairfax Station, 
and there disclosed to them, in confidence, his plan of 
operations in the event of an advance by the enemy, for 
which he had learned active preparations were being 

He anticipated that the enemy s main force would 
move on the road through Fairfax Court-House and 
Centreville toward Manassas, and his plan was, for all 
the troops on the north of Bull Run to fall back to the 
south bank of that stream. Bonham, in the centre on the 



direct road to Manassas, to Mitchell s Ford; Cocke, on 
the left, to Stone Bridge on the Warrenton Pike; and 
Ewell, on the right, to Union Mills; and Evans was to 
retire from Loudoun and unite with Cocke ; while Long- 
street was to move up to Blackburn s Ford, about a mile 
below Mitchell s Ford; D. E. Jones to McLean s Ford, 
about a mile or two further down ; and I was to move up 
to Union Mills in support of Ewell. His anticipation 
further was, that the enemy would follow up Bonham 
and attack him at Mitchell s Ford; in which event the 
rest of the troops were to cross Bull Bun and attack the 
enemy on both flanks Longstreet crossing at Black 
burn s Ford, and Jones at McLean s Ford, and attacking 
the enemy s left flank; Ewell at the same time moving 
up towards Centreville, on the road from Union Mills, 
and attacking the enemy on his left and rear; while I 
was to follow Ewell in support and look out for his right 
flank and rear, and Cocke, supported by Evans, was to 
come down on the enemy s right flank. 

The routes by which all these movements were to 
be made were pointed out and designated on maps pre 
viously prepared, and each brigade commander was 
instructed to make himself familiar with the ground over 
which he would have to operate. General Beauregard 
at the same time informed us that the returns showed 
an effective force under his command of very little 
more than 15,000 men. 

A few days after this, the 7th Louisiana Kegiment, 
under Colonel Harry T. Hays, arrived, and was assigned 
to my brigade in lieu of the 4th South Carolina. The 
7th Virginia was commanded by Colonel James L. 
Kemper, and the 24th by Lieutenant Colonel Peter 

On the 12th of July I made another reconnaissance 
to Occoquon, with the 7th Virginia Eegiment under 
Lieutenant Colonel Williams, and a section of the Wash 
ington Artillery of New Orleans, under Lieutenant 
Squires, and returned to camp on the 14th. 




ON the night of the 16th information was sent from 
General Beauregard s headquarters that the enemy was 
advancing, and orders were given for moving early 
next morning in accordance with previous instructions. 

At daylight on the morning of the 17th, I commenced 
the movement of my brigade to its assigned position 
in rear of the ford at Union Mills, and on my arrival 
there I found General Swell s force falling back to the 
same point. Under previous instructions four com 
panies of the 24th Virginia Eegiment had been left under 
Major Hambrick to guard the camp of the regiment and 
picket on the right of our line, and the two companies 
of cavalry under Captain Scott had also been left to 
watch our right. Three pieces of artillery, under 
Lieutenant Squires of the Washington Artillery, were 
attached to my brigade and joined it at the position near 
Union Mills. I remained there inactive during the rest 
of the day after my arrival, but on the morning of the 
18th I was ordered further to the left, to Camp Walker 
on the railroad. On falling back, Ewell had burned the 
bridges on the railroad between Fairfax Station and 
Union Mills, and on this morning the bridge over Bull 
Bun, at the latter place, was likewise burned. 

After remaining for some time at Camp Walker, I 
was ordered by General Beauregard to move my brigade 
to the gate in rear of McLean s farm on the road from 
Blackburn s Ford to the Junction, keeping it in the 
woods out of view. The General had now established 
his headquarters at McLean s house between my posi 
tion and those of Generals Longstreet and Jones. 
From this last position taken by me, the open fields on 
the heights beyond Blackburn s Ford were visible, being 
between two and three miles distant. A little before 



12 M. we discovered clouds of dust from the direction 
of Centreville and bodies of troops moving into the 
fields beyond the ford, and while we were speculating 
as to whether this was the enemy, we saw the smoke 
arise from his first gun, the fire from which was directed 
towards Bonham s position at Mitchell s Ford. 

After the firing had continued for a short time, I 
received an order from General Beauregard to move my 
command to the rear of a pine thicket between McLean s 
house and Blackburn s Ford, so as to be in supporting 
distance of Bonham, Longstreet or Jones. In order to do 
this I had to run through open fields in view of the enemy 
and this attracted his fire in our direction, but I reached 
the cover of the pines without any casualty, and I was 
here joined by Lieutenant Richardson, of the Washing 
ton Artillery, with two more pieces. The enemy s fire 
was continued for some time, and one or two shells 
passed through an out-house near General Beauregard s 

In the afternoon the General rode towards Mitchell s 
Ford, and after he had been gone a short time a very 
brisk musketry fire opened at Blackburn s Ford. The 
enemy had attacked Longstreet at that point, and after 
the firing had continued for some time, I received a mes 
sage from General Longstreet, through one of his aides, 
requesting reinforcements. I immediately put my whole 
command in motion towards the ford, but before arriving 
there, I received an order from General Beauregard to 
carry two regiments and two pieces of artillery to Long- 
street s assistance. My command was then moving with 
the 7th Louisiana in front, followed immediately by the 
7th Virginia, and I ordered the six companies of the 24th 
Virginia, which were bringing up the rear under Lieu 
tenant Colonel Hairston, to halt, and directed Lieutenant 
Squires to move two pieces of artillery to the front and 
halt the rest. I found that General Longstreet s command 
had been hotly engaged and had just repulsed an attempt 
to force a crossing of the stream. 



The position occupied by our troops was a narrow 
strip of woods on low ground along the bank of the 
stream, with an open field in rear, while the enemy occu 
pied higher and better ground on the opposite bank. 
Immediately on its arrival, the 7th Louisiana, Colonel 
Hays, was put in position in the strip of woods on the 
left of the ford, relieving the 17th Virginia Regiment 
and some companies of the llth Virginia which had 
been actively engaged ; and the 7th Virginia Regiment, 
Lieutenant Colonel Williams commanding, was formed 
on the right of the ford, in rear of the strip of woods, 
and advanced to the bank of the stream, relieving the 
1st Virginia Regiment. 

These movements were made under fire from the 
enemy on the opposite bluffs, and while the 7th Virginia 
was being formed in line, two volleys were fired at it by 
the enemy, throwing it into some confusion and causing 
it to begin firing without orders, while there were some 
of our troops in front of it. It, however, soon recovered 
from the momentary confusion and advanced with firm 
ness to the front. Lieutenant Squires moved his pieces 
into the open field in rear of our line and to the right of 
the road leading to the ford, and opened fire without any 
guide except the sound of the enemy s musketry, as he was 
concealed from our view by the woods on the bluffs occu 
pied by him. The six companies of the 24th Virginia Regi 
ment and the remaining pieces of the Washington Artil 
lery, including two pieces under Lieutenant Garnett which 
were attached to Longstreet s brigade, were sent for, 
and the companies of the 24th were put in position along 
the banks of the stream on Hays left, while the rest of 
the artillery was brought into action on the same ground 
with Squires. 

Squires had soon silenced the enemy s infantry, which 
retired precipitately before his fire, but the artillery from 
the heights beyond the stream had opened on ours, which 
now responded to that of the enemy. An artillery duel 
was thus commenced which lasted for a considerable 



time. The opposing batteries were concealed from each 
other s view by the intervening woods, and they were 
therefore compelled to regulate their fire by the sound 
of the guns. The enemy had the decided advantage of 
position, as he was on high ground, while our guns were 
located in a flat nearly on a level with the stream, thus 
giving them the benefit of a plunging fire. This duel 
finally ceased and the enemy retired, baffled in his effort 
to force our position. 

In his reports of this affair, the enemy represented 
our troops as being protected by rifle pits with masked 
batteries; whereas the fact was that we had nothing in 
the shape of rifle pits or breastworks, and our guns were 
in the open field, though concealed from the enemy s 
view by the intervening woods. These guns had been 
brought on the field along with my brigade, but were 
so brought as to elude observation. Before their arrival 
not an artillery shot had been fired by us from this 
quarter, and there had been only a few shots earlier in 
the day from the guns, with Bonham, at Mitchell s Ford 

As soon as it was ascertained that the enemy had 
retired, General Longstreet moved to the rear with his 
two regiments that had borne the brunt of the fight, and 
I was left to occupy his former position with my brigade 
and the llth Virginia Eegiment of his brigade. A few 
were wounded in my command, but I believe none killed. 
General Longstreet s loss was not heavy, but an examina 
tion of the ground on the opposite bank of the Run, next 
morning, showed that the enemy had suffered severely, 
quite a number of dead bodies being found abandoned. 
At one point, where it was apparent a regiment had 
been in line, over one hundred muskets and hats were 
found in a row, showing evidently that they had been 
abandoned in a panic, produced probably by the fire 
from Squires guns. Many knapsacks, canteens, blankets 
and India rubber cloths were found scattered on the 
ground, proving that the enemy had retired in confusion. 



This fight was preliminary to the approaching battle, 
and its result had a very inspiring effect upon our troops 
generally. It was subsequently ascertained that the force 
engaged, on the part of the enemy, was Tyler s division 
of McDowell s army, which had been sent to the front 
for the purpose of making a demonstration, while 
McDowell himself was engaged in reconnoitring on our 
right, for the purpose of ascertaining whether that flank 
could be turned by the way of Wolf Run Shoals, just 
below the junction of Bull Run and the Occoquon. Tyler 
exceeded his instructions, it appears, and endeavored to 
gain some glory for himself by forcing our position at 
Blackburn s Ford, but he paid dearly for the experiment. 
During the 19th I continued to occupy the position 
at Blackburn s Ford, and occasionally small bodies of the 
enemy could be seen by scouts sent to the opposite side 
of Bull Run, on the heights where he had taken his posi 
tion on the 18th, previous to the advance against Long- 
street. During the day my troops, with a few rough tools 
and their bayonets, succeeded in making very tolerable 
rifle pits on the banks of the stream, and they were not 
molested by the enemy. 

About dark the brigade commanders were summoned 
to a council at McLean s house by General Beauregard, 
and he proceeded to inform us of his plans for the next 
day. He told us that, at his instance, the Government 
at Richmond had ordered General Johnston to move from 
the Shenandoah Valley with his whole force to co-operate 
with ours; and that the General was then on his march 
directly across the Blue Ridge, and would probably attack 
the enemy s right flank very early the next morning, 
while we were to fall upon his left flank. Before he 
finished the statement of his plans, Brigadier General 
Thomas J. Jackson, subsequently famous as "Stonewall 
Jackson," entered the room and reported to General 
Beauregard that he had just arrived from General John 
ston s army, by the way of the Manassas Gap Railroad, 
with his brigade, about 2500 strong. 



Tins information took General Beauregard by sur 
prise, and he inquired of General Jackson if General 
Johnston would not march the rest of his command on 
the direct road so as to get on the enemy s right flank. 
General Jackson replied that he thought not, that he 
thought the purpose was to transport the whole force 
on the railroad from Piedmont station on the east of the 
Blue Ridge. After General Jackson had given all the 
information he possessed, and received instructions as 
to the disposition of his brigade, he retired, and General 
Beauregard proceeded to develop his plans fully. The 
information received from General Jackson was most 
unexpected, but General Beauregard stated that he 
thought Jackson was mistaken, and that he was satisfied 
General Johnston was marching with the rest of his 
troops and would attack the enemy s right flank as before 

Upon this hypothesis, he then decided that, when 
General Johnston s attack began and he had become 
fully engaged, of which we were to judge from the 
character of the musketry fire, we would cross Bull Run 
from our several positions and move to the attack of the 
enemy s left flank and rear. He stated that he had no 
doubt Johnston s attack would be a surprise to the enemy, 
that the latter would not know what to think of it, and 
when he turned to meet that attack and found himself 
assailed on the other side, he would be still more sur 
prised and would not know what to do, that the effect 
would be a complete rout, a perfect Waterloo, and that 
we would pursue, cross the Potomac and arouse Mary 

General Johnston s attack, according to General 
Beauregard s calculations, was to begin next morning 
about or very shortly after daybreak. Having received 
our instructions fully, we retired, and I returned to my 
position at Blackburn s Ford, where I assembled my 
colonels, and was proceeding to explain to them the 
plans for the next day and instruct them to have every- 



thing in readiness, when we were startled by a fierce 
volley of musketry on our immediate right. This of 
course put an end to the conference and every one 
rushed to his position in anticipation of a night attack. 

The llth Virginia Regiment, Colonel Samuel Garland, 
was moved promptly to the rear of the point where the 
firing occurred, which was repeated, and after a good 
deal of trouble we succeeded in ascertaining that it 
proceeded from two of my companies, which had been 
posted in the woods on the bank of the stream to the right 
of my position, in order to cover some points where a 
crossing might be effected. The officers of one of the 
companies declared that a body of the enemy could be 
seen, stealthily moving down the opposite bank, and that 
the firing had been at that body and had been returned. 
The firing by this time had ceased and no movement of 
the enemy could be heard. This affair, however, kept 
us on the alert all night, but I became satisfied that it 
resulted from some mistake, caused perhaps by the move 
ment of some straggling persons of our own command, 
in the darkness, in the woods. Such alarms were not 
uncommon, subs x uently, when two opposing forces were 
lying on their arms at night in front of each other. A 
very slight circumstance would sometimes produce a 
volley at night from the one or the other side, as it 
might be. 

At light on the morning of the 20th, instead of our 
being required to advance to the attack of the enemy 
according to the programme of the night before, General 
Longstreet came in a great hurry to relieve me, and 
with orders for my brigade to move as rapidly as pos 
sible to a point on our right on the road leading from 
Yates Ford, below Union Mills, to Manassas Junction. 
As soon as relieved, I moved in the direction indicated, 
and the head of my column was just emerging into 
Camp Walker, from the woods in rear of McLean s farm, 
where I had been on the 18th, at the time the enemy 
opened his artillery fire beyond Blackburn s Ford, when 



I was met by a courier with orders to halt where I 
was, as the alarm, upon which the order to me had been 
founded, had proved false. 

As this false alarm was rather singular in its nature, 
but of such a character that any general might have 
been deceived by it, I will state how it occurred. A 
captain of General Ewell s brigade, who had been posted 
with his company on picket at Yates Ford not far 
below Union Mills, retired from his post and reported 
in the most positive manner that the enemy had ap 
peared in heavy force on the opposite bank of Bull Run 
and commenced building two bridges. He further stated 
that he had seen General McDowell on a white horse 
superintending the construction of the bridges. 

As there was no reason to doubt his veracity or 
courage, General Ewell, of course, sent at once the 
information to General Beauregard and hence the order 
for my movement. After the message was dispatched, 
something suggested a doubt as to the correctness of 
the report, and the officer making it was sent in charge 
of another to ascertain the facts. On arriving in sight 
of the ford he pointed triumphantly t /the opposite bank 
and exclaimed, " There they are. Don t you see the two 
bridges, don t you see McDowell on his white horse !" 
when the fact was there was nothing visible but the ford 
and the unoccupied banks of the stream, which were 
so obstructed as to render a crossing impracticable until 
the obstructions were removed. 

It was then apparent that it was a clear case of 
hallucination, produced by a derangement of the nervous 
system, consequent on a loss of sleep and great anxiety 
of mind resulting from the nature of the duties in which 
he had been engaged. Neither his sincerity nor his 
courage was questioned, and this affair shows how the 
most careful commander may be misled when he has to 
rely on information furnished by others. It requires 
very great experience and a very discriminating judg 
ment to enable a commanding general to sift the truth 



out of the great mass of exaggerated reports made to 
him, and hence he has often to rely on his own personal 

I have known important movements to be suspended 
on the battlefield, on account of reports from very gal 
lant officers that the enemy was on one flank or the other 
in heavy force, when a calm inspection proved the re 
ported bodies of the enemy to be nothing more than stone 
or rail fences. Some officers, while exposing their lives 
with great daring, sometimes fail to preserve that clear 
ness of judgment and calmness of the nerves which is 
so necessary to enable one to see things as they really 
are during an engagement; and hence it is that there 
are so many conflicting reports of the same matters. 
The capacity of preserving one s presence of mind in 
action is among the highest attributes of an efficient 
commander or subordinate officer, and it must be con 
fessed that the excitement of battle, especially when 
the shells are bursting and the bullets whistling thick 
around, is wonderfully trying to the nerves of the 

The false alarm out of which the above reflections 
have sprung, operated as a very great relief to my com 
mand, as it enabled my men, who had had very little to 
eat, and scarcely any rest or sleep for two nights and 
days, to cook provisions and get a good rest and sleep 
in the woods where they were halted, and thereby to be 
prepared to go through the extraordinary fatigues of 
the next day. 

On this day, the 20th, General Johnston arrived at 
Manassas by the railroad, and an order was issued for 
his assuming command, as the ranking officer, of all the 
troops of the united armies. It was now ascertained 
beyond doubt that all of his troops were coming by the 


AT this time the largest organizations in our army 
were brigades, and each brigade commander received his 
orders directly from headquarters. Since the conference 
at Fairfax Station, when General Beauregard stated that 
his effective strength did not exceed 15,000 men, one 
regiment, the 1st South Carolina, had been sent off by 
reason of expiration of term of service, and one regiment, 
the 7th Louisiana, had joined my brigade. Besides this, 
General Beauregard s troops had been augmented, since 
the advance of the enemy, by the arrival of six com 
panies of the 8th Louisiana, the 5th North Carolina 
State Troops, the llth North Carolina Volunteers, the 
13th Mississippi, three companies of the 49th Virginia 
and Hampton s South Carolina Legion; the latter con 
taining six companies of infantry. His whole effective 
force, however, did not probably much exceed the 
estimate made at the time of the conference, as the 
measles and typhoid fever, which were prevailing, had 
reduced very much the strength of the regiments, espe 
cially among the Virginia troops which were entirely new. 
To reinforce him, Holmes brigade of two regiments had 
arrived from Aquia Creek, and Johnston s troops were 
arriving by the railroad, after much delay by reason of 
accidents or mismanagement on the part of the railroad 

On the 20th we were not molested by the enemy, 
and on the morning of the 21st the position of Beau- 
regard s troops was pretty much the same as it had 
been on the 18th, to wit: Ewell at Union Mills; D. E. 
Jones at McLean s Ford; Longstreet, reinforced by the 
5th North Carolina, at Blackburn s Ford; Bonham, re 
inforced by six companies of the 8th Louisiana and the 
llth North Carolina Volunteers, at Mitchell s Ford; 



Cocke, reinforced by some companies of the 8th Virginia 
Kegiment and three companies of the 49th Virginia 
Regiment, at some fords below Stone Bridge ; and Evans 
at Stone Bridge; while my brigade was in reserve in 
the woods in rear of McLean s farm. No artillery was 
attached to my brigade on this day. 

The arrival of General Johnston in person and the 
transportation of his troops on the railroad had, of 
course, entirely changed the plans of operations as com 
municated to us on the night of the 19th, but the new 
plans, which were rendered necessary by the altered 
condition of things, were not communicated to us, and 
I had, therefore, to await orders. 

Very early on the morning of the 21st the enemy 
opened fire with artillery from the heights on the north 
of Bull Run near Blackburn s Ford, and I was ordered 
to occupy a position in rear of the pine woods north 
of McLean s house, so as to be ready to support Long- 
street or Jones as might be necessary. After being in 
position some time, I received a request from General 
Longstreet for one of my regiments to be sent to him, 
and I sent him the six companies of the 24th Virginia 
under Lieutenant Colonel Hairston, and two companies 
of the 7th Louisiana under Major Penn. Not long after 
wards I received a request for another regiment, and 
I carried the remaining eight companies of the 7th 
Louisiana to Blackburn s Ford, leaving Colonel Kemper 
with his regiment behind. 

On arriving at the ford, I found that the whole of 
Longstreet s brigade had been crossed over Bull Run, 
and were lying under cover at the foot of the hills on 
its northern bank, awaiting a signal to advance against 
the enemy, who was in considerable force near the point 
occupied by his artillery at the fight on the 18th. The 
companies of the 24th were being crossed over to join 
Longstreet s brigade, and the General ordered the 7th 
Louisiana to be formed in line in the strip of woods 
on the southern bank of the stream, covering the ford. 




The enemy was keeping up a continuous artillery fire 
from two batteries, one in front of the ford and the 
other some distance to the right, which rendered the 
vicinity of the ford quite uncomfortable, but the troops 
across the Run were in a great measure under cover. 

After Hays regiment had been put in position, Gen 
eral Longstreet went across the stream to reconnoitre, 
and in a short time returned and directed me to take 
Hays and Kemper s regiments, cross at McLean s Ford, 
and move around and capture the battery to his right, 
which he said could be easily taken. I was informed 
by him that Jones had crossed the Run and was on the 
hills beyond McLean s Ford, likewise awaiting the signal 
to advance, and I was directed to move between him 
and the Run against the enemy s battery. Hays regi 
ment was moved back to where Kemper s was, and 
was exposed to the fire from the enemy s batteries which 
was attracted by the dust arising from its march over 
the direct road through the pines. A shell exploded 
in the ranks, killing and wounding four or five men. The 
two regiments were moved to McLean s Ford, and while 
they were crossing over and forming, I rode forward 
to an eminence, where I observed a lookout in a tree, 
for the purpose of ascertaining the exact position of 
the battery and the route over which I would have to 
advance against it. While I was engaged in obtaining 
this information, Colonel Chisolm, a volunteer aide of 
General Beauregard, rode up and informed me that 
General Beauregard s orders were that the whole force 
should cross Bull Run to the south side. 

I think this was about 11.00 A.M. I informed him 
of the order I had received from General Longstreet, 
and he stated that Longstreet was crossing, and that 
the order embraced me as well as the rest. I felt this as 
a reprieve from almost certain destruction, for I had 
discovered that the route by which I would be compelled 
to advance against the battery was along an open valley 
for some distance and then up a naked hill to the plain 
2 17 


on which the battery was located, the greater part of 
the route being raked by the enemy s guns. The look 
out had also informed me that a considerable body of 
infantry was in the woods near the battery. It turned 
out afterwards that this battery, which I was ordered to 
take, was supported by a brigade of infantry, posted 
behind a formidable abattis of felled timber. An at 
tempt to carry out my orders would very probably 
have entailed the annihilation or utter rout of my two 
regiments; and in fact much later in the day, Jones 
brigade on moving against this battery sustained a 
damaging repulse. 

After recrossing to the south side, I sent Kemper s 
regiment to its former position, and moved with Hays 
regiment up the Run to Longstreet s position, as I 
thought he probably desired its return to him. On reach 
ing Blackburn s Ford, I found General Longstreet cau 
tiously withdrawing a part of his troops across the 
Run, and he informed me that he did not now require 
Hays regiment, but would retain the companies of the 
24th. Hays was then ordered to move down the Run to 
McLean s Ford and return in that way to the position 
at which Kemper was, so as to avoid the artillery fire 
while passing over the direct route. 

I rode directly to Kemper s position, and after being 
there a short time I discovered clouds of dust arising 
about McLean s Ford, which I supposed to be produced 
by Jones brigade returning to its original position. 
Fearing that Hays regiment might be mistaken for the 
enemy and fired upon, I rode rapidly to Jones position 
and found some of his men forming in the rifle pits in 
rear of the ford, while the General was looking with his 
field glasses at Hays regiment, which was advancing 
from the direction of the enemy s position higher up 
the Run. I informed him what command it was and 
requested that his men might be cautioned against firing, 
for which they were preparing. 

As soon as this was done, General Jones asked me 



if I had received an order from General Beauregard, 
directing that I should go to him with my brigade. Upon 
my stating that I had received no such order, he said 
that he had received a note from General Beauregard 
in which he was directed to send me to the General. 
The note, which was in the hands of one of Jones staff 
officers, was sent for and shown to me. It was in pencil, 
and after giving brief directions for the withdrawal 
across the Run and stating the general purpose to go 
to the left where the heavy firing was, there was a 
direction at the foot in very nearly these words, * Send 
Early to me." This information was given to me some 
time between 12 M. and 1 P.M.* 

The note did not state to what point I was to go, 
but I knew that General Beauregard s position had 
been near Mitchell s Ford and that he was to be found 
somewhere to our left. I sent word for Hays to move 
up as rapidly as possible, directed Kemper to get ready 
to move, sent a message to General Longstreet request 
ing the return of the companies of the 24th, and directed 
my Acting Adjutant General, Captain Gardner, to ride 
to Mitchell s Ford and ascertain where General Beau 
regard was, as well as the route I was to pursue. 

The messenger sent to General Longstreet returned and 
informed me that the General said there was a regiment 
in the pines to my left which had been ordered to report 
to him, and that I could take that regiment instead of 
the companies of my own, to save time and prevent 
the exposure of both to the fire of the enemy s artillery 
in passing to and from Blackburn s Ford. In this 
arrangement I readily concurred, and soon found, to my 
left in the pines, the 13th Mississippi Regiment under 
Colonel Barksdale, which had very recently arrived. The 
Colonel consented to accompany me, and as soon as the 

* In his report General Beauregard states that I did not receive 
this order until 2.00 P.M. This is a mistake. I could not possibly 
have reached the battlefield at the time I did, if the reception of the 
order had been delayed until 2.00 P.M. 



command could be got ready, it was started on the road 
towards Mitchell s Ford. 

This movement commenced about or very shortly after 
1 o clock P.M. On the way I met Captain Gardner re 
turning with the information that General Beauregard s 
headquarters would be at the Lewis house, in the direc 
tion of the firing on our extreme left, and that I was 
to go there. On reaching General Bonham s position 
in rear of Mitchell s Ford, he informed me that I would 
have to move through the fields towards the left to 
find the Lewis house, and he pointed out the direction; 
but he did not know the exact location of the house. I 
moved in the direction pointed out, and continued to 
pass on to our left, through the fields, towards the firing 
in the distance, endeavoring, as I advanced, to find out 
where the Lewis house was. 

While moving on, Captain Smith, an assistant in the 
adjutant general s office at General Beauregard s 
headquarters, passed us in a great hurry, also looking 
for General Beauregard and the Lewis house. He told 
me that information had been received at the Junction 
that 6,000 of the enemy had passed the Manassas Gap 
railroad, and it was this information (which subsequently 
proved to be false) that he was going to communicate to 
the General. 

The day was excessively hot and dry. Hays regi 
ment was a good deal exhausted by the marching and 
the counter-marching about Blackburn s and McLean s 
Fords. Barksdale s regiment, an entirely new one, had 
just arrived from the south over the railroad, and was 
unused to marching. Our progress was therefore not 
as rapid as I could have wished, but we passed on with 
all possible speed in the direction of the firing, which 
was our only guide. Towards 3 o clock P.M. we reached 
the field of battle and began to perceive the scenes 
usual in rear of an army engaged in action. On enter 
ing the road leading from the Lewis house towards 
Manassas, we met quite a stream of stragglers going 



to the rear, and were informed by them that everything 
was over with us. I was riding by the side of Colonel 
Kemper at the head of the column, and we had the 
satisfaction of being assured that if we went on the 
field on horseback, we certainly would be killed, as the 
enemy shot all the mounted officers. Some of the men 
said that their regiments had been entirely cut to pieces, 
and there was no use for them to remain any longer. 

It was to the encouraging remarks of this stream 
of recreants that my command was exposed as it moved 
on, but not a man fell out of ranks. Only one man who 
had been engaged offered to return and he belonged 
to the 4th Alabama Regiment, which he said had been 
nearly destroyed, but he declared that he would "go 
back and give them another trial." He fell into the 
ranks of Kemper s regiment and I believe remained 
with it to the close of the battle. Captain Gardner 
had been sent ahead for instructions and had met with 
Colonel John S. Preston, a volunteer aide to General 
Beauregard; and on our getting near to the battlefield, 
Colonel Preston rode to meet us and informed me that 
the General had gone to the front on the right, to con 
duct an attack on the enemy, but that General Johnston 
was on that part of the field near which we were and 
would give me instructions. He pointed out the direc 
tion in which General Johnston was, and I moved on, 
soon meeting the General himself, who rode towards us 
when he discovered our approach, and expressed his 
gratification at our arrival. 

I asked him at once to show me my position, to 
which he replied that he was too much engaged to do 
that in person, but would give me directions as to what 
I was to do. He then directed me to move to our own 
extreme left and attack the enemy on his right, stating 
that by directing my march along the rear of our line, 
by the sound of the firing in front, there could be no 
mistake; and he cautioned me to take especial care to 
clear our whole line before advancing to the front, and 



be particular and not fire on any of our own troops^ 
which he was sorry to say had been done in some 

Affairs now wore a very gloomy aspect, and from 
all the indications in the rear the day appeared to be 
going against us. While General Johnston was speaking 
to me, quite a squad of men approached us going to 
the rear, and the General asking them to what regiment 
they belonged and where going without receiving any 
satisfactory answer, directed me to make my men charge 
bayonets and drive them back to the front. I immediately 
ordered Colonel Kemper to charge them with his regi 
ment, when they commenced making excuses, saying they 
were sick, or wounded, or had no ammunition. I saw at 
once there was no fight in them, and I directed Colonel 
Kemper to move on and not delay battling with such 

Immediately in front of us was a body of woods ex 
tending to our left, in which there was a constant rattle 
of musketry, and I moved along the rear of this woods, 
crossing the road from Manassas to Sudley, and inclining 
to the left so as to clear our line entirely. While so 
moving Colonel Kemper pointed out to me the United 
States flag floating in the distance on some high point 
in front of our right, probably the top of a house. 

To clear our line entirely on our left, I found that 
it was necessary to pass beyond the woods in which 
our troops were, and as I approached the open space 
beyond, a messenger came to me from Colonel, after 
wards General, J. E. B. Stuart, who was on our ex 
treme left with two companies of cavalry and a battery 
of artillery under Lieutenant Beckham, stating that the 
Colonel said the enemy was about giving way and if 
we would hurry up he would soon be in retreat. This 
was the first word of encouragement I had received 
after reaching the vicinity of the battlefield. I was then 
making all the haste the condition of my men, who were 
much blown, would permit, and I directed my march to 



a field immediately on the left of the woods, and between 
Stuart s position and the left of our infantry then en 

The messenger from Colonel Stuart soon returned 
in a gallop and stated that the Colonel said the enemy 
had only retired his right behind a ridge now in my 
front, and was moving another flanking column behind 
said ridge still further to our left, and he cautioned me 
to be on the lookout for this new column. 

Having now cleared the woods, I moved to the front, 
in order to form line against the flanking column the 
enemy was reported forming behind the ridge in front 
of me. I ordered Colonel Kemper, who was in front, 
to form his regiment, by file, into line in the open field, 
just on the left of the woods, and sent back directions 
for the other regiments to move up as rapidly as pos 
sible and form to Kemper s left in echelon. Just at 
this time I observed a body of our troops move from a 
piece of woods on my immediate right across an open 
space to another in front of it, and this proved to be 
the left regiment of Elzey s brigade. I heard a rapid 
fire open from the woods into which this regiment had 
moved, and a body of the enemy approached on the crest 
of the ridge immediately in my front, preceded by a 
line of skirmishers. 

This ridge was the one on which is situated Chinn s 
house, so often mentioned in the description of this 
battle, and the subsequent one near the same position. 
It is a high ridge sloping off towards our right, and 
the enemy had the decided advantage of the ground, 
as my troops had to form on the low ground on our 
side of the ridge, near a small stream which runs along 
its base. The formation of my troops was in full view 
of the enemy, and his skirmishers, which were about 
four hundred yards in front of us, opened on my men, 
while forming, with long range rifles or minie muskets. 
Barksdale and Hays came up rapidly and formed as 
directed, Barksdale in the centre and Hays on the left. 



While their regiments were forming by file into line, 
under the fire of the enemy s sharpshooters, Kemper s 
regiment commenced moving obliquely to the right 
towards the woods into which Elzey s troops had been 
seen to move, and I rode in front and halted it, informing 
it that there were no troops in the woods, and pointing 
out the enemy on the crest of the ridge in front. I then 
rode to the other regiments to direct their movements, 
when Colonel Kemper, finding the fire of the enemy, 
who was beyond the range of our smooth bores, very 
annoying to his men, moved rapidly to the front, to the 
cover of a fence at the foot of the ridge. As soon as 
Hays regiment was formed, I ordered an advance and 
Hays moved forward until in a line with Kemper, then 
their two regiments started up the side of the hill. As we 
advanced the enemy disappeared behind the crest, and 
while we were ascending the slope Lieutenant McDonald, 
acting aide to Colonel Elzey, came riding rapidly towards 
me and requested me not to let my men fire on the 
troops in my front, stating that they consisted of the 
13th Virginia Regiment of Elzey s brigade. I said to 
him, "They have been firing on my men," to which 
he replied, "I know they have, but it is a mistake, I 
recognize Colonel Hill of the 13th, and his horse." This 
was a mistake on the part of Lieutenant McDonald, 
arising from a fancied resemblance of a mounted officer 
with the enemy to the Colonel of the 13th. This regiment 
did not reach the battlefield at all. 

This information and the positive assurance of Lieu 
tenant McDonald, however, caused me to halt my troops 
and ride to the crest of the ridge, where I observed a 
regiment about two hundred yards to my right drawn 
up in line in front of the woods where Elzey s left was. 
The dress of the volunteers on both sides at that time 
was very similar, and the flag of the regiment I saw 
was drooping around the staff, so that I could not see 
whether it was the United States or the Confederate 
flag. The very confident manner of Lieutenant Mc- 



Donald, in his statement in regard to the troops in my 
front, induced me to believe that this must also be one 
of our regiments. 

Colonel Stuart had also advanced on my left with 
his two companies of cavalry and Beckham s battery 
of four guns, and passed around Chinn s house, the 
battery had been brought into action and opened a flank 
fire on the regiment I was observing. Thinking it cer 
tainly was one of ours, I started a messenger to Colonel 
Stuart, to give him the information and request him to 
stop the firing, but a second shell or ball from Beckham s 
guns caused the regiment to face about and retire rapidly, 
when I saw the United States flag unfurled and dis 
covered the mistake into which I had been led by Lieuten 
ant McDonald. 

I immediately ordered my command forward and 
it advanced to the crest of the hill. All this occurred 
in less time than it has taken me to describe it. On 
reaching the crest we came in view of the Warrenton 
Pike and the plains beyond, and now saw the enemy s 
troops in full retreat across and beyond the pike. When 
Kemper s and Hays regiments had advanced, Barks- 
dale s, under a misapprehension of my orders, had not 
at first moved, but it soon followed, and the whole 
command was formed in line, along the crest of the 
ridge, on the right of Chinn s house. 

We were now on the extreme left of the whole of 
our infantry, and in advance of the main line. The 
only troops on our left of any description were the two 
companies of cavalry and Beckham s battery with 
Stuart. On my immediate right and a little to the rear 
was Elzey s brigade, and farther to the right I saw 
our line extending towards Bull Run, but I discovered 
no indications of a forward movement. 

My troops were now very much exhausted, especially 
Hays regiment, which had been marching nearly all the 
morning before our movement to the left, and it was 
necessary to give the men a little time to breathe. Beck- 



ham s guns had continued firing on the retreating enemy 
until beyond their range, and Stuart soon went in 
pursuit followed by Beckham. Colonel Cocke now came 
up and joined me with the 19th Virginia Regiment. 

As soon as my men had rested a little, I directed 
the brigade to advance in column of divisions along the 
route over which we had seen the enemy retiring, and I 
sent information to the troops, on my right, of my pur 
pose to move in their front with the request not to fire 
on us. I moved forward followed by Cocke s regiment, 
crossing Young s branch and the Warrenton Pike to 
the north side. When we got into the valley of Young s 
branch we lost sight of the enemy, and on ascending to 
the plains north of the pike we could see nothing of 
them. Passing to the west and north of the houses 
known as the Dogan house, the Stone Tavern, the 
Matthews house and the Carter or Pittsylvania house, 
and being guided by the abandoned haversacks and mus 
kets, we moved over the ground on which the battle had 
begun with Evans in the early morning, and continued 
our march until we had cleared our right. 

We had now got to a point where Bull Run makes 
a considerable bend above Stone Bridge, and I halted 
as we had not observed any movement from the main 
line. Nothing could be seen of the enemy, and his 
troops had scattered so much in the retreat that it was 
impossible for me to tell what route he had taken. More 
over the country was entirely unknown to me. Stuart 
and Beckham had crossed the run above me, and Cocke s 
regiment had also moved towards a ford above where 
I was. While I was engaged in making some observa 
tions and trying to find out what was going on, Colonel 
Chisolm of General Beauregard s volunteer staff passed 
me with a detachment of cavalry in pursuit of a body of 
the enemy supposed to be across Bull Run above me. 

About this time it was reported to me that the enemy 
had., sent us a flag of truce, but on inquiry I found it 
was a messenger with a note from Colonel Jones of the 



4th Alabama Regiment, who had been very badly 
wounded and was at one of the enemy s hospitals in 
rear of the battlefield, and I sent for him and had him 
brought in to Matthews house near where the battle 
had begun. I also found Lieutenant Colonel Gardner of 
the 8th Georgia Regiment in the yard of the Carter 
house, where he had been brought by some of the enemy 
engaged in collecting the wounded, and suffering from 
a very painful wound. 

Shortly after this President Davis, accompanied by 
several gentlemen, rode to where my command was. 
He addressed a few remarks to each regiment and was 
received with great enthusiasm. I then informed him 
of the condition of things as far as I knew them, told 
him of the condition and location of Colonel Gardner, 
and requested him to have medical assistance sent to 
him, as no medical officer could be found with my com 
mand at that time. I informed him of the fact that I 
was unacquainted with the situation of the country and 
without orders to guide me under the circumstances, 
and asked him what I should do. 

He said I had better form my men in line near where 
I was and let them rest until orders were received. I 
requested him to inform Generals Beauregard and 
Johnston of my position and ask them to send me orders. 
While we were conversing we observed a body of troops 
across Bull Run, some distance below, moving in good 
order in the direction of Centreville. I at first supposed 
it to be Bonham s brigade moving from Mitchell s Ford, 
but it turned out to be Kershaw s and Casii s regiments 
of that brigade, which had preceded me to the battlefield 
and were now moving in pursuit, after having crossed 
at or below Stone Bridge. Bonham s position at 
Mitchell s Ford was entirely too far off for his move 
ment to be observed. 

As soon as Mr. Davis left me, I moved my com 
mand farther into the bend of Bull Run, and put it in 
line across the bend with the flanks resting on the stream, 



the right flank being some distance above Stone Bridge. 
In this position my troops spent the night. They were 
considerably exhausted by the fatigues of the day, and 
had had nothing to eat since the early morning. They 
were now miles away from their baggage and trains. 
Early in the morning a Virginia company under Captain 
Gibson, unattached, had been permitted, at the request 
of the Captain, to join Kemper s regiment and remained 
with it throughout the day. A South Carolina company 
belonging to Kershaw s or Cash s regiment, which was 
on picket at the time their regiments moved from 
Mitchell s Ford, not being able to find its proper com 
mand, had joined me just as we were advancing against 
the enemy near Chinn s house, and had been attached 
to Hays regiment, with which it went into action. Lieu 
tenant Murat Willis had volunteered his services early 
in the day as aide and been with me through all my 
movements, rendering valuable service. 

The conduct of my troops during the whole day had 
been admirable, and the coolness with which they formed 
in open ground under the fire of the enemy s sharp 
shooters was deserving of all praise. They were in a 
condition to have taken up the pursuit the next day, but 
it would have been with empty haversacks, or rather 
without any except those picked up on the battlefield and 
along the line of the enemy s retreat. 

My loss was in killed and wounded, seventy-six, the 
greater part being in Kemper s regiment. 

The troops which were immediately in my front near 
Chinn s house constituted the enemy s extreme right, 
and were, I think, composed in part of the regulars 
attached to McDowell s army. Their long range mus 
kets or rifles enabled them to inflict the loss on my 
command, but I am satisfied that the latter inflicted little 
or no loss on the enemy, as he retired before we got 
within range with our arms, which were smooth-bore 
mu sleets. 

As soon as my troops were disposed for the night 



and steps taken to guard the front, I rode with my staff 
officers in search of either General Beauregard or Gen 
eral Johnston, in order to give information of my 
position and get instructions for the next morning. Not 
knowing the roads, I had to take the circuitous route 
over which I had advanced, but I finally reached the 
Lewis, house to find it a hospital for the wounded, and 
the headquarters removed. Not being able to get here 
any information of either of the generals, I rode in the 
direction of Manassas until I met an officer who said he 
was on the staff of General Johnston and was looking 
for him. He stated that he was just from Manassas 
and did not think either of the generals was there. 

Taking this to be true and not knowing where to 
look further, I rode back along the Sudley Mills road 
to the Stone Tavern, passing over the main battlefield, 
and rejoined my command after twelve o clock at night, 
when I lay down to rest, my bed being a bundle of 
wheat. While trying to find the generals, I discovered 
that there was very great confusion among our troops 
that had been engaged in the battle. They were scattered 
in every direction, regiments being separated from their 
brigades, companies from their regiments, while many 
squads and individuals were seeking their commands. 
That part of the army was certainly in no condition to 
make pursuit next morning. 

Very early on the morning of the 22nd, I sent Captain 
Fleming Gardner to Manassas for instruction, and he 
returned with directions to me from General Beauregard 
to remain where I was until further orders, and to have 
my men made as comfortable as possible. A heavy rain 
had now set in, which continued through the day and 
night. When it was ascertained that there was to be 
no movement, I rode over the battlefield and to the hos 
pitals in the vicinity to see about having my wounded 
brought in who had not been taken care of. The country 
in rear of the enemy s line of battle of the day before, 
and along his routes of retreat was strewn with knap- 



sacks, haversacks, canteens, blankets, overcoats, india- 
rubber cloths, muskets, equipments, and all the debris 
of a routed army. 

A report subsequently made by a Committee of the 
Federal Congress, of which Senator Wade was chair 
man, gave a most preposterous account of " Rebel 
atrocities M committed upon the dead and wounded of 
the Federal army after the battle. I -am able to say, 
from my personal knowledge, that its statements are 
false, and the Federal surgeons, left with the wounded, 
could bear testimony to their falsehood. 



I HAVE now told what I saw and did during the first 
battle of Manas sas, and as many very erroneous accounts 
of that battle, both in its general features and its details, 
were given by newspaper correspondents, from both 
sections, which have furnished the basis for most of 
the descriptions of it, contained errors even in works 
professing to be authentic histories, I will here give a 
succinct account of the battle from the authentic official 
reports, and my own knowledge as far as it extends. 

On the morning of the 21st we held the line of Bull 
Run, with our right at Union Mills and our left at Stone 
Bridge. EwelPs brigade was at Union Mills, Jones at 
McLean s Ford, Longstreet s at Blackburn s Ford, Bon- 
ham s at Mitchell s Ford, Cocke at the fords below 
Stone Bridge, and Evans with Sloan s regiment and 
Wheat s battalion was at the Stone Bridge. Holmes 
brigade, which had arrived from Aquia Creek, was some 
three miles in rear of Swell s position. My brigade was 
in reserve to support Longstreet or Jones, as might be 
required, and Jackson s and parts of Bee s and Bartow s 
brigades of Johnston s army which had arrived by 
the Manassas Gap Railroad were held as a general 
reserve to be used as occasion might require. The War- 
renton Pike from Centreville to Warrenton crosses Bull 
Run at Stone Bridge, and its general direction from 
Centreville is a little south of west. 

McDowell s force had reached Centreville on the 
18th, and that day the 19th and 20th had been employed 
by him in reconnoitring. Contrary to General Beau- 
regard s anticipations, McDowell, instead of advancing 
against our centre on the morning of the 21st, left one 
division (Miles ) and a brigade of another (Tyler s) to 
hold Centreville and amuse our right and centre, while 



lie moved two divisions (Hunter s and Heintzelman s) 
and three brigades of another (Tyler s) against our 
left, with the view of turning that flank and forcing 
us from the line of Bull Run. The three brigades of 
Tyler s division moved directly against Stone Bridge, 
over the Warrenton Pike, and opened an artillery fire 
at six o clock A.M. About the same time lire was opened 
from two batteries established by the enemy north of 
Bull Run, near Blackburn s Ford, which was kept up 
steadily until late in the afternoon. Hunter s division, 
diverging from the Warrenton Pike, moved across Bull 
Run at or near Sudley Mills, about three miles above 
Stone Bridge, and then towards Manassas on the direct 
road, so as to get in rear of Stone Bridge, while Heintzel- 
man followed Hunter to support him. 

When this movement was developed, Colonel Evans, 
leaving a very small force at Stone Bridge, where the 
road had been blocked up by felled timber, moved to the 
left to meet Hunter and encountered his advance north 
of the Warrenton Pike, sustaining his attack for some 
time, until overwhelming numbers were accumulated 
against him. Evans was being forced back when Bee, 
with the parts of his own and Bartow s brigades which 
had arrived, came to his assistance, and the advance of 
the enemy was stopped for some time until Heintzelman s 
division united with Hunter s and two of Tyler s 
brigades crossed over above Stone Bridge. 

Bee and Evans, though fighting with great obstinacy, 
were forced back across the Warrenton Pike to a ridge 
south of it, and nearly at right angles with Bull Run. 
Here they were reinforced first by Hampton s six com 
panies and then by Jackson s brigade, when a new line 
was formed and the fight renewed with great obstinacy. 
Subsequently two of Cocke s regiments were brought 
up, as also the seven companies of the 8th Virginia, 
under Colonel Hunter; the three companies of the 49th 
Virginia Regiment, under Colonel Smith; the 6th North 
Carolina Regiment, under Colonel Fisher; and two of 



Bonham s regiments, under Colonel Kershaw; and 
engaged in the battle. 

The fighting was very stubborn on the part of our 
troops, who were opposed to immense odds, and the 
fortunes of the day fluctuated for some time. From 
the beginning, artillery had been employed on both sides, 
and a number of our batteries did most excellent ser 
vice. Colonel Stuart made a charge at one time with 
two companies of cavalry on the right of the enemy s 
line. At a most critical period three regiments of 
Elzey s brigade which had arrived at the junction by 
the railroad and been promptly moved to the battlefield 
under the direction of Brigadier General E. Kirby Smith 
came upon the field in rear of our line, and after 
General Smith had been wounded were moved to our 
left, under command of Colonel Elzey, just in time to 
meet and repulse a body of the enemy which had over 
lapped that flank. A short time afterwards, while the 
enemy was preparing for a last effort, my brigade 
arrived on the field, and operated on the left of Elzey s 
brigade just as the enemy began his attack. 

He had been repulsed, not routed. When, however, 
the retreat began, it soon degenerated into a rout from 
the panic-stricken fears of the enemy s troops, who 
imagined that legions of cavalry were thundering at their 
heels, when really there were only a few companies acting 
without concert. Kershaw s two regiments with a bat 
tery of artillery moved in pursuit along the Warrenton 
Pike, and made some captures, but the mass of our troops 
on this part of the field were not in a condition to pursue 
at once. Swell s and Holmes brigades had been sent 
for from the right, when the day appeared doubtful, but 
the battle was won before they arrived, and they were 
ordered to return to their former positions. 

D. R. Jones, in the afternoon, made an advance 
against the battery which I had been ordered to take 
in the morning, but was compelled to retire with loss. 
Bonham and Long-street moved across the Run in the 

3 33 


direction of Centreville just before night, but retired to 
their former positions on the approach of darkness. 
The enemy retreated in great disorder to Centreville, 
where he attempted to re-form his troops on the un 
broken division and brigade that remained at that place, 
but shortly after dark he retreated with great precipita 
tion, and by light next morning the greater part of his 
troops were either in the streets of Washington, or on 
the southern banks of the Potomac. 

Twenty-seven pieces of artillery fell into our hands, 
some of which were captured on the field, but the greater 
part were abandoned on the road between the battlefield 
and Centreville. Besides the artillery, a considerable 
quantity of small arms, a number of wagons, ambulances, 
and some stores fell into our hands; and we captured 
about 1,500 prisoners. Our loss in killed and wounded 
was 1,852. The enemy s loss was much heavier, and is 
reported by McDowell. 

I have thus given an outline of the battle as it took 
place, but I have not attempted to give the details of 
what the several commands did, for which reference 
must be had to the official reports. 

. There are several popular errors in regard to this 
battle, which have been widely circulated by the writings 
of those who have undertaken to describe it, and about 
which very few people indeed seem to be correctly in 

Foremost among them is the opinion that General 
Johnston yielded the command to General Beauregard, 
and that the latter controlled the operations of our troops 
during the battle. This erroneous statement was so 
often and confidently made without contradiction, that I 
must confess for a long time I gave it some credence, 
though when I saw General Johnston on the field he 
appeared to be acting the part and performing the 
duties of a commanding general. Each of these gen 
erals is entitled to sufficient glory for the part taken 
in this battle in the performance of his appropriate 



duties, to render a contest among their friends for the 
chief glory idle as well as mischievous. 

I cannot better explain the truth of the matter than 
by giving the following extract of a letter from General 
Johnston himself to me, which is in entire accordance 
with the facts coming within my knowledge on the field 
as far as they go, and will not be doubted by any one 
who knows General Johnston. He says: "General 
Beauregard s influence on that occasion was simply that 
due to my estimate of his military merit and knowledge 
of the situation. As soon as we met I expressed to him 
my determination to attack next morning, because it 
was not improbable that Patterson might come up 
Sunday night. He proposed a plan of attack which I 
accepted. It was defeated, however, by the appearance 
of Tyler s troops near the Stone Bridge soon after sun 
rise. He then proposed to stand on the defensive there 
and continue the offensive with the troops on the right 
of the road from Manassas to Centreville. This was 
frustrated by the movement which turned Cocke and 
Evans, and the battle fought was improvised on a field 
with which General Beauregard and myself were equally 
unacquainted. Early in the day I placed myself on the 
high bare hill you may remember a few hundred yards in 
rear of Mitchell s Ford, and General Beauregard soon 
joined me there. When convinced that the battle had be 
gun on our left, I told him so, and that I was about to 
hasten to it. He followed. When we reached the field 
and he found that I was about to take immediate control 
of the two brigades engaged, he represented that it 
would be incompatible with the command of the army 
to do so, and urged that he should have the command 
in question. I accepted the argument. This, however, 
left him under me, and was the command of a small 
fraction of troops." 

This places the matter in its true light and does not 
detract at all from the very great credit to which Gen 
eral Beauregard is entitled for thwarting the enemy s 



plans until the arrival of General Johnston, and for 
his able cooperation afterwards. But it is nevertheless 
true that General Johnston is entitled to the credit 
attached to the chief command in this, the first great 
battle of the war. 

Another error in regard to the battle is the belief, 
almost universal, that Kirby Smith, hearing the roar 
of musketry and artillery while passing over the Manas- 
sas Gap Railroad, stopped the cars before reaching the 
Junction and moved directly for the battlefield, coming 
upon the rear of the enemy s right flank. This is en 
tirely unfounded in fact. Smith s command consisted 
of Elzey s brigade, three regiments of which were in 
the battle, and they moved up from the Junction to the 
rear of our centre, under orders which General Smith 
found there on his arrival, and were subsequently moved 
by Elzey to meet the enemy s right after Smith was 
wounded. My brigade went to the left of Elzey, and 
I am able to say that none of our troops got to the 
enemy s rear, unless it may have been when Stuart 
made his charge. The reports of Generals Johnston 
and Beauregard as well as that of Colonel, afterwards 
Major General, Elzey, show the truth of the matter, 
and it is a little singular that those writers who have 
undertaken to describe this battle have taken the news 
paper accounts as authentic without thinking of having 
recourse to the official reports. 

Another erroneous statement in reference to the 
battle which has gone current, is that Holmes brigade 
came up at a critical time and helped to save the day, 
when the fact is that that brigade was further from 
the field than any of our troops, and, though sent for 
in the afternoon, did not reach the battlefield at all, 
but its march was arrested by the close of the fight. 

The concentration of Johnston s and Beauregard s 
forces against McDowell was a master stroke of strategy 
well executed, and our generals displayed great ability 
and energy in meeting and defeating the unexpected 



movement against our left. Claims were put forward 
in behalf of several commands for the credit of having 
saved the day and secured the victory. 

It is rather surprising to observe that erroneous 
views often prevail in regard to the relative merits of 
different commands, engaged in bearing respectively 
very necessary parts in an action. If a small force has 
been fighting obstinately for hours against great odds, 
until it has become exhausted and is beginning to give 
way, and then fresh troops come up and turn the tide 
of battle, the latter are said to have gained the day and 
often reap all the glory. It is not likely to be considered, 
that, but for the troops whose obstinate fighting enabled 
the fresh ones to come up in time, the day would have 
been irretrievably lost before the appearance of the 
latter. It is an old saying that "It is the last feather 
that breaks the camel s back/ 7 yet the last feather would 
do no harm but for the weight which precedes it. The 
first feather contributes as much as the last to the 

At this battle, but for the cavalry which watched 
the enemy s movements and gave timely notice to Evans 
so that he could move to the left and check the advance 
of Hunter, the day would probably have been lost at 
the outset. But for the prompt movement of Evans to 
the left and the obstinate fighting of his men, the enemy 
would have reached the range of hills on which our 
final line of battle was formed, thus turning our left 
completely and necessitating a rapid falling back from 
the line of Bull Run, which would most assuredly have 
resulted in defeat. This would likewise have been the 
case had not Bee arrived to the assistance of Evans 
when he did and stayed the progress of the enemy by 
his stubborn resistance. 

When Bee and Evans were forced back across the 
Warrenton Pike, the day would have been lost had not 
Jackson arrived most opportunely and furnished them 
a barrier behind which to re-form. From the beginning 



our batteries rendered most essential service, and the 
infantry would probably have been overpowered but 
for their well directed fire. The arrivals of Cocke s two 
regiments, Hampton s Legion, the ten companies of the 
7th and 49th Virginia Regiments, the 6th North Carolina 
and Bonham s two regiments all served to stem the tide 
of battle and stay defeat, but still in all probability the 
day would have been lost but for the timely appearance 
of Smith with Elzey s command and the subsequent 
movement of Elzey to our left. 

I do not claim to have won or saved the day with my 
command, but I think it will be conceded by all who read 
the reports of Generals Johnston and Beauregard, that 
the arrival of that command and the cool and deliberate 
manner in which my men formed in line, under fire and 
in full view of the enemy, and their advance had a 
material effect in thwarting the last effort of the enemy 
to flank our line and in precipitating his retreat. I 
can bear testimony to the very efficient service rendered 
by Stuart with his two companies of cavalry, and Beck- 
ham s battery. 

The fact is that all the troops engaged in the battle 
were necessary to prevent defeat and secure victory, 
and each command in its proper sphere may be said 
to have saved the day. It is very unjust to give all the 
credit or the greater part of it to any one command; 
and I would not exempt from the general commendation 
those troops on the right who held that part of the line, 
under fire, and prevented the enemy from getting to 
our rear and cutting off our communications. 

It is not easy to account for McDowell s delay in 
making his attack, thereby permitting the concentration 
against him. So far as he is personally concerned, a 
ready excuse is to be found for him in the fact that 
he was inexperienced in command, having before that 
served in the field only in the capacity of a staff 
officer; but General Scott, an old and distinguished 



soldier, was in fact controlling the operations and 
was in constant communication by telegraph with 
McDowell, who had been his aide and was selected 
to carry out his plans. General Scott was in fact the 
commander and McDowell was merely his executive 
officer in the field. The former was the responsible 
man and to his name must be attached the discredit for 
the failure at Bull Eun. Had McDowell s whole force 
been thrown against our centre on the day Tyler ad 
vanced on Blackburn s Ford, our line must have been 
broken and a defeat to us must have ensued, for at that 
time our troops were too few and too much scattered to 
have furnished sufficient resistance to the enemy s over 
whelming force, or to have permitted an effective attack 
on his flanks. By delay this opportunity was lost and 
the two armies were concentrated against McDowell. 

McDowell seems to have made an honest effort to 
conduct the campaign on the principles of civilized war 
fare, and expressed a very just indignation at the ex 
cesses committed by his troops. In a dispatch from 
Fairfax Court-House, dated the 18th of July, he said: 
"I am distressed to have to report excesses by our 
troops. The excitement of the men found vent in burn 
ing and pillaging, which, however, was soon checked. It 
distressed us all greatly." On the same day he issued 
an order from which I make the following extract : 

"Any persons found committing the slightest depre 
dation, killing pigs or poultry or trespassing on the 
property of the inhabitants, will be reported to the then 
headquarters, and the least that will be done to them 
will be to send them to the Alexandria jail. It is again 
ordered that no one shall arrest or attempt to arrest 
any citizen not in arms at the time, or search or attempt 
to search any house, or even enter the same without 
permission. The troops must behave themselves with 
as much forbearance and propriety as if they were at 


their own homes. They are here to fight the enemies of 
the country, not to judge and punish the unarmed and 
helpless, however guilty they may be. When necessary, 
that will be done by the proper person. 

"By command of General McDowell. 

"Jas. B. Fry, Assistant Adjutant General. " 

This order deserves to be exhumed from the oblivion 
into which it seems to have fallen, and is in strong con 
trast with the subsequent practice under Butler, Pope, 
Milroy, Hunter, Sheridan, Sherman, etc. This war order 
of McDowell s might well have been commended to the 
consideration of military satraps set to rule over the 
people of the South in a time of "peace." It did not 
prevent the burning of the entire village of German- 
town, a few miles from Fairfax Court-House, but the 
citizens agreed that McDowell had made an honest effort 
to prevent depredations by his troops ; and it gives me 
pleasure to make the statement, as it is the last time I 
will have occasion to make a similar one in regard to 
any of the Federal commanders who followed him. 

Pursuit of the enemy was not made after the battle 
in order to capture Washington or cross the Potomac, 
and as this omission has been the subject of much com 
ment and criticism, I will make some observations on 
that head. 

In the first place, it must be borne in mind that our 
generals were inexperienced in command. 

In the next place, it must be conceded that a com 
manding general knows more about the condition of his 
troops and the obstacles in his way than any other can 
know ; and for very obvious reasons he is debarred from 
making public at the time the reasons and conditions 
which govern his course. 

It must also be considered that he cannot know be 
forehand as much as the critics who form their judgment 
frtan the light of after events. Those, therefore, who 
ascertained some days after the battle what was the 



actual condition of McDowell s army on the retreat, 
must recollect that this was not known to General 
Johnston until that army was safe from pursuit, even 
if it had heen practicable to accomplish any more than 
was done with our army in its then condition. 

Without having been in General Johnston s con 
fidence, or professing to know more about the motives 
actuating him at the time than he has thought proper 
to make public, I will undertake to show that it was 
utterly impossible for any army to have captured Wash 
ington by immediate pursuit, even if it had been in con 
dition to make such pursuit, and that it would have 
been very difficult to cross the Potomac at all. 

In the first place, I will say that the army was not 
in condition to make pursuit on the afternoon of the 
21st after the battle, or that night. All the troops en 
gaged, except Cocke s regiment, the 19th Virginia, the 
two regiments with Kershaw, and my command, were 
so much exhausted and shattered by the desperate con 
flict in which they had participated, that they made no 
attempt at pursuit and were incapable of any. 

Our cavalry consisted of one organized regiment of 
nine companies, and a number of unattached companies. 
This cavalry was armed principally with shot guns and 
very inferior sabres, and was without the discipline 
and drill necessary to make that arm effective in a 
charge. Moreover it had been necessarily scattered on 
the flanks and along the line, to watch the enemy and 
give information of his movements. It could not readily 
be concentrated for the purpose of an efficient pursuit, 
and the attempts made in that direction were desultory. 

By light on the morning of the 22nd, the greater part 
of the enemy s troops were either in the streets of 
Washington or under the protection of the guns at 
Arlington Heights. 

The question then arises whether, by pursuit on the 
morning of the 22nd, Washington could have been cap 
tured. And I will here call attention to some facts which 



seem entirely to have escaped the attention of the critics. 
The Potomac is at least a mile wide at Washington and 
navigable to that place for the largest vessels. The only 
means of crossing the river, except in vessels, are by the 
Long Bridge, the aqueduct on the Chesapeake & Ohio 
Canal at Georgetown, and the chain bridge above 

The Long Bridge is an old wooden structure with at 
least one draw and perhaps two in it, and could have 
been easily destroyed by fire, besides being susceptible 
of being commanded through its entire length by vessels 
of war lying near Washington, where there were some 
out of range of any guns we would have brought to bear. 

The aqueduct is long and narrow with a channel for 
the water, which we could not have turned off as it runs 
from the northern side of the Potomac, and a narrow 
towpath on the side. One piece of artillery at its north 
ern end could have effectually prevented the passing 
of troops over it, and besides it could have been easily 
ruined and some of the spans blown up, so as to render 
it impassable. 

The chain bridge is a wooden structure and could 
have been easily burned. If therefore the entire Federal 
Army had fled across the river on our approach, we 
could not have crossed it near Washington. The largest 
pieces of artillery we had, capable of being transported, 
were small field pieces of which the heaviest for solid 
shot were six pounders, and we had no Howitzer larger 
than a twenty-four pounder if we had any of that size. 
None of our guns were of sufficient range to reach across 
the river into the city. If, therefore, we had advanced 
at once upon Washington and the Federal Army had 
fled across the river on our approach, abandoning the 
city itself, still we could not have entered it, unless the 
bridges had been left intact; and it is not to be supposed 
that McDowell, General Scott, and all the officers of the 
regular army, were so badly frightened and demoralized 
that they would have fled on our approach, and omitted 
to destroy the approaches to the city, even if such had 



been the case with the volunteers, the civil authorities, 
and the Congress. 

All the bridges above, to and beyond Harper s Ferry, 
had been burned, and the nearest ford to Washington, 
over which at low water it is possible for infantry to 
pass, is White s Ford, several miles above Leesburg, 
and forty miles from Washington. This was then an 
obscure ford, where, in 1862, General Jackson had , to 
have the banks dug down before our wagons and artillery 
could cross, and then the canal on the northern bank had 
to be bridged. We had nothing in the shape of pontoons, 
and it would have been impossible to have obtained 
them in any reasonable time. 

I had occasion, in 1864, to make myself acquainted 
with the character of the Potomac and its crossing at 
and above Washington, and what I state here is not 
mere speculation. General Johnston had resided in 
Washington for several years, and must be supposed to 
have been acquainted with the difficulties. 

I have heard some wiseacres remark that if we had 
gone on, we could have entered pell-mell with the enemy 
into Washington. To have done that, if possible, we 
would have had to keep up with the enemy, and I don t 
think any one supposes that a solitary soldier in our 
army could have reached the banks of the Potomac by 
daylight the morning after the battle. It is possible to 
cross a bridge of a few yards in length, or enter through 
the gates of a city pell-mell with an army, but no one 
ever heard of that thing being done on a bridge more 
than a mile in length and with a draw raised in the 

The truth is that, while the enemy s retreat was very 
disorderly and disgraceful, some of his troops retained 
their organization and the condition of things at Wash 
ington was not quite as bad as represented. Spectators 
in the city, seeing the condition of the fugitives throng 
ing the streets, and the panic of the civilians, may have 
well supposed that the whole army was disorganized, 
and so utterly demoralized that it would have fled on 



the very first cry that the "rebels are coming," but if 
General McDowell and his officers are to be believed, 
there still remained on the southern bank of the Potomac 
a considerable force in fighting condition. Miles 
division had not been engaged and Runyon s had not 
reached Centreville when the battle took place. Besides 
a considerable force had been retained in Washington 
under Mansfield. 

McClellan states in his report, that, when he assumed 
command on the 27th of July, the infantry in and around 
Washington numbered 50,000, and this was much larger 
than our whole force was after the reinforcements had 
reached us subsequent to the battle. The strength of 
our army at this time, as well as on all other occasions, 
has been greatly exaggerated even by Southern writers ; 
its organization was very imperfect, many of the troops 
not being brigaded. 

If we had advanced, Alexandria would probably have 
fallen into our hands without a struggle, and we might 
have forced the enemy to evacuate his works south of 
the Potomac, but very likely not until after a fight in 
which our loss would have been greater than the object 
to be accomplished would have justified. We might 
have transferred our line to the banks of the Potomac, 
but we could not have held it, and would eventually have 
been compelled to abandon it with greater damage to 
us than the evacuation of the line of Bull Run caused. 

So much for the question as between the commanding 
general and the cavillers. But there is another phase 
of it, in which a staff officer of General Beauregard, 
writing for a Northern journal, has endeavored to raise 
an issue between that general and the Government at 
Richmond. I have before shown that General Johnston, 
as commander of the army, was the responsible person, 
and I believe he has never attempted to evade the re 
sponsibility. General Beauregard s agency in the mat 
ter could only be as an adviser and lieutenant of the 
commanding general. 



The point made against the Government is that 
Washington could and would have been taken, if the 
President, Secretary of War, and the heads of the 
Quarter-master and Commissary Departments had 
furnished sufficient transportation and supplies, though 
it is admitted that Mr. Davis left the question of an 
advance entirely to his generals. 

Now in regard to transportation, we had an abund 
ance of wagons to carry all the ammunition needed, and 
for gathering in provisions, and if the bridges on the 
railroad had not been burned, we might have moved 
our depot to Alexandria as we moved, provided we 
could have advanced to that point, as the enemy had 
repaired the railroad to Fairfax Station, and had not 
interfered with it on his retreat. The burning of the 
bridges on the railroad did not impede the progress 
of the enemy before the battle, as he did not march on 
it and Bull Run was fordable anywhere. That burning 
could only have served the purpose of obstructing the 
use of the railroad by the enemy in the event of our 
defeat, which with his means of reconstruction would 
have been but a very few days, and it did not obstruct 
our movements for a much longer time. At the time of 
the battle, the county of Loudoun on the Virginia side 
of the Potomac, and the whole State of Maryland, were 
teeming with supplies, and we could have readily 
procured all the transportation needed from the citizens, 
if we had not taken it from the enemy, which would 
probably have been the case if an advance had been 
practicable otherwise. 

Certain it is, that in 1862, after the second battle of 
Manassas, when the enemy s army had been defeated, 
not routed, and was still vastly superior in number and 
equipment to our own, we did not hesitate a moment 
about supplies, though our army was without rations 
and Fairfax and Loudoun had been nearly exhausted 
of their grain and cattle ; but taking only transportation 
for the ammunition and the cooking utensils, and send- 



ing the rest of our trains to the valley, except wagons 
to gather up flour, we marched across the Potomac into 
Maryland, our men and officers living principally on 
green corn and beef without salt or bread. Neither was 
our army prevented from making the movement into 
Pennsylvania, in 1863, for fear of not getting provisions. 
We depended upon taking them from the enemy and 
the country through which we marched, and did thus 
procure them. The alleged difficulties in 1861 would 
have been no difficulties in 1862, 1863, or 1864. These 
were not the real difficulties which prevented the capture 
of Washington after the battle of the 21st of July, and 
the issue which is attempted to be made with the Govern 
ment at Richmond is therefore an idle one. 

These remarks are not made with the slightest pur 
pose of disparaging in any way General Beauregard, 
for whom I have great regard and admiration. When 
he ordered the burning of the bridge over Bull Run, he 
had reason to apprehend that his comparatively small 
force would have to encounter McDowell s whole army 
before any reinforcements arrived to his assistance, and 
he had therefore good grounds to regard this as a pre 
caution which the circumstances warranted and 

The foregoing reflections and comments are such as 
my subsequent experience and observation have enabled 
me to make, and I do not pretend that a tittle of them 
occurred to me at the time. 

Both of our generals, notwithstanding their inex 
perience in command, displayed extraordinary energy 
and capacity in thwarting the plans of a veteran com 
mander, whom the country at that time regarded as 
one of the ablest military chieftains of the age. If 
they did not accomplish all that might have been accom 
plished by an experienced and skilful commander, with 
an army of veterans, they are not therefore to be con- 
deitined ; but it is equally unjust to attempt to shift the 
responsibility to the shoulders of the Government at 


IMMEDIATELY after the battle of the 21st a portion 
of our troops were moved across Bull Bun and the 
former line north of that stream was re-occupied. The 
army at that time was known as the "Army of the 
Potomac, " and General Beauregard s command was re 
organized as the 1st corps of that army, with the same 
brigade commanders as before. I was promoted to the 
rank of brigadier general to date from the 21st of July, 
and was assigned to the command of a brigade com 
posed of the 24th Virginia Begiment, the 5th North 
Carolina State Troops, Colonel Duncan K. McBae, and 
the 13th North Carolina Volunteers (subsequently 
designated the 23rd North Carolina Begiment), Colonel 
John Hoke. The greater part of the army was moved 
to the north of Bull Bun, but I resumed my position on 
the right of the Junction at my former camps, and 
remained there until the latter part of August, when 
I moved to the north of the Occoquon, in front of Wolf 
Bun Shoals, below the mouth of Bull Bun. Our line was 
extended from this point by Langster s cross-roads and 
Fairfax Station through Fairfax Court-House. Hamp 
ton s Legion was composed of a battalion of infantry, 
a battalion of cavalry, and a battery of artillery, and 
remained south of the Occoquon on the right, and 
watched the lower fords of that stream and the land 
ings on the Potomac immediately below Occoquon. 
Evans had occupied Leesburg. 

Captain W. W. Thornton s company of cavalry had 
been again attached to my command and subsequently, 
in the month of September, a battery of Virginia artil 
lery under Captain Holman reported to me. In the lat 
ter part of August, General Longstreet, who had com 
mand of the advanced forces at Fairfax Court-House, 



threw forward a small force of infantry and cavalry 
and established strong pickets at Mason s and Munson s 
Hills, in close proximity to the enemy s main line on the 
south of the Potomac. 

McClellan had succeeded McDowell, in command of 
the Federal Army opposed to us, and that army was 
being greatly augmented by new levies. 

A few days after I reached my camp in front of 
Wolf Run Shoals, my brigade was ordered to Fairfax 
Station, for the purpose of supporting Longstreet, if 
necessary. After being there a day, I was ordered by 
General Longstreet to move with two of my regiments 
to Mason s Hill, to relieve one of his on duty at that 
place. I took with me the 24th Virginia and 5th North 
Carolina Regiments, and my movement was so timed 
as to reach Mason s Hill in the night. I arrived there 
before light on the morning of the 31st of August, and 
relieved the 17th Regiment, Colonel Corse. About light 
on that morning, one of Colonel Corse s companies, 
which was on picket one mile from the main force in the 
direction of Alexandria, was attacked by a detachment 
from a New Jersey regiment, under its colonel, and 
after a very sharp fight, repulsed the enemy and in 
flicted a severe punishment on him. 

This advanced line at Mason s and Munson s Hills 
was about twelve or fifteen miles in front of Fairfax 
Court-House, and was a mere picket line held ordinarily 
by two infantry regiments with a few pieces of artillery, 
while a small force of cavalry watched the flanks. From 
it there were in full view the dome of the Capitol at 
Washington and a part of the enemy s line on the 
heights south and west of Alexandria. The two main 
positions were in sight of each other and about a mile 
apart. From them smaller pickets were thrown out in 
front and up to within a very short distance of large 
bodies of the enemy, those from Mason s Hill being in 
some cases more than a mile from the main body. The 
pickets were constantly skirmishing with those of the 



eueiny, and it was very evident that he was much alarmed 
at this demonstration in his immediate front, as Pro 
fessor Lowe, who now made his appearance with his 
balloons, kept one of them up almost constantly, and 
large parties were seen working very energetically at 
the line of fortifications in our front. Contemporaneous 
accounts given by the enemy represent this movement 
on our part as a very serious one, and he was evidently 
impressed with the idea that the greater part of our 
army was immediately confronting him, whereas, if it 
had not been for his excessive caution and want of enter 
prise, he might have moved out and captured the whole 
of our advance force without the possibility of its 

After my pickets had relieved those of Corse, it was 
reported to me that a flag of truce had appeared at the 
outside picket, where the fight had taken place in the 
early morning, and I rode to a house in the vicinity of 
that point and had the person bearing the flag brought 
to me blindfolded. He proved to be a Dr. Coxe, surgeon 
of the New Jersey regiment, a detachment of which 
had been engaged in the above named affair. He stated 
that he came on the part of Colonel Tyler of the 3rd New 
Jersey to get the bodies of several men who were miss 
ing, and that he was informed that General Kearney, 
who commanded on that part of the line, had directed 
Colonel Tyler to send the party with the flag. 

I informed him of the irregularity of the proceeding, 
but after some conversation in which I endeavored to 
leave him under the impression that we had a large 
force in the vicinity, I gave him permission to carry 
off the dead bodies, two of which he had picked up out 
side of my picket, and two others having been brought 
in to the picket before his arrival. "We remained at 
Mason s Hill three or four days, and I was then relieved 
by Colonel Smith in command of the 20th Georgia Regi 
ment. My pickets had been constantly skirmishing with 
small parties of the enemy, and there had been one or 

4 49 


two false alarms of an approach against us, but the 
enemy made no serious demonstration. This advanced 
line of pickets was subsequently abandoned, after hav 
ing been maintained for several weeks, but I did not 
again return to it. 

After leaving Mason s Hill, I moved back to my 
camp in front of Wolf Bun Shoals, again occupying the 
right of our line. I remained on this flank until the fore 
part of October, and my regiments picketed at Spring 
field on the line of the railroad, alternating with those 
of Swell s brigade at Langster s cross-roads. On the 
4th of October Major General Earl Van Dorn joined 
our army and was assigned to the command of a division 
composed of Swell s brigade and mine. This was the 
first division organized in the "Army of the Potomac" 
(Confederate) and I think in the entire Confederate 
army. In a day or two afterwards my brigade was 
moved to a position between Fairfax Station and Fair 
fax Court-House, and remained there until .the army 
was moved back to the line which it occupied for the 
winter, my regiment picketing at Burke s Station on 
the railroad in the meantime. 

Soon after the organization of the division, Captain 
Green s company of cavalry, for which Thornton s had 
been exchanged, was relieved from duty with me and 
attached to General Van Dorn s headquarters. On the 
7th of October, the 20th Georgia Regiment, Colonel 
W. D. Smith, was attached to my brigade, and joined 
me in a day or two thereafter. On the 15th of October 
the whole of our army moved back from the line passing 
through Fairfax Court-House to me, extending from 
Union Mills on the right, through Centreville, to Stone 
Bridge on the left. At the new position Van Dorn s 
division was on the right, with Swell s brigade at Union 
Mills and mine on its left above that point. We pro 
ceeded at once to fortify the whole line from right to 

McClellan s report shows that the troops under his 



command in and about Washington, including those on 
the Maryland shore of the Potomac above and below 
Washington and the troops with Dix at Baltimore, on 
the 15th day of October, the day before our retrograde 
movement, amounted to 133,201 present for duty, and an 
aggregate present of 143,647. The mass of this force 
was south of the Potomac, and nearly the whole of it 
available for an advance. The whole force under Gen 
eral Johnston s command did not exceed one-third of 
McClellan s, though the latter has estimated our force 
"on the Potomac" in the month of October at not less 
than 150,000. 

After the occupation of the line at Centreville, the 
infantry of our army at and near that place was organ 
ized into four divisions of three brigades each and two 
corps. Bonham s brigade was attached to Van Dora s 
division, and the command of the other divisions was 
given to Major Generals G. W. Smith, Longstreet, and 
E. Kirby Smith, respectively. Van Dora s and Long- 
street s divisions constituted the first corps under Gen 
eral Beauregard, and the other two divisions constituted 
the second corps under the temporary command of 
Major General G. W. Smith. 

About the same time, General Jackson, with the 
rank of Major General, was sent to the valley with his 
old brigade, and the 22nd of October an order was issued 
from the Adjutant General s office at Richmond, estab 
lishing the Department of Northern Virginia, composed 
of the Valley district, the Potomac district, and the 
Aquia district, under the command of General Johnston ; 
the districts being assigned to the command of Major 
General Jackson, General Beauregard, and Major Gen 
eral Holmes, in the order in which they are named. 
Colonel Robert E. Rodes of the 5th Alabama Regi 
ment had been made brigadier general and assigned to 
the command of Ewell s brigade, Ewell being tempo 
rarily assigned to a brigade in Longstreet s division, 
and subsequently made major general and transferred 



to the command of E. K. Smith s division, when the 
latter officer was sent to Tennessee. 

The affair of Evans command with the enemy at 
Ball s Bluff occurred on the 21st of October, and Stuart s 
affair with the enemy at Drainesville occurred on the 
20th of December. These are the only conflicts of the 
"Army of the Potomac" with the enemy of any con 
sequence, during the fall and winter, after the occupa 
tion of the line of Centreville. Our front was covered 
by a line of pickets some distance in front, extending 
from left to right, and all under command of Brigadier 
General J. E. B. Stuart of the cavalry, who was espe 
cially assigned to that duty, details by regiments being 
made from the infantry to report to him. 

Rodes brigade was moved to the south of Bull Run 
to go into winter quarters, leaving my brigade on the 
right of our line, which was now contracted so as to 
merely cover McLean s Ford on that flank. About the 
middle of January, 1862, Major General Van Dorn was 
relieved from duty with the "Army of the Potomac" 
and ordered to the Trans-Mississippi Department, Gen 
eral Bonham succeeding to the command of the division 
as senior brigadier general. On the 30th of January, 
General Beauregard took leave of the "Army of the 
Potomac," he having been ordered to Kentucky; and 
after this time there was no distinction of corps in the 
"Army of the Potomac," but all division commanders 
reported directly to General Johnston. 

After the 1st of February General Bonham re 
linquished the command of the division, having resigned 
his commission to take his seat in Congress, and I suc 
ceeded to the command of the division as next in rank 
Colonel Kershaw, who was appointed brigadier gen 
eral, succeeding Bonham in the command of his brigade. 
My brigade had gone into temporary winter quarters 
at the point to which it had moved, when we fell back 
from the line of Fairfax Court-House for the purpose 
of continuing the construction of the works on our right, 



which were rendered necessary by the change in the line 
before mentioned; and it was engaged in building new 
winter quarters south of Bull Run, and completing the 
earthworks covering McLean s Ford when the line of 
Bull Run was abandoned. 

About two weeks before the evacuation took place, 
division commanders were confidentially informed of 
the probability of that event, and ordered to prepare 
their commands for it in a quiet way. Up to that time 
there had been no apparent preparation for such a 
movement, but an immense amount of stores of all kinds 
and private baggage of officers and men had been per 
mitted to accumulate. Preparations, however, were com 
menced at once for sending the stores and baggage to 
the rear. Owing to the fact that our army had remained 
stationary so long, and the inexperience in campaigning 
of our troops, there had been a vast accumulation of 
private baggage by both officers and men; and when it 
became necessary to change a camp it was the work of 
two or three days. I had endeavored to inculcate proper 
ideas on this subject into the minds of the officers of 
my own immediate command, but with very indifferent 
success, and it was very provoking to see with what 
tenacity young lieutenants held on to baggage enough 
to answer all their purposes at a fashionable watering 
place in time of peace. 

After the confidential instructions for the evacuation 
were given, I tried to persuade all my officers to send 
all their baggage not capable of being easily transported 
and for which they did not have immediate necessary 
use, on the railroad to some place in the rear out of all 
clanger, but the most that I could accomplish was to 
get them to send it to Manassas Junction. This was 
generally the case with the whole army, and the con 
sequence was that a vast amount of trunks and other 
private baggage was accumulated at the Junction at 
the last moment, for which it was impossible to find 
any transportation. This evil, however, was finally and 



completely remedied by the burning which took place 
when the Junction itself was evacuated, and we never 
had any great reason subsequently to complain of a 
plethoric condition of the baggage. 

Besides this trouble in regard to private baggage, 
there was another which incommoded us to some ex 
tent, and that resulted from the presence of the wives 
of a number of officers in and near camp. These would 
listen to no mild appeals or gentle remonstrances, but 
held on with a pertinacity worthy of a better cause, and 
I was myself compelled, as a final resort, to issue a 
peremptory order for some of them to leave my camp. 

The order was finally given for the movement to 
the rear on the 8th of March and early on that morning 
I broke up my camps and moved with my brigade and 
that of Kershaw towards the Junction. We were de 
layed, however, waiting for the movement of the other 
troops, and did not arrive at the Junction until in the 
afternoon. A portion of EwelPs division was to move 
in front of us along the railroad, while the remainder 
of it, with Bodes brigade, was to move on a road east 
of the railroad. Our wagon trains had been previously 
sent forward on the roads west of the railroad. We 
waited at the Junction until the troops that were to 
precede us had passed on, and the last of the trains of 
cars could be gotten off. Finally at a late hour of the 
night after the last available train of cars had left, we 
moved along the railroad past Bristow Station, and 
bivouacked for the night, my brigade bringing up the 
rear of our infantry on that route. 

A very large amount of stores and provisions had 
been abandoned for want of transportation, and among 
the stores was a quantity of clothing, blankets, etc., which 
had been provided by the States south of Virginia for 
their own troops. The pile of trunks along the railroad 
was appalling to behold. All these stores, clothing, 
truaks, etc., were consigned to the flames by a portion of 
our cavalry left to carry out the work of their destruction. 



The loss of stores at this point, and at White Plains, 
on the Manas sas Gap Railroad, where a large amount 
of meat had been salted and stored, was a very serious 
one to us, and embarrassed us for the remainder of 
the war, as it put us at once on a running stock. 

The movement back from the line of Bull Eun was 
in itself a very wise one in a strategic point of view, 
if it was not one of absolute necessity, but the loss of 
stores was very much to be regretted. I do not pretend 
to attach censure to any one of our officials for this 
loss, especially not to General Johnston. I know that he 
was exceedingly anxious to get off all the stores, and 
made extraordinary exertions to accomplish that object. 
My own opinion was that the failure to carry them off 
was mainly owing to inefficient management by the rail 
road officials, as I always found their movements slow 
and little to be depended on, beginning with the trans 
portation of the troops sent by me from Lynchburg in 
May and June, 1861. 

McClellan in his report assumes that the evacuation 
of the line of Bull Run, was in consequence of his pro 
jected movement to the Peninsula having become known 
to the Confederate commander, but such was not the 
fact. Our withdrawal from that line was owing to the 
fact that our force was too small to enable us to hold 
so long a line against the immense force which it was 
known had been concentrated at and near Washington. 
McClellan s statement of his own force shows that his 
troops, including those in Maryland and Delaware, 
numbered on the 1st of January, 1862, 191,840 for duty ; 
on the 1st of February, 190,806 for duty; and on the 
1st of March, 193,142 for duty. Of this force he carried 
into the field in his campaign in the Peninsula con 
siderably over 100,000 men, after having left over 
40,000 men to protect Washington. He could have 
thrown against General Johnston s army, at and near 
Manassas, a force of more than four times the strength 
of that army. I have before stated that Johnston s 



army was composed of four divisions of infantry besides 
the cavalry and artillery. 

The division commanded by me was fully an average 
one, and that division, including three batteries of artil 
lery and a company of cavalry attached to it, as shown 
by my field returns now before me, numbered on the 
1st of February, 1862, 6,965 effective total present, and 
an aggregate present of 8,703 ; and on the 1st of March, 
5,775 effective total present, and an aggregate present 
of 7,154. At both periods a very large number present 
were on the sick list. The aggregate present and absent 
on the 1st of March amounted to 10,008, there being at 
that time twenty-four officers and 962 enlisted men ab 
sent sick and 61 officers and 1,442 enlisted men absent 
on furlough the rest of the absentees being on de 
tached service and without leave. This will give a very 
good idea of General Johnston s entire strength, and 
will show the immense superiority of the enemy s force 
to his. 

The evacuation of Manassas and the line of Bull 
Run was therefore a movement rendered absolutely 
necessary by the inability of our army to cope with the 
enemy s so near to his base, and had been delayed fully 
as long as it was prudent to do so. 

Moving back over the routes designated, Swell s 
division and mine crossed the Rappahannock on the 
10th of March and took position on the south bank. We 
remained there several days, when my division was 
moved to the Rapidan and crossed over to the south 
bank, Ewell being left to guard the crossing of the 
Rappahannock. G. W. Smith s and Longstreet s 
divisions had moved by the roads west of the railroad, 
and were concentrated near Orange Court-House. 

I remained near the Rapidan until the 4th of April, 
when I received orders to move up to Orange Court- 
House to take the cars for Richmond and report to Gen 
eral Lee, who was then entrusted with the general direc 
tion of military operations, under the President. I 



marched to the court-house next day, but found diffi 
culty in getting cars enough to transport my division. 
Rodes was first sent off, then Kershaw, and my own 
brigade was finally put on board on the 7th. Going 
with the rear of this last brigade, I reached Richmond 
on the morning of the 8th of April, after much delay 
on the road, and found that Rodes and Kershaw had 
been sent to General Magruder on the Peninsula, to 
which point I was also ordered with my own brigade, 
part going by the way of York River, and the rest by 
the way of James River in vessels towed by tugs. My 
trains and artillery moved by land from Orange Court- 



I LANDED and reported to General Magruder on the 
morning of the 9th of April. 

After the abandonment of the line of Bull Run by 
our troops, McClellan had moved the greater part of 
his army to the Peninsula, and by the 4th of April had 
landed about 100,000 men at or near Fortress Monroe. 
Magruder at that time occupied the lower Peninsula 
with a force which did not exceed in effective men 7,000 
or 8,000. Upon this force McClellan advanced with his 
immense army, when Magruder fell back to the line of 
Warwick River, extending from Yorktown on York 
River across James River, and checked the enemy s 
advance. McClellan then sat down before the fortifica 
tions at Yorktown and along Warwick River and began 
a siege by regular approaches. 

When I arrived at Magruder s headquarters, I was 
informed by him that his force, before the arrival of 
mine, amounted to 12,000, he having been reinforced 
since the enemy s advance, by troops from the south side 
of James River and Wilcox s brigade of G. W. Smith s 
(now D. R. Jones ) division, the said brigade having 
been detached from the army under Johnston. The 
division carried by me now numbered about 8,000 men 
and officers for duty, it having been increased to that 
amount by the return of those on furlough and some 
recruits; so that Magruder s force now amounted to 
20,000 men and officers for duty. McClellan, in a 
telegram to President Lincoln, dated the 7th of April, 
says: "Your telegram of yesterday received. In reply 
I have to state that my entire force for duty amounts 
to only about eighty-five thousand men." At that time, 
except Wilcox s brigade, not a soldier from General 
Johnston s army had arrived, and my division con- 



stituted the next reinforcement received from that army 
by Magruder. 

Yorktown had been previously strongly fortified, 
and some preparations had been made to strengthen the 
other part of the line, which, however, had not been 
completed. Warwick Eiver runs diagonally across the 
Peninsula from the vicinity of Yorktown, and its course 
for the greater part of the way is through low, marshy 
country. Though at its head it is quite a small stream, 
it had been dammed up to within about a mile of the 
works at Yorktown by dams thrown across at several 
points, so as to be impassable without bridging at any 
other points than where the dams were, which later we 
defended with earthworks. 

Between Warwick Eiver and Yorktown were two 
redoubts, called respectively Eedoubt No. 4 and 
Eedoubt No. 5, which were connected by a curtain, 
with wings or lateral breastworks extending to 
Warwick Eiver on the one side, and the head of a deep 
ravine between Eedoubt No. 4 and Yorktown on the 
other. Eedoubt No. 4, which was the one nearest York- 
town, was sometimes called Fort Magruder. Gloucester 
Point, across York Eiver from Yorktown, was occupied 
by a small infantry force with some heavy batteries. 
The whole line was nearly fifteen miles in length. The 
assuming and maintaining the line by Magruder, with 
his small force in the face of such overwhelming odds, 
was one of the boldest exploits ever performed by a 
military commander, and he had so manoeuvred his 
troops, by displaying them rapidly at different points, 
as to produce the impression on his opponent that he 
had a large army. His men and a considerable body of 
negro laborers had been and were still engaged in 
strengthening the works by working night and day, so 
that their energies were taxed to the utmost limit. 

Before my arrival, Ker shaw s brigade had been 
ordered to the right of the line and assigned to that 
part of it under the command of Brigadier General 



McLaws, and Bodes brigade had been posted at the 
works between the defences of Yorktown and the head 
of the obstructions on Warwick Kiver. On my arrival 
I was ordered to move my own brigade near the point 
occupied by Bodes, and I was assigned to the command 
of that part of the line extending from the ravine south 
of Yorktown to the right of Wynn s Mill as far as the 
mouth of the branch leading into the pond made by Dam 
No. 1, which was the first dam below that at Wynn s 
Mill. There were two dams on the line thus assigned 
me, the dam at Wynn s Mill, etc. The troops defending 
the part of the line thus assigned me consisted of Bodes 
brigade; my own, now under the command of Colonel 
D. K. McBae, of the 5th North Carolina Begiment; the 
2nd Florida Begiment, Colonel Ward ; the 2nd Mississippi 
Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Taylor; Brigadier Gen 
eral Wilcox s brigade; and two regiments temporarily 
attached to his command under Colonel Winston of 
Alabama; and the 19th Mississippi Begiment, Colonel 
Mott. The latter regiment was, however, transferred 
to another part of the line in a few days. 

The only portions of my line exposed to the view 
of the enemy were Bedoubts Nos. 4 and 5 and the works 
attached to them, the works at Wynn s Mill and part 
of a small work at the upper dam of Wynn s Mill 
the works at Wynn s Mill and the upper dam with the 
intervening space being occupied by Wilcox s command. 
Between the works designated, including Dam No. 1, 
the swamps on both sides of Warwick Biver were thickly 
wooded, and it would have been impossible to cross 
without cutting away the dams, which could not have 
been done without first driving away our troops. This 
was also the case below Dam No. 1 to a greater or less 
extent. Bedoubts Nos. 4 and 5 with the curtain and 
lateral works had been from necessity constructed on 
ground sloping towards the enemy, and the interior and 
rear of them were therefore much exposed to his fire. 
This was also the case at Wynn s Mill, and at both points 



it had been necessary to cut zig-zag trenches, or bayous, 
to enable the men to pass into and from the works with 
as little exposure as possible. 

Our side of the Warwick River, between the exposed 
points, was occupied by thin picket lines. Besides the 
infantry mentioned, there were several batteries of field 
artillery in the works, and in Redoubt No. 4 there were 
two heavy guns and a large Howitzer. Brigadier Gen 
eral Raines had charge of the immediate defences of 
Yorktown and Gloucester Point. 

When I took command I found the enemy busily 
engaged in constructing trenches and earthworks in 
front of Redoubts 4 and 5 and of Wynn s Mill. In 
front of Redoubt No. 5 was a dwelling house, with sev 
eral out-houses and a large peach orchard extending to 
within a few hundred yards of our works, under cover 
of which the enemy pushed forward some sharp 
shooters, with long-range rifles, and established a line 
of rifle pits within range of our works, which annoyed 
us very much for several days, as nearly our whole 
armament for the infantry consisted of smooth-bore 
muskets, and our artillery ammunition was too scarce 
to permit its use in a contest with sharp-shooters. On 
the llth of April General Magruder ordered sorties 
to be made by small parties from all the main parts of 
the line for the purpose of fooling the enemy. Wilcox 
sent out a party from Wynn s Mill which encountered 
the skirmishers the enemy had thrown up towards his 
front, and drove them back to the main line. 

Later in the day Colonel Ward, with his own regi 
ment and the 2nd Mississippi Battalion, was thrown 
to the front on the right and left of Redoubt No. 5, 
driving the enemy s sharp-shooters from their rifle pits, 
advancing through the peach orchard to the main road 
beyond, from Warwick Court-House and Fortress Mon 
roe, so as to compel a battery, which the enemy had 
posted at an earthwork on our left of said road, to retire 
precipitately. Colonel Ward, however, returned to our 



works on the approach of a large force of the enemy s 
infantry, after having set fire to the house above men 
tioned and performed the duty assigned him in a very 
gallant and dashing manner without loss to his com 
mand. These affairs developed the fact that the enemy 
was in strong force both in front of Wynn s Mill and 
Redoubts 4 and 5. 

On the night following Ward s sortie, the 24th 
Virginia Regiment, under Colonel Terry, moved to the 
front, and cut down the peach orchard and burned the 
rest of the houses which had afforded the enemy shelter ; 
and on the next night Colonel McRae, with the 5th 
North Carolina Regiment, moved further to the front 
and cut down some cedars along the main road above 
mentioned, which partially screened the enemy s move 
ments from our observation, both of which feats were 
accomplished without difficulty or loss; and after this 
we were not annoyed again by the enemy s sharp 
shooters. About this time Major General D. H. Hill 
arrived at Yorktown with two brigades from General 
Johnston s army, and was assigned to the command 
of the left wing, embracing Raines command and mine. 
No change, however, was made in the extent of my 
command, but I was merely made subordinate to General 

The enemy continued to work very busily on his 
approaches, and each day some new work was developed. 
He occasionally fired with artillery on our works, and 
the working parties engaged in strengthening them and 
making traverses and epaulments in the rear, but we 
very rarely replied to him, as our supply of ammunition 
was very limited. 

During the month of April there was much cold, 
rainy weather, and our troops suffered greatly, as they 
were without tents or other shelter. Their duties were 
very severe and exhausting, as when they were not on 
the front line in the trenches they were employed in 
constructing heavy traverses and epaulments in the rear 



of the main line, so as to conceal and protect the ap 
proaches to it. In addition to all this, their rations were 
very limited and consisted of the plainest and roughest 
food. Coffee was out of the question, as were vegetables 
and fresh meat. All this told terribly on the health of 
the men, and there were little or no hospital accommoda 
tions in the rear. 

In a day or two after General Hill s arrival, Colston s 
brigade reported to me and occupied a position be 
tween the upper dam of Wynn s Mill and Eedoubt No. 5. 
On the 16th the enemy made a dash at Dam No. 1 on 
my right and succeeded in crossing the dam and enter 
ing the work covering it, but was soon repulsed and 
driven across the river with some loss. This was not 
within the limits of my command, but a portion of my 
troops were moved in the direction of the point at 
tacked without, however, being needed. By the 18th, 
the residue of General Johnston s troops east of the 
Blue Ridge, except EwelPs division and a portion of 
the cavalry which had been left on the Rappahannock 
and a small force left at Predericksburg, had reached 
the vicinity of Yorktown, and on that day General John 
ston, having assumed the command, issued an order 
assigning Magruder to the command of the right wing, 
beginning at Dam No. 1 and extending to James River; 
D. H. Hill to the command of the left wing, including 
Yorktown, and Redoubts 4 and 5, and their appertinent 
defences; Longstreet to the command of the centre, 
which extended from Dam No. 1 to the right of the 
lateral defences of Redoubt No. 5; and G. W. Smith 
to the command of the reserve. 

This order, as a necessary consequence, curtailed 
my command, which was now confined to Redoubts Nos. 
4 and 5 and the works adjacent thereto, and they were 
defended by Rodes and my brigades, and the 2nd Florida 
Regiment, 2nd Mississippi Battalion, and 49th Virginia 
Regiment, the latter regiment having been lately as 
signed to me for the defence of the head of the ravine 



south of Yorktown. Shortly afterwards General Hill 
made a new arrangement of the command, by which 
Bodes brigade was separated from mine and General 
Rodes was assigned to the charge of Redoubt Xo. 5 
and the defences on its right, while I was assigned to 
the charge of Redoubt No. 4 and the defences on the 
right and left of it, including the curtain connecting the 
two redoubts. 

The enemy continued to advance his works, and it 
was while we were thus confronting him and in constant 
expectation of an assault, that the reorganization of the 
greater part of the regiments of our army, under the 
Conscript Act recently passed by Congress, took place. 
Congress had been tampering for some time with the 
question of reorganizing the army and supplying the 
place of the twelve months volunteers, which composed 
much the greater part of our army ; and several schemes 
had been started and adopted with little or no success 
and much damage to the army itself, until finally it was 
found necessary to adopt a general conscription. If 
this scheme had been adopted in the beginning, it would 
have readily been acquiesced in, but when it was adopted 
much dissatisfaction was created by the fact that it 
necessarily violated promises and engagements made 
with those who had re-enlisted under some of the former 
schemes. The reorganization which took place resulted 
in a very great change in the officers, especially among 
the field-officers, all of whom were appointed by election, 
and as may well be supposed this state of things added 
nothing to the efficiency of the army or its morals. 

In the meantime the enemy s army had been greatly 
augmented by reinforcements, and by the last of April 
his approaches in our front had assumed very formid 
able appearances. McClellan, in his report, states the 
strength of his army as follows : present for duty, April 
30, 1862, 4,725 officers, and 104,610 men, making 109,335 
aggregate present for duty, and 115,350 aggregate pres 
ent. This was exclusive of Wool s troops at Fortress 



Monroe. General Johnston s whole force, including 
Magruder s force in it, could not have exceeded 50,000 
men and officers for duty, if it reached that number, and 
my own impression, from data within my knowledge, is 
that it was considerably below that figure. 

After dark on the night of Thursday the 1st of May, 
General Hill informed his subordinate commanders that 
the line of Warwick Eiver and Yorktown was to be 
abandoned, according to a determination that day made, 
upon a consultation of the principal officers at General 
Johnston s headquarters; and we were ordered to get 
ready to evacuate immediately after dark on the fol 
lowing night, after having previously sent off all the 
trains. This measure was one of absolute necessity, and 
the only wonder to me was that it had not been pre 
viously resorted to. 

The line occupied by us was so long and our troops 
had to be so much scattered to occupy the whole of it, 
that no point could be sufficiently defended against a 
regular siege or a vigorous assault. The obstacles that 
had been interposed to obstruct the enemy, likewise 
rendered it impossible for us to move out and attack 
him after he had established his works in front of ours ; 
and we would have to await the result of a regular siege, 
with the danger, imminent at any time, of the enemy s 
gunboats and monitors running by our works on York 
and James Rivers, and thus destroying our communica 
tion by water. About twelve miles in rear of Yorktown, 
near Williamsburg, the Peninsula is only about three or 
four miles wide, and there are creeks and marshes inter 
secting it on both sides at this point, in such way that 
the routes for the escape of our army would have been 
confined to a very narrow slip, if our line had been 
broken. The most assailable point on our whole line 
was that occupied by Rodes and myself, and when the 
enemy could have got his heavy batteries ready, our 
works on this part of the line would have soon been 
rendered wholly untenable. 

5 G5 


Owing to the fact that the ground on which these 
works were located sloped towards the enemy s position, 
so as to expose to a direct fire their interior and rear, 
it would have been easy for him to have shelled us out 
of them ; and when this part of the line had been carried, 
the enemy could have pushed to our rear on the direct 
road to Williamsburg and secured all the routes over 
which it would have been possible for us to retreat, thus 
rendering the capture or dispersion of our entire army 
certain. Nothing but the extreme boldness of Magruder 
and the excessive caution of McClellan had arrested the 
march of the latter across this part of the line in the 
first place, as it was then greatly weaker than we sub 
sequently made it. 

During the night of the 1st of May, after orders had 
been given for the evacuation, we commenced a can 
nonade upon the enemy, with all of our heavy guns, in 
the works at Yorktown and in Redoubt No. 4. The ob 
ject of this was to dispose of as much of the fixed 
ammunition as possible and produce the impression that 
we were preparing for an attack on the enemy s trenches. 
This cannonading was continued during the next day, 
and, on one part of the line, we were ready to have com 
menced the evacuation at the time designated, but a 
little before night on that day (Friday the 2nd) the 
order was countermanded until the next night, because 
some of Longstreet s troops were not ready to move. 
We therefore continued to cannonade on Friday night 
and during Saturday. Fortunately, after dark on the 
latter day the evacuation began and was conducted suc 
cessfully Stuart s cavalry having been dismounted to 
occupy our picket line in front, and then men attached 
to the heavy artillery remaining behind to continue the 
cannonade until near daylight next morning, so as to 
keep the enemy in ignorance of our movements. There 
was a loss of some stores and considerable public prop- 
erty-which had been recently brought down, for which 
there was no transportation, as the steamboats ex- 



pected for that purpose did not arrive, and the whole of 
our heavy artillery including some guns that had not 
been mounted had to be abandoned. 

Hill s command, to which I was attached, moved on 
the direct road from Yorktown to Williamsburg, but our 
progress was very slow, as the roads were in a terrible 
condition by reason of heavy rains which had recently 
fallen. My command passed through Williamsburg 
after sunrise on the morning of Sunday, the 4th, and 
bivouacked about two miles west of that place. The 
day before the evacuation took place the 20th Georgia 
Regiment had been transferred from my brigade, and 
its place had been supplied by the 38th Virginia Regi 
ment under Lieutenant Colonel Whittle. The 2nd 
Florida Regiment and the 2nd Mississippi Battalion 
continued to be attached to my command. No supplies 
of provisions had been accumulated at Williamsburg, 
and the rations brought from Yorktown were now 
nearly exhausted, owing to the delay of a day in the 
evacuation and the fact that our transportation was 
very limited. 

We rested on Sunday, but received orders to be 
ready to resume the march at 3 o clock A.M. on next 
day, the 5th. My command was under arms promptly 
at the time designated, but it had been raining during 
the night, and it was very difficult for our trains and 
artillery to make any headway. My command, there 
fore, had to remain under arms until about noon, before 
the time arrived for it to take its place in the column 
to follow the troops and trains which were to precede 
it, and was just about to move off when I received an 
order from General Hill to halt for a time. I soon re 
ceived another order to move back to Williamsburg and 
report to General Longstreet, who had been entrusted 
with the duty of protecting our rear. 



ON reporting to General Longstreet at Williamsburg, 
I ascertained that there was fighting, by a portion of 
our troops, with the enemy s advance, at a line of re 
doubts previously constructed a short distance east of 
Williamsburg, the principal one of which redoubts, 
covering the main road, was known as Fort Magruder. 
I was directed to move my command into the college 
grounds and await orders. There was now a cold, 
drizzling rain and the wind and the mud in the roads, 
and everywhere else, was very deep. After remaining 
for some time near the college, I received an order from 
General Longstreet to move to Fort Magruder and sup 
port Brigadier General Anderson, who had command 
of the troops engaged with the enemy. 

My command was immediately put into motion, and 
I sent my aide, Lieutenant S. H. Early, forward, to 
inform General Anderson of my approach, and ascer 
tain where my troops were needed. Lieutenant Early 
soon returned with the information that General Ander 
son was not at Fort Magruder, having gone to the 
right, where his troops were engaged, but that General 
Stuart, who was in charge at the fort, requested that 
four of my regiments be moved into position on the 
right of it and two on the left. As I was moving on to 
comply with his request and had neared Fort Magruder, 
General Longstreet himself rode up and ordered me to 
move the whole of my command to a position which he 
pointed out, on a ridge in a field to the left and rear of 
the Fort, so as to prevent the enemy from turning the 
position in that direction, and to await further orders. 
General Longstreet then rode towards the right, and I 
was" proceeding to the position assigned me, when one 
of the General s staff officers came to me with an order 



to send him two regiments, which I complied with by 
sending the 2nd Florida Regiment and the 2nd 
Mississippi Battalion, under Colonel Ward. 

With my brigade proper I moved to the point desig 
nated before this last order, and took position on the 
crest of a ridge in a wheat field and facing towards a 
piece of woods from behind which some of the enemy s 
guns were firing on Fort Magruder. Shortly after I 
had placed my command in position, General Hill came 
up and I suggested to him the propriety of moving 
through the woods to attack one of the enemy s batteries 
which seemed to have a flank fire on our main position. 
He was willing for the attack to be made, but replied 
that he must see General Longstreet before authorizing 
it. He then rode to see General Longstreet and I com 
menced making preparations for the projected attack. 
While I was so engaged, Brigadier General Eains, also 
of HilPs command, came up with his brigade and formed 
immediately in my rear so as to take my place when I 
moved. General Hill soon returned with the informa 
tion that the attack was to be made, and he proceeded 
to post some field-pieces which had come up, in position 
to cover my retreat if I should be repulsed. 

As soon as this was done,- my brigade moved 
forward through the wheat field into the woods, and 
then through that in the direction of the firing, by the 
sound of which we were guided, as the battery itself 
and the troops supporting it were entirely concealed 
from our view. General Hill accompanied the brigade, 
going with the right of it. It moved with the 
5th North Carolina on the right, then with the 23rd 
North Carolina, then the 38th Virginia, and then the 
24th Virginia on the left. I moved forward with the 
24th Virginia, as I expected, from the sound of the 
enemy s guns and the direction in which we were mov 
ing, it would come upon the battery. After moving 
through the woods a quarter of a mile or more, the 
24th came to a rail fence with an open field beyond, 



in which were posted several guns, under the support 
of infantry, near some farm houses. In this field were 
two redoubts, one of which, being the extreme left re 
doubt of the line of which Fort Magruder was the 
main work, was occupied by the enemy, and this redoubt 
was, from the quarter from which we approached, 
beyond the farm house where the guns mentioned were 
posted. The 24th, without hesitation, sprang over the 
fence and made a dash at the guns which were but a 
short distance from us, but they retired very precipi 
tately, as did the infantry support, to the cover of the 
redoubt in their rear and the fence and piece of woods 

My line as it moved forward was at right angle to 
that of the enemy, so that my left regiment alone came 
upon him and as it moved into the field was exposed to 
a flank fire. This regiment, inclining to the left, moved 
gallantly to the attack, and continued to press forward 
towards the main position at the redoubt under a heavy 
fire of both infantry and artillery; but the other regi 
ments had not emerged from the woods, and I sent 
orders for them to move up to the support of the 24th. 
In the meantime I had received a very severe wound 
in the shoulder from a minie ball and my horse had 
been very badly shot, having one of his eyes knocked 
out. I then rode towards the right for the purpose of 
looking after the other regiments and ordering them 
into action, and met the 5th North Carolina, under 
Colonel McEae, advancing in gallant style towards the 
enemy. Upon emerging from the woods and finding 
no enemy in his immediate front, Colonel McRae had 
promptly formed line to the left and moved to the sup 
port of the regiment which was engaged, traversing the 
whole front which should have been occupied by the 
two other regiments. He advanced through an open 
field under a heavy fire from the enemy s artillery and 
infantry, and soon became hotly engaged by the side of 
the 24th. 



Having by this time become very weak from loss 
of blood, and suffering greatly from pain, I rode to 
the second redoubt nearby, in full view of the fight 
going on and but a few hundred yards from it, for the 
purpose of dismounting and directing the operations 
from that point. When I attempted to dismount I found 
myself so weak, and my pain was so excruciating, that 
I would not have been able to remount my horse, nor, 
from these causes, was I then able to direct the move 
ments of my troops. I therefore rode from the field, 
to the hospital at Williamsburg, passing by Fort Ma- 
gruder, and informing General Longstreet, whom I found 
on the right of it, of what was going on with my com 

The 24th Virginia and 5th North Carolina Regiments 
continued to confront the enemy at close quarters for 
some time without any support, until Colonel McRae, who 
had succeeded to the command of the brigade, in reply to 
a request sent for reinforcements, received an order 
from General Hill to retire. The 23rd North Carolina 
Regiment, as reported by Colonel Hoke, had received 
an order from General Hill to change its front in the 
woods, doubtless for the purpose of advancing to the 
support of the regiment first engaged, but it did not 
emerge from the woods at all, as it moved too far to the 
left and rear of the 24th Virginia, where it encountered 
a detachment of the enemy on his right flank. The 
38th Virginia Regiment, after some difficulty, succeeded 
in getting into the field, and was moving under fire to 
the support of the two regiments engaged, when the 
order was received to retire. 

At the time this order was received, the 24th Vir 
ginia and 5th North Carolina were comparatively safe 
from the enemy s fire, which had slackened, as they had 
advanced to a point where they were in a great measure 
sheltered, but the moment they commenced to retire the 
enemy opened a heavy fire upon them, and, as they had 
to retire over a bare field, they suffered severely. In 



going back through the woods, some of the men lost 
their way and were captured by running into a regiment 
of the enemy, which was on his right in the woods. 

From these causes the loss in those two regiments 
was quite severe. Colonel Wm. R. Terry and Lieutenant 
Colonel P. Hairston, of the 24th Virginia, were severely 
wounded, and Lieutenant Colonel J. C. Badham of the 
5th North Carolina was killed, while a number of com 
pany officers of both regiments were among the killed 
and wounded. The loss in the 23rd North Carolina and 
38th Virginia was slight, but Lieutenant Colonel Whittle 
of the latter regiment received a wound in the arm. 
The brigade fell back to the position from which it 
advanced, without having been pursued by the enemy, 
and was there re-formed. The troops of the enemy en 
countered by my brigade in this action consisted of 
Hancock s brigade and some eight or ten pieces of 

The charge made by the 24th Virginia and the 5th 
North Carolina Regiments on this force was one of the 
most brilliant of the war, and its character was such as 
to elicit applause even from the newspaper correspond 
ents from the enemy s camps. Had one of the brigades 
which had come up to the position from which mine 
advanced been ordered up to the support of Colonel 
McRae, the probability is that a very different result 
would have taken place, and perhaps Hancock s whole 
force would have been captured, as its route for retreat 
was over a narrow mill-dam. 

McClellan, in a telegraphic dispatch at the time, 
reported that my command had been repulsed by "a 
real bayonet charge," and he reiterates the statement in 
his report, that Hancock repulsed the troops opposed to 
him by a bayonet charge, saying: "Feigning to retreat 
slowly, he awaited their onset, and then turned upon 
them : after some terrific volleys of musketry he charged 
them with the bayonet, routing and dispersing their 
whole force." This statement is entirely devoid of 
truth. My regiments were not repulsed, but retired 



under order as I have stated, and there was no charge 
by the enemy with or without bayonets. This charging 
with bayonets was one of the myths of this as well as all 
other wars. Military commanders sometimes saw the 
charges, after the fighting was over, but the surgeons 
never saw the wounds made by the bayonets, except in 
a few instances of mere individual conflict, or where 
some wounded men had been bayoneted in the field. 

Colonel Ward of Florida had led his command into 
action on the right of Fort Magruder, and he was killed 
soon after getting under fire. He was a most accom 
plished, gallant, and deserving officer, and would have 
risen to distinction in the army had he lived. 

This battle at Williamsburg was participated in by 
only a small part of our army, and its object was to give 
time to our trains to move off on the almost impassable 
roads. It accomplished that purpose. The enemy s 
superior force was repulsed at all points save that at 
which I had been engaged, or at least his advance was 
checked. A number of guns were captured from him and 
his loss was severe, though we had to abandon some of the 
captured guns for the want of horses to move them. 

During the night, the rear of our army resumed its 
retreat, and the whole of it succeeded in reaching the 
vicinity of Eichmond and interposing for the defence 
of that city, after some minor affairs with portions of 
the enemy s troops. A portion of our wounded had to 
be left at Williamsburg for want of transportation, and 
surgeons were left in charge of them. I succeeded in 
getting transportation to the rear, and, starting from 
Williamsburg after 12 o clock on the night of the 5th, 
and deviating next day from the route pursued by our 
army, -I reached James Eiver, near Charles City Court- 
House, and there obtained transportation on a steamer 
to Eichmond, where I arrived at night on the 8th. From 
Eichmond I went to Lynchburg, and, as soon as I was 
able to travel on horseback, I went to my own county, 
where I remained until I was able to resume duty in the 


DUEING my absence from the army, the battle of 
Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, as the enemy called it, was 
fought on the 31st of May and the 1st of June, and 
General Johnston had been wounded. General R. E. 
Lee had succeeded to the command of the army of Gen 
eral Johnston, and it was now designated "The Army of 
Northern Virginia. " 

General Lee s army had received some reinforce 
ments from the South; and General Jackson (after his 
brilliant campaign in the valley of the Shenandoah, 
by which he had baffled and rendered useless large bodies 
of the enemy s troops, and prevented McDowell from 
being sent to the support of McClellan with his force 
of 40,000 men) had been ordered to move rapidly toward 
Richmond for the purpose of uniting in an attack on 
McClellan s lines.* 

* The following correspondence shows how much the Federal 
authorities, civil and military, were befogged by Jackson s movements. 

" A very peculiar case of desertion has just occurred from the 
army. The party states he left Jackson, Whiting, and Ewell, fifteen 
brigades (a) at Gordonsville, on the 21st; that they were moving to 
Frederick s Hall, and that it was intended to attack my rear on the 
28th. I would be glad to learn, at your earliest convenience, the most 
exact information you have as to the position and movements of Jack 
son, as well as the sources from which your information is derived, 
that I may the better compare it with what I have." 

" G. B. MCCLELLAN, Major General. 
" HON. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War." 

" WASHINGTON, June 25, 2.35. 

" We have no definite information as to the numbers or position 
of Jackson s force. General King yesterday reported a deserter s 



This movement had been made with such dispatch 
and secrecy, that the approach of Jackson towards 
Washington was looked for by the authorities at that 
city, until he was in position to fall on McClellan s rear 
and left. 

Having started on my return to the army, without 
having any knowledge of the contemplated movement, 
on my arrival at Lynchburg I found that the fighting 
had already begun with brilliant results. I hastened 
on to Richmond and arrived there late in the afternoon 
of the 28th of June. Though hardly able to take the field 

statement that Jackson s force was, nine days ago, forty thousand 
men. Some reports place ten thousand rebels under Jackson at 
Gordonsville ; others that his force is at Port Republic, Harrisonburg 
and Luray. Fremont yesterday reported rumors that Western Vir 
ginia was threatened, and General Kelly that Ewell was advancing 
to New Creek, where Fremont has his depots. The last telegram 
from Fremont contradicted this rumor. The last telegram from Banks 
says the enemy s pickets are strong in advance at Luray. The people 
decline to give any information of his whereabouts. Within the last 
two days the evidence is strong that for some purpose the enemy is 
circulating rumors of Jackson s advance in various directions, with a 
view to conceal the real point of attack. Neither McDowell, who is 
at Manassas, nor Banks and Fremont, who are at Middletown, appear 
to have any accurate knowledge of the subject. A letter transmitted 
to the Department yesterday, purporting to be dated Gordonsville, on 
the fourteenth (14th) instant, stated that the actual attack was de 
signed for Washington and Baltimore, as soon as you attacked Rich 
mond; but that the report was to be circulated that Jackson had gone 
to Richmond in order to mislead. This letter looked very much like 
a blind, and induces me to suspect that Jackson s real movement now 
is towards Richmond. It came from Alexandria, and is certainly de 
signed, like the numerous rumors put afloat, to mislead. I think, 
therefore, that while the warning of the deserter to you may also be 
a blind, that it could not safely be disregarded. I will transmit to you 
any further information on this subject that may be received here. 
" EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War." 

(a) Jackson s command consisted of nine brigades at this time. 
Whiting with two brigades and Lawton with one had joined him after 
the engagements at Cross Keys and Port Republic, at which time he 
had only six brigades, three in Swell s division, and three in his own. 



and advised by the surgeon not to do so, immediately on 
my arrival in Bichmond I mounted my horse, and with 
my personal staff rode to General Lee s headquarters 
at Games house, north of the Chickahominy, for the 
purpose of seeking a command and participating in 
the approaching battles which seemed inevitable. I 
arrived at General Lee s headquarters about 11 
o clock on the night of the 28th, and found him in bed. 
I did not disturb him that night but waited until next 
morning before reporting to him. The battles of 
Mechanicsville and Chickahominy * had been fought on 
the 26th and 27th respectively, and that part of the 
enemy s army which was north of the Chickahominy 
had been driven across that stream to the south side. 

The troops which had been engaged in this work 
consisted of Longstreet s, D. H. Hill s, and A. P. Hill s 
divisions, with a brigade of cavalry under Stuart, from 
the army around Richmond, and Jackson s command, 
consisting of his own, Ewell s, and Whiting s divisions. 
All of these commands were still north of the Chicka 
hominy, and Magruder s, Huger s, McLaw s, and D. R. 
Jones divisions had been left on the south side to defend 
Richmond, there being about a division at Drewry s and 
Chaffin s Bluffs under Generals Holmes and Wise. 
Magruder s, McLaw s and Jones divisions consisted 
of two brigades each, and were all under the command 
of General Magruder. 

A reorganization of the divisions and brigades of 
the army had been previously made, and my brigade, 
composed of troops from two different States, had been 
broken up, and my regiments had been assigned to other 
brigadier generals. On reporting to General Lee on the 
morning of the 29th (Sunday), I was informed by him 
that all the commands were then disposed of, and no 

* So called by General Lee, though designated by subordinate 
commanders as the battle of Cold Harbor or Games Mill, according 
to the part of the ground on which their commands fought. 



new arrangement could take place in the presence of 
the enemy; but he advised me to return to Richmond 
and wait until a vacancy occurred, which he said would 
doubtless be the case in a day or two. 

I rode back to Richmond that day, and on the next 
day, the 30th, called on the Secretary of War, General 
Randolph, who gave me a letter to General Lee, sug 
gesting that I be assigned to the temporary command 
of Elzey s brigade of Swell s division, as General Elzey 
had been severely wounded, and would not be able to 
return to duty for some time. On the day before, our 
troops on the north of Chickahominy had crossed to 
the south side in pursuit of the enemy, and were march 
ing towards James River, and Magruder had had an 
engagement with the rear of the retreating column at 
Savage Station on the York River Railroad. On the 
afternoon of the 30th, I rode to find General Lee again, 
and, being guided by reports of the movement of our 
troops and, as I got nearer, by the sound of artillery, I 
reached the vicinity of the battlefield at Frazier s farm, 
just about the close of the battle near dark. This battle 
had taken place between Longstreet s and A. P. Hill s 
divisions and a large body of the enemy s retreating 
forces. There had been a failure of other portions of 
the army to come up as General Lee expected them to 
do, but the enemy had been driven from the field with a 
loss of some artillery and a considerable number in 
killed, wounded and prisoners on his part. 

I gave General Lee the letter of the Secretary of 
War, and next morning he gave me an order to report 
to General Jackson for the purpose of being assigned 
temporarily to Elzey s brigade. This was the 1st of 
July, and I rode past the battlefield of the day before 
with our advancing troops, until we reached the road 
leading from across White Oak Swamp past Malvern 
Hill to James River, where I found the head of General 
Jackson s column. I rode forward and found the Gen 
eral on the road towards Malvern Hill with a cavalry 



escort, awaiting a report from some scouts who had 
been sent forward to ascertain the enemy s position. 

On reporting to General Jackson, he directed his 
adjutant general to write the order for me at once, 
but while Major Dabney, the then adjutant general, 
was preparing to do this, the enemy opened with some 
of his guns from Malvern Hill, and several shells fell 
near us. This rendered an immediate change of quarters 
necessary, and the whole party mounted at once and 
retired to the rear, followed by the enemy s shells in 
great profusion, as the cloud of dust arising from the 
movement of the cavalry enabled him to direct his fire 
with tolerable precision. As soon as we got out of 
immediate danger, Major Dabney wrote me the neces 
sary order, on his knee, in a hurried manner, and I thus 
became attached to the command of the famous "Stone 
wall" Jackson. I found General Swell s division in 
the rear of Jackson s column, and upon reporting to 
him the command of Elzey s brigade was at once given 
me, it being then about ten o clock P.M. 

The brigade was composed of the remnants of seven 
regiments, to-wit: the 13th Virginia, the 25th Virginia, 
the 31st Virginia, the 44th Virginia, the 52nd Virginia, 
the 58th Virginia, and the 12th Georgia Regiments. The 
whole force present numbered 1,052 officers and men, 
and there was but one colonel present (Colonel J. A. 
Walker of the 13th Virginia Regiment), and two lieu 
tenant colonels (of the 25th and 52nd Virginia Regiments 
respectively), the rest of the regiments being com 
manded by captains. General Jackson s command at 
this time was composed of his own division, and those 
of Ewell, D. H. Hill, and W. H. Whiting, besides a 
number of batteries of artillery. Swell s division was 
composed of Trimble s brigade, Taylor s Louisiana 
brigade, the brigade to which I had been assigned, and 
a small body of Maryland troops under Colonel Bradley 
T. "John son. 

After remaining for some time in the rear, we finally 



moved forward past Willis 7 Church, to where a line of 
battle had been formed confronting the en emy s position 
at Malvern Hill. D. H. Hill s division had been formed 
on the right of the road leading towards the enemy, and 
Whiting s on the left, with an interval between his 
right and the road into which the Louisiana brigade 
of Swell s division was moved. My brigade was posted 
in the woods in rear of the Louisiana brigade, and 
Trimble s brigade was formed in rear of Whiting s left, 
which constituted the extreme left of our line. Jack 
son s division was held in reserve in rear of the whole. 
The enemy soon commenced a heavy cannonade upon 
the positions where our troops were posted, and kept it 
up continuously during the rest of the day. From the 
position which I occupied, the enemy could not be seen, 
as a considerable body of woods intervened, but many 
shells and solid shot passed over us, and one shell 
passed through my line, killing two or three persons. 

We remained in this position until about sunset, and, 
in the meantime, D. H. Hill on our immediate right and 
Magruder on his right had attacked the enemy and be 
come very hotly engaged. Just about sunset I was 
; ordered to move my brigade rapidly towards the right 
to support General D. H. Hill. General Ewell accom 
panied me, and we had to move through the woods in a 
I circle in rear of the position Hill had first assumed, as 
j the terrific fire of the enemy s artillery prevented our 
j moving in any other route. As we moved on through 
I intricate woods, which very much impeded our progress, 
we were still within range of the shells from the enemy s 
I numerous batteries, and they were constantly bursting 
in the tops of the trees over our heads, literally strewing 
the ground with leaves. 

After moving through the woods for some distance 

; we came to a small blind road leading into an open flat, 

t where there had once been a mill on a creek which ran 

through swampy ground between our left and the enemy. 

On reaching the edge of the open flat I was ordered to 


halt the head of my brigade, until General Ewell rode 
forward with a guide, who had been sent to show us 
the way, to ascertain the manner in which we were to 
cross the creek. The musketry fire was now terrific, 
and reverberated along the valley of the creek awfully. 
General Ewell soon returned in a great hurry and 
directed me to move as rapidly as possible. As soon as 
the head of the brigade, led by Lieut. Colonel Skinner 
of the 52nd Virginia Regiment, emerged into the open 
ground, General Ewell turned to him and directed him 
to go directly across the flat in the direction he pointed, 
cross the creek, and then turn to the left through the 
woods into the road beyond, ordering him at the same 
time to move at a double quick. Before I could say 
anything General Ewell turned to me and said, "We 
will have to go this way," and he dashed off in a gallop 
on a road leading to our right along the old dam across 
the creek into another road leading in the direction of 
the battlefield. 

I had no option but to follow him, which I did as 
rapidly as possible, but this required me to make a 
considerable circuit to get to the point where I expected 
to meet the head of my brigade. There were now 
streams of our men pouring back from the battlefield, 
and on getting into the road leading towards it I lost 
sight of my brigade, as a woods intervened. I did not 
find it coming into the road at the point where I ex 
pected, and after some fruitless efforts to find it, in 
which I was often deceived by seeing squads from the 
battlefield come out of the woods in such manner as to 
cause me to mistake them for the head of my brigade, 
I rode back to find if it was crossing the flat. 

I saw nothing of it then, and the fact was, as after 
wards ascertained, that, after crossing the creek, Colonel 
Skinner had turned to the left too far, and moved 
towards the battlefield in a different direction than that 
indicated. His regiment had been followed by three 
others, the 13th, 44th, and 58th Virginia Regiments, 



but the 12th Georgia and 25th and 31st Virginia Regi 
ments, being in the rear in the woods when the head of 
the brigade moved at a double quick, were left behind, 
and when they reached the flat, seeing nothing of the 
rest of the brigade, they crossed the creek at the dam 
and took the wrong end of the road. In the meantime, 
while I was trying to find my brigade, General Ewell 
had rallied a small part of Kershaw s brigade and 
carried it back to the field. I saw now a large body of 
men, which proved to be of Toombs brigade, coming 
from the field and I endeavored to rally them, but with 
little success. 

While I was so engaged, the 12th Georgia of my 
own brigade came up, after having found that it had 
taken the wrong direction, and with that regiment under 
the command of Captain J. G. Rogers, I moved on, fol 
lowed by Colonel Benning of Toombs brigade with 
about thirty men of his own regiment. Lieutenant 
Early, my aide, soon came up with the 25th and 31st 
Virginia Regiments, which he had been sent to find. 
On reaching the field, I found General Hill and General 
Ewell endeavoring to form a line with that part of 
Kershaw s brigade which had been rallied, while Ran 
som s brigade, or a part of it, was moving to the front. 

I was ordered to form my men in line with Kershaw s 
men, and this was done in a clover field in view of the 
flashes from the enemy s guns, the guns themselves and 
his troops being concealed from our view by the dark 
ness which had supervened. General Hill s troops had 
been compelled to retire from the field as had been the 
greater part of Magruder s, after a very desperate 
struggle against immense odds, and a vast amount of 
heavy siege guns and field artillery. I was ordered to 
hold the position where I was and not attempt an 

The enemy still continued a tremendous fire of artil 
lery from his numerous guns, and his fire was in a circle 
diverging from the main position at Malvern Hill so as 

6 81 


to include our entire line from right to left. This fire 
was kept up until after nine o clock, and shells were 
constantly bursting in front and over us, and crashing 
into the woods in our rear. It was a magnificent dis 
play of fireworks, but not very pleasant to those exposed 
to it. After being gone some time the part of Ransom s 
brigade which had advanced in front of us, retired to 
the rear. Trimble s brigade had arrived from the ex 
treme left, and was posted in my rear. Generals Hill 
and Ewell remained with us until after the firing had 
ceased, and then retired after giving me orders to re 
main where I was until morning and await further 
orders. During the night General Trimble moved his 
brigade back towards its former position, and General 
Kershaw and Colonel Benning retired with their men 
for the purpose of looking after the rest of their com 

My three small regiments, numbering a little over 
three hundred in all, were left the sole occupants of that 
part of the field, save the dead and wounded in our im 
mediate front. My men lay on their arms in the open 
field, but they had no sleep that night. The cries and 
groans of the wounded in our front were truly heart 
rending, but we could afford them no relief. We ob 
served lights moving about the enemy s position during 
the whole night, as if looking for the killed and wounded, 
and the rumbling of wheels was distinctly heard as of 
artillery moving to the rear, from which I inferred that 
the enemy was retreating. 

At light next morning I discovered a portion of the 
enemy s troops still at his position of the day before, 
but it was evidently only a small portion and it turned 
out to be a heavy rear guard of infantry and cavalry 
left to protect the retreating army. The position which 
he had occupied and which our troops had attacked was 
a strong and commanding one, while the whole country 
around, over which our troops had been compelled to 
advance, was entirely open several hundred yards and 



swept by his artillery massed on the crest of Malvern 

In my view were nearly the whole of our dead and 
wounded that had not been able to leave the field, as 
well as a great part of the enemy s dead, and the sight 
was truly appalling. While watching the enemy s move 
ments I observed to our right of his position and close 
up to it a small body of troops lying down with their 
faces to the enemy, who looked to me very much like 
Confederates. I moved a little further to my right for 
the purpose of seeing better and discovered a cluster 
of Confederates, not more than ten or twelve in number, 
one of whom was also looking with field glasses at the 
body which I took to be a part of our troops. On riding 
up to this party, I found it to consist of General Armi- 
stead of Huger s division with a few men of his brigade. 
In answer to my question as to where his brigade was, 
General Armistead replied, "Here are all that I know 
anything about except those lying out there in front." 
He had spent the night in a small cluster of trees around 
some old graves about two hundred yards from my right. 

After viewing them with the glasses, we were satis 
fied that the troops lying so close up to the position 
of the enemy were Confederates, and it turned out that 
they consisted of Generals Mahone and Wright of 
Huger s division with parts of their brigades. The 
whole force with them only amounted to a few hundred, 
and this body constituted the whole of our troops mak 
ing the assault who had not been compelled to retire. 
They maintained the ground they had won, after min 
gling their dead with those of the enemy at the very 
mouths of his guns, and when the enemy finally retired 
this small body under Mahone and Wright remained the 
actual masters of the fight. Before the enemy did retire, 
a messenger came from Generals Mahone and Wright, 
with a request for the commander of the troops on the 
part of the field where I was to advance, stating that 
the enemy was retreating and that but a rear guard 



occupied the position. I was, however, too weak to 
comply with the request, especially as I was informed 
that their ammunition was exhausted. 

Shortly after light, General Ewell came in a great 
hurry to withdraw my command from the critical posi 
tion in which he supposed it to be, but I informed him 
that the enemy had been retreating all night, and he sent 
information of that fact to General Jackson. 

Early in the morning a captain of Huger s division 
reported to me that he had collected nearby about one 
hundred and fifty men of that division, and he asked 
me what he should do with them. I directed him to 
hold them where they were and report to General 
Armistead, who was on the field. About this time a 
considerable body of the enemy s cavalry advanced 
towards us on the road from his main position of the 
day before, as I supposed for a charge upon us, and I 
requested General Armistead to take command of the 
detachment from Huger s division and aid me in re 
pulsing the charge, but, while I was making the neces 
sary preparations, a few shots from a small party of 
infantry on the left of the road sent the cavalry back 
again. By this time our ambulance details had com 
menced to pass freely to the front for our dead and 
wounded, and they began to mingle freely with those 
of the enemy engaged in a similar work. For some 
time a sort of tacit truce seemed to prevail while details 
from both armies were engaged in this sad task, but 
the enemy s rear guard finally retired slowly from our 
view altogether, on the road toward Harrison s Landing. 

It was not until this movement that I discovered 
what had become of the rest of my brigade, and I then 
ascertained that when the missing regiments had arrived 
on the battlefield at a different point from that intended, 
Colonel Walker had taken charge of them. It was dark 
by that time, and they got in amongst some of the 
enemy s regiments, when Colonel Walker quietly with 
drew them, as the force into which they had got was 



entirely too strong for him to attack. My brigade did 
not draw trigger at all, but it sustained a loss of thirty- 
three in killed and wounded from the artillery fire of 
the enemy. During the 2nd it commenced raining, and 
before night the rain was very heavy, continuing all 
night. After being employed for some time in picking 
up small arms from the battlefield, my command was 
moved to a position near where we had been in line, the 
day before, and there bivouacked with the rest of the 
brigade, which had returned to that point the night 

At the battle of Malvern Hill, the whole army of 
McClellan was concentrated at a very strong position, 
with a limited front and both flanks effectively pro 
tected. General Lee s entire army was likewise present, 
and it was the first time during the seven days fighting 
around Richmond that these two armies had thus con 
fronted each other. 

McClellan s army, however, was so situated that each 
portion of it was in ready communication with, and in 
easy supporting distance of, every other part, so that 
the whole was available for defence or attack, while 
such was the nature of the ground over which General 
Lee s army had to move to get into position, and in 
which it was drawn up after it got in position, that 
communication between the several commands was very 
difficult, and movements to the support of each other 
still more difficult. 

General Lee made the attack, and it was his pur 
pose to hurl the greater part of his army against the 
enemy, but there had been much delay in getting some 
of the commands into position, owing to the difficulties 
of the ground and an unfortunate mistake as to roads. 
When the attack was made, it was very late in the 
afternoon, and then, from the want of concert produced 
by the want of proper communication, only a portion 
of our troops advanced to the attack of the enemy. The 
troops which did so advance consisted alone of D. H. 



Hill s division of Jackson s command, Magruder s com 
mand of three small divisions of two brigades each, 
and three brigades of Huger s division, in all fourteen 

From some mistake in regard to the signal for the 
advance, D. H. Hill, hearing what he supposed to be 
that signal, and was probably intended as such, ad 
vanced to the attack on the enemy s front with his five 
brigades alone, and for some time confronted the whole 
force at Malvern Hill, but after a desperate conflict 
and a display of useless valor, was compelled to retire 
with heavy loss. Magruder s command, including 
Huger s three brigades, was then hurled upon the enemy 
by brigades, one after the other, but those brigades 
were likewise compelled to retire after making in vain 
the most heroic efforts to force the enemy from his 

In the meantime, Holmes division of three brigades, 
Jackson s division of four brigades, EwelFs division 
of three brigades, and Whiting s division of two 
brigades, were inactive, while Longstreet s and A. P. 
Hill s divisions, of six brigades each, were held in 
reserve some distance in the rear. It is true two 
brigades of Swell s division, and Jackson s whole 
division, were ordered to the support of D. H. Hill after 
his command had been compelled to retire, but it was 
only to be thrown into confusion by the difficulties of 
the way and the approaching darkness, and to be ex 
posed to a murderous fire of artillery, for it was then 
too late to remedy the mischief that had been done. 

In addition to all this, our troops had to advance over 
open ground to the attack of the enemy s front, while 
exposed to a most crushing fire of canister and shrap 
nel from his numerous batteries of heavy guns and field 
pieces massed on a commanding position, as well as to 
a flank fire from his gunboats in James River, as it was 
impossible from the nature of the ground and the posi 
tion of the flanks to turn and attack either of them. 



Moreover, such was the character of the ground occupied 
by us that it was impossible to employ our artillery, 
as in attempting to bring the guns into action on the 
only ground where it was possible to use them, they 
could be knocked to pieces before they could be used 
with effect, and such was the result of the few experi 
ments made. Longstreet s and Hill s divisions were 
held in reserve because they had been heavily engaged 
at Frazier s farm the day before, but why the rest of 
Jackson s command was not thrown into action I can 
not say, unless it be that the difficulty of communicating, 
and the impossibility of seeing what was going on on 
our right, prevented the advance from that quarter from 
being known in time. Certain it is that I was not aware 
of the fact that it was any other than an affair of artil 
lery, until ordered to General Hill s support, as the roar 
of the artillery drowned the sound of the small arms. 

General Hill states that his division numbered ten 
thousand men at the commencement of the fighting 
north of the Chickahominy, and he had sustained con 
siderable loss in that fighting. General Magruder says 
his force of three divisions (six brigades) numbered 
about thirteen thousand men when the movement to the 
north of the Chickahominy began, and he had been 
severely engaged at Savage Station. Huger s three 
brigades numbered perhaps seven or eight thousand, 
certainly not more. Our troops engaged could not, there 
fore, have numbered over thirty thousand, and was 
probably something under that figure, while McClellan 
was able to bring into action, to meet their assault on 
his strong position, his whole force, or very nearly the 
whole of it. 

The loss in the two armies was very probably about 
equal, and we were left in possession of the battlefield, 
and all the abandoned muskets and rifles of both armies, 
besides those pieces of artillery abandoned on the re 
treat, and some wagons and ambulances, but all this 
did not compensate us for the loss of valuable lives 



sustained, which, were worth more to us than the ma 
terial of war gained or any actual results of the battle 
that accrued to our benefit. 

Both sides claimed the victory, but I do not think 
any advantage was gained by either army from the 
battle, though McClellan made good the retreat of his 
shattered army to the very strong position at Harrison s 
Landing. If General Lee s plans for the battle had been 
carried out, I have no doubt that it would have resulted 
in a crushing defeat to the enemy. 

On the 3rd of July the army was put in motion again, 
and Jackson s, Swell s, and Whiting s divisions moved 
around to the left and approached McClellan s new posi 
tion by the road leading from Long Bridge to Westover, 
Ewell s division being in front. On the 4th we arrived in 
front of the enemy, and advanced, with Swell s division 
in line of battle, and skirmished in front, until we en 
countered the enemy s skirmishers, when our progress 
was arrested by an order from General Longstreet, who 
had come up. We remained in line skirmishing heavily 
with the enemy for a day, when we were relieved by 
Whiting s division. It was now judged prudent not to 
attack the enemy in this position, as it was a strong one 
with very difficult approaches, and on the 8th our army 
retired, the greater part of it returning to the vicinity 
of Eichmond, thus leaving McClellan to enjoy the con 
solation of having, after near twelve months of prepara 
tion on the most gigantic scale and over three months 
of arduous campaigning, accomplished the wonderful feat 
of "a change of base." 

McClellan in his report (Sheldon & Co. s edition of 
1864) shows that there was an aggregate present in his 
army on the 20th of June, 1862, of 107,226, of which there 
were present for duty 4,665 officers and 101,160 men, 
making the aggregate present for duty 105,825. See 
page 53. On page 239, he says: "The report of the 
Chief of the Secret Service Corps, herewith forwarded, 
and dated 26th of June, shows the estimated strength 



of the enemy, at the time of the evacuation of York- 
town, to have been from 100,000 to 120,000. The same 
report puts his numbers on the 26th of June at about 
180,000, and the specific information obtained regarding 
their organization warrants the belief that this estimate 
did not exceed his actual strength." 

He seems to have been troubled all the time with 
the spectre of "overwhelming numbers " opposed to him, 
and that he should have believed so when he had "Pro 
fessor Lowe" with his balloons to make reports from 
the clouds, and his "Chief of the Secret Service" and 
"intelligent contrabands," to fool him with their in 
ventions, may be perhaps conceded by some charitable 
persons, but that he should have written such nonsense 
as the above in 1863, and published it in 1864, is per 
fectly ridiculous. If the United States Government with 
its gigantic resources and its population of 21,000,000 
of whites could bring into the field for the advance on 
Richmond only 105,000 men, and some fifty or sixty thou 
sand men for the defence of Washington, how was the 
Confederate Government, with its limited means, its 
blockaded ports, and its population of less than 6,000,000 
of whites, to bring into the field, to oppose this one of 
several large armies of invasion, 180,000 men, and if it 
could get the men where were the arms to come from? 

When I was at General Lee s headquarters, on the 
night of the 28th of June, at Games house, General 
Longstreet, who occupied a part of the same house and 
had accompanied General Lee from the commencement 
of the operations on McClellan s flank and rear, in 
formed me that, when the movement commenced, we had 
about 90,000 men in all, including Jackson s command, 
60,000 being employed in the movement north of the 
Chickahominy, and 30,000 being left on the south side 
for the protection of Richmond. This latter number in 
cluded the troops at Drewry s Bluff and Chaffin s Bluff. 
This statement was elicited in reply to a question by me, 
in which I expressed some surprise at the boldness of the 



movement, and asked how it was possible for General 
Lee to undertake it with his force. General Longstreet 
had no reason to underestimate the force to me, and his 
estimate was a sanguine one, and, I think, perhaps rather 
too large, as it was based on the idea that General Jack 
son s force was stronger than it really was. 

The very active campaign and rapid marching of 
that part of Jackson s command which had been em 
ployed in the valley, had very much reduced its strength, 
and the brigades and regiments were very weak. The 
whole force was probably somewhere between eighty and 
ninety thousand, and certainly did not exceed the latter 
number. A very large portion of the army was armed 
with smooth-bore muskets, and it was not until after 
the battles around Richmond, and of second Manas sas, 
that we were able to exchange them for rifles and minie 
muskets captured from the enemy. 

The movement of General Lee against McClellan was 
a strategic enterprise of the most brilliant character, 
and at once demonstrated that he was a general of the 
highest order of genius. Its results, independent of the 
capture of artillery, small arms, and stores, were of the 
most momentous consequences, as it relieved the capital 
of the Confederacy of the dangers and inconveniences 
of a regular siege for a long while, though it had not 
resulted in the destruction of McClellan *s army as Gen 
eral Lee had desired, and the army and country fondly 
hoped ; but in a thickly wooded country, where armies 
can move only along the regular roads, and move in 
line of battle or compact columns along those roads, 
there are facilities for the escape of a beaten army which 
one accustomed to reading of European wars cannot well 
understand. This wns peculiarly the case in the country 
through which McClellan retreated, where the imprac 
ticable character of the swamps and woods enabled him 
to conceal his movements and to protect his trains, rear, 
ancl flanks by blocking up the roads and destroying 



General McClellan, it must be confessed, displayed 
considerable ability in conducting the retreat of his 
army after it was out-manoeuvred and beaten, notwith 
standing the excessive caution he had shown on the 
Potomac and at Yorktown, and I think there can be no 
doubt he was the ablest commander the United States 
had in Virginia during the war, by long odds. During 
the seven days operations around Richmond, the two 
armies were more nearly equal in strength than they 
ever were afterwards. 



AFTER McClellan had been safely housed at his new 
base on James Biver, Major General John Pope, of the 
United States Army, made his appearance in Northern 
Virginia, between the Bappahannock and Bapidan Bivers, 
at the head of an army called the "Army of Virginia, " 
and composed of the corps of McDowell, Banks, and 
Fremont, the latter being then under Sigel. General 
Pope issued a vain-glorious address to his troops, in 
which he declared that he had never seen anything of 
the " rebels " but their backs ; and he talked largely about 
making his "headquarters in the saddle, " and looking 
out for the means of advancing, without giving thought 
to the "lines of retreat, " which were to be left to take 
care of themselves. He certainly was producing great 
commotion in the poultry yards of the worthy matrons, 
whose sons and husbands were absent in the service of 
their country, when General Lee sent " Stonewall 
Jackson to look after the redoubtable warrior. 

After remaining in camp several days near Richmond, 
EwelPs and Jackson s divisions were ordered to Gor- 
donsville under General Jackson, and, taking the lead, 
EwelPs division arrived about the 15th of July. On 
the next day after our arrival, a body of the enemy s 
cavalry, having crossed the Rapidan, advanced through 
Orange Court-House towards Gordonsville, and my 
brigade and the Louisiana brigade were moved out with 
a regiment of cavalry for the purpose of intercepting the 
retreat of this body, but it made its escape across the 
Rapidan by swimming that river, as the water was high. 
EwelPs division went into camp near Liberty Mills on 
the Bapidan, on the road from Gordonsville to Madison 
Cotirt-House, and I remained there, with occasional 
movements when approaches of the enemy s cavalry 



were reported, until the 7th of August. In the mean 
time, Jackson s force had been reinforced by the 
division of A. P. Hill, and there had been skirmishing 
and fighting between our cavalry and that of the enemy 
in Madison County and at Orange Court-House. 

General Jackson ordered a forward movement to be 
made on the 7th of August, and on that day Swell s 
division crossed into Madison at Liberty Mills, and 
moved down the Rapidan toward Barnett s Ford, 
bivouacking for the night near that point. Early next 
morning, we moved past Barnett s Ford, driving a small 
detachment of the enemy s cavalry from the Ford, and 
took the road for Culpeper Court-House. General 
Beverly Robertson s cavalry now passed to the front and 
had a skirmish and some artillery firing with the enemy s 
cavalry at Robinson s River, where the latter retired. 
We crossed Robinson s River and bivouacked north of it 
at the mouth of Crooked Creek, Robertson s cavalry 
going to the front some two or three miles. 

On the morning of the 9th, I was ordered by General 
Ewell to move forward in advance to the point occupied 
by our cavalry some three or four miles ahead of us, 
and to put out strong pickets on the road coming in from 
the right and left. My brigade had now increased in 
strength to something over 1,500 officers and men for 
duty, by the return of absentees. As we moved forward, 
the 44th Virginia Regiment under Colonel Scott, and six 
companies of the 52nd Virginia were detached to picket 
the side roads. Robertson s cavalry was found at a posi 
tion about eight or nine miles from Culpeper Court- 
House, not far from Cedar Run, and in his front, in some 
open fields, bodies of the enemy s cavalry were in view, 
watching his movements. On our right was Cedar Run 
or Slaughter s Mountain, and between it and Culpeper 
road were the large open fields of several adjacent farms 
in the valley of Cedar Run, while the country on the 
left of the road was mostly wooded. 

After General Ewell came up, my brigade was moved 



to the right towards the mountain, for the purpose of 
reconnoitring, and a section of the battery attached 
to it was advanced to the front under Lieutenant Terry 
and opened on the cavalry in our view. This elicited a 
reply from some of the enemy s guns concealed 
from our view in rear of his cavalry, but no 
infantry was visible. My brigade was then moved 
back to the Culpeper road and along it about a mile, to 
its intersection with a road coming in from Madison 
Court-House, where it remained for some hours. 

Shortly after noon, Captain Pendleton, of General 
Jackson s staff, came with an order from the General, 
for me to advance on the road towards Culpeper Court- 
House, stating that General Ewell would advance on the 
right, over the northern end of Slaughter s Mountain, 
with the rest of the division, and that I would be sup 
ported by Brigadier General Winder with three brigades 
of Jackson s division, which would soon be up; but I 
was ordered not to begin the movement until I received 
information from General Winder that he was ready to 
follow me. 

While waiting for the message from General Winder, 
General Robertson and myself reconnoitred the position 
of the enemy s cavalry, and the country immediately in 
my front, for the purpose of ascertaining how I would 
advance so as to surprise the force immediately in front 
of us. Just ahead of me, the Culpeper road crossed a 
small branch, a tributary of Cedar Run, and then passed 
for some distance through a thick woods, leaving a 
narrow belt on the right of it. Between this belt and 
the mountain the country was an undulating valley, con 
sisting of several adjoining fields. 

All of the enemy s cavalry visible was in the field in 
this valley, and the position where my command was 
posted was hidden from its view by an intervening ridge, 
which crossed the road diagonally from the woods into 
the* fields and fell off into the low grounds on the small 
branch mentioned. No infantry had yet been discovered, 



and we were in doubt whether the enemy had any in the 
vicinity. On the left of the road was a long, narrow 
meadow on the branch, and as my brigade could not 
march along the road except by flank, nor without great 
difficulty through the woods if deployed in line, I de 
termined to form it in the meadow out of view of the 
enemy, and then advance obliquely across the road, 
against his cavalry, following it through the fields on a 
route parallel to the road. 

About 2 o clock in the afternoon, a messenger came 
from General Winder saying that he was ready to fol 
low me, and I commenced my movement. The brigade 
was formed in line in the meadow, on the north of the 
branch, with the 13th Virginia, under Colonel Walker, 
thrown out as skirmishers to cover the front and flank 
of the left of the brigade, which had to pass obliquely 
through the corner of the woods. It then advanced to 
the ridge behind which the enemy s cavalry was posted, 
the right regiment (12th Georgia) moving by flank so as 
to avoid observation, and forming in line as it reached 
the ridge, when the whole moved over the crest and came 
in view of the cavalry, which scampered off in a great 
hurry, receiving as it went a slight volley at long range, 
by which one or two saddles were emptied. 

The brigade then swung around to the left and moved 
forward in line for about three-fourths of a mile, until 
we reached a farm road leading from Mrs. Crittenden s 
| house on our right across the Culpeper road, Colonel 
Walker still continuing to cover the left, by moving with 
his regiment extended as skirmishers into the woods 
across the road, until we came to the farm road. At this 
latter point the Culpeper road emerged from the woods 
and ran along the left of a field in our front, by the side of 
the woods to its termination, where it passed between 
a cornfield on the right and a wheatfield on the left. 
Colonel Walker immediately re-formed his regiment on 
the left of the brigade and we advanced across the farm 
road into the field beyond, to the crest of a ridge, where 



we discovered a considerable body of cavalry on the 
opposite side of the wheatfield, on a high ridge over 
which the Culpeper road ran, and three batteries of 
artillery opened on us, from over the crest of the ridge 
in front. 

No infantry had yet been seen, but the boldness with 
which the cavalry confronted us and the opening of the 
batteries, satisfied me that we had come upon a heavy 
force, concealed behind the ridge on which the cavalry 
was drawn up, as the ground beyond was depressed. I 
therefore halted the brigade, causing the men to cover 
themselves as well as they could by moving back a little 
and lying down, and then sent word for General Winder 
to come up. The position which I now occupied was 
in an open field on Mrs. Crittenden s farm. Immediately 
to my right and a little advanced, was a clump of cedars, 
and from that point the ground sloped off to our right 
to a bottom on a prong of Cedar Run, the whole country 
between us and Slaughter s Mountain consisting of open 
fields. The northern end of the mountain was opposite 
my right and about a mile distant. On my left was the 
woods mentioned, which was very dense and extended for 
a considerable distance to the left. 

In front of this woods, about a hundred yards from 
my left, was the wheat field, in a hollow, or small valley, 
and immediately in nay front was the cornfield, and a 
small branch ran from the wheatfield through the corn 
field, to which the ground sloped. On the farther side of 
the wheatfield was the high ridge on which the enemy s 
cavalry was formed, and beyond which his batteries 
were posted; and it extended across the road into the 
fields on the right, but was wooded on the left of the 
road. It was on and behind this ridge the enemy s bat 
teries were posted, and it was in the low ground beyond 
that I supposed, and it subsequently turned out, his in 
fantry was masked. 

" Immediately after sending for General Winder, I sent 
back for some artillery, but this request had been an- 



ticipated, and Captain Brown, with one piece, and Captain 
Dement, with three pieces of their respective batteries 
of Maryland artillery, soon came dashing up, and were 
posted at the clump of cedars on my right. They imme 
diately opened on the enemy s cavalry and his batteries, 
causing the former speedily to retire through the woods 
over the ridge. Those guns continued to be served with 
great efficiency during the action and rendered most 
effectual service. 

As there was a long interval between my right and 
the northern end of Slaughter s Mountain, where Gen 
eral Ewell was, I posted the 12th Georgia Eegiment, 
under Captain Win. F. Brown, on that flank, to protect 
the guns which were operated there. During all this 
time the enemy poured an incessant fire of shells upon 
us, and we were looking anxiously for the opening of 
Swell s guns from the mountain, and the arrival of 
Winder. General Winder came up as rapidly as pos 
sible, and, when he arrived, he took position on my left, 
and at once had several pieces of artillery brought into 
action with good effect. E well s guns had by this time 
opened and a brisk cannonading ensued. 

From the position I occupied, I had an excellent view 
of the whole ground except that beyond the ridge where 
the enemy s infantry was kept concealed, and seeing 
that a force could be moved from our left around the 
wheatfield, under cover, so as to take the enemy s bat 
teries in flank, I sent information of the fact to General 
Winder ; but, in a very short time afterwards, the glisten 
ing bayonets of infantry were discovered moving stealth 
ily to our left, through the woods on the ridge beyond 
the wheatfield, and I sent my aide, Lieutenant Early, to 
warn General Winder of this fact, and caution him to 
look out for his flank. Lieutenant Early arrived to find 
General Winder just mortally wounded by a shell, while 
superintending the posting of some batteries at an ad 
vanced position, and the information was given to Gen 
eral Jackson who had now arrived on the field. 
7 97 


After the artillery fire had continued some two hours 
from the time it was first opened on me, the enemy s 
infantry was seen advancing through the cornfield in my 
front, but it halted before getting within musket range 
and lay down. His line overlapped my right and I sent 
a request to General Jackson for a brigade to put on that 
flank, which was promised. 

Before it arrived, however, several pieces of the artil 
lery battalion attached to A. P. Hill s division, which 
was just coming up, dashed in front of my brigade down 
the slope to within musket range of the enemy in the 
cornfield, and commenced unlimbering, when the enemy s 
whole force rose up and moved forward. I saw at once 
that these pieces would be captured or disabled unless 
relieved immediately, and my brigade was ordered 
forward at a double quick. On reaching the guns, the 
brigade halted and opened fire on the enemy, checking 
his advance and enabling the artillery to open on him 
with canister. At the same time a heavy force of in 
fantry had moved through the wheatfield, and fire was 
opened on it from the brigades of Jackson s division on 
my left, which were posted in the edge of the woods ad 
joining the field, and the fight became general, raging 
with great fury. Brown s and Dement s guns opened 
with canister, and the 12th Georgia was brought from 
the right and posted on the crest of a small ridge, lead 
ing out from the main one around in front of the clump 
of cedars on my right, so as to have a flank fire on the 
enemy immediately in front of the brigade. 

Just as I had made this arrangement, Thomas 
brigade of Hill s division came up to my support as 
promised, and I posted it on the right of the 12th Georgia, 
behind the crest of the same ridge, which was so shaped 
that Thomas line had the general direction of the main 
line, but was in advance of it. The arrival of this 
brigade was very timely, as the enemy was advancing 
with a line overlapping my right considerably. Thomas 
confronted this part of the opposing force, and effectu 
ally checked its progress, strewing the ground with the 



killed. While posting this brigade, the left of my own 
brigade was concealed from my view, and as soon as I 
had given Colonel Thomas his instructions, I rode to 
see what was the condition of things on that part of the 
line. On getting to where I could see, I discovered that 
it had given way, and the men of several regiments were 
retiring rapidly to the rear, while a portion of the enemy 
had crossed the little stream in front of where my left 
had been. The only thing now standing, as far as I 
could see, was Thomas brigade on my right, the 12th 
Georgia, four companies of the 52nd Virginia, and part 
of the 58th Virginia. 

It was a most critical state of things, and I saw that 
the day would probably be lost, unless I could hold the 
position I still occupied. I could not, therefore, go to 
rally my retreating men, but sent my Assistant Adjutant 
General, Major Samuel Hale, to rally them and bring 
them back, while I rode to the rest of my troops and 
directed their commanders to hold on to their positions 
at all hazards. On my giving the directions to Captain 
Brown of the 12th Georgia, he replied: " General, my 
ammunition is nearly out, don t you think we had better 
charge them!" I could not admit the prudence of the 
proposition at that time, but I fully appreciated its gal 
lantry. This brave old man was then 65 years old, and 
had a son, an officer, in his company. The position was 
held until other troops were brought up and the greater 
part of the retreating men rallied, and the day was thus 
prevented from being lost. 

The enemy had penetrated into the woods on my 
left, and the brigades of Jackson s division there posted 
had been driven back, after a desperate conflict. The 
left of the line had thus given way, and the enemy had 
got possession of the woods, from which he had poured 
a galling fire into the rear of my regiments on the flank, 
which had been thrown into confusion, and compelled 
to retire in some disorder. Colonel Walker of the 13th 
Virginia had withdrawn his own regiment and part of 
the 31st Virginia in good order, after they had been 



almost surrounded by the enemy. Only my own brigade, 
Thomas brigade, and the three brigades of Jackson s 
division had been engaged up to this time, but some 
of the other brigades of HilPs division were now coming 
on the field, and being at once ordered into action, the 
temporary advantage gained by the enemy was soon 
wrested from him, and he was forced back into the wheat- 
field, and then across it over the ridge beyond. 

Colonel Walker with the 13th Virginia, and part of the 
31st, and Captain Robert D. Lilley with part of the 25th 
Virginia, returned to the attack while the woods on our 
left was being cleared of the enemy, and participated in 
his final repulse. Finding himself being driven from the 
field, after sunset, the enemy made a desperate effort 
to retrieve the fortunes of the day by a charge with 
cavalry. We had no regular line formed at this time, 
and our men were much scattered in advancing, when a 
considerable body of cavalry came charging along the 
road from over the ridge, towards the position where 
the left of my brigade and the right of Jackson s division 
had rested during the action. Without being at all dis 
concerted or attempting to make any formation against 
cavalry, small regiments nearby, among which was the 
13th Virginia, poured a volley into the head of the ap 
proaching cavalry, when it had got within a few yards, 
causing it to turn suddenly to its right up through the 
wheatfield, followed by the whole body, which made its 
escape after encountering a raking fire from our troops 
further to the left, by which many saddles were emptied. 
The attack on the enemy was thus resumed and he was 
driven entirely from the field. 

We were ordered to pursue on the road towards Cul- 
peper Court-House, and the division of General A. P. 
Hill was placed in front, my brigade following it. Pur 
suit was made for two miles, when the enemy s reinforce 
ments, coming to the aid of the beaten troops, were en 
countered, and there was some skirmishing after dark 
between Hill s leading brigade and the enemy, and an 
affair between one of our batteries and some of the 



enemy s artillery, but night put an end to any further 
operations. During the night, General Jackson ascer 
tained that Pope s whole army had concentrated in his 
front, and he therefore determined not to attack him. 
In moving forward in pursuit of the enemy from the 
field, my brigade rejoined the rest of the division under 
General Ewell, and, after operations for the night were 
suspended, we bivouacked about where the enemy s in 
fantry had been masked when I first encountered his bat 
teries. The two brigades with General Ewell had not 
been engaged, but his artillery had done good service, 
and prevented any attempt to flank us on the right. 

On the morning of the 10th (Sunday), after some 
manoeuvring on our part, and a little shelling from the 
enemy, we moved back and covered the battlefield with 
our troops, while the wounded were being carried off, 
and the small arms abandoned by the enemy were being 
gathered. Later in the day we moved farther back and 
took position in rear of the battlefield, E well s division 
being posted on the end and side of Slaughter s Moun 
tain, and the other divisions crossing the Culpeper road 
on our left. We remained in this position all night and 
next day, but there was no fighting, as each army awaited 
the advance of the other. 

On Monday, the llth, the enemy requested a truce 
for the purpose of burying his dead, which was granted, 
until 2 o clock in the afternoon, and subsequently ex 
tended, at his request, to give him time to complete the 
burial the arrangements on our side being under the 
superintendence of General Stuart, and on the side of 
the enemy under that of Brigadier General Milroy.* 

* Milroy, in his report, states that the truce was requested by us, 
but General Jackson says it was applied for by the enemy, and no one 
will doubt his word. I know that the extension was applied for by 
Milroy or his staff officer, for I was on the ground in communication 
with General Stuart at the time. This same Milroy was himself pre 
vented by me from riding to the rear of the ground on whjich the 
enemy s dead lay, and he witnessed the taking from the field, under 
my directions, of very large quantities of small arms, which had been 
abandoned by Banks men on the day of the battle. 



I went on the field under General Swell s orders, to 
superintend the burial of a portion of our dead, who had 
not been buried by their proper commanders. I found 
on the field, stacked up, a very large quantity of excel 
lent rifles, which the division, detailed to gather them up, 
omitted to carry off. Some of the enemy s men were 
taking these rifles, but I made them desist, and demanded 
that a part already carried off, under direction of a staff 
officer of General Sigel, should be brought back, which 
was complied with. I then sent for a detail from my 
brigade and had these arms carried off in wagons sent 
to me from the rear, there being six full wagon loads. 
While this work was going on, I heard a Federal soldier 
say: "It is hard to see our nice rifles going that way," 
to which another replied: "Yes, but they are theirs, 
they won them fairly." 

The enemy had very large details on the field, and 
several general officers rode on it, while the burial was 
going on. This work was finally concluded a little before 
dark, when the truce was concluded. The enemy buried 
on this day over six hundred dead, a very large propor 
tion of which were taken from the cornfield in front of 
the positions occupied by Thomas and my brigade on 
the day of the battle. My detail buried the bodies of 
98 of our men, nearly the whole of which were taken 
from the woods in which the brigades of Jackson s 
division had been engaged. From the want of sufficient 
tools on our part and the hardness of the ground where 
we buried our men, our work was not completed until 
about the same time the enemy completed his. 

On returning to my brigade, I found our troops pre 
paring to move back to our former position south of the 
Eapidan, as the army of Pope concentrated in our front 
was entirely too large for us to fight. Our movement to 
the rear commenced immediately after dark, Hill s 
division bringing up the rear of the infantry and our 
cavalry that of the whole army. On the next day, the 
12th, Swell s division recrossed at Liberty Mills and 



returned to its old camps in that vicinity, the withdrawal 
of our entire force having been effected without serious 
molestation from the enemy. In this action, Banks com 
manded the Federal troops immediately on the field, but 
Pope came up at its close with a portion of McDowell s 
Corps and the whole of Sigel s. 

The loss in my brigade was 16 killed and 145 wounded, 
and the loss in General Jackson s whole command was 
223 killed, 1,060 wounded and 31 missing, making a 
total loss of 1,314. The enemy s loss in killed and 
wounded very greatly exceeded ours, and we captured 
400 prisoners, including one Brigadier General (Prince), 
besides securing one-piece of artillery and more than 
5,000 small arms. 

Pope, or at least his soldiers, had now seen some 
thing more of the "rebels" than their backs, and he was 
soon to see other sights. 

Shortly after our return from the battle, Lawton s 
brigade was transferred from Jackson s division to 
Swell s, and Starke s Louisiana Brigade, newly created 
out of regiments which had been attached to other 
brigades during the battles around Richmond, and had 
accompanied Hill s division, was attached to Jackson s 
division. General Jackson s command, as now consti 
tuted, was composed of fourteen brigades, to-wit: four 
in his own and Ewell s divisions each; and six in Hill s 
division, besides the artillery attached to the divisions 
(2 bout four batteries to each) ; and Robertson s cavalry 
which was co-operating with us. 



THE presence of General Jackson in the vicinity of 
Gordonsville, again bewildered the minds and excited 
anew the fears of the Washington authorities. The 
spectre of "overwhelming numbers" at Eichmond and 
of a speedy advance on the Federal Capital now assumed 
a fearful shape, and McClellan was ordered to remove 
his army from Harrison s Landing to Aquia Creek as 
rapidly as possible, for the purpose of uniting with Pope, 
and interposing for the defence of Washington Burn- 
side, with 13,000 men from the North Carolina coast on 
his way to join McClellan on James Eiver, having been 
previously diverted from that point to Fredericksburg 
on the Eappahannock.* 

* The following correspondence taken from McClellan s report is 
interesting, as it exhibits the bewilderment of the Federal authorities 
and the hallucination under which McClellan himself continued to 
labor in regard to the strength of General Lee s forces : 

" WASHINGTON, July 30, 1862, 8 P.M. 

" A dispatch just received from General Pope, says that deserters 
report that the enemy is moving south of James River, and that the 
force in Richmond is very small. I suggest that he be pressed in that 
direction, so as to ascertain the facts of the case. 

" H. W. HALLECK, Major General." 

" WASHINGTON, July 31, 1862, 10 A.M. 

" General Pope again telegraphs that the enemy is reported to be 
evacuating Richmond, and falling back on Danville and Lynchburg. 

" H. W. HALLECK, Major General." 


The execution of the order given to McClellan on 
the 3rd of August for the evacuation of his base on James 
River, was not completed until the 16th. In the mean 
time, General Lee had ordered the divisions of Long- 
street, Hood (formerly Whiting s), D. R. Jones, and 
Anderson (formerly Huger s), to Gordonsville for the 
purpose of advancing against Pope, and the three first 
named arrived about the 15th of August, Anderson s fol 
lowing later. The greater part of Stuart s cavalry was 
also ordered to the same vicinity. 

On the 15th Jackson s command moved from its 
camps and concentrated near Pisgah Church on the road 

"WASHINGTON, August 6, 1862. 

" You will immediately send a regiment of cavalry and small bat 
teries of artillery to Burnside s command at Aquia Creek. It is re 
ported that Jackson is moving north with a very large force. 

" H. W. HALLECK, Major General." 

The following is an extract of letter from Halleck to McClellan, 
dated the 6th of August, 1862, explaining the reason for the order for 
the removal of the troops from Harrison s Landing to Aquia Creek. 

" Allow me to allude to a few of the facts in the case. You and 
your officers, at our interview, estimated the enemy s force around 
Richmond at 200,000 men. Since then you and others report that they 
have and are receiving large reinforcements from the South. General 
Pope s army, now covering Washington, is only about 40,000. Your 
effective force is only about ninety thousand. You are about thirty 
miles from Richmond, and General Pope eighty or ninety, with the 
enemy directly between you, ready to fall with his superior numbers 
upon one or the other, as he may elect." 


August 14, 1862, 11 P.M. 

" Movement has commenced by land and water. All sick will be 
away to-morrow night. Everything done to carry out your orders. I 
don t like Jackson s movements, he will suddenly appear where least 
expected. Will telegraph fully and understandingly in the morning. 

" G. B. MCCLELLAN, Major General." 



from Orange Court-House to Somerville Ford on the 
Rapidan, preparatory to the movement forward. While 
here the 49th Virginia Regiment, Colonel William Smith, 
joined my brigade. Pope s army, then reinforced by 
the greater part of Burnside s Corps under Reno, was 
in the County of Culpeper, north of the Rapidan; but 
before we were ready to move it commenced to fall back 
to the northern bank of the Rappahannock. 

On the 20th, our whole army, now consisting of two 
wings under Longstreet and Jackson respectively, and 
Stuart s cavalry, crossed the Rapidan Longstreet at 
Raccoon Ford, and Jackson at Somerville Ford, the 
cavalry having preceded them early in the morning. 
Jackson s wing, comprising the same force he had at 
Cedar Run, camped at Stevensburg on the night of the 
20th. On the 21st he moved past Brandy Station on 
the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in the direction of 
Beverly s Ford on the Rappahannock. Jackson s divi 
sion under Brigadier General Taliaferro was in front 
and moved to the ford, where there ensued some can 
nonading, and a fight between a portion of our cavalry 
and the enemy on the northern bank. Swell s division 
bivouacked in the rear of Taliaferro near St. James 

On the morning of the 22nd the division moved up 
to the vicinity of the ford, where the cannonading still 
continued. It was then moved to the left, across Hazel 
River at Wellford s Mill, towards Freeman s Ford, 
Trimble s brigade being left at Hazel River to protect 
our trains from a movement of the enemy from across 
the Rappahannock. At Freeman s Ford, a portion of 
Stuart s cavalry was found, and an artillery fight was 
progressing with the enemy s batteries on the opposite 
bank. The three remaining brigades passed to the left 
from Freeman s Ford, and moved by a circuitous route 
through the woods and fields towards the bridge at War- 
renton Springs. Late in the afternoon, Lawton s brigade 
moved to the bridge at the Springs for the purpose of 




crossing, and my brigade, followed by Hays (formerly 
Taylor s) under Colonel Forno of the Louisiana In 
fantry, was moved to the right, under the superintend 
ence of General Ewell, and crossed over about a mile 
below the Springs, on an old dilapidated dam. 

Hays brigade was to have followed, but as it was 
nearly dark when my brigade succeeded in getting over, 
and the crossing was very difficult, that brigade was 
left on the south bank until next morning. General 
Ewell ordered me to occupy a pine woods or thicket in 
front of the place at which I had crossed, and to establish 
communications with General Lawton, the whole of 
whose brigade it was expected would be crossed over 
at the Springs. There had been a hard rain before I 
was ordered to cross the river, and it was still raining 
slightly. As soon as General Ewell left me, I moved 
my brigade into the woods indicated, and established 
my left near a road found leading from the Springs 
towards the lower fords, throwing out pickets on the 
front and flanks. By this time it had become intensely 
dark, and we could see nothing except when the flashes of 
lightning gave faint glimpses of things around. 

As soon as the brigade was established in its position, 
Major A. L. Pitzer, a volunteer aide, was sent to seek 
General Lawton for the purpose of opening communica 
tions with him. After he had been gone for some time, he 
came back with a sergeant and six privates of Federal 
cavalry as prisoners, with their horses, equipments and 
arms complete. This party had passed up the road a 
few minutes before I had taken position near it, and, on 
getting near the Springs and finding that place occupied 
by a portion of our troops, was deliberating as to what 
should be done when the Major rode into it. He was at 
once hailed and forced to surrender himself as prisoner, 
and his captors started with him down the road leading 
past my left. On getting near the point at which he 
knew my brigade was posted, the Major told the party 
having him in charge that they must reverse positions, 



and when he explained the condition of things and stated 
that General Lawton was on the right, my brigade on 
the left with pickets all around, he succeeded in inducing 
the whole of it to surrender to him and come quietly into 
iny camp, to avoid being fired upon by the pickets. After 
this attempt, as it was very dark and quite late, I did not 
renew that night the effort to communicate with General 

During the night there was a very heavy rain, and by 
light on the morning of the 23rd, the Rappahannock, or 
Hedgeman s River, as it is here called, was so much 
swollen as to defy all attempts at crossing except by 
swimming, as the bridge at the Springs had been burned 
by the enemy. 

A messenger sent to find General Lawton soon re 
turned with the information that only one regiment of 
Lawton s brigade, the 13th Georgia under Colonel 
Douglas, and Brown s and Dement s batteries of four 
guns each, had crossed at the Springs, the morning 
before. As soon as this condition of things was ascer 
tained, I sent a messenger, who was directed to swim 
the river, with a note for General Ewell or Jackson, 
whichever might be first met with, stating that if the 
enemy advanced upon us in force, the whole of our 
troops on the north of the river must be captured, and 
suggesting the propriety of my attempting to extricate 
them by moving up towards Waterloo bridge, several 
miles above. 

Before this note could be delivered, I received a 
verbal message from General Jackson, which had been 
given across the river at the Springs and was brought 
to me by a sergeant of one of the batteries, directing me 
to move my brigade up to where Colonel Douglas was, 
take command of the whole force, and prepare for de 
fence, stating, at the same time, that there was a creek 
running a short distance from the Springs into the river 
below me, which was past fording also, and that no enemy 
was in the fork of the river and this creek; and also 



informing me that he was having the bridge repaired 
as rapidly as possible. Very shortly after the reception 
of this message, I received a note from General Jackson, 
in reply to mine, containing the same instructions con 
veyed by his message, and directing me in addition, in 
the event of the enemy s appearance in too heavy force 
for me to contend with, to move up towards Waterloo 
bridge, keeping close to the river; and stating that he 
would follow along the opposite bank with his whole 
force, to cover my movement. 

I at once moved towards the Springs and found 
Colonel Douglas occupying a hill, a short distance below 
the buildings, which extended across from the river to 
Great Run (the creek alluded to by General Jackson). 
Colonel Douglas, on crossing the morning before, had 
captured a portion of a cavalry picket watching the ford, 
and there was still a small body on the opposite banks 
of Great Run with which he had had some skirmishing. 
Colonel Walker with the 13th and 31st Virginia Regi 
ments had been posted across the road leading from 
below, about three-fourths of a mile from Colonel Doug- 
las position, and I now posted the remaining regiments 
of my brigade and the 13th Georgia along the hill occu 
pied by the latter, so as to present the front to any force 
that might come from the direction of Warrenton, across 
Great Run above, resting my right on the Run and my 
left on the river. The artillery was also posted on this 
line, and the whole concealed as much as possible by the 
woods. In this position, Colonel Walker guarded my 
rear, and my right flank was the only one exposed, but 
that was safe for the present, as the creek was very high 
and Colonel Douglas had commenced the destruction of 
the bridges across it, which was soon completed. 

The body of the enemy s cavalry on the opposite side 
of Great Run continued to hover about my right flank 
all the morning, and some companies were posted on that 
flank to watch the creek. Some time during the morning, 
General Jackson sent over an officer familiar with the 



country, to pilot one of the staff officers over the route 
to Waterloo bridge, which it might be necessary to pass 
over in case of emergency, and Major Hale was sent with 
him to ascertain the road. 

In the meantime, the creek began to fall, and in the 
afternoon it was in a condition to be crossed. 

It now began to be evident that the enemy was mov 
ing up from below in very heavy force, and that my 
command was in a critical condition, as large trains 
were seen moving on the road, east and north of us, 
towards Warrenton. Late in the afternoon a heavy 
column of infantry with artillery made its appearance 
on the hills beyond my right, but it moved with great 
caution, and the enemy was evidently of the impression 
that my force, which was concealed from his view, was 
much larger than it really was. I now changed my front 
so as to present it towards the force in sight, but this 
movement was so made as to be concealed from the 
enemy s view by the intervening woods. 

About this time, General Robertson, who had accom 
panied Stuart on a raid to Catlett s Station and upon 
Pope s headquarters, arrived from the direction of 
Warrenton with two regiments of cavalry and two pieces 
of artillery. After consulting with me, General Robert 
son posted his two pieces on a hill north of the Springs, 
which commanded a view of the enemy s infantry and 
opened on it. This fire was soon replied to by one of 
the enemy s batteries, and I sent two Parrott guns from 
Brown s battery to the aid of Robertson s guns, which 
were of short range. A brisk cannonade ensued and was 
kept up until near sunset, with no damage, however, to 
my infantry or artillery, but one or two shells fell into 
one of Robertson s regiments which was in rear of the 
battery, on the low ground near the Springs, doing some 
slight damage. 

After the cessation of the artillery fire and very near 
dark about a brigade of the enemy was seen approaching 
the bank of the creek opposite where my brigade was 



posted, and in a few moments it delivered a volley into 
the woods, which was followed by three cheers and a 
tiger in regular style. Two of Dement s Napoleons were 
immediately run out to the left of my line, and opened 
with canister upon the enemy, who was scarcely visible 
through the mist which had arisen. This fire was, how 
ever, so well directed and so rapid that the enemy was 
soon driven back in confusion, and his cheering was ex 
changed for cries and groans, which were distinctly 
audible to those in his front. The volley delivered by 
the enemy was entirely harmless, and my men reserved 
their fire with great coolness, until there should be 
greater need for it. A very short time before this affair, 
the 60th Georgia Regiment of Lawton s brigade, under 
Major Berry, had crossed over on the bridge, which was 
now in a condition for the passage of infantry, though 
not for artillery or wagons, and had been placed in 

There was no further attack on me, but it was now 
very certain, from the noise of moving trains and artil 
lery and the reports of scouts, that a very heavy force 
was being massed around me, with a view of cutting me 
off. I drew in Colonel Walker closer to my main force, 
as he reported that the enemy had crossed the creek on 
the road he was guarding and were massing in his front ; 
and I sent a messenger to General Jackson, after dark, 
with information of the condition of things and the sug 
gestion that I be reinforced sufficiently to hold my 
ground or be withdrawn. The remainder of Lawton s 
brigade was crossed over on the temporary bridge, and 
when General Lawton himself arrived, which was about 
1 o clock A.M. on the 24th, he informed me that he had 
seen written instructions to General Ewell, directing to 
cross over himself at daylight in the morning, and if it 
was evident that the enemy was in heavy force, to recross 
the troops, as it was not desired to have a general en 
gagement at that junction. 

On receiving this information, I immediately dis- 



patched a messenger to General Ewell, to inform him 
that there could be no doubt that the enemy was in very 
heavy force, and if I was to be withdrawn, it had better 
be done that night without waiting for daylight, as by 
moving to my left the enemy could post artillery, so as 
to command the bridge and ford completely, and prevent 
my being either withdrawn or reinforced, and that I was 
satisfied that he was preparing for that very object. In 
response to this, General Ewell came over himself a 
little before three o clock A.M., and, after consultation 
with me, gave the order for recrossing, which was begun 
at once, Lawton s brigade crossing first and carrying 
over the artillery by hand, and my brigade following, 
so as to complete the withdrawal a very little after dawn. 
General Ewell had not been entirely satisfied that the 
enemy was in such strong force as I represented, and 
he was rather inclined to the opinion that movements I 
had observed indicated a retreating army. To satisfy 
him, we remained behind until the advancing skirmishers 
of the enemy made it prudent for us to retire, and we 
then rode across the bridge in rear of my brigade. Soon 
SigePs whole corps, supported by those of Banks and 
Reno, moved to the position which I had occupied, and 
a very heavy cannonading followed. 

My command was thus rescued from inevitable de 
struction, for it would have been impossible for General 
Jackson to have crossed his troops in time to arrest its 
fate, as his only means of crossing the river consisted 
of one narrow, temporary bridge, unsuitable for the pas 
sage of artillery, and which the enemy could have com 
manded from several positions beyond the reach of our 
artillery on the south bank. Pope s whole army was in 
easy supporting distance of the force sent against me, 
and I had in part confronted that army on the 23rd and 
the following night. 

^ The men of my command, including Douglas regi 
ment, had had very little to eat since crossing the river, 
and were without rations, as there had been little oppor- 



tunity for cooking since leaving the Rapidan; and they 
had lain on their arms during the night of the 22nd in a 
drenching rain ; yet they exhibited a determined resolu 
tion to withstand the enemy s attack at all hazards, 
should he come against us. 

After recrossing the river, Lawton s brigade and mine 
retired to the vicinity of Jefferson for the purpose of 
resting and cooking rations. 



ON the same morning I had crossed the river, Stuart, 
with a portion of his cavalry, after crossing the river 
above, had made a raid to Catlett s Station and upon 
Pope s headquarters at Warrenton Junction, and among 
other things had captured Pope s dispatch book. 

The captured correspondence showed that Pope was 
being reinforced from the Kanawha Valley and also from 
McClellan s army, and General Lee determined to send 
General Jackson to the enemy s rear, to cut the rail 
road, so as to destroy his communications and bring on 
a general engagement before the whole of the approach 
ing reinforcements could arrive. 

Jackson s wing of the army was put in motion early 
on the morning of the 25th, with no wagons but the 
ordnance and medical wagons, and with three days 
rations in haversacks, for a "cavalry raid with in 
fantry." Moving with Swell s division in front, we 
crossed the river at Hinson s Mill above Waterloo bridge, 
and marched by a small place called Orleans to Salem, 
near which place we bivouacked after a very long day s 
march. On the morning of the 26th, we moved, with 
Ewell s division still in front, past White Plains, through 
Thoroughfare Gap in Bull Mountain to Gainesville on 
the Warrenton Pike, and there turned off to the right 
towards Bristow Station on the Orange & Alexandria 
Railroad. At Haymarket, before reaching Gainesville, 
we halted two or three hours to wait for Stuart to come 
up with his cavalry, which had started that morning to 
follow us, and did join us at Gainesville. Hays brigade, 
under General Forno, was in the advance of the division 
on this day, and it arrived at Bristow Station a little 
before sunset, just as several trains were approaching 
from the direction of Warrenton Junction. 



There was but a small force of cavalry at Bristow, 
which Colonel Forno soon dispersed, and he then arrested 
and captured two trains of empty cars with their engines, 
the first train which approached having made its escape 
towards Manassas before the road could be sufficiently 
obstructed, and other trains in the rear running back, on 
hearing the alarm, towards Warrenton Junction. Gen 
eral Trimble was sent, soon after dark, with two of his 
regiments, to capture Manassas Junction, and in con 
junction with General Stuart succeeded in taking the 
place and securing eight pieces of artillery, a consider 
able number of prisoners and horses, a long train of 
loaded cars, and a very large amount of stores of all 
kinds. As soon as the remainder of Swell s division 
arrived at Bristow, it was placed in position to prevent 
a surprise by the enemy during the night. 

Very early on the morning of the 27th, Hays brigade 
and one regiment of Lawton s with a piece of artillery 
were moved towards Kettle Run in the direction of War 
renton Junction on a reconnaissance, and a train of cars 
was seen re-embarking a regiment which had been sent 
to drive off the "raiding party," but, on finding the 
strength of our force, was about retiring. A shot from 
one piece of artillery sent the train off in a hurry, and 
one regiment of Hays 1 brigade was left on picket and 
another regiment to tear up the railroad, with orders to 
fall back skirmishing towards the main body, on the ap 
proach of the enemy in force. 

Trimble s other regiment, and the 12th Georgia, 
which was now transferred from my brigade to his, were 
sent to him at Manassas Junction this morning, and the 
two other divisions of Jackson s command were ordered 
to the same place. General Ewell had been ordered by 
General Jackson to remain at Bristow with his three 
remaining brigades to check any advance from Pope s 
army along the railroad, but, if the enemy appeared in 
heavy force, to retire upon the Junction, as he did not 
desire a general engagement at this time. General Ewell 



accordingly disposed his command across the railroad 
and facing towards Warrenton Junction as follows: my 
brigade on the right, Lawton s on the left and Hays in 
the centre, the main body being posted on a slight ridge 
covering the station. The 49th Virginia Eegiment of my 
brigade was moved to a ridge on my right, on the road 
leading to and past Greenwich, and a regiment of Law- 
ton s brigade (the 60th Georgia), with one piece of 
artillery, was advanced on the left of the railroad so 
as to support Forno s two regiments which were in 
front, while the batteries were posted so as to command 
the approaches on our front and flanks. 

In the afternoon indications were seen of the ap 
proach of the enemy from the direction of Warrenton 
Junction, and the wagons were ordered to Manassas. In 
a short time the enemy advanced in force with infantry 
and artillery, and the 6th and 8th Louisiana Regiments 
which had been left in front fell back to a woods about 
three hundred yards in front of the remainder of the 
brigade. As soon as the enemy got within range, our 
batteries opened on him from their various positions, 
and the 6th and 8th Louisiana, and 60th Georgia Regi 
ments received him with well directed volleys, by which 
two columns of not less than a brigade each were sent 
back. The 5th Louisiana was sent to reinforce the 6th 
and 8th, but by this time fresh columns of the enemy 
were seen advancing, and it was apparent that his force 
was larger than ours. As the position we occupied was 
a weak one, and the enemy could very easily have turned 
our flank by moving a force on the ridge to our right, 
which he appeared to be doing, General Ewell determined 
to retire in accordance with General Jackson s instruc 
tions. The order for the withdrawal across Broad Run 
was given, and I was directed to cover it with my brigade. 

At this time the Louisiana regiments in front were 
actively engaged, and a heavy column of the enemy was 
moving against them. Lawton s brigade was first drawn 
back across the ford at the railroad bridge over Broad 



Run, and took position on the northern bank. Hays 
brigade then followed, the regiments engaged in front 
having retired in good order. My own brigade had been 
withdrawn from a pine woods in which it was posted, 
and covered the movements of the others by forming 
successive lines of battle back to the ford, and was then 
crossed over by regiments successively. All the artillery 
was successfully withdrawn, a part crossing at Milford 
several hundred yards above the bridge, at which point 
the 49th Virginia also crossed. 

In the meantime, the enemy had been advancing in 
line of battle on both sides of the railroad, preceded by 
skirmishers, and keeping up a constant artillery fire. The 
13th Virginia had been deployed as skirmishers to keep 
those of the enemy in check, and kept them from ad 
vancing beyond the station until all the rest of our force 
had crossed the Run, when it also retired. Lawton s 
brigade had been formed in line on the north bank of 
the Run, and some batteries put in position. Hays 
brigade was ordered to proceed to Manassas Junction 
as soon as it crossed, and my brigade was moved back 
about three-fourths of a mile and formed in line on a 
hill commanding the road to the Junction, and in full 
view of the enemy, who had halted on the ridges near 
Bristow Station. 

In a short time afterwards, General Ewell with 
Lawton s brigade passed through my line, which was 
across the road, and ordered me to remain in position 
until further orders should be sent me. He left a battery 
with me and directed that one or two regiments should 
be so moved and manoeuvred as to present the appear 
ance of the arrival of reinforcements to my assistance. 
This was done, and a small party of the enemy which had 
crossed the Run, and was moving along the railroad, was 
driven back by a few shots from the artillery, but the 
enemy s main force, which consisted of the advance 
division of Pope s army under Hooker, did not come 
further than the station. 



Shortly after dark, under orders from General Ewell, 
I retired to the Junction, where my men filled their haver 
sacks with rations of hard bread and salt meat from the 
stores captured from the enemy, but this was all of the 
plunder obtained at that place which they could get. 

Our loss in this affair was comparatively slight and 
was confined almost entirely to the 5th, 6th and 8th 
Louisiana, and the 60th Georgia Regiments, which were 
the only troops who drew trigger on our side, except the 
13th Virginia when deployed as skirmishers to cover our 
withdrawal. The enemy reported his loss at 300. 

The two captured trains had been burned in the early 
part of the day, and the railroad bridge across Broad 
Run had been destroyed. A brigade of the enemy which 
advanced towards Manassas, after having been landed 
from a train coming from Alexandria, had been met by a 
party of our troops moving out from the Junction and 
routed, its commanding officer being killed. 

As soon as Swell s division had rested and broiled 
a little meat, it moved from the Junction towards Black 
burn s Ford on Bull Run, and the brigades became 
separated and bivouacked at different places, mine lying 
down in the open field. 

The other divisions had previously moved, and 
Stuart proceeded to burn the trains, and such stores as 
had not been carried off. 



IT having become evident that Pope had found it 
necessary to look after his "lines of retreat," and was 
moving his whole army back for the purpose of falling 
upon General Jackson s comparatively small force, the 
latter determined to move to the left so as to be in a 
position to unite with the right wing of General Lee s 
army under Longstreet. Jackson s division, under 
Brigadier General W. S. Taliaferro, had therefore been 
moved on the night of the 27th to the vicinity of the 
battlefield of the 21st of July, 1861, and A. P. Hill s to 
Centreville, with orders to Ewell to move up, by the 
northern bank of Bull Bun, to the same locality with 
Taliaferro early on the morning of the 28th. At dawn 
on that morning, my brigade resumed the march, moving 
across Bull Bun at Blackburn s Ford and then up the 
north bank to Stone Bridge, followed by Trimble s 
brigade. We crossed at a ford just below Stone Bridge, 
and moved across the Warrenton Pike and through the 
fields between the Carter house and the Stone Tavern, 
where the battle of the 21st of July had begun, to the 
Sudley road, near where Jackson s division was already 
in position. 

Lawton s and Hays brigades had by mistake taken 
the road to Centreville, but had now rejoined the rest 
of the division, and the whole of the brigades were placed 
under cover in the woods, north of the "Warrenton Pike, 
through which the Sudley road ran. Hill s division came 
up from Centreville subsequently. In the meantime 
Pope s whole army had been moving by various roads 
upon Manassas Junction, with the expectation of finding 
Jackson s force there, but in the afternoon the corps of 
McDowell s en route for Manassas had been ordered to 
move to Centreville, and a portion of it marched along 



the Warrenton Pike. Very late in the afternoon, Jack 
son s division under Taliaferro was moved along parallel 
to the pike, under cover of the woods, across the track 
which had been graded for a railroad, until it passed the 
small village of Groveton on our left. Ewell s division 
followed Jackson s until the whole had crossed the rail 
road track, and the two divisions were then halted and 
formed in line facing the pike. General Ewell ordered 
me to take command of my own brigade and Hays and 
form a double line in the edge of a piece of woods, with 
my left resting on the railroad, and to await orders; 
and he moved to the right with Lawton s and Trimble s 

My line was formed as directed, with my own brigade 
in front and Hays in rear of it, and as thus formed we 
were on the left and rear of Starke s brigade of Jack 
son s division, whose line was advanced farther towards 
the pike. About sunset a column of the enemy com 
menced moving past our position, and Jackson s division 
and the two brigades with General Ewell moved forward 
to attack him, when a fierce and sanguinary engagement 
took place. While it was raging, and just before dark, 
I received an order from General Jackson, through one 
of his staff officers, to advance to the front, which I com 
plied with at once, my own brigade in line of battle being 
followed by that of Hays. 

While advancing, I received an order to send two 
regiments to the right to General Jackson, and I de 
tached the 44th and 49th Virginia under Colonel Smith 
for that purpose. On reaching the railroad cut in my 
forward movement, I found it so deep that it was im 
possible to cross it, and I had therefore to move to the 
right by flank until I found a place where I could cross. 
This proved to be a ravine with embankments on both 
sides for a bridge or culvert, and I had here to pass 
through by flank and form by file into line in front of a 
marsh beyond. This brought me near the left of the 
position to which Trimble s brigade had advanced, and I 



had passed a part of Starke s brigade on the railroad 
track. While my brigade was forming in line it was 
exposed to a galling fire of canister and shrapnel, and 
before it was ready to advance the enemy had begun to 
retreat and it had become so dark that it was impossible 
to tell whether we should encounter friend or foe. I 
therefore advanced no farther and Hays brigade was 
halted on the railroad; and in this position the two 
brigades lay on their arms all night. 

A short distance from me General Ewell was found 
very severely wounded by a ball through the knee, which 
he had received while leading one of the regiments on 
foot, and I had him carried to the hospital, after having 
great difficulty in persuading him to go, as he insisted 
upon having his leg amputated before he left the ground. 

Lawton s and Trimble s brigades lay on their arms 
a short distance to my right, near the points where they 
were at the close of the action, and both had suffered 
heavily. The enemy had retired from our immediate 
front, and we could hear the rumbling of his artillery 
as he was moving off in the distance. 



THOUGH the force of the enemy, consisting of King s 
division of McDowell s Corps moving on the left flank 
of that corps, with which the engagement took place on 
the afternoon of the 28th, had retreated in the direction 
of Manassas, other troops had moved up to the vicinity, 
and early next morning it was discovered that Pope was 
moving his whole army against us from the direction 
of Manassas and Centreville, to which point it had gone 
in search of us. 

It now became necessary to change our front to meet 
the approaching columns, and Swell s division, under the 
command of Brigadier General Lawton as senior 
brigadier, was formed in line facing Groveton, near 
where it had lain on its arms the night before, on a ridge 
running nearly at right angles to Warrenton Pike, with 
its right, my brigade, resting on the pike. The other 
divisions were retired behind the unfinished railroad on 
our left, and the whole line faced towards the enemy. At 
an early hour the enemy s batteries opened on us and 
were replied to by ours. After this artillery firing had 
continued for some time, the position of Swell s division 
was changed, and General Jackson in person ordered me 
to move with Hays brigade and my own, and Johnson s 
battery of artillery, to a ridge north of the Warrenton 
Pike and behind the railroad, so as to prevent the enemy 
from turning our right flank, a movement from Manassas 
indicating that purpose having been observed. Two of 
my regiments, the 13th Virginia and 31st Virginia, under 
Colonel Walker, were detached by General Jackson s 
order and placed in position south of the pike, for the 
purpose of watching the movements of the force that 
was advancing from the direction of Manassas towards 
our right. 



Hays brigade and my own were formed in line on 
the ridge indicated, in the edge of a piece of woods, and 
skirmishers were advanced to the line of the railroad, 
Johnson s battery being placed in position to command 
my front. In the meantime our main line had been 
established on the railroad a mile or more to my left, 
and Lawton s and Trimble s brigades had been moved 
so as to conform thereto. The artillery firing had con 
tinued all the morning, on my left at our main position, 
and there had been some infantry fighting. The two 
regiments under Colonel Walker, by skirmishing, kept 
the head of the force moving from Manassas on our 
right in check, until the appearance of the leading 
division (Hood s) of Longstreet s force on the Warren- 
ton Pike from the direction of Gainesville, which occurred 
about ten or eleven o clock A.M. 

I remained in position until Longstreet s advance had 
moved far enough to render it unnecessary for me to 
remain longer, and, without awaiting orders, I recalled 
Colonel Walker with his two regiments about one o clock 
P.M., and then moved the two brigades to the left, to 
rejoin the rest of the division. I found General Lawton 
with his own brigade in line in rear of the railroad, not 
far from the position I had occupied, the previous morn 
ing, before the fight, and Trimble s brigade was in line 
on the railroad between Jackson s division and Hill s, 
the former being on the right and the latter on the left. 
Along this railroad Jackson s line was mainly formed, 
facing to the southeast. The track of the road was 
through fields and woods, and consisted of deep cuts 
and heavy embankments, as the country was rolling. 
The two brigades with me were formed in line in the 
woods, in rear of Lawton s brigade, with Hays on the 
right of mine. 

We remained in this position until about half-past 
three P.M., and in the meantime the enemy was making 
desperate attempts to drive our troops from the line of 
the railroad, having advanced some heavy columns 



against Hill s brigades and been repulsed; and the battle 
was raging fiercely in our front. Just about half-past 
three, Colonel Forno, with Hays brigade, was ordered 
to advance to the assistance of one of Hill s brigades 
which had been forced from his position, and he did so, 
driving the enemy from the railroad and taking position 
on it with his brigade. He was subsequently wounded 
very seriously, while holding this position, by a sharp 
shooter, and had to be removed from the field. 

Some time after Forno s advance, a messenger came 
from A. P. Hill, with the information that one of his 
brigades, whose ammunition was nearly exhausted, was 
being very heavily pressed, and with the request that I 
should advance to its support. I did so at once, without 
waiting for orders, and moved directly ahead, as I was 
informed the attack was immediately in my front; the 
8th Louisiana Eegiment under Major Lewis, which had 
been sent to the wagons the day before to replenish its 
ammunition and had just arrived, accompanying my 
brigade. As I passed Lawton s brigade I found the 
13th Georgia Regiment preparing to move forward under 
the General s orders. I continued to advance until I 
came to a small field near the railroad, when I discovered 
that the enemy had possession of a deep cut in the rail 
road with a part of his force in a strip of woods between 
the field and the cut. General Gregg s and Colonel 
Thomas brigades, having very nearly exhausted their 
ammunition, had fallen back a short distance, but were 
presenting a determined front to the enemy. 

My brigade, with the 8th Louisiana on its left, ad 
vanced at once across the field, and drove the enemy 
from the woods and the railroad cut, dashing across the 
railroad, and pursuing the retreating force some two 
or three hundred yards beyond, before I could arrest 
its progress. The messenger from General Hill had 
stated that it was not desired that I should go beyond 
the railroad, but should content myself with driving the 
enemy from it, as General Jackson s orders were not to 



advance but hold the line. I, therefore, drew my men 
back to the railroad cut and took position behind it. 
This charge was made with great dash and gallantry 
by my brigade and the 8th Louisiana Regiment, and 
very heavy loss was inflicted on the enemy with a com 
paratively slight one to us, though two valuable officers, 
Colonel William Smith of the 49th Virginia and Major 
John C. Higginbotham of the 25th Virginia, were severely 
wounded. At the time my brigade crossed the railroad, 
the 13th Georgia advanced further to the right and 
crossed over in pursuit. 

This was the last of seven different assaults on Gen 
eral Hill s line that day, all of which had now been 
repulsed with great slaughter upon the enemy, and he 
did not renew the attack, but contented himself with 
furiously shelling the woods in which we were located. 
Jackson s division had also repulsed an attack on his 
front, and General Trimble was severely wounded dur 
ing the course of the day by an explosive ball from a 
sharpshooter. General Jackson had accomplished his 
purpose of resisting the enemy until General Lee with 
Long-street s force could effect a junction with him. The 
lifter force was now up and a part of it had been en 
gaged just about night with one of the enemy s columns. 

Pope, in his report, claims that General Jackson was 
retreating through Thoroughfare Gap, when his attack 
arrested this retreat and compelled Jackson to take posi 
tion to defend himself, and that he drove our troops 
several miles, but there was no thought of retreat, and 
the various movements of our troops had been solely for 
the purpose of defence against the enemy s threatened 
attacks as he changed their direction. 

Hill s brigades, to whose relief I had gone, went to 
the rear to replenish their cartridge boxes and did not 
return to relieve me after the close of the fight on the 
29th. I had therefore to remain in position all night with 
my men lying on their arms. 

I had understood that some of Hill s brigades were 



to my left, but it turned out that they had also gone to 
the rear to get ammunition and did not return ; and very 
early in the morning of the 30th, the enemy s sharp 
shooters got on the railroad embankment on my left 
and opened fire on that flank, killing a very valuable 
young officer of the- IStli Virginia Regiment, Lieutenant 
Leroy. I thus discovered for the first time that my 
flank was exposed, and the enemy s sharpshooters soon 
began to cross the railroad on my left and advance 
through a cornfield. I immediately sent word to General 
Hill of this state of things, and, after some delay, some 
brigades were sent to occupy positions on my left, who 
drove the sharpshooters back. During the morning there 
was very heavy skirmishing in my front, and the 
skirmishers of my brigade, under Captain Lilley of the 
25th Virginia, drove back a heavy force which was ad 
vancing apparently for an attack on our position. 

Subsequently our troops were arranged so as to place 
Ewell s division in the centre, leaving Hill s division on 
the left and Jackson s on the right, but when Lawton s 
brigade was moved up, there was left space for only 
three of my regiments, and leaving the 44th, 49th and 
52nd Virginia Regiments on the line under General 
Smith of the 49th, I retired about 150 yards to the rear 
with the rest of the brigade. Hays brigade, now under 
Colonel Strong, had been sent to the wagons to get 
ammunition and had not returned. 

The fore part of the day was consumed by the main 
body of the enemy and Longstreet s wing of the army in 
manoeuvring and cannonading, but about four o clock 
P.M. the enemy brought up very heavy columns and 
hurled them against Jackson s line, when the fighting 
became very severe, but all of the attempts to force our 
position were successfully resisted, and a very heavy 
punishment was inflicted on the enemy. My three regi 
ments under Colonel Smith, participated in the repulse 
of the enemy, and as he retired they dashed across the 
railroad cut in pursuit, very unexpectedly to me, as I 



had given orders to Colonel William Smith not to ad 
vance until the order to do so was given. His men, how 
ever, had been incapable of restraint, but he soon re 
turned with them. In the meantime, I advanced the 
other regiments to the front of the line that had been 
vacated. Trimble s brigade, now under Captain Brown 
of the 12th Georgia, and Lawton s brigade had partici 
pated in this repulse of the enemy likewise. 

The attack on the part of the line occupied by Jack 
son s division had been very persistent, but Longstreet 
now began to advance against the enemy from the right 
and was soon sweeping him from our front. Some of 
Hill s brigades also advanced and the enemy was driven 
from the field with great slaughter. While this was tak 
ing place, the other divisions of Jackson were ordered 
to advance, and my brigade was soon put in motion in 
the direction taken by Hill s brigades, advancing through 
the woods in our front to a large field about a quarter 
of a mile from the railroad. I halted at the edge of the 
woods to enable the other brigades to come up, as I was 
ahead of them, when General Jackson rode >up and 
ordered me to move by my left flank to intercept a body 
of the enemy reported moving up Bull Eun to our left. 
I did so, moving along with skirmishers ahead of the 
brigade until I came to the railroad, and then along that 
until I came to a field. 

It was now getting dark, and as my skirmishers 
moved into the field they were fired upon from their left. 
This fire came from a very unexpected quarter, and I 
immediately sent to let General Jackson know the fact, 
as it would have been folly to have advanced in the 
direction I was going if it came from the enemy. A 
message was soon received from General Jackson, stat 
ing that the fire very probably came from some of Hill s 
troops, and directing me to send and see. This had been 
anticipated by sending a young soldier of the 44th Vir 
ginia, who volunteered for the purpose, and he soon re 
turned with the information that the firing was from 



the skirmishers from Gregg s and Branch s brigades 
of Hill s division who mistook us for the enemy. Fortu 
nately no damage was done, and I was moving on when 
I received an order to advance to the front from where 
I was, and in a few minutes afterwards another to move 
back by the right flank, as the report of the movement 
of the enemy around our left flank had proved untrue. 
I found that the other brigades of the division had 
bivouacked near where I had left them, and my own 
did the same. 

The enemy had been driven beyond Bull Run, and 
was in retreat to Centreville, our pursuit having been 
arrested by the approaching darkness. 


JACKSON S command, after having rested on the 
morning of the 31st, in the afternoon of that day was 
put in motion for the purpose of turning the enemy s 
position at Centreville. Crossing Bull Run at and near 
Sudley s Ford, it moved to the left over a country road, 
Jackson s division in front followed by Ewell s and Hill s 
bringing up the rear, until the Little Eiver Turnpike 
was reached, when we turned towards Fairfax Court- 
House and bivouacked late at night. Early on the morn 
ing of September the 1st, the march was resumed, and 
continued until we reached the farm of Chantilly in the 
afternoon. The enemy was found in position, covering 
the retreat of his army, near Ox Hill, not far from 
Chantilly, and a short distance beyond which the Little 
River Pike, and the pike from Centreville to Fairfax 
Court-House, intersect. 

General Jackson at once put his troops in position on 
the ridge on the east of the Little River Pike, with his 
own division on the left, Hill s on the right and Ewell s 
in the centre; Hays and Trimble s brigades only of 
Ewell s division being on the front line, Lawton s and 
mine being formed in the woods in their rear. As we 
moved into position the enemy opened a heavy artillery 
fire on us, and soon the action commenced with some of 
Hill s brigades on the right, extending to Trimble s and 
Hays brigades. During this action a severe thunder 
storm raged, and while it was progressing, General 
Starke, then in command of Jackson s division, repre 
sented to me that a heavy force was threatening his left, 
between which and the pike there was a considerable 
interval, and requested me to cover it with my brigade 
to protect him from the apprehended danger. 

After examining the position I reluctantly consented 

9 129 


to yield to General Starke s entreaty, without awaiting 
orders, as Hays brigade was in my front and he repre 
sented his situation as critical, and I proceeded to move 
my brigade by the left flank to the point designated by 
him. I had put myself on the leading flank, and while 
moving I heard a considerable musketry fire, but as the 
woods were very thick and it continued to rain I could 
see only a short distance, and took it for granted that 
the firing proceeded from the troops in front of where I 
had been. 

On reaching the position General Starke desired me 
to occupy, which was but a short distance from the place 
I had moved from, as his left was drawn back in a circle 
towards the pike, I discovered that the 13th, 25th and 
31st Virginia Regiments which were on my right had 
not followed the rest of the brigade. I immediately sent 
my aide, Lieutenant Early, back to see what had become 
of the missing regiments, and he found them engaged 
with a body of the enemy in their front. On ascertain 
ing this fact, I moved back at once and found that my 
regiment had repulsed the force opposed to them and 
inflicted considerable loss on it. Hays brigade under 
Colonel Strong had fallen back in considerable confusion 
about the time I commenced my movement, and passed 
through the three regiments on my right, followed by a 
considerable force of the enemy. The commanding offi 
cers had very properly detained those regiments, as the 
affair was entirely concealed from my view, and they 
had received the enemy s onset with great coolness, 
driving him back out of the woods. 

Colonel Strong had attempted to change front when 
the enemy were advancing on him, and, being entirely 
inexperienced in the management of a brigade, he had 
got it into such confusion that it was compelled to retire. 
The 8th Louisiana Regiment, under Major Lewis, had 
been halted and formed into line immediately in rear 
of my regiments, and the remaining regiments were soon 
rallied and brought back by their respective commanders. 
After quite a severe action, in which the enemy lost two 



general officers, Kearney and Stevens, he was repulsed 
at all points, and continued his retreat during the night. 
After the close of the action, Jackson s division was 
withdrawn from the left to the rear, and E well s division 
covered the point previously covered by General Starke, 
and Hays and Trimble s brigades, and the men lay 
on their arms during the night. While Trimble s brigade 
was engaged, the gallant old Captain Brown, of the 12th 
Georgia Regiment, in command of the brigade, was 
killed, and Colonel James A. "Walker of the 13th Virginia 
Regiment was subsequently assigned to the command of 
the brigade, as it had no field officer present. 

On the morning of the 2nd it was discovered that the 
enemy had retired from our front, and during that day 
Pope made good his escape into the fortifications around 
Washington. He had now seen the "rebels" in various 
aspects and found that his lines of retreat would not 
take care of themselves; and very soon he was shipped 
and sent to the northwest to look after the Indians in 
that quarter. 

This affair at Ox Hill closed the series of engage 
ments with the enemy under Pope, and it was again the 
old story of the "rebels in overwhelming numbers," 
opposed to a small army of "Union soldiers." Accord 
ing to Pope s account, his army was wearied out and 
broken down by the fatigues of the campaign on the 
Rappahannock, and the incessant marching and manoau- 
vring to confront Lee s army, and was short of rations 
and ammunition. It does not seem to have occurred to 
him that the soldiers of the army which thus wearied his 
own were at all susceptible of fatigue or hunger, or that 
when his own rations were short, their chances of supply 
ing themselves were slim. 

Pope s army had at the time of the battles of the 
27th, 28th, 29th and 30th of August, been reinforced by 
Burnside s corps under Reno, one brigade of Sturgis 
division from Alexandria, and the following troops 
from McClellan s army: Heintzelman s corps, Porter s 
corps, and the division of Pennsylvania reserves com- 



manded by Reynolds. At the time of the affair at Ox 
Hill he had been further reinforced by Franklin s and 
Sumner s corps of McClellan s army, leaving but one 
corps of that army (Keyes ) which had not reached him. 
His consolidated report of the 31st of July showed a 
strength of 46,858 before he was joined by any of those 
reinforcements and in the letter of Halleck to McClellan, 
dated the 6th of August, Pope s army is stated to be 
about 40,000. In a telegram from Halleck to McClellan, 
dated the 12th of August, Burnside s force is stated to be 
nearly 13,000. 

General Lee s army at the time of these battles near 
Manassas consisted of Jackson s wing of the army in 
which there were three divisions of infantry containing 
fourteen brigades, Longstreet s wing in which there were 
four divisions of infantry containing fifteen brigades, and 
two brigades of cavalry under Stuart. There was about 
one battery of artillery of four guns for each brigade 
attached to the divisions, and there was a reserve force 
of artillery which may have numbered some eight or ten 
batteries, but perhaps not so many. 

Longstreet s command consisted of his own division, 
seven brigades; Hood s division, two brigades; Jones 
division, three brigades; and Anderson s division, three 
brigades. The whole of those brigades, as well as the 
force of Jackson, had been in the battles around Rich 
mond, except Evans brigade attached to Longstreet s 
division, and Drayton s brigade, attached to Jones 
division. Those two brigades had probably been brought 
from the South since those battles, or they may have 
been organized out of regiments attached to other 
brigades at that time; but I think they were brought 
from North and South Carolina, and if such was the 
fact, they were the only reinforcements which I ever 
heard of reaching General Lee after the battles around 
Richmond or before or during the campaign against Pope 
or the campaign in Maryland. D. H. Hill s division of 
five brigades; McLaw s division of four brigades, com- 



posed of his own and Magruder s consolidated; and the 
force of Holmes and Wise all of which had constituted 
part of the army at Richmond during the battles, had 
been left for the protection of that city until the whole 
of McClelland force moved from James River. 

When that event was fully ascertained, Hill s and 
McLaw s division and two of Holmes brigades, under 
Walker, had been ordered to move North, but Hill and 
McLaws got up on the 2nd, the day after the affair at 
Ox Hill, and Walker later, so that Pope had only to 
confront the 29 brigades before mentioned. My brigade 
was fully an average one, and my effective force did 
not exceed 1,500. Some idea therefore may be formed 
of the force with which General Lee fought the second 
battle of Manassas; I don t think it could have exceeded 
50,000 effective men in all, including artillery and 
cavalry, and it was probably considerably under that 

The loss in Swell s division, beginning with the artil 
lery fighting on the Rappahannock and ending, with the 
affair at Ox Hill, was in killed 366, wounded 1,169, and 
missing 32, the loss in my own brigade being 27 killed 
and 181 wounded. 

The main battle, which occurred on the 29th and 30th 
of August, has been called the second battle of Manassas, 
but I think the little village or hamlet of Groveton is 
entitled to the honor of giving its name to that great 
battle, as the fighting began there on the 28th, and was 
all around it on the 29th and 30th. 

The first battle near the same spot, on ground which 
was again fought over, had been properly named, as 
Manassas Junction was then the headquarters and cen 
tral position of our army, and was the objective point 
of the enemy during the battle. Such was not the case 
with either army at the last battle, and the Junction, 
several miles off, had no more relation to the battle than 
Bristow, Gainesville or Centreville. 



ON the 2nd of September our army rested, while the 
movements of the enemy were being ascertained. Pro 
visions were now very scarce, as the supply in the 
wagons, with which we had started, was exhausted. The 
rations obtained by Jackson s command from the enemy s 
stores, at Manassas, which were confined to what could 
be brought off in haversacks, were also exhausted, and 
on this day boiled fresh beef, without salt or bread, was 
issued to my brigade, which with an ear or two of green 
corn roasted by a fire, constituted also my own supply 
of food, at this time. Longstreet s wing of the army was 
in a worse condition than Jackson s, as it had not par 
ticipated in the supply found at Manassas. 

On the morning of the 3rd, Jackson s wing com 
menced the march towards the Potomac, and moved to 
the left over some country roads, crossing the Loudoun 
& Hampshire Eailroad at a station, above Vienna, until 
we reached the turnpike from Georgetown to Leesburg 
in Loudoun, and then along this road through Draines- 
ville, until we passed Leesburg on the afternoon of the 
4th, and bivouacked near Big Springs, two or three miles 
from the latter place, at night. 

On the 5th we resumed the march and crossed the 
Potomac at White s Ford, about seven miles above Lees 
burg, into Maryland. This ford was an obscure one on 
the road through the farm of Captain Elijah White, and 
the banks of the river had to be dug down so that our 
wagons and artillery might cross. On the Maryland side 
of the river the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal runs along the 
bank, and the canal had to be bridged over a lock to 
enable our wagons to pass, as they could not get through 
the culvert where the road ran. That night we bivouacked 
near Three Springs in Maryland on the road leading 



towards Frederick City, and after my brigade had lain 
down I received a message from General Jackson to let 
my men get green corn for two days, but, I told the staff 
officer bringing it, that they had already drawn their 
rations in that article, which was all they had now to 
eat. I will here say that green Indian corn and boiled 
beef without salt are better than no food at all by a 
good deal, but they constitute a very weakening diet for 
troops on a long march, as they produce diarrhoea. 

On the 6th we resumed the march and in the after 
noon occupied Frederick City and the Monocacy Junction 
on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Jackson s division 
took position near the city, and Hill s and Ewell s near 
the Junction, which is about three miles from the city 
in the direction of Washington. Ewell s division cov 
ered the railroad and the approaches from the direction 
of Baltimore, and Hill s those from the direction of 
Washington. We were now able to get some flour and 
salt, and our whole army was in a day or two concen 
trated near the same points. 

We remained in position until the 10th, and on that 
day General Jackson s command moved through Freder 
ick westward, for the purpose of capturing Harper s 
Ferry and Maryland Heights, where there was a con 
siderable force of the enemy. At the same time, McLaws, 
with his own and Anderson s divisions, including three 
brigades of Longstreet s attached to Anderson s division, 
moved towards Maryland Heights, and Brigadier Gen 
eral Walker with his two brigades moved towards 
Loudoun Heights on the south of the Potomac, for the 
purpose of surrounding Harper s Ferry and co-operat 
ing with General Jackson in its capture. 

On the night of the 10th, Ewell s division bivouacked 
between Middletown and South Mountain. On the llth, 
we moved across the mountain at Boonsboro Gap, and 
through Boonsboro to Williamsport, where we crossed 
the Potomac; Hill s division moving from that place 
directly for Martinsburg on the pike, and Ewell s and 



Jackson s divisions for North Mountain depot on the 
Baltimore & Ohio Eailroad, some miles west of Martins- 
burg, near which they bivouacked. On the morning of 
the 12th we moved for Martinsburg, and found that a 
force of the enemy at that place under General White 
had retired in the direction of Harper s Ferry on the 
approach of HilPs division. We passed through the 
town in the direction of Harper s Ferry and Swell s 
division bivouacked on the banks of the Opequon. 

On the morning of the 13th we resumed the march, 
and reached the turnpike from Charlestown to Harper s 
Ferry, one mile above Halltown, and bivouacked in 
sight of the enemy s work on Bolivar Heights, covering 
the town at the ferry, to wait until McLaws and Walker 
should get in position on Maryland Heights and Loudon 
Heights respectively, both of which overlooked and com 
manded the enemy s position. 

On the afternoon of the 14th, McLaws and Walker 
having previously gotten in position and opened fire 
with their artillery, General Jackson s force moved 
forward to invest the enemy s works, Hill s division 
moving on the right along the Shenandoah, Swell s 
division along the turnpike, and one brigade of Jack 
son s division along the Potomac on the left, the rest of 
the division moving in support. Swell s division moved 
along and on each side of the pike in three columns until 
it passed Halltown, when it was formed in treble line of 
battle with Trimble s and Hays brigades on the front 
line, and Lawton s and my brigade in their rear, Law- 
ton s forming the second line, and mine the third. In 
this order we moved forward through some fields on 
the right of the road until we reached a woods on a hill 
called School House Hill, confronting the main works 
on Bolivar Heights, and in easy range for artillery. 

This was done v without opposition, and Hays brigade 
was then moved to the left of the road and mine posted 
in its rear, the right being occupied by Trimble s and 
Lawton s brigades in the same order. It was now dark 



and the artillery firing from Maryland and Loudon 
Heights, as well as that from the enemy s works, had 
ceased. General Hill had had some skirmishing with the 
enemy on our right, and had pushed some brigades close 
to the enemy s left flank to favorable positions for 
assaulting his works, and taking them on the flank and 
rear, but night also closed his operations. 

Early on the morning of the 15th, preparations were 
made for the assault, and the batteries from Maryland 
Heights, Loudon Heights, from a position across the 
Shenandoah to which the guns belonging to Swell s 
division had been moved during the night, from Hill s 
position, from each side of the pike in front of Swell s 
division, and from the left on the Potomac, opened on 
the enemy. In front of the position occupied by Swell s 
division was a deep valley between School House Hill 
and Bolivar Heights, the whole of which was cleared. 
On the opposite side the ascent to the enemy s works 
was steep and over thick brush that had been felled so 
as to make a formidable abattis. It was over this ground 
we would have had to move to the assault, and the pros 
pect was by no means comforting. 

Very early in the morning, Lawton s brigade had 
been moved to the right and then by flank to the upper 
part of the valley in front of us, for the purpose of 
supporting an attack to be made by Hill s division, and 
the latter was moving to the assault, when the white flag 
was hoisted on Bolivar Heights. This indication of the 
enemy s surrender was received with very hearty and 
sincere cheers all along the line, as we were thus saved 
the necessity of an assault, which if stubbornly resisted 
would have resulted in the loss of many lives to us. 

Under the directions of General Jackson, General A. 
P. Hill received the surrender of the enemy, then under 
the command of Brigadier General White, Colonel Miles, 
the commander of the forces at Harper s Ferry, having 
been mortally wounded. About 11,000 prisoners were 
surrendered and paroled, and we secured about 12,000 



small arms, 70 pieces of artillery, and a very large 
amount of stores, provisions, wagons and horses. 

The victory was really a bloodless one so far as Gen 
eral Jackson s command was concerned, the only loss 
being a very few killed and wounded in Hill s division, 
but General McLaws had had heavy work in taking 
Maryland Heights, and had been engaged severely with 
the enemy coming up in his rear. 



LATE in the afternoon of the 15th, General Lawton 
received an order from General Jackson to move the 
division on the road to Boteler s Ford, on the Potomac 
below Shepherdstown, and he at once put his own and 
Trimble s brigade, which had gotten rations from 
Harper s Ferry, in motion, and ordered me to follow 
with my own and Hays brigade as soon as they were 
supplied likewise from the stores of the enemy. I was 
detained until after night before the men of the two 
brigades could be supplied, and I then followed General 
Lawton, finding him just before morning bivouacked 
about four miles from Boteler s Ford. Brigadier Gen 
eral Hays, wounded at Port Eepublic while Colonel of 
the 7th Louisiana, had returned to the brigade on the 
15th after the surrender of Harper s Ferry and assumed 
command of his brigade before we started on this march. 

The division moved at dawn on the 16th, and, cross 
ing the Potomac, arrived in the vicinity of Sharpsburg 
in the early part of the day, and stacked arms in a piece 
of woods about a mile in rear of Sharpsburg, Jackson s 
division having preceded it, and Hill s being left behind 
to dispose of the prisoners and property captured at 
Harper s Ferry. 

After the different columns, which had been sent 
against the latter place, had moved from the vicinity of 
Frederick, the residue of General Lee s army had moved 
across South Mountain in the direction of Hagerstown, 
and the division of General D. H. Hill had been left to 
defend Boonsboro Gap against the Federal Army, com 
posed of Pope s army and McClellan s army combined, 
and heavy reinforcements which had arrived to their 
assistance, now approaching under General McClellan. 
General Hill had been attacked on the 14th, at Boons- 



boro Gap, by the main body of McClellan s army, and, 
after a very obstinate resistance for many hours to the 
vast forces brought against him, had, with the reinforce 
ments sent to his assistance in the latter part of the 
day, retired late at night to Sharpsburg on the western 
side of the Antietam. 

A position had been taken on the morning of the 15th 
by the force north of the Potomac, consisting of D. H. 
Hill s division, five brigades; the three remaining 
brigades of Longstreet s division; Hood s division, two 
brigades; D. R. Jones division, three brigades; and 
Evans brigade; fourteen brigades in all, covering 
Sharpsburg on the north and east, with the right rest 
ing on Antietam Creek, and the left extending to the 
Hagerstown pike ; and the enemy had gradually moved 
his whole army up to the front of this position. This 
was the condition of things when Jackson s two divisions 
arrived on the 16th, and in the meantime there had been 
some skirmishing and artillery firing. 

After remaining in position in the rear for some 
hours, General Lawton was ordered to move to the right 
to cover a bridge over the Antietam, but after the move 
ment had commenced, it was countermanded and an 
order received to follow Jackson s division to the left 
through fields until we struck the turnpike from Sharps 
burg to Hagerstown, and proceeding along this we 
reached a piece of woods on the west of the pike in which 
there was a Dunkard or Quaker Church, and found, some 
distance beyond the church, Jackson s division already 
posted in a double line on the west of the pike, and con 
necting on the right with the left of Hood s division. 
General Jackson in person directed me to place my 
brigade, which was at the head of the division, on the 
left of his own so as to protect its flank, and to com 
municate with Brigadier General J. R. Jones, then in 
command of that division. 

It was then getting near dark, and there was heavy 
skirmishing between Hood s troops further to the right 



and the enemy, while shells were flying pretty thick. I 
had some difficulty in finding General Jones or his left, 
but after a while succeeded in doing so, and then posted 
my brigade on the left of Starke s brigade, constituting, 
as I was informed, Jones left, which was formed on the 
west of the pike extending into the woods. 

My brigade was posted on a small road running 
along the back of the woods past Starke s left, and 
thrown back at right angles to his line. Lawton s and 
Trimble s brigades had been halted near the church, but 
General Hays, under orders from General Jackson, re 
ported to me with his brigade, and it was posted in rear 
of mine. The artillery firing and the skirmishing except 
occasional shots between the pickets was put to an end 
by the darkness, and about ten or eleven o clock Lawton s 
and Trimble s brigades took the place, on the front line, 
of Hood s two brigades, which were withdrawn to the 

Very shortly after dawn on the morning of the 17th, 
I was ordered by General Jackson in person to move 
my brigade to the front and left, along a route pointed 
out by him, for the purpose of supporting some pieces 
of artillery which General Stuart had in position to 
operate against the enemy s right, and Hays was ordered 
to the support of Lawton s and Trimble s brigades. 

Moving along the route designated by General Jack 
son, I discovered a body of the enemy s skirmishers close 
on my right pushing forward as if for the purpose of 
getting around the left flank of our line, and I sent some 
from my own brigade to hold them in check until I had 
passed. I found General Stuart about a mile from the 
position I had moved from, with several pieces of artil 
lery in position on a hill between the left of Jackson s 
division and the Potomac which were engaging some of 
the enemy s batteries. At his suggestion, I formed my 
line in rear of this hill and remained there for about an 
hour, when General Stuart discovered a body of the 
enemy s infantry gradually making its way between us 



and the left of our main line, and determined to shift 
his position to a hill further to the right and a little in 
rear of the direction of our line. 

This movement was executed by passing over a route 
to the rear of the one I had taken in the morning, the 
latter being in possession of the enemy, and, while I was 
forming my brigade in a strip of woods running back in 
an elbow from the northern extremity of the body of 
woods in which the Dunkard Church was located, Gen 
eral Stuart informed me that General Lawton had been 
wounded, and that General Jackson had sent for me to 
return with my brigade and take command of the division. 
Leaving the 13th Virginia Regiment, numbering less than 
100 men, with General Stuart, I moved the rest of the 
brigade across the angle made by the elbow with the 
main body of the woods, through a field to the position 
I had started from early in the morning. 

The enemy had by this time pushed skirmishers into 
the northern or further end of this woods, and was 
moving up a very heavy force to turn our left flank. 
When I got near my starting point, I found Colonel 
Grigsby of the 27th Virginia Regiment, and Stafford 
of the 9th Louisiana rallying some two or three hundred 
men of Jackson s division at the point at which Starke s 
brigade had been in position the night before. As I 
came up I halted my brigade and formed line in rear of 
Grigsby and Stafford, and they at once advanced against 
the enemy s skirmishers, who had penetrated some dis 
tance into the woods, driving them back. 

My brigade was advanced in their rear until we came 
up with Grigsby and Stafford, where I formed line on 
the crest of a slight ridge running through the woods 
and directed them to form on my left. Heavy bodies of 
the enemy were now discovered in the field beyond the 
woods moving up to it. I left my brigade under the com 
mand of Colonel "William Smith, of the 49th Virginia, 
with directions to resist the enemy at all hazards, and 
rode across the Hagerstown pike towards the right to 



find the brigades which had been engaged early in the 
morning, but I found that they had been very badly cut 
up and had gone to the rear, Hood having taken their 
place with his two brigades. Jackson s division had 
also been very badly used, and the whole of it, except 
the few men rallied by Grigsby and Stafford, had retired 
from the field. 

The facts were, as I subsequently ascertained from 
the brigade commanders, that, at light, after skirmish 
ing along the front of Lawton s and Trimble s brigades 
in a piece of woods occupied by him, the enemy had 
opened a very heavy enfilading fire from the batteries 
on the opposite side of the Antietam, and then advanced 
very heavy columns of infantry against them, at the 
same time pouring a destructive fire of canister and 
shells into their ranks from the front. Hays brigade 
had gone to the support of the others and this terrible 
assault from the front with the flank fire from the bat 
teries across the Antietam, had been withstood for some 
time with obstinacy, until General Lawton was severely 
wounded; Colonel Douglas, commanding his brigade, 
killed; Colonel Walker, commanding Trimble s brigade, 
had had his horse killed under him, and himself been 
disabled by a contusion from a piece of shell; all the 
regimental commanders in the three brigades except two 
had been killed or wounded; and Lawton s brigade had 
sustained a loss of very nearly one-half, Hays of more 
than one-half, and Trimble s of more than a third. Gen 
eral Hood then came to their relief and the shattered 
remnants of these brigades, their ammunition being 
exhausted, retired to the rear. 

Jackson s division in the meantime had been very 
heavily engaged, and had shared a like fate, all of it 
that was left being what I found Grigsby and Stafford 
rallying, after General Jones had retired from the field 
stunned by the concussion of a shell bursting near him, 
and General Starke, who had succeeded him, had been 



After having discovered that there was nothing of 
the division left on the field for me to command except 
my own brigade, and seeing that, what I supposed were 
Hood s troops, were very hard pressed, and would prob 
ably have to retire before overpowering numbers, I 
sent Major J. P. Wilson, a volunteer aide who had been 
serving with Generals Ewell and Lawton, to look after 
the brigades which had gone to the rear, and I rode to 
find General Jackson to inform him of the condition of 
things in front, as well as to let him know that a very 
heavy force was moving on the west of the pike against 
our flank and rear, confronted by my brigade and the 
small force under Grigsby and Stafford alone. 

I found the General on a hill in rear of the Dunkard 
Church, where some batteries were posted, and when I 
informed him of the condition of things, he directed me 
to return to my brigade and resist the enemy until he 
could send me some reinforcements, which he promised 
to do as soon as he could obtain them. I found my 
brigade and Grigsby and Stafford s force at the point I 
had left them, and the movement of the enemy in that 
quarter was assuming very formidable proportions. The 
woods in which the Dunkard Church was located, ran 
along the Hag^rstown pike on the west side for about 
a quarter of a mile until it came to a field on the same 
side, about 150 or 200 yards wide. Then the woods fell 
back to the left at right angles with the road, and then 
ran parallel to it on the other side of the field for about 
a quarter of a mile further, and then turned to the left 
and ran some distance to the rear, making the elbow 
before spoken of. 

The field thus located between the pike and the woods 
formed a plateau higher than the adjacent woods, and 
the latter sloped towards a small road at the further 
edge, which extended through the elbow, and was the 
one on which I had been posted the night before, and 
along which I had moved to the support of Stuart in 
the early morning. The line formed by my brigade was 




entirely in the woods, with its right flank opposite the 
middle of the field or plateau, and its direction was a 
right angle with the Hagerstown pike. In the woods 
were limestone ledges which formed very good cover 
for troops, and they extended back towards the church. 
From my position the forces of both armies on my right, 
or rather in my rear, as I now faced, were entirely con 
cealed from view, as the plateau on my right was con 
siderably higher than the ground on which my brigade 
was formed. 

After my return, the enemy continued to press up 
towards the woods in which I was, in very heavy force, 
and I sent Major Hale, my Assistant Adjutant General, 
to let General Jackson know that the danger was im 
minent, and he returned with the information that the 
promised reinforcements would be sent immediately. 
Just as Major Hale returned, a battery opened on the 
Hagerstown pike where the field, or plateau, and woods 
joined. This was in rear of my right flank and not more 
than two hundred yards from it. I had been anxiously 
looking to my front and left flank, not dreaming that 
there was any immediate danger to my right, as I had 
seen our troops on the eastern side of the pike, at an 
advanced position, engaged with the enemy, and I took 
it for granted that this was one of our batteries which 
had opened on the enemy, but Major Hale s attention 
was called to it by a soldier in our rear, who was stand 
ing on the edge of the plateau, and informed him that it 
was one of the enemy s batteries. Major Hale examined 
it himself and immediately informed me of the fact, but 
I doubted it until I rode to the edge of the woods and 
saw for myself that it was really one of the enemy s 
batteries, firing along the pike in the direction of the 
Dunkard Church. 

While I was looking at it for a minute to satisfy my 
self, I saw a heavy column of infantry move up by its 
side. This column consisted of Green s division of Mans 
field s corps. The fact was that Hood, after resisting 

10 145 


with great obstinacy immensely superior numbers, had 
fallen back to the vicinity of the Dunkard Church, and 
the enemy had advanced to this position. My position 
now was very critical, as there was nothing between Hood 
and myself, thus leaving an interval of from a quarter to 
a half mile between my command and the rest of the 
army. Fortunately, however, my troops were concealed 
from this body of the enemy, or their destruction would 
have been inevitable, as it was nearly between them and 
the rest of the army, and the body, moving up on the left 
in my front, had now got into the woods. Hoping the 
promised reinforcements would arrive in time, I quietly 
threw back my right flank under cover of the woods to 
prevent being taken in the rear. 

The situation was most critical and the necessity 
most pressing, as it was apparent that if the enemy 
got possession of this woods, possession of the hills in 
their rear would immediately follow, and then, across 
to our rear on the road leading back to the Potomac, 
would have been easy. In fact the possession of these 
hills would have enabled him to take our whole line in 
reverse, and a disastrous defeat must have followed. I 
determined to hold on to the last moment, and I looked 
anxiously to the rear to see the promised reinforcements 
coming up, the column on my right and rear and that 
coming up in front, with which my skirmishers were 
already engaged, being watched with the most intense 

While thus looking out, I saw the column on my 
right and rear suddenly move into the woods in the 
direction of the rear of the church. I could not now 
remain still, and I at once put my brigade in motion by 
the right flank on a line parallel to that of the enemy s 
movements, directing Grigsby and Stafford to fall back 
in line, skirmishing with the enemy coming up on the 
left. The limestone ledges enabled my troops to keep 
out of view of the enemy moving in the woods on my 
right, and they moved rapidly so as to get up with them. 



On passing from behind one of these long ledges, we 
discovered the enemy moving with flankers thrown out 
on his right flank. I directed Colonel William Smith, 
whose regiment, the 49th Virginia, was in the lead, to 
open fire on the flankers, which was promptly done, and 
they ran in on the main body, which was taken by sur 
prise by the fire from the unexpected quarter from which 
it came. 

I now saw two or three brigades moving in line to 
our assistance, at the further end of the woods, and 
my brigade was faced to the front as soon as the whole 
of it had passed from behind the ledge, and opened fire 
on the enemy, who commenced retiring towards the pike 
in great confusion, after delivering one or two volleys. 
I had not intended to move to the front in pursuit, as 
I saw a brigade of the troops coming to our assistance 
moving into the woods at its further end on my right so 
as to come upon the flank of mine if it advanced, and I 
was, therefore, afraid that both would be thrown into 
confusion by the collision, and that mine would be ex 
posed to the fire of the other. Moreover the enemy s 
other column was advancing on my left, held in check, 
however, by Grigsby and Stafford with their men, aided 
by the 31st Virginia Regiment, which was on that flank. 
The brigade, however, without awaiting orders, dashed 
after the retreating column, driving it entirely out of 
the woods, and, notwithstanding my efforts to do so, I 
did not succeed in stopping it until its flank and rear 
had become exposed to the fire of the column on the left. 
I then saw other troops of the enemy moving rapidly 
across the plateau from the pike to the column, opposed 
to Grigsby and Stafford, and I ordered my brigade to 
retire a short distance, so as to change front and advance 
against the enemy in that direction. Just as I was re 
forming my line for that purpose, Semmes brigade, and 
two regiments of Barksdale s brigade, of McLaws divi 
sion, and Anderson s brigade of D. R. Jones division 
came up, and the whole, including Grigsby s and Staf- 



ford s small command, advanced and swept the enemy 
from the woods into the fields, and the enemy retreated in 
great disorder to another body of woods beyond that 
from which he had been thus driven. As soon as the 
enemy had been thus repulsed, I recalled my regiments 
and caused them to be re-formed, when they were again 
posted in their former position on the small ridge before 
mentioned. As soon as his infantry had retired the 
enemy opened a tremendous fire with canister and shell 
upon the woods occupied by us, which was continued for 
some time. 

The troops which had been opposed to us in this latter 
affair consisted of Sedgwick s division of Sumner s 
corps, which had not been previously engaged, supported 
by Mansfield s corps, under Williams, and which moved 
up for a fresh attack on our extreme left. During his 
advance, the enemy s columns had received a galling fire 
from the guns under General Stuart on a hill in the rear 
of our left which contributed very materially to the re 
pulse, and General Stuart pursued the retreating force 
on its flank for some distance, with his pieces of artillery 
and the remnant of the 13th Virginia Eegiment under 
Captain Winston.* 

* McClellan says in reference to this affair on our left, his right : 
" Entering the woods on the west of the turnpike, and driving the 
enemy before them, the first line was met by a heavy fire of musketry 
and shell from the enemy s breastworks and the batteries on the hill, 
commanding the exit from the woods. Meantime a heavy column of 
the enemy had succeeded in crowding back the troops of General 
Green s division, and appeared in rear of the left of Sedgwick s divi 
sion. By command of General Sumner, General Howard was forced 
the third time to the rear, preparatory to a change of front, to meet 
the column advancing on the left, but this line, now suffering from a 
destructive fire both in front and on its left, which it was unable to 
return, gave way towards the right and rear in considerable confusion, 
and was soon followed by the first and second lines." 

There was nothing in the shape of breastworks in the woods or 
in its rear at that time, and the fight on our part was a stand up one 
altogether. The slight works, made mostly of rails, which McClellan 
saw after the battle, were made on the 18th when we were expecting 
a renewal of the attack. 



My brigade at that time numbered less than 1,000 
officers and men present, and Grigsby and Stafford had 
between two and three hundred; yet with this small 
force we confronted, for a long time, Sumner s formid 
able column, and held it in check until reinforcements 
arrived to our assistance. Had we retired from the fear 
of being flanked or cut off, the enemy must have obtained 
possession of the woods, where we were, and, as a neces 
sary consequence, of the hills in their rear, which would 
have resulted in a decisive defeat to us, and a probable 
destruction of our army. 

While these operations on our extreme left were 
going on, all of which transpired in the forenoon, two 
other divisions of Sumner s corps, French s and Rich 
ardson s, had been moving against our centre occupied 
by General D. H. Hill, and were forcing it back after 
a hard struggle, just about the time I was contending 
with the two columns of the enemy in the woods. A 
portion of this force moving against Hood near the 
Dunkard Church, was met and repulsed by Kershaw s 
and Cobb s brigades of McLaws division, the portion of 
Barksdale s brigade which had not come to my assist 
ance, and Ransom s brigade of "Walker s division, at the 
same time that the force opposed to me was repulsed. 

Not long after my brigade had been re-formed and 
placed in its former position, Colonel Hodges, in com 
mand of Armistead s brigade of Anderson s division, 
came up and took the place of my brigade, which latter 
was then posted along the edge of the plateau on Hodges 
right, facing towards the Hagerstown pike. Subse 
quently General McLaws posted Barksdale s brigade on 
my right, and Kershaw s and Cobb s brigades on the 
left of Hodges . My line as established along the edge 
of the woods and plateau after the repulse of the enemy, 
extended beyond where the left of Jackson s division 
rested at daylight, and embraced inside of it all of our 
killed and wounded, and nearly the whole of that of the 
enemy, in this last affair on our left. 



Major Wilson had by this time returned with the 
information that he had been able to find only a part of 
Hays brigade, which was under General Hays, who was 
with General Hood, and that it was in no condition to 
render any service. He further stated that the remnants 
of the other brigades had gone to the rear for the pur 
pose of re-forming and gathering up stragglers, but that 
he had been unable to find them. 

The enemy continued to shell the woods in which we 
were for some time, doing, however, little or no damage, 
as we were under cover, and his shot and shells went 
over our heads. Some of our batteries, which had been 
brought up to the hills in our rear, opened fire on the 
woods where we were, on two occasions, under the im 
pression that they were occupied by the enemy, and I 
had to send and have it stopped. Some pieces of our 
artillery were moved into the angle of the plateau on 
my right and opened on the enemy, but were soon com 
pelled to retire by the superior metal and number of 
guns opposed to them. 

We remained in position during the rest of the day, 
as did the troops on my left, and those immediately 
on my right. The enemy made no further attack on 
us on this part of the line, but there were several demon 
strations as if for an attack, and from the top of a tree 
on the edge of the woods a lookout reported three lines 
of battle beyond the pike with a line of skirmishers ex 
tending nearly up to the pike. There were, however, 
some attempts against our line further to the right, and 
late in the afternoon a fierce attack was made on our 
extreme right by Burnside s corps, which drove some 
of our troops from the bridge across the Antietam on 
that flank, and was forcing back our right, when some of 
A. P. Hill s brigades, which were just arriving from 
Plarper s Ferry, went to the assistance of the troops 
engaged on that flank, and the enemy was driven back in 
considerable confusion. 

This affair, which terminated just before dark, closed 
the fighting on the 16th, and after a most protracted and 



desperate struggle, our centre had been forced back to 
some extent, but the positions on our flanks were main 

The attack on Jackson s command in the early morn 
ing had been made by Hooker s and Mansfield s corps, 
numbering, according to McClellan s statement, 24,982 
men present and fit for duty, and this force had been 
resisted by Jackson s division and the three brigades of 
Swell s, and subsequently by Hood s two brigades, aided 
by those of D. H. Hill s brigades sent to the assistance 
of Hood, until Sumner s corps, numbering 18,813 men, 
came up about nine A.M. to the assistance of Hooker s 
and Mansfield s. Hood was then compelled to retire to 
the woods near the Dunkard Church, and Sumner, in 
command now of the entire right wing of the enemy, 
prepared for another attack with his corps supported 
by Hooker s and Mansfield s. This attack was made 
on our left by Sedgwick s division supported by Mans 
field s corps, and on the centre by French s and Richard 
son s divisions supported by Hooker s corps, and was 
repulsed as has been stated, Hill, however, losing ground 
in the centre to some extent. Franklin s corps number 
ing 12,300 men was then carried to the support of Sum 
ner, arriving a little after twelve M., and a new attack 
on the woods in which our left rested was projected, but 
was arrested by General Sumner s orders. 

Another attack, however, was made on Hill s posi 
tion in the centre, which met with some success by reason 
of the removal of one of his brigades, by mistake, from 
its position, but the enemy s progress was arrested by 
Walker s brigades and a part of Anderson s division, 
which had arrived to his support. The enemy had then 
made the attack with Burnside s corps, numbering 
13,819, on Longstreet s right, on the Antietam, held by 
D. R. Jones division, which was repulsed on the arrival 
of Hill s brigades as stated. The above is a condensed 
account of the main features of this battle taken from 
the reports of both sides, and the figures in regard to the 
strength of McClellan s corps are taken from his own 



report. Porter s corps of his army, numbering 12,930, 
was held in reserve.* 

Late in the afternoon, after it had become apparent 
that no further attack on our left was to be made, I rode 
to the rear in search of the missing brigades and found 
about one hundred men of Lawton s brigade which had 
been collected by Major Lowe, the ranking officer of the 
brigade left, and I had them moved up to where my 
own brigade was, and placed on its right. We lay on 
our arms all night, and about light on the morning of 
the 18th, General Hays brought up about ninety men of 
his brigade, which were posted on my left. During the 
morning Captain Feagins, the senior officer left of 
Trimble s brigade, brought up about two hundred of that 
brigade, and they were posted in my rear. 

The enemy remained in our front during the whole 
day without making any show of an attack on our left, 
but there was some firing between the skirmish lines 
farther to right. The enemy in my immediate front 
showed a great anxiety to get possession of his dead 
and wounded on that part of the ground, and several 
flags of truce approached us, but, I believe, without 
authority from the proper source. However, a sort of 
informal truce prevailed for a time, and some of the 
dead and very badly wounded of the enemy and of that 
part of our army which had been engaged first on the 
morning of the 17th, were exchanged even while the 
skirmishers were firing at each other on the right. This 
was finally stopped and the enemy informed that no flag 
of truce could be recognized unless it came from the 
headquarters of his army. We remained in position on 
the 18th during the whole day, without any serious 
demonstration by the enemy on any part of our line, and 
after dark retired for the purpose of recrossing tTie 

* Walker s division of two brigades (his own and Ransom s) had 
reached the vicinity of the battlefield on the 16th and McLaws divi 
sion, and Anderson s, including the three brigades of Longstreet s with 
him, did not get up until after the battle had begun. 



Potomac. I held my position until my skirmishers in 
front were relieved by a portion of Fitz. Lee s cavalry 
and then retired in pursuance of orders previously re 
ceived from General Jackson, carrying with me Armi- 
stead s brigade under Colonel Hodges, which had re 
ceived no orders from its division commander, and bring 
ing up, I believe, the rear of the infantry of our entire 
army. We found a large number of wagons and troops 
massed at Boteler s Ford, and the division now com 
manded by me did not cross until after sunrise. After 
getting over the river, the division was formed in line 
of battle on the Virginia side, under direction of General 
Longstreet, and remained in position several hours, until 
the enemy appeared on the other bank and opened on us 
with artillery. 

I was subsequently ordered to leave Lawton s brigade, 
now increased to about four hundred men under Colonel 
Lamar of the 61st Georgia Regiment (who had returned 
after the battle of the 17th), at Boteler s Ford, under 
the command of Brigadier General Pendleton, who was 
entrusted with the defence of the crossing, and I was 
ordered to move with the rest of the division towards 
Martin sburg. 

Our whole army with its trains had been safely re- 
crossed and this terminated the operations properly con 
nected with the battle of Sharpsburg. 

In that battle, Ewell s division had lost in killed 119, 
in wounded 1,115, and in missing 38, being an aggregate 
loss of 1,352 out of less than 3,400 men and officers carried 
into action. The loss in my own brigade was in killed 18, 
and in wounded 156, and among the latter were Colonel 
Smith and Lieutenant Colonel Gibson of the 49th Vir 
ginia Regiment, both severely, and the former receiving 
three distinct wounds before the close of the fight, in 
which he was engaged. The loss in our whole army was 
heavy, but not so great as the estimate put upon it by 
the enemy. 

There has been very great misapprehension, both on 



the part of the enemy and many Confederates, not 
familiar with the facts, about the strength of General 
Lee s army at this battle. The whole of the troops then 
constituting that army had belonged to the army which 
opposed McClellan in the battles around Richmond, ex 
cept Evans and Drayton s brigades, and such absentees 
as had returned, and there had been troops then belong 
ing to the army, which had not left Richmond, exceeding 
the number in the said two brigades. There had been 
heavy losses in the battles around Richmond; and the 
subsequent losses at Cedar Run, on the Rappahannock, 
at Manassas and in the vicinity, at Maryland Heights 
and in Pleasant Valley where McLaws had been 
severely engaged, and at South Mountain, had very 
materially weakened the strength of the army. Besides 
all this, since crossing the Rappahannock we had been 
without regular supplies of food, and had literally been 
living from hand to mouth. Our troops were badly 
shod and many of them became barefooted, and they were 
but indifferently clothed and without protection against 
the weather. Many of them had become exhausted from 
the fatigues of the campaign, and the long and rapid 
marches which they had made while living on short 
rations and a weakening diet and many were foot-sore 
from want of shoes; so that the straggling from these 
causes, independent of that incident to all armies, had 
been frightful before we crossed the Potomac, and had 
continued up to the time of the battle. 

Some idea of the diminution from these various 
causes may be found from the following facts: That 
Christian gentleman, and brave, accomplished soldier, 
General D. H. Hill, states that his division, which num 
bered ten thousand at the beginning of the battles around 
Richmond, had been reduced to less than five thousand 
which he had at the battle of South Mountain. Yet he 
had reached the army after all the fighting about Manas 
sas, and he states that on the morning of the 17th of 
September he had but three thousand infantry. Swell s 



division, with Lawton s brigade, which was attached to 
it after the battle of Cedar Run, must have numbered, at 
the time they reached McClellan s right, north of the 
Chickahominy, eight or ten thousand, as Lawton s 
brigade was then a very large one, which had never been 
in action. Yet that division numbered less than three 
thousand four hundred on the morning of the 17th. 

General Lee says in his report: "This great battle 
was fought by less than forty thousand men on our 
side, all of whom had undergone the greatest labors and 
hardships in the field and on the march. This certainly 
covered our entire force of all descriptions, and I am 
satisfied that he might have safely stated it at less than 
thirty thousand. There were forty brigades of infantry 
in all in the army, one of which, Thomas of A. P. Hill s 
division, did not cross the Potomac from Harper s 
Ferry, and the nine brigades of Swell s and D. H. Hill s 
divisions, numbering in the aggregate less than 6,400 
officers and men, were fully average ones. 

General D. R. Jones states that his command, con 
sisting of his division of three brigades and three of 
Longstreet s, in all six brigades, numbering on the morn 
ing of the 17th, 2,430; General J. R. Jones states that 
Jackson s division of four brigades numbered less than 
1,GOO ; General McLaws states that he carried into action 
in his four brigades, 2,893; General A. P. Hill states 
that his three brigades actually numbered less than 
2,000; D. H. Hill s five brigades numbered 3,000; and 
Ewell s four brigades numbered less than 3,400; which 
gives 15,323 in these twenty-six brigades, leaving thirteen 
other brigades on the field whose strength is not stated, 
to-wit: the six brigades of his own division and Long- 
street s brought up by General Anderson; A. P. Hill s 
other two brigades; Hood s two brigades, both very 
small; Walker s two brigades; and Evans brigade. 
General Anderson was wounded, and there is no report 
from his division or any of his brigades, but General 
D. H. Hill says that Anderson came to his support, which 



was before Anderson s division became engaged, with 
some three or four hundred men, and that force con 
sisted of five brigades, Armistead s having gone to the 
left. Averaging the thirteen brigades from which no 
estimate was given with the others and it would give a 
strength of 7,670, which would make our whole infantry 
force on the field, from the beginning to the end of the 
battle, twenty-three thousand at the outside. Our cavalry 
was not engaged, as it had merely watched the flanks, 
but six thousand would fully cover the whole of the 
cavalry and artillery which we had on that side of the 

McClellan states his whole force in action at 87,164 
men present and fit for duty, and he estimates General 
Lee s at 97,445. As this estimate is a very remarkable 
one and contains some very amusing features, it is given 
here in his own language. He says : 

"An estimate of the forces under the Confederate General Lee, 
made up by direction of General Banks from information obtained by 
the examination of prisoners, deserters, spies, etc., previous to the battle 
of Antietam, is as follows: 

General T. J. Jackson s corps 24,778 men. 

" James Longstreet s corps 23,342 " 

" D. H. Hill s 2nd division 15,525 " 

" J. E. B. Stuart s cavalry 6,400 " 

" Ransom s and Jenkins brigades 3,000 " 

Forty-six regiments not included in above 18,400 " 

Artillery, estimated at 400 guns 6,000 " 

Total 97,445 " 

It is to be presumed that this estimate was made by 
Banks when General Jackson was figuring around 
Pope s rear, as he did not have a command in McClellan a 
army, and it is well known that Banks always saw things 
with very largely magnifying glasses when " Stonewall" 
Jackson was about. 

That some of the affrighted civilians who magnified 



one small company of cavalry at the first battle of Manas- 
sas, called the Black Horse Cavalry, into 20,000, might 
be misled by this estimate of McClellan s, or Banks , 
might well be believed, but that the Major General com 
manding the "Grand Army of the Potomac, " should 
have so estimated the strength of General Lee s army at 
Sharpsburg, is perfectly amazing. 

Who commanded the "forty-six regiments not in 
cluded in above," or where were the 400 guns to come 

This estimate of the relative strength of the two 
armies gives rise to some very curious reflections : 

It must be recollected that Bragg and Kirby Smith 
were at this time in Kentucky, moving north, and if the 
newly established Government at Richmond had been 
able to put in the field and send into Maryland from 
the comparatively small population of the Confederacy 
an army of nearly 100,000 men with 400 pieces of artil 
lery, it showed a wonderful energy on the part of that 
government; while, the fact that the powerful Govern 
ment at Washington, with its immense resources and its 
very large population to draw from, after a call for 
300,000 more men, and after taking everything in the way 
of troops from the Ohio to the Atlantic, had been able 
to bring into the field, for the defence of the National 
Capital and to oppose the large invading army of 
"rebels," only a force numbering less than 90,000 men, 
displayed a weakness not at all flattering to the energy 
of the head of the War Department at Washington, or 
to the wisdom of the occupant of the White House, and 
a want of "patriotism" by no means complimentary to 
the people of the North. 

McClellan had stated that the troops in and about 
Washington and on the Maryland shore of the Potomac 
above and below, including those in Maryland and 
Delaware, amounted, on the 1st of March, 1862, to 193,142 
present for duty and an aggregate present and absent 
of 221,987. This did not include the 13,000 brought by 



Burnside from North Carolina, nor the troops brought 
by Cox from the Kanawha Valley, nor, is it presumed, 
the forces of Fremont under Sigel, a large part of which 
were probably brought from Missouri; and there had 
since been at least one call, if not more, for an additional 
levy of 300,000 men. Now the question very naturally 
arises, as to what had become of all that immense force, 
with the reinforcements and recruits, which had dwindled 
down to 87,164 men on the morning of the 17th of Sep 
tember, 1862. 

It will be seen from the account previously given 
that on the 15th and in the early part of the day of the 
16th, McClellan s large army was confronted by a very 
small force under Longstreet and D. H. Hill. Jackson 
with two divisions numbering less than 5,000 men, and 
Walker, with his two brigades arrived on the 16th, and 
it was upon the force consisting of these reinforcements 
and D. H. HilPs and Longstreet s troops, including in 
the latter Hood s two brigades, and Evans brigade, that 
McClellan s army had been hurled on the morning of the 
17th. McLaws with his own and Anderson s brigades, 
ten in all, did not arrive until the action had been 
progressing for some hours. McLaws arrived at sun 
rise, and A. P. Hill, with his five brigades, did not come 
up until late in the afternoon. 

The 24,982 men under Hooker and Mansfield had 
attacked Jackson s division and Lawton s, Trimble s and 
Hays brigades of Ewell s division, numbering in all 
4,000 men. When they were compelled to retire, Hood 
with his two brigades supported by Ripley s, Colquit s 
and Garland s and D. H. Hill s division had withstood 
the enemy until Sumner arrived with his 18,813 men, 
and then Hood was also compelled to retire to the Dunk- 
ard Church. Sumner then with his corps and what was 
left of the other two, attacked my brigade of less than 
1,000 men, a remnant of about two or three hundred of 
Jackson s division, and what was left of D. H. Hill s 
and Hood s divisions, when McLaws and Walker with 



their six brigades came to our assistance immediately 
after the arrival of McLaws upon the field. Sumner was 
repulsed and then Franklin with his 12,300 arrived to 
his support, and the attack was renewed on Hill in the 
centre, when Anderson with three or four hundred men 
and one brigade of Walker s came to his assistance. 
This force of 56,095 men was brought against a force 
which with all its reinforcements, from first to last, 
amounted to less than 18,000 men. How it had been 
served will appear from the following extract from Mc- 
Clellan s report. He says: "One division of Sumner s 
corps, and all of Hooker s corps, on the right, had, after 
fighting most valiantly for several hours, been over 
powered by numbers, driven back in great disorder, and 
much scattered; so that they were for the time some 
what demoralized. In Hooker s corps, according to the 
return made by General Meade, commanding, there were 
but 6,729 men present on the 18th, whereas, on the morn 
ing of the 22nd, there were 13,093 present for duty in 
the same corps, showing that previous to and during the 
battle 6,364 men were separated from their command." 

McClellan was not able to renew the attack on the 
18th, and, according to his own showing, had to wait for 
reinforcements before doing so ; yet he claims a great 
victory at Antietam, alleging that he had accomplished 
the object of the campaign, to-wit: "to preserve the 
National Capital and Baltimore, to protect Pennsylvania 
from invasion, and to drive the enemy out of Maryland. 
This was a singular claim on the part of the General who, 
scarce three months before, had boastingly stated that 
the advance of his army was within five miles of the 
Confederate Capital. 

The truth is that the substantial victory was with us, 
and if our army had been in reach of reinforcements, it 
would have been a decisive one; but we were more than 
200 miles from the point from which supplies of am 
munition were to be obtained, and any reinforcements 
which could have been spared to us were much further 



off, while large reinforcements were inarching to Mc- 
Clellan s aid. We had, therefore, to recross the Potomac. 
The question had been mooted as to the propriety of 
the campaign into Maryland, and in regard thereto I will 
say: General Lee, on assuming command of the army 
at Eichmond, had found that city, the seat of the Con 
federate Government, beleaguered by a vast army, while 
all Northern Virginia, including the best part of the 
beautiful valley of the Shenandoah, was held by the 
enemy. With a herculean effort, he had broken through 
the cordon surrounding his army, and with inferior 
numbers fallen upon the beleaguering enemy, and sent it 
cowering to the banks of the lower James. He had then 
moved north, and, after a series of hard fought battles, 
had hurled the shattered remains of the army that had 
been marauding through Northern Virginia, with all the 
reinforcements sent from the lately besieging army, into 
the fortifications around Washington. With the dimin 
ished columns of the army with which he accomplished 
all this, he had crossed the Potomac, captured an impor 
tant stronghold defended by a strong force, securing a 
large amount of artillery, small arms, and stores of all 
kinds, and had fought a great battle with the newly 
reorganized and heavily reinforced and recruited army 
of the enemy, which later was so badly crippled that it 
was not able to resume the offensive for near two months. 
He now stood defiantly on the southern banks of the 
Potomac, the extreme northern limit of the Confederacy, 
and the result of all these operations, of which the march 
into Maryland was an important part, had been that not 
only the Confederate Capital had been relieved from the 
presence of the besieging army, a danger to which it was 
not subjected again for two years; but the enemy s 
Capital had been threatened, his territory invaded, and 
the base of operations for a new movement on Richmond 
had been transferred to the north banks of the Potomac 
at Harper s Ferry, from which there was an overland 
route of more than two hundred miles. When that move- 



merit did take place, General Lee was in a position to 
interpose his army, and inflict a new defeat on the enemy, 
as was verified by subsequent events. 

The following extracts from McClellan s report will 
give some idea of the results obtained. Speaking, as of 
the morning of the 18th, he says : 

" At that moment Virginia lost, Washington menaced, Maryland 
invaded the national cause could afford no risks of defeat. Our 
battle lost, and almost all would have been lost." And he subsequently 

" The movement from Washington into Maryland, which cul 
minated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, was not a 
part of an offensive campaign, with the object of the invasion of the 
enemy s territory, and an attack on his capital, but was defensive in 
its purposes, although offensive in its character, and would be tech 
nically called a f defensive-offensive campaign." 

" It was undertaken at a time; when our army had experienced 
severe defeats, and its object was to preserve the national capital and 
Baltimore, to protect Pennsylvania, and to drive the enemy out of 
Maryland. These purposes were fully and finally accomplished by 
the battle of Antietam, which brought the Army of the Potomac into 
what might be termed an accidental position on the upper Potomac."* 

It was a great deal gained to force the enemy into a 
"defensive-offensive" campaign in his own territory 
and place the " Army of the Potomac " in that accidental 
position, though we did fail in arousing Maryland, or 
getting any reinforcements from that State. 

* In a telegram to Halleck, dated September 22nd (Part II, 
Conduct of the War, p. 495), McClellan said: "When I was assigned 
to the command of this army in Washington, it was suffering under 
the disheartening influence of defeat. It had been greatly reduced 
by casualties in General Pope s campaign, and its efficiency had been 
much impaired. The sanguinary battles of South Mountain and An 
tietam Creek had resulted in a loss to us of ten general officers and 
many regimental and company officers, besides a large number of 
enlisted men. The army corps had been badly cut up and scattered 
by the overwhelming numbers brought against them in the battle of 
the 17th instant, and the entire army had been greatly exhausted by 
unavoidable overwork, and want of sleep and rest." (See also his 
testimony same volume, pages 439, 440 and 441.) 
11 161 



ON the afternoon of the 19th, after leaving Lawton s 
brigade at Boteler s Ford, I marched with the three 
other brigades on the road towards Martinsburg, about 
six miles from Shepherdstown, and bivouacked. 

During the night the enemy had succeeded in crossing 
the Potomac and capturing four of General Pendleton s 
guns near Shepherdstown, and on the morning of the 
20th I was ordered to move back to Boteler s Ford. On 
arriving near there, by order of General Jackson, my 
three brigades were formed in line of battle in rear of 
General A. P. HilPs division which had preceded me, 
and were moving against the force of the enemy 
which had crossed over to the south bank. My three 
brigades were posted in pieces of woods on each side 
of the road leading towards the ford, and remained 
there within range of the enemy s guns on the opposite 
side until late in the afternoon. In the meantime HilPs 
division advanced, under a heavy fire of artillery from 
across the river, and drove the enemy s infantry on the 
southern bank pell-mell into the river, inflicting upon 
him a very severe punishment for his rashness in under 
taking to pursue us and making him pay very dearly 
for the guns he had taken. One officer in my command, 
Captain Frazier of the 15th Alabama Regiment, the 
only regimental commander in Trimble s brigade who 
had not been killed or wounded at Sharpsburg, was 
severely wounded by a shell, which was all the damage I 

Late in the afternoon, I was ordered to move back, 
and that night we marched to the vicinity of the Opequon 
not far above its mouth. We remained at this position 
until the 24th, when we moved across the Opequon to 
the Williamsport pike, and on the next day to the vicinity 
of Martinsburg. On the 27th, General Jackson s whole 



command was moved to Bunker Hill on the road from 
Martinsburg to Winchester, and went into camp in that 
vicinity. By this time our baggage wagons, which had 
been sent from Manassas to the valley, when we moved 
into Maryland, had reached us. 

We were now able to obtain supplies of flour, by 
threshing wheat, of which there was a good supply in 
the valley, and having it ground. While our camps were 
located at Bunker Hill, Jackson s command destroyed 
the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from North Mountain to 
within five miles of Harper s Ferry, which latter place 
had been re-occupied by the enemy. More than twenty 
miles of the road was thus destroyed, and it was done 
effectively. The Winchester & Potomac Railroad was 
also destroyed to within a short distance of the Ferry. 
Previous to this there was a slight engagement between 
the Stonewall brigade of Jackson s division and a small 
force of the enemy on the railroad near Kearneysville, 
but the enemy did not make a serious effort to molest 
us, either while we were engaged in destroying the rail 
road or subsequently. 

The Army of Northern Virginia was now organized 
into two regular corps of four divisions each, Genera] 
Longstreet being assigned to the command of the first 
corps, and General Jackson to the command of the second 
corps, both with the rank of Lieutenant General. D. H 
Hill s division was attached to the second corps, and 
two divisions were formed out of Longstreet s, D. R. 
Jones and Hood s divisions, under the command of 
Generals Pickett and Hood respectively, they having been 
promoted. The first corps consisted of the divisions of 
McLaws, Anderson, Pickett and Hood, and the second 
corps of the divisions of Ewell, D. H. Hill, A. P. Hill, 
and Jackson (Swell s division being under my command 
and Jackson s under J. R. Jones). 

For some time the second corps remained camped 
near Bunker Hill, and the first corps was camped in the 
vicinity of Winchester. 

McClellan in the meantime had concentrated the 



main body of his army on the north bank of the Potomac 
near Harper s Ferry, and was engaged in preparing for 
a new campaign into Virginia, while Maryland and 
Bolivar Heights were very strongly fortified by him. 

A short time after the middle of October, General 
Stuart, with a portion of his cavalry, made a successful 
expedition through Maryland and Pennsylvania to the 
rear of and around McClellan s army. 

Towards the last of October McClellan began to move 
across the Potomac on the east side of the Blue Ridge, 
with a view to another approach to Richmond. His army 
had been largely recruited, and superbly equipped. The 
army of General Lee had been considerably increased by 
the return of stragglers and convalescents, but it con 
tinued to be indifferently supplied with clothing and 
shoes, of which articles there was a great deficiency. 

As soon as McClellan s movement was ascertained, 
Jackson s corps was moved towards the Shenandoah, 
occupying positions between Charlestown and Berry- 
ville, and one division of Longstreet s corps was sent 
across the Blue Ridge to watch the enemy. When the 
enemy began to move eastwardly from the mountain, the 
whole of Longstreet s corps moved across the ridge for 
the purpose of intercepting his march. D. H. Hill s 
division of Jackson s corps was subsequently moved 
across the ridge to watch the enemy s movements. A. P. 
Hill s division had been put in position near Berryville, 
covering the Shenandoah, at Snicker s or Castleman s 
Ferry, where it had an engagement with a body of the 
enemy that had crossed the ridge as McClellan was mov 
ing on. Swell s division (under my command) was at 
first posted on A. P. Hill s left, near a church, while 
Jackson s division was on the Berryville and Charles- 
town pike in my rear, but as the enemy s covered our 
front I moved above, first to Millwood, and then to 
Stone Bridge, near White Post, and Jackson s division 
moved to the vicinity of the Occoquon between the posi 
tions of the other divisions and Winchester. 



After the enemy had left the vicinity of the Blue 
Ridge, D. H. Hill s division recrossed the ridge and 
moved up on the east side of the Shenandoah to the 
vicinity of Front Royal. While my camp was at Stone 
Bridge, my division destroyed the Manassas Gap Rail 
road from Front Royal to Piedmont on the east side of 
the Blue Ridge, a distance of twenty miles, and D. H. 
Hill s division destroyed it from Front Royal to Stras- 

In the meantime McClellan s army had been con 
centrated in the vicinity of Warrenton, and McClellan 
had been succeeded in the command by Burnside. Long- 
street had previously taken position at or near Culpeper 

About the 15th of November Burnside began the 
movement of his army towards the lower Rappahannock 
opposite Fredericksburg. When this movement was dis 
covered Longstreet s corps was moved towards Freder 
icksburg to dispute the enemy s crossing, and orders 
were sent to General Jackson to move his corps across 
the Blue Ridge. This movement of the latter corps 
began about the 20th of November, and we moved up 
the valley to New Market and then across Massanutten 
Mountain, the Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge to the 
vicinity of Madison Court-House. The weather had now 
become quite cool, and our daily marches were long and 
rapid, and very trying to the men. On this march I saw 
a number of our men without shoes, and with bleeding 
feet wrapped with rags. We remained in the vicinity 
of Madison Court-House for two or three days, and it 
was here that General Jackson wore, for the first time, 
a new regulation coat with the wreath, and a hat, and 
his appearance in them caused no little remark and 
amusement among the men. His dress hitherto had 
been a rusty grey coat, intended for a colonel, and a little 
dingy cloth cap which lay flat on his head, or rather 

From Madison Court-House we moved past Orange 



Court-House and along the plank road to the vicinity 
of Fredericksburg, arriving there on the 1st of December. 

Longstreet s corps was found guarding the Rappa- 
hannock against Burnside s army which had concen 
trated on the opposite bank. My division was moved to 
the vicinity of Guiney s depot on the R., F. & P. Railroad, 
as was Jackson s. After remaining here two or three 
days, I was ordered to move towards Port Royal to 
support D. H. Hill, whose division had been ordered to 
the vicinity of that place, to watch some gun-boats there 
and prevent a crossing. Port Royal is some eighteen or 
twenty miles below Fredericksburg on the Rappahan- 
nock. I first took position some six or eight miles from 
Port Royal on the road from Guiney s depot, but sub 
sequently moved to the vicinity of Buckner s Neck on 
the Rappahannock a few miles above Port Royal, for the 
purpose of watching the river and acting in concert with 
General Hill. The latter, by the use of one Whitworth 
gun and some other artillery, had driven the enemy s 
gunboats from Port Royal, and in revenge they fired 
into the houses in the little village of Port Royal and 
some others below as they passed down the river. 

While I was watching the river at Buckner s Neck, 
which is in a bend of the river, and commanded by high 
ground on the opposite side, so as to afford a good posi 
tion for forcing a passage, the enemy hauled some 
timbers to a place called the Hop Yard on the northern 
bank, as if for the purpose of constructing a bridge at 
that place, but this proved a feint. Jackson s division 
had been left near Guiney s depot, and A. P. Hill s had 
been camped in rear of Hamilton s Crossing for the pur 
pose of supporting Longstreet s right, which rested at 
the latter place. The different divisions of Jackson s 
corps were thus posted, immediately preceding the battle 
of Fredericksburg. 



FREDERICKSBURG is located on the southern bank of 
the Kappahannock River at the head of tide water, and 
the river is navigable to that point for steamboats and 
small vessels. On the northern bank, opposite, above, 
and below Fredericksburg, are what are called the Staf 
ford Heights, which are close to the river, and completely 
command the southern bank. Fredericksburg s exact 
location is on a narrow strip of low land between the 
river and a range of hills in the rear. These hills leav 
ing the river opposite the small village of Falmouth, 
which is a short distance above Fredericksburg and on 
the northern bank, diverge from it below, and gradually 
declining, extend nearly to the Massaponix Creek, which 
empties into the river four or five miles below the town. 

The river flats or bottoms immediately below Fred 
ericksburg widen out considerably and continue to widen 
until they are from one and a half to two miles in width 
at the lower end of the range of hills, where they unite 
with similar but not so wide flats on the Massaponix, 
which extend back for some distance in rear of the range 
of hills mentioned. Below the mouth of the Massaponix 
there are other hills which approach near to the bank of 
the river, and extend down it for a considerable distance. 
Hazel Run, rising southeast of Fredericksburg, runs 
through the range of hills along a narrow valley, or 
ravine rather, and passing close on the east of the town, 
empties into the river. Deep Run rises below in the 
range of hills, and runs across the wide bottoms through 
a deep channel likewise into the river, something over 
a mile below the town. The hills just in rear of the town 
were, at the time of which I am speaking, nearly denuded 
of growing timber, but below, to the end of the range, 
they were for the most part covered with woods. The 



bottoms were entirely cleared and in cultivation, furnish 
ing several extensive farms, and up Deep Kun to its 
sources is a valley making a large re-entering angle in 
the line of hills, which valley was then also cleared and 
in cultivation. 

From the town a road, called the Telegraph Road, 
runs south, crossing Hazel Run and then ascending the 
hills passes towards Richmond by the way of Hanover 
Junction. Another road called the Plank Road ascends 
the hills above Hazel Run and runs westward by Chan- 
cellorsville to Orange Court-House. A third road, called 
the River Road, runs from the lower end of the town, 
crossing Hazel Run and Deep Run, and, passing through 
the bottoms about half way from the river to the foot 
of the hills, in a direction very nearly parallel to the 
river, it crosses the Massaponix not far above its mouth, 
where it forks, one fork going to Port Royal below and 
the other by Bowling Green in the direction of Richmond. 
This is a wide road, and where it passes through the 
bottoms there were on both sides high, thick, and firm 
embankments thrown up for fences or enclosures to the 
adjacent fields. 

The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, 
leaving the Potomac at the mouth of Aquia Creek, 
crosses the river into Fredericksburg and then runs 
through the bottoms below the town between the river 
road and the hills, which latter it approaches closely at 
their lower end, and then passes around at their foot 
to take the direction to Richmond. Just at the rear of 
the foot of the lower end of the hills, a country road 
leading from the Telegraph Road and passing along the 
east of the ridge crosses the railroad to get into the 
River Road, and this is called "Hamilton s Crossing, " 
from a gentleman of that name formerly residing near 
the place. A canal runs from the river along the foot of 
the hills above the town to the rear of it, for the purpose 
of supplying water to several mills and factories in it, 



and this canal connects by a drain ditch with Hazel Run, 
over which ditch the Plank Road crosses. 

What is called Marye s Heights or Hill lies between 
Hazel Run and the Plank Road, and at the foot of it is 
a stone wall, behind which and next to the hill, the Tele 
graph Road runs. Above Marye s Hill on the east of 
the Plank Road are what are called, respectively, 
Cemetery, Stansbury s and Taylor s Hills, all overlook 
ing the canal. In rear of these hills and overlooking 
and commanding them are higher eminences. On the 
east of Hazel Run and the Telegraph Road is quite a 
high hill farther back than Marye s Hill and overlooking 
it and nearly the whole ground, to which the name of 
Lee s Hill has been given, because it was the position 
generally occupied by General Lee during the battle. 

Burnside s army had taken position on and in rear 
of Stafford Heights, and the heights themselves, from 
Falmouth to a point very nearly opposite the mouth of 
the Massaponix, were covered with numerous batteries 
of heavy guns, while the nature of the ground was such 
as to afford easy access to the river by his troops. Long- 
street s corps occupied the hills in rear of Fredericks- 
burg to Hamilton s Crossing, and positions for some 
distance above, while strong pickets were established in 
the town and on the river bank above and below to watch 
the enemy and impede a crossing. 

It was impossible to resist successfully a crossing, 
as the river is only between two and three hundred 
yards wide, and the banks are so deep, and the river so 
accessible, on the north bank by means of ravines running 
into it, that our artillery, posted on the hills occupied 
by our troops, could not play upon the bridges either 
during the progress of the construction or afterwards, 
while the enemy s batteries were able, by a concentrated 
fire, to drive off the small bodies watching the river, or 
to prevent any aid being sent to them over the wide 
open plains formed by the bottoms. In addition to all 



this, the bottoms towards the lower end of our lines were 
so wide that we had no guns which would do effective 
firing across them, while the enemy s heavy guns from 
the north bank of the river completely swept the whole 
of our front, and reached over beyond our line. 

On the morning of the llth of December the enemy 
commenced his movement, and by the use of his artillery 
drove the regiments which were guarding the river from 
its banks after an obstinate resistance, and succeeded in 
laying down their pontoon bridges, one at the mouth of 
Deep Creek, and the other two at Fredericksburg. The 
first was laid early in the afternoon, but the latter two 
not until near night, and during night and the next day 
the enemy crossed in heavy force. 

On the afternoon of the 12th I received an order from 
General Jackson to move at once to the vicinity of 
Hamilton s Crossing, which I did by marching nearly 
all night, and a short time before day I bivouacked 
some two miles in rear of the crossing where the division 
had a little time to rest. At light on the morning of the 
13th I moved up to the crossing, and found our army in 
position confronting the enemy. Longstreet s line had 
been constructed from the right, and General A. P. HilPs 
division, which was much the largest in Jackson s corps, 
now occupied the right of the line which rested near the 
crossing. He was in the front skirts of the woods which 
covered the hills, and on his left was Hood s division. 

On the right of Hill s line was a small hill cleared 
on the side next the enemy, on which were posted some 
fourteen pieces of artillery under Lieutenant Colonel 
Walker, which were supported by Field s brigade, under 
Colonel Brockenborough, while Archer s brigade was on 
the left of the guns. On Archer s left there was an 
interval of several hundred yards in front of which was 
a low flat marshy piece of woodland extending across 
the railroad out into the bottom which was supposed to 
be impracticable, and was therefore not covered by any 
body of troops, but Gregg s brigade was posted in re- 


serve in rear of this interval, without, however, being 
in the line of battle. On the left of the interval were 
the other three brigades of A. P. Hill s division, Lane s 
brigade being next to it, but in advance of the general 
line a considerable number of pieces of artillery were 
posted along the left of Hill s line, but they were on 
low and unfavorable ground, as there were no good 
positions for guns on that part of the line. 

On my arrival, my division was posted on a second 
line several hundred yards in rear of A. P. Hill s, with 
Jackson s, now under Brigadier General Taliaferro, on 
my left. My right rested on the railroad at the crossing, 
and extended along the ridge road, which here crossed 
the railroad, for a short distance and then into the woods 
on my left. Hays brigade was on my right, with 
Trimble s brigade under Colonel E. F. Hoke immediately 
in its rear, Lawton s brigade under Colonel N. N. Atkin 
son in the centre, and my own brigade under Colonel J. 
A. Walker on the left. In this position there was a thick 
woods intervening between my division and the enemy, 
and the consequence was that he was entirely excluded 
from our view as we were from his. D. H. Hill s division, 
which had followed mine from below, was posted in a 
third line in the open ground in my rear beyond the 

The weak point in our position was on our right, as 
there was the wide open plain in front of it extending 
to the river and perfectly covered and swept by the 
enemy s heavy batteries on the opposite heights, and to 
the right, extending around to our rear, were the open 
flats of the Massaponix, here quite wide and incapable 
of being covered by any position we could take. There 
was very great danger of our right being turned by the 
enemy s pushing a heavy column down the river across 
the Massaponix. The plains on that flank were watched 
by Stuart with two brigades of cavalry and his horse 

A heavy fog had concealed the two armies from each 



other during the early morning, but about nine o clock it 
began to rise, and then the artillery fire opened, which 
was just as my division was moving into position. The 
enemy s fire at first was not directed towards the place 
where my division was posted, but after a short interval 
the shells began to fall in our vicinity, and the division 
remained exposed to a random but quite galling can 
nonading for two or three hours. 

Shortly after noon we heard in our front a very heavy 
musketry fire, and soon a courier from General Archer 
came to the rear in search of General A. P. Hill, stating 
that General Archer was very heavily pressed and wanted 
reinforcements. Just at that moment, a staff officer 
rode up with an order to me from General Jackson, to 
hold my division in readiness to move to the right 
promptly, as the enemy was making a demonstration 
in that direction. This caused me to hesitate about send 
ing a brigade to Archer s assistance, but to be prepared 
to send it if necessary, I ordered Colonel Atkinson to 
get his brigade ready to advance, and the order had been 
hardly given, before the adjutant of Walker s battalion 
of artillery came galloping to the rear with the informa 
tion that the interval on Archer s left (an awful gulf as 
he designated it) had been penetrated by heavy columns 
of the enemy, and that Archer s brigade and all our 
batteries on the right would inevitably be captured unless 
there was instant relief. This was so serious an emer 
gency that I determined to act upon it at once notwith 
standing the previous directions from General Jackson 
to hold my division in readiness for another purpose, 
and I accordingly ordered Atkinson to advance with his 

I was then entirely unacquainted with the ground in 
front, having been able when I first got up to take only 
a hasty glance at the country to our right, and I asked 
Lieutenant Chamberlain, Walker s adjutant, to show the 
brigade the direction to advance. In reply he stated that 
the column of the enemy which had penetrated our line 



was immediately in front of the brigade I had ordered 
forward, and that by going right ahead there could be 
no mistake. The brigade, with the exception of one regi 
ment, the 13th Georgia, which did not hear the order, 
accordingly moved off in handsome style through the 
woods, but as it did so Lieutenant Chamberlain informed 
me that it would not be sufficient to cover the entire gap 
in our line, and I ordered Colonel Walker to advance 
immediately with my own brigade on the left of Atkinson. 

The enemy s column in penetrating the interval 
mentioned had turned Archer s left and Lane s right, 
while they were attacked in front, causing Archer s left 
and Lane s entire brigade to give way, and one column 
had encountered Gregg s brigade, which, being taken 
somewhat by surprise, was thrown into partial confusion, 
resulting in the death of General Gregg, but the brigade 
was rallied and maintained its ground. Lawton s brigade 
advancing rapidly and gallantly under Colonel Atkinson, 
encountered that column of the enemy which had turned 
Archer s left, in the woods on the hill in rear of the line, 
and by a brilliant charge drove it back down the hill, 
across the railroad, and out into the open plains beyond, 
advancing so far as to cause a portion of one of the 
enemy s batteries to be abandoned. The brigade, how 
ever, on getting out into the open plain came under 
the fire of the enemy s heavy guns, and the approach of 
a fresh and heavy column on its right rendered it 
necessary that it should retire, which it did under orders 
from Colonel Evans, who had succeeded to the command 
by reason of Atkinson s being severely wounded. 

Two of Brockenborough s regiments from the right 
participated in the repulse of the enemy. Colonel 
Walker advanced, at a double quick, further to the left, 
encountering one of the columns which had penetrated 
the interval, and by a gallant and resolute charge he 
drove it back out of the woods across the railroad into 
the open plains beyond, when, seeing another column of 
the enemy crossing the railroad on his left, he fell back 



to the line of the road, and then deployed the 13th 
Virginia Regiment to the left, and ordered it to advance 
under cover of the timbers to attack the advancing 
column on its flank. This attack was promptly made 
and Thomas brigade, attacking in front at the same 
time, the enemy was driven back with heavy loss. 

As soon as Atkinson and Walker had been ordered 
forward, Hoke was ordered to move his brigade to the 
left of Hays, but before he got into position, I received 
a message stating that Archer s brigade was giving way 
and I ordered Hoke to move forward at once to Archer s 
support, obliquing to the right as he moved. Just as 
Hoke started, I received an order from General Jackson, 
by a member of his staff, to advance to the front with 
the whole division, and Hays brigade was at once 
ordered forward in support of Hoke. The 13th Georgia 
Regiment which had been left behind on the advance of 
Lawton s brigade was ordered to follow Hoke s brigade 
and unite with it. 

Hoke found a body of the enemy in the woods in rear 
of Archer s line on the left, where the regiments on that 
flank, which had been attacked in rear, had given way, 
but Archer still held the right with great resolution, 
though his ammunition was exhausted. Upon a gallant 
charge, by the brigade under Hoke, the enemy was driven 
out of the woods upon his reserves posted on the railroad 
in front, and then by another charge, in which General 
Archer participated, the railroad was cleared and the 
enemy was pursued to a fence some distance beyond, 
leaving in our hands a number of prisoners, and a large 
number of small arms on the field. 

The movements of the three brigades engaged have 
been described separately from the necessity of the case, 
but they were all engaged at the same time, though they 
went into action separately and in the order in which 
they have been mentioned, and Lawton s brigade had 
advanced further out into the plains than either of the 



On riding to the front, I directed Lawton s brigade, 
which was retiring, to be re-formed in the woods Colonel 
Atkinson had been left in front severely wounded and 
he fell into the enemy s hands. Captain E. P. Lawton, 
Assistant Adjutant General of the brigade, a most gal 
lant and efficient officer, had also been left in front at 
the extreme point to which the brigade advanced, mor 
tally wounded, and he likewise fell into the enemy s 

I discovered that Hoke had got too far to the front 
where he was exposed to the enemy s artillery, and also 
to a flank movement on his right, and I sent an order 
for him to retire to the original line, which he did, an 
ticipating the order by commencing to retire before it 
reached him. Two of his regiments and a small bat 
talion were left to occupy the line of the railroad where 
there was cover for them and his other two regiments, 
along with the 13th Georgia, which had not been en 
gaged, were put in the slight trenches previously occupied 
by Archer s brigade. Walker continued to hold the posi 
tion on the railroad which he had taken after repulsing 
the enemy. Lawton s brigade was sent to the rear for 
the purpose of resting and replenishing its ammunition. 
Hays brigade, which had advanced in rear of Hoke, had 
not become engaged, but in advancing to the front it 
had been exposed to a severe shelling which the enemy 
began, as his attacking columns were retiring in confusion 
before my advancing brigades. Hays was posted in rear 
of Hoke for the purpose of strengthening the right in 
the event of another advance. When I had discovered 
Lawton s brigade retiring, I sent to General D. H. Hill 
for reinforcements for fear that the enemy might again 
pass through the unprotected interval, and he sent me 
two brigades, but before they arrived Brigadier General 
Paxton, who occupied the right of Taliaferro s line, had 
covered the interval by promptly moving his brigade 
into it. 

The enemy was very severely punished for this attack, 



which was made by Franklin s grand division, and he 
made no further attack on our right. During this en 
gagement and subsequently there were demonstrations 
against A. P. Hill s left and Hood s right which were 
repulsed without difficulty. Beginning in the forenoon 
and continuing until nearly dark, there were repeated 
and desperate assaults made by the enemy from 
Fredericksburg against the positions at Marye s Hill and 
the one to our right of it, but they were repulsed with 
terrible slaughter, mainly by the infantry from Long- 
street s corps posted behind the stone wall at the foot 
of Mayre s Hill, and the artillery on that, and on the 
neighboring heights. The loss to the enemy here was 
much heavier than that on our right, while our own loss 
at the same point was comparatively slight. 

My two brigades, Trimble s under Hoke, and my own 
under Walker, and the 13th Georgia Kegiment held their 
positions on the front until night, while Hays retained 
his position immediately in rear of Hoke, but there was 
no further attack made on that part of the line, or on 
any part of Hill s front, except the demonstrations on 
his left which have been mentioned and which resulted 
in some skirmishing and artillery firing. 

When my division was first put in position on the 
second line as described, having no use for my artillery, 
I ordered Captain J. W. Latimer, my acting chief of 
artillery, to report to Colonel Crutchfield, Chief of Artil 
lery for the Corps, with the six batteries attached to the 
division, to-wit: Carrington s, Brown s, Garber s, 
D Aquin s, Dement s, and his own. Of these Brown s 
and Latimer s were posted on Hill s left, under the im 
mediate charge of Captain Latimer, and did most effective 
service, and D Aquin s and Garber s were sent to Major 
Pelham, Stuart s Chief of Artillery, on the right, where 
they likewise did good service, Captain D Aquin losing 
his life while taking part in the artillery firing in that 
quarter. Just before sunset of the day of the battle, 
after having seen that all was quiet in my front, I rode 



a little to the rear and discovered General D. H. Hill s 
division moving to the front through the woods. 

On my inquiring the meaning of the movement, Gen 
eral Colquitt, in command of the front brigade, informed 
me that orders had been given for the advance of the 
whole line, and that Hill s division was ordered to ad 
vance in support. General D. H. Hill himself rode up 
in a few minutes, and confirmed the information. This 
was the first intimation I had received of the order, as it 
had not reached me. While General Hill and myself 
were speaking of the matter, Lieutenant Morrison, aide- 
de-camp to General Jackson, rode up and stated that the 
General s orders were that I should hold my command in 
readiness to advance; and immediately afterwards one 
of my own staff officers came to me with the information 
that General Jackson wished me to take command of 
all the troops on the right and advance, regulating the 
distance to which I should go, by the effect produced 
on the enemy by our artillery which was to open. 

I rode immediately to where Hoke s brigade was 
posted and found General Jackson himself, who repeated 
in person the orders to me, stating that I was to advance 
in support of some artillery which he was about to send 
forward. I informed him of the condition of my com 
mand, the separation of Walker from the rest, the fact 
of Lawton s brigade being in the rear, and that Hoke s 
and Hays brigades and the 13th Georgia were the only 
troops immediately available. He told me to advance 
with the latter and that he would give me abundant 
support; I accordingly prepared to advance with Hoke s 
brigade and the 13th Georgia in front, followed by Hays 
brigade. The programme was that a number of pieces 
of artillery should be run out in front, and open on the 
enemy s infantry, when I was to advance and the artil 
lery to be again moved forward, followed by my infantry. 

The movement with the artillery was commenced, and 
as soon as it left the woods the enemy opened with 
numerous batteries from the plains and from behind the 
12 177 


embankments on the river road. This fire was terrific 
and many shells went crashing past us into the woods in 
our rear, where D. H. Hill s division was massed. Our 
own guns opened and continued to fire for a brief space, 
and a part of Hoke s brigade advanced to the railroad, 
but General Jackson soon became satisfied that the ad 
vance must be attended with great difficulties and per 
haps disastrous results, and abandoned it. It was well 
that he did. The enemy had very heavy forces massed 
behind the embankments on the river road, the one near 
est us being pierced with embrasures for numerous 
pieces of artillery. We would have had to advance nearly 
a mile, over an entirely bare plain swept by all this 
artillery, as well as cannonaded by the heavy guns on 
Stafford Heights, and if we had been able to force back 
the Bodies of infantry and the artillery occupying posi 
tions on the plain between us and the woods, still when 
we reached the road itself we would have found a vastly 
superior force behind a double line of very strong breast 

Nothing could have lived while passing over that 
plain under such circumstances, and I feel well assured 
that, while we were all ready to obey the orders of our 
heroic commander, there was not a man in the force 
ordered to advance, whether in the front or in support, 
who did not breathe freer when he heard the orders 
countermanding the movement. 

I have subsequently examined this ground with great 
care, and this examination has strengthened the position 
first entertained. It may perhaps be asked why our troops 
had not occupied the line of this road, to which I will 
reply that the road and the embankments on each side of 
it were perfectly commanded by the batteries of Staf 
ford Heights, which rendered the position untenable for 
us, and the retreat from it most hazardous, while it 
afforded safe protection to the enemy from our guns. 

Shortly after the termination of this effort to advance, 
I received a notification from General Jackson to move 



my troops to the rear for the purpose of resting and 
getting provisions as soon as they should be relieved by 
the troops of A. P. Hill s division which had at first 
occupied the positions now held by me, but no troops 
came to my relief, and I therefore, remained in position. 
Orders were received during the night for Taliaferro 
to relieve Hill s troops in the front line beginning from 
the left, and for me to occupy the remainder of the line 
on the right which Taliaferro could not fill out. In ac 
cordance with these directions, before dawn on the 14th, 
Paxton relieved Walker, Hays took the position which 
Paxton vacated, Hoke remained stationary, Lawton s 
brigade under Colonel Evans was posted on Hoke s 
right, and Walker was moved from the left and placed 
in reserve behind Hoke. The evening before, Carrington s 
battery had relieved Latimer s and Brown s on the left, 
and still remained in position, and on the morning of the 
14th, Dement s battery relieved one of the batteries on 
the right which had been engaged the day before. 

During the 14th the enemy remained in position on 
the plains and at Fredericksburg, an occasional shot 
being exchanged by the artillery and some firing from 
the skirmishers taking place on portions of the line, but 
none in my front. 

Before light on the morning of the 15th, D. H. Hill s 
division relieved Taliaferro s and mine on the front line, 
and we moved to the rear in reserve, A. P. Hill s division 
occupying the second line. 

There was quiet on the 15th, the enemy still retaining 
his position, but early on the morning of the 16th, as I 
was moving into position on the second line in accord 
ance with previous orders, it was discovered that the 
enemy had re-crossed the river during the night, taking 
up his bridges, and I was ordered to move at once to the 
vicinity of Port Royal to guard against the possible 
contingency of the enemy s attempting to turn our right 
by crossing the river near that place ; and I commenced 
the march immediately. 



The loss in the division under my command in this 
battle was in killed 89 and wounded 639, to-wit: in 
Hays brigade, 5 killed and 40 wounded; Trimble s 
brigade (Hoke s), 8 killed and 98 wounded; Lawton s 
brigade, 55 killed and 369 wounded; my own brigade 
(Walker s), 17 killed and 114 wounded; and in the artil 
lery of the division 3 killed and 18 wounded. Among 
the killed were Lieutenant Colonel Scott of the 12th 
Georgia Eegiment, and Captain D Aquin of the artillery, 
and among the wounded were Colonel Atkinson of the 
26th Georgia Regiment (in the hands of the enemy), 
Captain E. P. Lawton, A. A. G. Lawton s brigade (Law- 
ton mortally wounded and in the hands of the enemy) 
and Colonel Lamar, 61st Georgia Regiment. 

General Lee s entire loss in the battle was in killed 
458, and wounded, 3,743, to-wit: in Longstreet s corps, 
130 killed, 1,276 wounded; in Jackson s corps, 328 killed 
and 2,454 wounded; and 13 wounded in Stuart s cavalry. 

The enemy s loss was very much heavier, and over 
900 prisoners, more than 9,000 stand of arms and a large 
quantity of ammunition fell into our hands. 

The failure of General Lee to attempt to destroy the 
enemy s army after its repulse has been much criticised, 
and many speculations about the probable result of an 
attempt to drive the enemy into the river have been 
indulged in by a number of writers. In the first place, 
it must be recollected that no man was more anxious to 
inflict a decisive blow on the enemy than General Lee 
himself, and none understood better the exact condition 
of things, and the likelihood of success in any attempt 
to press the enemy after his defeat on the 13th. That 
defeat was a repulse with very heavy loss, it is true, 
but it was not a rout of the enemy s army; and candid 
persons ought to presume that General Lee knew what 
he was about and had very good and sufficient reasons 
for not sallying from his line of defence, upon the ex 
posed plains below, to make the attempt to convert the 
repulse into a rout. 



If attention is given to the previous description of 
the ground on which the two armies were operating, it 
must be seen that an attempt to pass over the wide 
plain intervening between our line and the enemy s 
position below the town, while exposed to the fire of 
150 heavy guns on the Stafford Heights, and the num 
erous field pieces securely masked in the Eiver road, 
would inevitably have resulted in disaster, unless the 
enemy s forces had become so paralyzed as to be in 
capable of an effort at defence. Burnside s army was 
composed of about 150,000 men in the grand divisions 
under Sumner, Franklin, and Hooker, respectively. 

In none of the assaults on our lines were the whole 
of these grand divisions engaged, but when columns of 
attack were sent forward, there were always very heavy 
reserves for the attacking columns to fall back upon in 
case of repulse; Sumner s and Franklin s grand divi 
sions had been mainly engaged and Hooker s scarcely at 
all. General Lee s army was not half as large as Burn- 
side s and if he had at any time made an attempt to 
advance, any force that he could have massed for that 
purpose without abandoning his line of defence entirely 
would in all likelihood have still encountered a superior 
force of infantry behind a strong line of defence, in 
addition to the artillery. 

As I have stated, General Jackson made the attempt 
to advance on the right late in the day on the 13th, but 
he was compelled to desist, very fortunately, before any 
disaster happened. Above the town, the same canal, at 
the foot of the range of hills, which had furnished an 
insurmountable obstacle to any attack by the enemy on 
our extreme left, likewise furnished the same obstacle 
to an advance on our part. The only other quarter from 
which the advance could have been made was from the 
hills immediately in rear of the town upon the enemy in 
the town, and there the difficulties were greater even 
than below. Any attacking columns from that quarter 
must either have moved down the rugged face of the 



base hills, or by flank along the Telegraph and Plank 
roads, and then they would have been so much scat 
tered by the artillery from the north bank, which would 
then have had a more effective range than even on the 
plains, that it would not have required the reserves, 
posted behind the houses and defences in the town, to 
complete the repulse and disaster. 

As to a night attack, that is a very easy thing to talk 
about but a most hazardous experiment to try, espe 
cially on dark nights such as we then had. Such attacks 
cannot be ventured on with safety unless with the most 
thoroughly trained troops, and then not in large bodies, 
for fear of confusion and firing into each other, the very 
dread of which often paralyzes very brave troops. 

It has been said that General Lee might have in 
flicted tremendous damage upon the enemy by forcing 
hot shot and shell into Fredericksburg while the enemy s 
troops were massed there. The heroic and patriotic 
people of that town, when it was threatened with a 
bombardment by Sumner, had not appealed to the com 
mander of their country s army to cause the danger to 
be removed from them by not resisting its occupation 
by the enemy, but had exhibited most commendable un 
selfishness by, in most cases, abandoning their homes 
without a murmur, while there were some too poor to 
move elsewhere, and others who chose to remain and 
share all the dangers of the approaching struggle; it 
was not in the heart of the noble commander of the Army 
of Northern Virginia to doom, by his own act, the re 
maining few of that devoted people and the homes of 
the absent to destruction, for the sake of killing and 
wounding a few thousand of the enemy, and causing 
dismay among the remainder. 

Is this forbearance one to be criticised with severity 
as a grievous military blunder? 

It is probable that if General Lee had known that 
the enemy was evacuating the town, his artillery might 
have inflicted considerable damage, but the enemy had 



given no indication of such a purpose, and he took ad 
vantage of the darkness of the night and the prevalence 
of a storm and wind to make good his retreat, when the 
noise attending the movement could not be heard. 

General Lee accomplished all that was possible with 
the means under his control, except, indeed, the useless 
destruction of what the enemy had left of the town of 

There was a ridiculous story about General Jackson, 
to which currency was given by the newspapers, which 
represented that, at a council of war called by General 
Lee on the night after the battle, General Jackson fell 
into a doze while the very grave question of what ought 
to be done under the circumstances was being discussed, 
and after all the rest had given their opinion, General 
Lee turned to General Jackson and asked, "Well, Gen 
eral, what is your opinion ? to which the latter, waking 
out of his nap, replied, "Drive em in the river, drive 
em in the river." This story is by no means creditable 
to General Jackson, yet it obtained a wide circulation, 
and the narrators of it seemed to think it was very 

General Jackson was a most able commander and 
heroic soldier, and it was not at all likely that he would 
have acted so much like a besotted member of a council 
of war called by his chief. I presume after the facts that 
I have before stated, it is not necessary to assert that 
no such incident occurred. 

Had Burnside moved down the river to the Mas- 
saponix, after crossing, or had thrown other bridges 
across at or near the mouth of that stream, and crossed 
one of his grand divisions there, he would inevitably 
have forced us to abandon our line of defence, and 
fight him on other ground. 



ON the 16th of December, as soon as it was discov 
ered that the enemy had recrossed the river, in accord 
ance with the orders received, I moved to the vicinity 
of Port Eoyal, arriving by nightfall. 

The enemy was content with the experiment he had 
made, and did not attempt any further movement at 
that time. I proceeded the next day to picket the river 
from a place called the Stop-Cock, near the Rappahan- 
nock Academy, to the vicinity of Port Tobacco, below 
Port Royal, the river having been watched on this line 
previous to my arrival by some of Brigadier General 
Wm. H. F. Lee s cavalry, which I relieved. 

My division was encamped in the vicinity of Port 
Royal, on the hills back from the river, and when it 
was ascertained that the enemy was not preparing for 
a new movement in any short time, the different brigades 
built permanent winter quarters at suitable places. 
After a careful examination of the country, I proceeded 
to fortify the banks of the river at points likely to 
afford facilities for crossing, and I established a line 
of defence also along the main road running parallel 
with the river, where high embankments with cedar 
hedges on them afforded good cover for troops and 
excellent breastworks. This line commenced at the up 
per end of the Hazelwood estate, the former residence 
of that distinguished Virginian, John Taylor of 
Caroline, and with the defences on the river extending 
to Camden, the residence of Mr. Pratt, some distance 
below Port Royal, passing in rear of that town, which 
was now nearly abandoned on account of the depreda 
tions of the enemy s gunboats and the fear of their 
repetition. New roads were constructed in rear of the 
line of defence out of reach of artillery from the op- 



posite bank, for the purpose of facilitating communica 
tion between the different positions, and two Whitworth 
guns under Captain W. W. Hardwick were placed on a 
high hill in rear of Port Royal, for the purpose of pre 
venting the gunboats which were below from ascend 
ing the river; and subsequently torpedoes were placed 
in the bed of the river some two or three miles below 
Port Royal under the superintendence of some one sent 
from headquarters. 

The enemy established a line of cavalry pickets on 
the opposite bank of the river as far down as ours 
reached, and the two were in sight of each other. The 
river at Port Royal is between six and eight hundred 
yards wide, and immediately opposite Port Royal is 
the small village of Port Conway, which was occupied 
by the enemy s pickets. 

We were compelled to haul our supplies in wagons 
from Guiney s depot on the railroad, and as the winter 
was a severe one with much snow and rain, the country 
roads, which we had to use, became almost impassable 
from the mud, and we were compelled to employ the 
men for a considerable time in corduroying them at the 
worst places. 

In the month of January, 1863, I was promoted to 
the rank of Major General and was assigned to the 
permanent command of Ewell s division, the name of 
which was now changed. Colonel R. F. Hoke of the 
21st North Carolina Regiment, who had commanded 
Trimble s brigade since the termination of the Mary 
land campaign, was promoted to the rank of Brigadier 
General and assigned to the brigade he already com 
manded, and the name of that also was changed. The 
brigade had previously consisted of the 21st North 
Carolina, the 12th and 21st Georgia, and the 15th Ala 
bama Regiments, and a North Carolina battalion of 
two companies. The 12th and 21st Georgia were now 
transferred to a Georgia brigade in D. H. Hill s division, 
and the 15th Alabama to a brigade in Hood s division, 



the 6th, 54th, and 57th North Carolina Regiments from 
Hood s division, taking the place in Hoke s brigade of 
those transferred from it. 

The 25th and 44th Virginia Regiments were trans 
ferred from my own brigade to that of J. R. Jones, in 
Jackson s division, and subsequently Colonel William 
Smith of the 49th Virginia, who had been so severely 
wounded at Sharpsburg and had not yet returned, was 
appointed Brigadier General and assigned to my old 
brigade as it remained after the transfer of the two 
regiments. The organization of the artillery was now 
changed, and in the place of the batteries which had 
heretofore been attached to brigades, battalions were 
organized, which were to be under the general control 
of the Chief of Artillery for the Corps, and a battalion 
to be assigned to a division on an active campaign, or 
when required for defence. In consequence of this 
arrangement, a number of promotions took place among 
the artillery officers, and Captain J. W. Latimer, a 
youthful but most gallant and efficient officer, was made 
a Major of Artillery, a promotion which he had richly 
earned, though he was scarcely twenty-one years old. 
All the batteries heretofore attached to the division, 
except Latimer s, were sent to the rear of Bowling 
Green to winter, in order to be more convenient to forage. 
Latimer s battery was retained to be used in case of 
need, and it became Tanner s by virtue of the promo 
tion of the first lieutenant. 

My assistant adjutant general, while I was a 
brigadier general, Captain F. Gardner, had resigned 
the previous summer, and my aide, Lieutenant S. H. 
Early,* had resigned while we were in the valley after 
the Maryland campaign, as he was over fifty years of 
age, and the condition of his family required his pres- 

* Lieutenant Early, at General Early s request (and accompanied 
by his young son, John Cabell Early, aged fifteen years), rejoined the 
army in 1863 during its northern invasion, and was severely wounded 
at the battle of Gettysburg. 




ence at home. I had had no regular personal staff since 
then. I found no assistant adjutant general with 
E well s division when I succeeded to the command at 
Sharpsburg, and Major Samuel Hale, who held the com 
mission of a commissary, had been acting in that 
capacity for me while I commanded the brigade and con 
tinued to do so while I commanded the division. I found 
with the division Major J. P. Wilson and Mr. Henry 
Heaton, who had been acting as volunteer aides to 
General Ewell and then to General Lawton, and they 
continued with me in that capacity until after my 

After I was assigned to the division as major gen 
eral, Major Hale received the commission of adjutant 
general with the rank of major, and A. L. Pitzer and 
Wm. G. -Callaway were commissioned as aides with the 
rank of first lieutenants. 

My division staff as then organized consisted of the 
following officers, all of whom except those above 
designated had been with General Ewell as members of 
his staff: 

Lieutenant Colonel J. M. JONES, Inspector General. 

Major SAMUEL HALE, Assistant Adjutant General. 

Lieutenant A. L. PITZER, Aide. 

Lieutenant WM. G. CALLAWAY, Aide. 

Major C. E. SNODGRASS, Quartermaster. 

Major BEN H. GREEN, Commissary. 

Captain WILLIAM THORNTON, Assistant Commissary. 

Captain C. W. CHRISTIE, Ordnance Officer. 

Captain HENRY RICHARDSON, Engineer Officer. 

Subsequently, in the spring, Major John W. Daniel, 
who had been commissioned at my instance, was also 
assigned to me as an assistant adjutant general. Lieu 
tenant Eobert D. Early, who had been acting as aide 
in one of the brigades in D. H. Hill s division, also re 
ported to me during the winter, as acting aide, and con 
tinued in that capacity until he was made an assistant 
adjutant general to a brigade in Jackson s old division. 



A company of mounted men organized as scouts, 
couriers and guides by General Ewell, had remained at 
tached to the division under the command of Captain 
W. F. Randolph, but it was transferred in the spring 
to General Jackson s headquarters. My division, as it 
remained after the changes above mentioned, was com 
posed of four brigades, to-wit : Hays Louisiana brigade, 
Hoke s North Carolina brigade, Lawton s Georgia 
brigade (commanded by Colonel Evans), and Smith s 
Virginia brigade, organized as follows: 

Hays brigade: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Louisiana 

Hoke s brigade: 6th, 21st, 54th, and 57th North 
Carolina Regiments and Wharton s North Carolina 

Lawton s brigade: 13th, 26th, 31st, 38th, 60th, and 
61st Georgia Regiments. 

Smith s brigade: 13th, 31st, 49th, 52nd, and 58th 
Virginia Regiments. 

In a few days after the battle, the other divisions 
of Jackson s corps were moved to positions above me, 
covering the river from the mouth of Massaponix to my 
left, Jackson s old division being on my immediate left, 
then A. P. Hill s division, and then D. H. Hill s. In 
January General Trimble, who had been severely 
wounded near Groveton on the 29th of August previous, 
was made a Major General and assigned to Jackson s 
division, which had always heretofore remained without 
a regular division commander, even while General Jack 
son was a Major General, as his command had included 
other troops. 

The enemy made no demonstration whatever on my 
front, and we had nothing to disturb our quiet during 
the winter, except a little incident by which two officers 
were captured by the enemy in rather a singular manner. 
There were a considerable number of ducks on the river, 
and Major Wharton, commander of the battalion in 
Hoke s brigade, and Captain Adams, the assistant 



From a photograph taken late in life 

The Cross of Honor was bestowed by U. D. C. 


adjutant general of the brigade, took it into their heads 
to go shooting. There were several boats at Port Royal 
which I had directed to be hauled up on the bank with 
orders to the pickets to keep watch over them and not 
permit them to be launched. 

On the day the Major and the Captain took for their 
sport, the picket at Port Royal happened to be from 
their brigade, and they easily induced the sentinel on 
duty to let them have the use of one of the boats, to row 
into the mouth of a creek above, on our side, where the 
ducks were most numerous. The day was a very windy 
one with the wind blowing across towards the enemy. 
By keeping near the bank they avoided the effect of 
the wind until they got opposite the mouth of the creek, 
when it struck their boat and forced it out into the 
stream. Not being expert boatmen, and moreover being 
excited by the danger, they lost control of the boat and 
were driven helplessly to the northern bank into the 
hands of the enemy s pickets, and of course were made 
prisoners. The Major having an old newspaper with him, 
pulled it out when he reached the shore and proposed an 
exchange, a practice sometimes prevailing with the 
pickets in spite of all orders, but the Federal on post 
was rather too shrewd to have that game played on 
him, insisting that it was not exactly a case for ex 
change of such civilities. This was a caution to all per 
sons disposed to sporting and to interfere with the orders 
to the pickets; and we had no more duck shooting in 

Burnside made an abortive effort in January to ad 
vance again by flanking us on the left, but he stuck in 
the mud, and we were not put to any inconvenience by 
the movement. About the last of the month he was 
relieved of his command, and a new commander for the 
Federal Army was selected, 1 in the person of Major Gen 
eral Joseph Hooker, called " Fighting Joe." 

Though we passed the winter without the excitement 
attending an advance of the enemy, still we were not 



without some excitements of our own, and I may as well 
relate the following occurrence to show how men who 
had passed through the stirring scenes of the previous 
year, who had fought with Jackson in the valley, around 
Richmond, at Manassas, Sharpsburg, and Fredericks- 
burg, could amuse themselves in winter quarters. 

We had several severe snow storms during the winter, 
and after one of them, when the snow lay deep on the 
ground, Hoke s brigade challenged Lawton s for a battle 
with snow balls, which challenge was accepted. The two 
brigades were marshalled under their respective com 
manders Hoke on the one side, and Colonel Evans on 
the other. Evans stood on the defensive in front of his 
camp and Hoke advanced against him. Evans force 
was much the larger, but being Georgians who had been 
brought from Savannah in the beginning of the previous 
summer, his men were not accustomed to the fleecy 
element. Hoke s men were more experienced, and when 
they made a bold dash at the Georgians, pelting them 
most unmercifully with their well pressed balls, and 
giving the usual Confederate yell, there was no with 
standing the shock of the onset. Evans men gave way 
in utter confusion and rout, and Hoke s men got pos 
session of their camp. 

The Georgians seeing that their camp and all their 
effects were in possession of the enemy, who seemed to 
be inclined to act on the maxim that "to victors belong 
the spoils," took courage, rallied, and came back with 
such vim that Hoke s men in their turn were routed, 
and retreated in utter dismay. No time was given for 
them to rally, but they were pursued to their own camp, 
their leader having been captured in the pursuit. Evans 
men did not deem it prudent to press their victory too 
far, but retired, though in good order. They acted mag 
nanimously and released the leader of their opponents 
on his parole of honor, not, however, without his having 
been well wallowed in the snow. 

There was no official report of this battle, but all the 



particulars were related at division headquarters by one 
of the aides who happened to be present, and who was 
himself captured under suspicious circumstances on 
Hoke s retreat, but begged off on the ground that he was 
a neutral and a mere spectator. He was much joked 
by the other young men at headquarters, who charged 
him with skulking on the occasion, and there was some 
reason to suspect that he did not stand the storm of 
snow balls as well as he did that of shot and shell on 
many another occasion. Many, very many of the poor 
fellows who shared in this pastime poured out their 
life s blood on subsequent battlefields, and a small rem 
nant were surrendered at Appomattox Court-House with 
arms in their hands, and tears rolling down their cheeks. 

About the first of March my division was moved to 
Hamilton s Crossing to take place of Hood s, which had 
been sent with Longstreet south of James River, and 
a body of cavalry took the place of my division on the 
right. In my new position, it was my duty to picket 
and watch the river from the mouth of Hazel Run at the 
lower end of Fredericksburg to the mouth of Massaponix, 
which was done with three regiments at a time, posted 
at different positions on the bank. These pickets were 
in full view of and in musket range of the enemy s 
pickets on the opposite bank, and also under the fire of 
the guns on Stafford Heights, but by a tacit arrange 
ment there was never any firing from either side on 
ordinary occasions, but the picketing detachments on 
both sides were moved into position and regularly re 
lieved without molestation. 

In the month of April the 31st Virginia Regiment 
of Smith s brigade, in company with the 25th Virginia 
of Jones brigade, Trimble s division, was sent to the 
valley for the purpose of accompanying an expedition 
into Northwestern Virginia under General Imboden, and 
did not return until late in May. 

The growing timber on the range of hills which had 
constituted our line of defence at the battle of Freder- 



icksburg had been almost entirely cut down during the 
winter to construct tents, and furnish firewood for 
Hood s division, and there were left only a few scattering 
trees on the hills and a thin skirt in front. Shortly after 
my removal, General Jackson, whose headquarters had 
been below, near Moss Neck, removed also to the vicinity 
of Hamilton s Crossing. 

Brigadier General J. B. Gordon, who had been Colonel 
of the 6th Alabama Regiment in Rodes brigade, D. H. 
Hill s division, and very severely wounded at Sharps- 
burg, was assigned in April to the command of Lawton s 
brigade, which took his name. 

There was perfect quiet along the river front until 
the night of the 28th of April, though Fitz. Lee s brigade 
of Stuart s cavalry had a fight with the enemy at Kelley s 
Ford in Culpeper in March, and there was another affair 
with the cavalry in April. 



BEFORE light on the morning of the 29th of April, the 
enemy, having moved three corps of his army up during 
the night, by taking advantage of a heavy fog that over 
hung the river, threw a brigade across in boats, just 
below the mouth of Deep Run, and the 54th North 
Carolina Regiment on picket at that point, being unable 
to cope with the force brought against it, was forced 
to retire, which it did without loss. The movement had 
been conducted with so much secrecy, the boats being 
brought to the river by hand, that the first intimation 
of it, to the, regiment on picket, was the landing of the 
force. Bridges were then rapidly laid down at the same 
crossing used by Burnside at this point and a division 
of infantry with some artillery was crossed over. 

About a mile lower down below the house of Mr. Pratt, 
a similar crossing was attempted, but that was discov 
ered, and resisted by the 13th Georgia Regiment under 
Colonel Smith until after sunrise, when that regiment 
was relieved by the 6th Louisiana under Colonel Mona- 
ghan going on picket in its regular time. The latter 
regiment continued to resist the crossing successfully 
until the fog had risen, when the enemy s guns were 
brought to bear, and by a concentrated fire that regiment 
was compelled to retire, not, however, without sustain 
ing a considerable loss in killed and wounded as well as 
prisoners, the latter being captured in rifle pits at points 
below the crossing, which was effected by the enemy s 
coming up in their rear before they had received notice 
of his being across. The 13th Georgia had also sustained 
some loss in killed and wounded, and prisoners captured 
in the same way, who had not been relieved. The re 
sistance made at this point delayed the enemy so that 
the bridges there were not laid until after 10 o clock A.M. 

13 193 


A little after light, information reached me of the 
crossing at Deep Eun, and I sent notice of it at once to 
General Jackson. Without, however, waiting for orders, 
I ordered my division to the front, and as soon as it was 
possible put it in line along the railroad, with my right 
resting near Hamilton s Crossing and my left extending 
to Deep Eun. Three regiments were sent to the front 
and deployed along the Elver road as skirmishers. The 
13th Virginia Eegiment, under Lieutenant Colonel Ter- 
rill, on picket between the mouths of Hazel and Deep 
Euns, was drawn back to the line of the Eiver road 
above Deep Eun, and remained there until relieved by 
McLaws division, when it was brought up. 

As soon as the enemy had laid down his bridges at 
the lower crossing, a division of infantry and some 
artillery were crossed over at that point. When the 
fog rose, the slopes of the opposite hills were semi- 
covered with troops the whole distance from opposite 
Fredericksburg to a point nearly opposite the mouth 
of the Massaponix. The question was whether they 
were ostentatiously displayed as a feint, or whether they 
were massed for crossing. The troops which had crossed 
were seen throwing up breastworks covering the bridges 
and also epaulments for artillery; but it was impossible 
to discover the strength of the force already across, as 
below the deep banks of the river there was ample space 
for massing a large body of troops out of our sight. 
There appeared no attempt to make a crossing at Fred 
ericksburg, or to move up towards the town. 

Some artillery was put in position on the hill near 
Hamilton s Crossing on my right, and in rear of my 
left. D. H. Hill s division, now under command of 
Brigadier General Eodes, was soon brought up, and put 
in position on my right, extending across the Mas 
saponix, one brigade being placed below that creek across 
the Eiver road, so as to guard the ford. A Whitworth 
gun, of very long range, was also posted below the 



Massaponix out of range of the enemy s guns across 
the river and in position to partially enfilade them. 

The remaining divisions of Jackson s corps were 
brought up during the day, and A. P. Hill s was put in 
position in a second line in rear of mine. Trimble s 
division under the command of Brigadier General 
Colston arrived very late in the afternoon and was placed 
in reserve in the rear. Barksdale s brigade already 
occupied the town of Fredericksburg, and the remaining 
brigades of McLaws division were brought up and 
placed in position on the left of my line, one of his 
brigades connecting with my left, which was now drawn 
back from the railroad, and a shorter line made across 
to Deep Eun, to connect it with McLaws right. For 
the greater part of the way the railroad track furnished 
a very good protection, and it was strengthened by 
throwing up embankments, the line being advanced a 
little in front on the left of my centre where there was 
a rise in the ground above the level of the road. In 
order to occupy the whole of the line my brigades had 
to be extended out, as the division was not strong enough 
to man it fully. 

During the day the enemy made no attempt to ad 
vance against us in force with his infantry, and his 
skirmishers were effectually kept from the Eiver road 
by mine, and on the right Bodes skirmishers, which ex 
tended from the right of mine around to the river above 
the Massaponix, prevented any movement in that direc 
tion. There was some artillery firing, and one Whit- 
worth gun from across the Massaponix played with very 
considerable effect on the bottoms on the enemy s left. 
Large bodies of the infantry on the opposite slopes oc 
casionally moved down towards the river, where they 
were concealed from our view by the bank on the south 
side, which is the highest. 

I retained my position on the front line during the 
night, which passed quietly. The next day there was 



very little change in the appearances in front. The 
enemy had made strong tetes du pont covering his 
bridges, and was constructing a line of entrenchments 
connecting the two, passing in front of the Pratt and 
Bernard houses, and extending below the lower bridge. 

There was this day some apparent diminution of the 
infantry in view on the opposite slopes, but there were 
many heavy guns in battery on the heights and a very 
large force of infantry still visible. There were some 
demonstrations with the infantry on the north bank, 
some skirmish firing, and some artillery firing also, but 
the enemy on the south bank did not appear at all en 
terprising, and rather contracted his lines on his left, 
his skirmishers retiring before ours which were pushed 
forward on that flank. The indications were that it was 
a mere demonstration on our front, to cloak a more 
serious move in some other quarter, and so it turned 
out to be. When this was discovered, it is quite prob 
able that we might have destroyed the comparatively 
small force on the south bank by a movement against it 
from our line, but this would not have compensated us 
for the loss we would, in all probability, have sustained 
from the enemy s heavy guns. 

General Lee had ascertained that by far the largest 
portion of Hooker s army had crossed the Rappahannock 
and Rapidan Rivers above their junction, and were mov 
ing down on his left. He therefore determined to move 
up with the greater part of his own army to meet that 
force, which was watched by Anderson s division of 
Longstreet s corps and a portion of Stuart s cavalry. 
Accordingly late on the afternoon of the 30th I was 
instructed by General Jackson to retain my position on 
the line, and, with my division and some other troops to 
be placed at my disposal, to watch the enemy confronting 
me while the remainder of the army was absent. Barks- 
dale s brigade occupying Fredericksburg and the heights 
in rear, was directed to retain his position, as was also 
a portion of General Pendleton s reserve artillery, which 



occupied positions on Marye s and Lee s Hills, and the 
whole was placed under my command. In addition, Gra 
ham s battery of artillery of four guns, two twenty 
pounders and two ten pounders, Parrots, posted on the 
hill on my right, was left with me, and Lieutenant Colonel 
Andrews was ordered to report to me with his battalion 
of four batteries with twelve pieces, to-wit: six 
Napoleons, four three-inch rifles, and two ten pounder 
Parrots. A Whitworth gun under Lieutenant Tunis was 
also left at my disposal and posted on the right across 
the Massaponix. With the rest of the army near Fred- 
ericksburg comprising the other three divisions of Jack 
son s corps, and three brigades of McLaws division, 
General Lee moved on the night of the 30th and the 
morning of the 1st of May towards Chancellorsville to 
meet Hooker. 

Before leaving, General Lee instructed me to watch 
the enemy and try to hold him; to conceal the weak 
ness of my force, and if compelled to yield before over 
powering numbers, to fall back towards Guiney s depot 
where our supplies were, protecting them and the rail 
road; and I was further instructed to join the main body 
of the army in the event that the enemy disappeared 
from my front, or so diminished his force as to render 
it prudent to do so, leaving at Fredericksburg only such 
force as might be necessary to protect the town against 
any force the enemy might leave behind. 

The force which had made the demonstration on our 
front consisted at first of the 1st, 3rd, and 6th corps of 
Hooker s army, under the command of Major General 
Sedgwick. The 3rd corps moved to join Hooker during 
the 30th, but the 1st and 6th remained in my front still 
demonstrating. In his testimony before the Congres 
sional Committee on the war, Hooker stated that the 
6th corps, according to the returns of the 30th of April, 
1863, numbered 26,233 present for duty. Sedgwick says 
that the 6th corps numbered only 22,000 when it crossed 
the river. Taking the medium between them, the 



effective strength may be put down at 24,000, which 
General A. P. Howe, commanding one of the divisions, 
says he was informed, at headquarters of the corps, it 
was. The first corps must have numbered at least 16,000 
and perhaps more, so that I must have been left con 
fronting at least 40,000 men in these two corps, besides 
the stationary batteries on Stafford Heights and Gib 
bon s division of the 2nd corps which was just above, 
near Falmouth, and, according to Hooker s statement, 
numbered over 6,000 for duty on the 30th. 

My division by the last tri-monthly field return which 
was made on the 20th of April, and is now before me, had 
present for duty 548 officers and 7,331 enlisted men, 
making a total of 7,879. It had increased none, and I 
could not have carried into action 7,500 in all, officers and 
men, and not more than 7,000 muskets, as in camp when 
everything was quiet, a number of men reported for duty, 
who were not actually able to take the field. I had already 
lost about 150 men in the resistance which was made at 
the lower crossing. Barksdale s brigade did not prob 
ably exceed 1,500 men for duty, if it reached that number. 
I had, therefore, not exceeding 9,000 infantry officers 
and men in all, being very little over 8,000 muskets ; and 
in addition I had Anderson s battalion with twelve guns; 
Graham s four guns; Tunis , Whitworths, and portions 
of Watson s; Cabell s and Cutt s battalions under Gen 
eral Pendleton, not numbering probably thirty guns. I 
think 45 guns must have covered all my artillery, and 
these were nothing to compare with the enemy s in weight 
of metal. 

The foregoing constituted the means I had for occupy 
ing and holding a line of at least six miles in length, 
against the enemy s heavy force of infantry, and his far 
more numerous and heavier and better appointed artil 
lery. It was impossible to occupy the whole line, and 
the interval between Deep Run and the foot of Lee s Hill 
had to be left vacant, watched by skirmishers, protected 
only by a cross fire of artillery. I could spare no in- 



fantry from the right, as that was much the weakest 
point of the line, and the force which had crossed, and 
which exceeded my whole strength, was below Deep Run, 
and confronting my own division. Andrews artillery 
was placed in position on the morning of the 1st as fol 
lows: four Napoleons and two rifles were placed under 
Major La timer, near the left of the line occupied by my 
division, behind some epaulments that had been made on 
that part of the line ; two Parrots were placed with Gra 
ham s guns on the hill on my right, and two Napoleons 
and two rifles were posted to the right of Hamilton s 
Crossing, near a grove of pines, the Whitworth gun 
being posted on a height across the Massaponix so as 
to have a flank fire on the enemy if he advanced, and it 
was without support. Colonel Andrews had charge of 
all of the artillery on this part of the line, that on 
Marye s and Lee s Hills was under the immediate super 
intendence of General Pendleton, and some of the bat 
teries were so posted as to have a cross fire on the upper 
part of the valley of Deep Run. 

The enemy remained quiet on the 1st, except in 
demonstrating by manoauvres of his troops, and there 
was no firing on that day. His line of entrenchments, 
covering the two bridges, had been completed, and he 
still displayed a heavy force of infantry, consisting of 
the two corps under Sedgwick. The ensuing night also 
passed quietly, and during it a battery of four Napoleons 
was sent by General Pendleton to report to Colonel 
Andrews, and was posted with the four guns near the 
pines on the right of the crossing. 

The morning of the 2nd opened with appearances 
pretty much the same as they had been the day before ; 
if anything there was more infantry in view on the north 
bank than had appeared ,the previous day. Colonel 
Andrews was ordered early in the day to feel the enemy 
with his guns, and accordingly Latimer opened with his 
two rifle guns on the enemy s position near Deep Run, 
and Graham s and Brown s Parrots opened on the in- 



fantry and batteries below and near the Pratt house. 
Latimer s fire was not returned, but Graham s and 
Brown s was responded to by two of the batteries on 
the north bank and some guns on the south side. Shortly 
afterwards the infantry and artillery at the lower cross 
ing disappeared behind the bank of the river, and that 
crossing was abandoned. 

During the morning I rode to Lee s Hill for the pur 
pose of observing the enemy s movements from that 
point, and I observed a considerable portion of his in 
fantry in motion up the opposite river bank. While I 
was, in company with Generals Barksdale and Pendle- 
ton, observing the enemy s manoeuvre and trying to ascer 
tain what it meant, at about 11 o clock A.M., Colonel R. 
H. Chilton, of General Lee s staff, came to me with a 
verbal order to move up immediately towards Chancel- 
lorsville with my whole force, except a brigade of infantry 
and Pendleton s reserve artillery, and to leave at Fred- 
ericksburg the brigade of infantry and a part of the 
reserve artillery to be selected by General Pendleton, 
with instructions to the commander of this force to watch 
the enemy s movements, and keep him in check if pos 
sible, but if he advanced with too heavy a force to retire 
on the road to Spottsylvania Court-House General 
Pendleton being required to send the greater part of his 
reserve artillery to the rear at once. 

This order took me very much by surprise, and I 
remarked to Colonel Chilton that I could not retire my 
troops without their being seen by the enemy, whose 
position on Stafford Heights not only overlooked ours, 
but who had one or two balloons which he was constantly 
sending up from the heights to make observations, and 
stated that he would inevitably move over and take 
possession of Fredericksburg and the surrounding 
Heights. The Colonel said he presumed General Lee 
understood all this, but that it was much more important 
for him to have troops where he was, than at Fredericks- 
burg, and if he defeated the enemy there he could easily 



retake Fredericksburg ; he called my attention to the 
fact, which was apparent to us all, that there was a very 
heavy force of infantry massed on the slopes near Fal- 
mouth which had moved up from below, and stated that 
he had no doubt the greater portion of the force on the 
other side was in motion to reinforce Hooker. He re 
peated his orders with great distinctness in the presence 
of General Pendleton, and in reply to questions from us, 
said that there could be no mistake in his orders. 

This was very astounding to us, as we were satisfied 
that we were then keeping away from the army, opposed 
to General Lee, a much larger body of troops than my 
force could engage or neutralize if united to the army 
near Chancellorsville. It is true that there was the force 
massed near Falmouth and the indications were that it 
was moving above, but still there was a much larger force 
of infantry stationed below, which evinced no disposi 
tion to move. While we were conversing, information 
was brought me that the enemy had abandoned his lower 
crossing, and that our skirmishers had advanced to the 
Pratt house, but he still, however, maintained his position 
at the mouth of Deep Creek with a division of infantry 
and a number of guns on our side of the river. 

The orders as delivered to me left me no discretion, 
and believing that General Lee understood his own neces 
sities better than I possibly could, I did not feel justified 
in acting on my own judgment, and I therefore de 
termined to move as directed. It subsequently turned 
out that Colonel Chilton had misunderstood General 
Lee s orders, which were that I should make the move 
ment indicated if the enemy did not have a sufficient 
force in my front to detain the whole of mine, and it 
was to be left to me to judge of that, the orders, in fact, 
being similar to those given me at first. It also turned 
out that the troops seen massed near Falmouth were the 
1st corps under Eeynolds, moving up to reinforce Hooker, 
and that the 6th corps, Sedgwick s own, remained behind. 

When Colonel Chilton arrived, General Pendleton was 



making arrangements to move some artillery to the left 
to open on the columns massed near Falmouth, but the 
order brought rendered it necessary to desist from that 
attempt in order to make preparations for the with 

My division occupied a line which was in full view 
from the opposite hills except where it ran through the 
small strip of woods projecting beyond the railroad, 
and the withdrawal had to be made with the probability 
of its being discovered by the enemy. I determined to 
leave Hays brigade to occupy the hills in rear of Fred- 
ericksburg with one regiment deployed as skirmishers 
on the River road confronting the force at the mouth 
of Deep Run, and also to leave one of Barksdale s regi 
ments, which was already in Fredericksburg and along 
the bank of the river, picketing from Falmouth to the 
lower end of the town. 

The orders were given at once and the withdrawal 
commenced, but it had to be made with great caution so 
as to attract as little attention as possible and therefore 
required much time. General Pendleton was to remain 
at Fredericksburg, according to the orders, and the with 
drawal of such of his artillery as was to be sent to the 
rear was entrusted to him and executed under his direc 
tions. The Whitworth gun was ordered to the rear 
with the reserve artillery and Andrews battalion and 
Graham s battery were ordered to follow my column, 
Richardson s battery, which was on the right, being re 
turned to General Pendleton s control. When the with 
drawal commenced, the enemy sent up a balloon and I 
felt sure that he had discovered the movement, but it 
turned out that he did not.* It was late in the afternoon 
before my column was in readiness to move, and Barks- 
dale was ordered to bring up the rear with the three 
regiments left after detaching the one on picket, as soon 

* Professor Lowe s balloon reconnaissances so signally failed on 
this occasion and in the operations at Chancellorsville, that they were 
abandoned for the rest of the war. 



as he was relieved by Hays. As soon as the troops were 
in readiness the three brigades of my division moved 
along the Ridge road from Hamilton s Crossing to the 
Telegraph road, and then along a cross-road leading into 
the Plank road, Barksdale going out on the Telegraph 
road to join the column. Upon getting near the Plank 
road, a little before dark, I received a note from General 
Lee which informed me that he did not expect me to 
join him unless, in my judgment, the withdrawal of my 
troops could be made with safety, and I think he used 
the expression that if by remaining I could neutralize 
and hold in check a large force of the enemy, I could do 
as much or perhaps more service than by joining him. 

I had proceeded so far that I determined to go on, 
as the probability was that if the enemy had discovered 
my movement, the mischief would be done before I could 
get back, and that I would not be able to recover the 
lost ground, but might deprive General Lee entirely of 
the use of my troops. When the head of my column had 
reached the Plank road and moved up it about a mile, a 
courier came to me from General Barksdale, stating that 
the enemy had advanced against Hays with a very large 
force, and that the latter and General Pendleton had 
sent word that all of the artillery would be captured 
unless they had immediate relief. The courier also stated 
that General Barksdale had started back with his own 

I determined to return at once to my former position, 
and accordingly halted the column, faced it about and 
moved back, sending my Adjutant General, Major Hale, 
to inform General Lee of the fact. The fact turned out 
to be that just before dark Sedgwick had crossed the 
remainder of his corps and moved towards the River 
road below, called also the Bowling Green road, forcing 
from it the 7th Louisiana Regiment, under Colonel Penn, 
which occupied that road and fell back to the line on 
the railroad after skirmishing sharply with the enemy. 
There had been no advance against Hays at Fredericks- 



burg, and Sedgwick had halted with his whole force 
and formed line on the river, occupying with his advance 
force the road from which Colonel Penn had been driven. 

We regained our former lines without trouble about 
ten or eleven o clock at night, throwing out skirmishers 
towards the River road. Barksdale occupied his old 
position and Hays returned during the night to the 
right of my line. The night passed quietly on the right 
after my return except some picket firing on the front, 
but, just before daybreak on the morning of the 3rd, I 
was informed by General Barksdale that the enemy had 
thrown a bridge across at Fredericksburg and was mov 
ing into the town. The General had ridden to see me 
in person to request reinforcements, and I ordered Hays 
brigade to return to the left as soon as possible, directing 
General Barksdale to post the brigade where it was 
needed, as he understood the ground thoroughly. In 
reply to a question from me, he informed me that the 
crossing had not been resisted by his regiment, which 
had retired skirmishing on the approach of the enemy, 
as the struggle was deemed useless, and it undoubtedly 
would have been. This was a mistake about the bridge 
being laid at that time, but it was a very natural one, 
as Sedgwick moved a portion of his force up the river 
into the town, while doubtless preparations were making 
for laying down the bridge early in the morning. 

Barksdale s brigade was then posted as follows: 
the 21st Mississippi Regiment occupied the trenches on 
Marye s Hill between Marye s house and the Plank 
road; the 18th, the stone wall at the foot of the hill, 
where it was subsequently reinforced by three companies 
from the 21st; the 17th, the trenches on the front slope 
of Lee s Hill; and the 13th, the trenches further to the 
right. Squires battery of the Washington Artillery was 
posted in the works on Marye s Hill, and the rest of 
Pendleton s guns on Lee s Hill on the front crest and 
at positions further to the right, so as to cover the in 
terval between the hills and the upper part of Deep 



Run. There were no troops on the left of the Plank 
road along the crest overlooking the canal. Very soon 
after daylight, the head of Sedgwick s column, which 
had moved up during the night from below, emerged from 
the town and advanced against the defences at Marye s 
Hill, but was repulsed by the fire of Barksdale s infantry 
and the artillery posted there. 

When it became sufficiently light to see, it was dis 
covered by us that the opposite bank of the river was 
bare of troops and it was very apparent that the enemy s 
whole force lately confronting us on that side was across 
for the purpose of a serious move, and the question was 
as to where it would be made. The heaviest force in 
view was in front of the crossing below the mouth of 
Deep Run, and there were at that point a number of 
pieces of artillery. The enemy, however, was also demon 
strating against Marye s Hill with both infantry and 
artillery, but the mass of his infantry there was con 
cealed from our view, and there were indications also 
as if he might attempt to pass up the valley of Deep Run 
on the left bank. The fact was that there was one 
division covering the bridge, one between Deep Run and 
Hazel Run, and one masked in Fredericksburg. The 
skirmishers from my division succeeded in getting to the 
River road on the right, but the position next Deep Run 
was held by too strong a force to be dislodged. 

Very shortly after light the enemy commenced demon 
strating at Deep Run as if to turn the left of my division 
held by Hoke s brigade, and threw bodies of troops up 
the ravine formed by the high banks of the run, while 
there were demonstrations also on the left bank of the 
run. Latimer opened with his guns on the ravine and 
the advancing bodies of infantry where they could be 
seen ; but a considerable body succeeded in getting up to 
that part of the railroad next to the run and took posi 
tion behind it, where they were protected against the 
fire of our artillery. The enemy opened with two or 
three batteries on Latimer s guns, and there ensued a 



brisk artillery duel. Andrews brought Graham s and 
Brown s guns from the right to replace Latimer s 
Napoleons, and also Carpenter s two rifles to take posi 
tion with Latimer s two, and the firing was continued 
for some time, as well against the enemy s infantry as 
against his artillery. Finally Smith s brigade, which was 
on the right of Hoke s, moved out and dislodged the 
infantry which had taken position behind the railroad 
embankment, and as it retired the artillery played on 
it. This ended the demonstrations at Deep Run, and 
soon heavy bodies of infantry were seen passing up 
towards Fredericksburg, upon which Andrews batteries 

I had remained on the right with my division, as I 
knew that that was the weakest part of our line, and I 
was very apprehensive that the enemy would attempt to 
cut my force in two by moving up Deep Run, which 
would have been the most dangerous move to us he could 
have made. I, however, kept a lookout upon the move 
ments above and was in constant communication with 
Generals Barksdale and Pendleton, from whom I received 
several reports that they had repulsed all the attacks 
upon their position, and thought they could hold it. 
Shortly after sunrise, and after the repulse of the first 
attack on Barksdale s position, Gibbon s division, of the 
enemy s 2nd corps, was crossed over into Fredericksburg 
on the bridge which had been laid there, and it was then 
moved above the town for the purpose of turning the 
position on that flank, but this effort was balked by the 
canal, over which there was no bridge ; it then attempted 
to effect the movement by repairing a bridge over the 
canal, the planking from which had been torn up, but 
Hays brigade had arrived by that time, and four of his 
regiments filed into the trenches on the left of the Plank 
road just in time to thwart this attempt, and another 
made shortly afterwards to cross the canal at the upper 
end of the same division. 

Hays brigade had had a long distance to march in 
order to avoid the enemy, and when it arrived General 



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Barksdale placed one of the regiments, the 6th Louisiana, 
Colonel Monaghan, on his right in the trenches near 
what was known as the Howison house, and the other 
four were sent to man the trenches along the crest of the 
hills on the left of the Plank road, where they arrived just 
in time to thwart the attempt to cross the canal as 
before stated. The enemy s guns from the north side 
of the river, as well as from positions on the south side 
above and below the town, continued to fire upon the 
positions occupied by Barksdale s men and our artillery, 
but the latter generally reserved its fire for the infantry. 
An attempt to turn the right of the position by the 
right bank of Hazel Eun was repulsed by Pendleton s 
artillery and every effort to get possession of the heights 
was baffled and repulsed until after 11 A.M., when two 
large attacking columns of a division each were formed, 
one of the divisions from below being brought up for 
that purpose. One of these columns moved against 
Marye s Hill and the other against Lee s Hill, both at 
the same time, while Gibbon s division demonstrated 
against the heights above with storming parties in front. 
The column that moved against Marye s Hill, consisting 
of Newton s division, made its attack on the famous stone 
wall defended by a regiment and three companies, and 
its storming parties were twice broken and driven back 
in disorder by the gallant little band that held that 
position, but constantly returning to the attack with 
overwhelming numbers the enemy finally succeeded in 
carrying the work, after having sustained terrible 
slaughter.* Then passing around the foot of the hill a 

* Sedgwick, in his testimony before the Congressional Committee 
on the War, says : " I lost a thousand men in less than ten minutes 
time in taking the heights of Fredericksburg." 

General Barksdale informed me that just before this final attack 
was made the enemy sent a flag of truce to Colonel Griffin, commanding 
the force behind the stone wall, asking permission to take care of his 
wounded lying in front under our fire, which permission was im 
prudently granted by Colonel Griffin, without his knowledge, and that 
the weakness of the force at that point was thus discovered, and 
immediately afterwards the assaulting columns advanced. 



portion of the attacking column came up in the rear, cap 
turing Squires guns (which had been fought to the 
last minute), and along with them the Captain and his 

The column sent against Lee s Hill did not succeed in 
carrying it by assault, but was kept at bay until Marye s 
Hill had fallen, when the position being untenable, the 
regiments defending it were withdrawn up the hill, and 
the enemy was thus able to take possession of that also. 
The artillery on both hills had done good service in aid 
ing to repel all the previous assaults and to resist this. 
The companies of the 21st Mississippi in the trenches 
on the left of Marye s Hill were compelled to retire to 
prevent being surrounded and captured, as were also 
Hays regiments in the trenches further to the left, the 
latter being compelled to cross the Plank road higher up, 
as their retreat on the Telegraph road was cut off. The 
enemy got on Hays flank and rear before he was aware 
the hill on his right was taken, and the consequence was 
that he lost a few prisoners. He succeeded, however, in 
making good his retreat. 

General Barksdale partially rallied his regiments and 
made obstinate resistance to the enemy s advance on the 
Telegraph road, falling back gradually before the large 
force opposing him. The greater portion of the guns 
on Lee s Hill were carried off, but some were lost be 
cause the horses belonging to them had been carried to 
the rear to be out of reach of the enemy s shells, and 
could not be got up in time to carry off the pieces. Ten 
guns were lost in all, including those taken at Marye s 
Hill, but two were subsequently recovered, making our 
final loss in that respect eight pieces. 

Wilcox s brigade was above at Banks Ford, but not 
under my command, and was about to move up to Chan- 
cellorsville, but hearing that the enemy was advancing 
up the river, General Wilcox hurried to the vicinity of 
Taylor s house at the extreme left of the line with two 
pieces of artillery and sixty men, and putting his guns 



in position, opened with effect on a portion of Gibbon s 
division when it was trying to effect a crossing of the 
canal at the upper end. He then detained his brigade, 
and subsequently started a regiment to Barksdale s 
assistance at his request, but before it arrived Marye s 
Hill had been taken and it therefore retired. General 
Wilcox subsequently did good service in resisting the 
enemy s advance up the Plank road. 

While these events were transpiring above, I was 
near the left of the line occupied by my division, and in a 
position from which I could observe a good deal of the 
movements, but could not see Marye s Hill very well. 
After what was supposed to be the enemy s effort to 
move up Deep Run and thus break our lines had been 
thwarted, and when I saw the infantry moving up 
towards Fredericksburg, I sent one of my aides, Lieu 
tenant Callaway, to Lee s Hill, to give notice to Generals 
Barksdale and Pendleton and to ascertain how they were 
getting on. After he had been gone some time, I became 
uneasy and determined to ride up myself. 

While I was on my way some one came galloping up 
in my rear and stated that some person below had seen 
the enemy s troops and flag go up on Marye s Hill. I 
did not think this could be so, but rode on rapidly, hoping 
that the statement was untrue. I soon met a courier from 
General Pendleton with a note stating that they had so 
far repulsed any attack and could hold their position. 
This relieved me for an instant, but in a few minutes 
Lieutenant Callaway came galloping with the informa 
tion that the enemy certainly had carried the heights, 
and that he had seen his attacking column ascending them 
at Marye s house, a very few minutes after parting with 
Generals Barksdale and Pendleton, who were on Lee s 
Hill and who had just stated to him that they thought 
they could hold the position. 

I at once sent an order to General Gordon, who occu 
pied my right, to move up as soon as possible with three 
of his regiments over the road I was following, which was 

14 209 


the nearest practicable one. I then galloped to the 
Telegraph road, and soon met Pendleton s artillery going 
rapidly to the rear, and ordered it to be halted. Going 
on I found General Barksdale on the ridge immediately 
in rear of Lee s Hill rallying his men and skirmishing 
with the enemy who had ascended the hill, and before 
whom they were retiring gradually but obstinately. 
Barksdale s men were rather scattered, but the 6th 
Louisiana had retired in good order and I directed it to 
form a line, and Barksdale to halt and get his men in 
line, which he did. I also ordered a battery of artillery 
to be brought forward into action and soon one was by 
my side and unlimbered but did not fire. 

There was a line of the enemy in front a few hundred 
yards on the crest of the hill, and I turned to the officer 
commanding the battery and asked him why he did not 
fire, to which he replied, "I have no ammunition, sir." 
I ordered another to be brought forward, and a battery 
of Howitzers, from CabelPs battalion, was brought up 
and opened with canister. The enemy s advance had been 
checked by the demonstration, but he soon brought up 
some artillery and opened on us at short range with 
shrapnel and canister, and I ordered the line to retire 
a short distance, which it did in good order, taking up 
another position. In this manner we continued to retire 
.along the Telegraph road from point to point, taking ad 
vantage of favorable portions of the ground to make a 
stand until the enemy ceased to pursue. I then ordered 
General Barksdale to take position at Cox s house, about 
two miles in rear of Lee s Hill, where the first cross 
road leaves the Telegraph road to get into the Plank 
road, and to establish Hays (to whom I had sent a mes 
sage to come around to the Telegraph road) on the line, 
as well as Gordon s regiments, when they arrived. 

By obtaining possession of Lee s Hill, the enemy had 
obtained a position from which he could completely 
enfilade my line on the right, and as soon as the fore 
going arrangements were made, I rode rapidly to the 



right and threw back the troops there into a second line 
which had been previously prepared in the rear, and 
which was not enfiladed; and Colonel Andrews was 
ordered to take position with all of his guns on the 
ridge at the head of the Deep Run valley, so as to protect 
the left flank of my division and the right of Barksdale s 

All these movements were made without molestation 
from the enemy. Of course I did not know what the 
purposes of the enemy were, and took my measures to 
provide as well as I could for any emergency that might 
present itself. I had met Gordon with his three regi 
ments immediately after leaving Barksdale, and directed 
him to join the latter. After making the dispositions on 
the right, I rode back to Barksdale s position and found 
his line established with Hays and Gordon in position. 

It had been now ascertained that the enemy was 
moving up the Plank road, and I rode out to a position 
across Hazel Run, from which I could see the moving 
columns and discovered that it was moving very slowly, 
and that it finally halted. Lieutenant Pitzer, one of 
my aides, had been at Lee s Hill when the heights were 
carried, and knowing the importance of the affair to 
General Lee, had gone at once to give him the informa 
tion, as he knew that it would be some time before I 
could be informed so as to send a messenger myself, and 
thus judiciously anticipated me in putting General Lee 
on his guard. 

While the events thus detailed were transpiring on 
the line occupied by me, a great battle had been fought 
between General Lee s forces and the main body of 
Hooker s army. Hooker had crossed the river above and 
concentrated four corps at Chancellorsville in a strong 
position, and Anderson s division of Longstreet s corps, 
Longstreet himself being still absent with two of his 
divisions, had watched the movement of the enemy and 
resisted his advance column, taking position on the Plank 
road at Tabernacle Church. McLaws division and the 



three divisions of Jackson s corps had moved up during 
the night of the 30th of April and the morning of the 
1st of May and united with Anderson. Our troops had 
thus moved forward on the Plank road and the stone 
turnpike, Anderson s and McLaws divisions in front, 
and Jackson s divisions following Anderson s on the 
Plank road, and had driven an advanced line of the 
enemy back to within a mile of Chancellorsville upon his 
main force. 

Early on the morning of the 2nd, Anderson s and 
McLaws divisions, with the exception of Wilcox s 
brigade of Anderson s division, which had been sent back 
to Banks Ford, and Barksdale s brigade of McLaws 
division which was at Fredericksburg, were left to con 
front the enemy on the side next to Fredericksburg, and 
Jackson moved with his three divisions, by a circuitous 
route to the left, to gain the rear of the enemy s right. 
Late in the afternoon, General Jackson reached the rear 
of the enemy s right flank about three miles beyond 
Chancellorsville, and with Eodes in front followed by 
Colston with Trimble s division, and A. P. Hill, ad 
vanced at once with great vigor, driving the enemy before 
him, carrying position after position, routing entirely 
one corps, and capturing a number of guns and prisoners, 
until his advance was arrested by the abattis in front 
of the central position near Chancellorsville. Night had 
come on by this time, and General Jackson ordered A. P. 
Hill s division, which was following in rear of the other 
two, to the front to take the place of the latter. He 
himself went to the front to reconnoitre for the purpose 
of ordering another advance, and, having sent an order 
to Hill to press on, while returning in the darkness was 
shot and dangerously wounded * under an unfortunate 
mistake, by a part of Hill s advancing troops. General 

* Captain R. E. WELBOUBN : 

Some conflicting accounts of the manner in which General Jackson 
was shot have been published, and as you were with him, I will be 



A. P. Hill was soon after disabled and the advance was 
thus arrested. 

When Jackson s guns opened, our troops on the right 
pressed the enemy s left heavily to prevent any troops 
being sent from that flank against Jackson, but no attack 
in front was made then and night put an end to the 
operations in that quarter. Hooker had been joined 
during the day by the 1st corps brought up from opposite 

very much obliged, if you will give me all the details of the affair. 
With pleasant recollections of your official connection with me, 

Yrs. very truly 
LYNCHBURG, Feb. 12, 1873. J. A. EARLY. 

General J. A. EARLY: 

I give you the facts relating to the wounding of General T. J. 
Jackson. As the details of the battle are familiar to you, I will begin 
with Jackson s movements after the battle was over, and all seemed 
quiet, the enemy having disappeared from our immediate front, and 
all firing consequently having ceased. Jackson took advantage of this 
lull in the storm to relieve Rodes troops (who had been fighting and 
steadily advancing and making repeated charges from the time the 
fight began), and had ordered General Hill to the front to relieve 
Rodes with his fresh troops, directing the change to be made as 
quickly as possible. We were within a half mile of the open fields 
near Chancellorsville, where the enemy was supposed to be strongly 
entrenched. While the change was being made Jackson manifested 
great impatience to get Hill s troops into line and ready to move 
promptly, and to accomplish this he sent the members of his staff 
with orders to Hill and other general officers to hurry up the move 
ment. From the orders sent to General Stuart it was evident that 
his intention was to storm the enemy s works at Chancellorsville as 
soon as the lines were formed, and before the enemy recovered from 
the shock and confusion of the previous fighting, and to place the left 
of his army between Hooker and the river. While these orders were 
being issued Jackson sat on his horse just in front of the line on the 
pike. From this point he sent me with an order to General Hill. I 
galloped back and met Hill, in about 50 yards, riding along the pike 
towards General Jackson. I turned and rode with him to his lines, he 
stopping within a few feet of their front. I then rode immediately 
on to General Jackson, who was in sight, and only a few paces in 
front of Hill, just in the position I had left him. As I reached him, 
he sent off the only staff officer present, with orders to Hill to move 



Fredericksburg, but at the close of the fight his lines had 
been very much contracted, and his troops on his right 
greatly scattered ; and early in the night he telegraphed 
to Sedgwick to cross the river and move up to Chan- 
cellorsville on the Plank road, which dispatch found 
Sedgwick already across. 

General Jackson had been entirely disabled by his 
wound, and General A. P. Hill was so injured as to be 
unable to command in the field. Brigadier General Rodes 

forward as soon as possible, and then started slowly along the pike 
towards the enemy. I rode at his left side, two of my signal men 
just behind us, followed by couriers, etc., in columns of twos. General 
Jackson thought, while awaiting HilPs movements, that he would ride 
to the front, as far as the skirmish line, or pickets, and ascertain what 
could be seen or heard of the enemy and his movements, supposing 
there was certainly a line of skirmishers in front, as his orders were 
always very imperative to keep a skirmish line in front of the line of 
battle. When we had ridden only a few rods and reached a point 
nearly opposite an old dismantled house in the woods (near the road 
to our right) and while I was delivering to him General Hill s reply 
to his order given a few moments before, to our great surprise our 
little party was fired upon by about a battalion or probably less of 
our troops, a little to our right and to the right of the pike, the balls 
passing diagonally across the pike and apparently aimed at us. There 
seemed to be one gun discharged, followed almost instantly by this 
volley. The single gun may have been discharged accidentally, but 
seemed to have been taken as a signal by the troops, to announce the 
approach of the enemy. I hardly think the troops saw us, though 
they could hear our horses feet on the pike and probably fired at 
random in the supposed direction of the enemy. However, the origin 
of the firing is mere conjecture, but it came as above stated, and many 
of the escorts and their horses were shot down. At the firing our 
horses wheeled suddenly to the left and General Jackson, at whose 
side I rode, galloped away followed by the few who were not dis 
mounted by the first firing, into the woods to get out of range of 
the bullets, and approached our line a little obliquely, but had not gone 
over 20 steps beyond the edge of the pike, into the thicket, ere the 
brigade just to the left of the turnpike (on our right as we approached 
from the direction of the enemy), drawn up within 30 yards of us, 
fired a volley in their turn, kneeling on the right knee, as shown by the 
flash of their guns, as though prepared to guard against cavalry. By 
this fire General Jackson was wounded. These troops evidently mis- 



was the officer next in rank, but having a very natural 
hesitation to assume the responsibility of so large and 
important a command, Major General Stuart of the 
cavalry, who was operating in connection with General 
Jackson, was requested to assume command, which he 
did. During the night the enemy strengthened his con 
tracted line with breastworks and abattis, and strongly 
fortified other positions in his rear nearer the Bappa- 

took us for the enemy s cavalry. We could distinctly hear General 
Hill calling, at the top of his voice, to his troops to make them cease 
firing. He knew that we had just passed in front of him, as did the 
troops immediately on the pike, and I don t think these latter fired. 
I was alongside of Jackson, and saw his arm fall at his side, loosing 
the rein, when the volley came from the left. His horse wheeled sud 
denly and ran through the bushes toward the enemy. The limb of a 
tree took off his cap and threw him flat on the back on his horse. I 
rode after him, passing under the same limb, which took off my hat 
also, but Jackson soon regained his seat, caught the bridle in his right 
hand, and turning his horse towards the pike and our men, somewhat 
checked his speed. As he turned to the pike, it gave me the inside 
track, and I caught his horse as he reached the pike, which he was 
approaching at an acute angle. Just as I caught the reins, Captain 
Wynn rode up on the opposite side of him and caught hold of the 
reins on that side, almost simultaneously. By this time the confusion 
was over and all was quiet, and looking up and down the pike in every 
direction, no living creature could be seen save us three. 

As soon as I could check Jackson s horse, I dismounted, and see 
ing that he was faint, I asked him what I could do for him, or if he 
felt able to ride as far as into our lines. He answered, " You had best 
take me down," leaning, as he spoke, toward me and then falling, 
partially fainting from loss of blood. 

I was on the side of the broken arm, while his horse had his head 
turned towards the enemy and about where we were when first fired 
upon, and would not be kept still, as he was frightened and suffering 
from his own wounds. As General Jackson fell over on me, I caught 
him in my arms, and held him until Captain Wynn could get his feet 
out of the stirrups, then we carried him in our arms some 10 or 15 
steps north of the pike, where he was laid on the ground, resting his 
head in my lap, while I proceeded to dress his wounds, cutting off his 
coat sleeves, and binding a handkerchief tightly above and below his 
wound and putting his arm in a sling. Wynn went for Dr. McGuire 



Early in the morning of the 3rd, Stuart renewed the 
attack with Jackson s division on the left, while Ander 
son pressed forward with his right resting on the Plank 
road, and McLaws demonstrated on the right. The enemy 
was forced back from numerous strongholds until Ander 
son s left connected with Stuart s right, when the whole 
line attacked with irresistible force, driving the enemy 
from all his fortified positions around Chancellorsville 
with very heavy loss, and forcing him to retreat to the 

and an ambulance, and I was left alone with him until General Hill 
came up. Just before Hill reached us, Jackson revived a little and 
asked me to have a skilful surgeon attend him. When I told him 
what had been done he said " Very good." 

The enemy evidently thought the firing had thrown our men into 
confusion and resolved to take advantage of it by making a determined 
attack at this time, so in a few minutes, it was announced by Lieu 
tenant Morrison, who had joined Jackson while he was lying on the 
ground, and now ran up in a very excited manner, crying out, " The 
enemy is within 50 yards and advancing. Let us take the General 
away." Jackson was still lying with his head in my lap, I had finished 
tying up his arm where it was broken, and asked him where his other 
wound was, and what I should do for that, when he replied, " In my 
right hand, but never mind that, it is a mere trifle." He said nothing 
about the wound in his left wrist, and did not seem aware of it, 
doubtless owing to the fact that the arm was broken above. Upon 
hearing Morrison s warning, I sprang up, and said, " Let us take the 
General in our arms, and carry him back," to which he replied, " No, 
if you will help me up, I can walk." He had only gone a few steps, when 
we met a litter and placed him on it. He was being borne off on foot, 
supported by Captain Lee and one or two others, I walking between 
them and the pike, and leading three horses, trying to keep the troops, 
then moving down the pike, from seeing who it was, but found this 
impossible, and we met some men with this litter before we had gone 
ten steps. While placing Jackson on it, the enemy opened fire on us 
at short range, from a battery planted on the pike and with infantry; 
a terrific fire of grape, shell, minie balls, etc., and advancing at a 
rapid rate. Everything seemed to be seized with a panic, and taken 
by surprise, our line was thrown into confusion. It recoiled and for 
awhile continued to give way, and the enemy pressed forward. Such 
was the disorder that I thought that General Jackson and party would 
certainly fall into the hands of the enemy. The horses jerked loose, 
and ran in every direction, and before we proceeded far one of the 



new fortifications nearer the Eappahannock. By ten 
o clock A.M. General Lee was in full possession of Chan- 
cellorsville and the field of battle. He then proceeded to 
reorganize his troops for an advance against the enemy s 
new position, to which the latter had been able to retreat 
under shelter of the dense woods, which covered all the 
ground, and also rendered an advance by our troops in 
line of battle very difficult and hazardous. 

General Lee had just completed his arrangements to 
renew the attack, when he received the intelligence of 
the capture of Marye s Hill by Sedgwick s force and the 

litter bearers was shot, having both of his arms broken, and General 
Jackson fell to the ground. As he lay there he grew faint from loss 
of blood, having fallen on his wounded side, and his arm began to 
bleed afresh. I rode away to try to get some whiskey for the purpose 
of reviving him, and at a short distance met Dr. McGuire and Colonel 
Pendleton, to whom I told what had happened, as we rode towards 
the place where I left Jackson. The ambulance came up; we hurried 
it to the front, and, reaching Jackson, placed him in it. As soon as 
the ambulance left, I was ordered by Colonel Pendleton, after consul 
tation with General Rodes, to go to General Lee as quickly as possible 
and communicate the intelligence to him, explaining our position, what 
had been accomplished, who had taken command; and ask him to 
come to that place. 

During the attack on our forces so many of our men had gone 
past us that we seemed to be left with no troops between us and the 
enemy, and I made up my mind to remain with the General to nurse 
him, as it seemed we should soon be in their hands. However, the 
gallant Fender in command after the wounding of General Hill 
soon rallied his line and pressed forward, driving the enemy back to 
his works, at which quiet was restored for the night, the fight having 
ended as suddenly as it began. 

Many people have thought it strange that Jackson should give an 
order to troops to fire at everything, especially cavalry approaching 
from the direction of the enemy, and then place himself in a situation 
to have himself fired upon. I heard of no such order, and feel sure 
that none such was given. If such had been the order it would have 
been given to the skirmish line, and there could have been no necessity 
for such an order to them, as they would do this anyway. 


(Chief Signal Officer, 2nd Army Corps, 1863, Lieutenant General 
Jackson, commanding.) 



advance of his column ; and he found it necessary to look 
after the new opponent. Sedgwick had moved up the 
Plank road held by Wilcox s brigade, which gradually 
retired, and finally made a stand at Salem Church on the 
Plank road, about five miles from Fredericksburg, when, 
by a gallant resistance, the head of the column was held 
at bay until the arrival of McLaws with four brigades, 
and the further advance of the enemy was effectually 

It will be thus seen of what importance to General 
Lee s own movements were those below at Fredericks- 
burg, and how the capture of the heights in rear of the 
two affected him. A force of at least 30,000 men had 
been detained from Hooker s army by considerably less 
than 10,000 on our side. It is true that Sedgwick had 
finally broken through the force opposed to him and com 
menced an advance up towards the rear of General 
Lee s army, but he had not done so until the latter had 
had time to gain a brilliant victory, and drive Hooker 
to a position of defence from which he could not ad 
vance except under great disadvantages. 

Sedgwick s column had thus been detained by Wil- 
cox until a force was brought down to arrest its progress 
entirely, and time was given to make arrangements to 
fall upon Sedgwick while separated from the rest of 
Hooker s army. Barksdale s brigade and the artillery 
posted with it had resisted all assaults upon their posi 
tion for at least six hours, thus giving General Lee the 
requisite time to gain his victory, and in being finally 

* In this condition of things, Lincoln telegraphed to General 
Hooker s Chief of Staff, who was on the north bank near Falmouth, 
as follows: 


"Where is General Hooker? Where is Sedgwick? Where is 
Stoneman? A. LINCOLN. 

"Sent 4.35 P.M." (See report Committee on the War.) 



compelled to succumb to overwhelming numbers that 
brigade had lost no honor. It was impossible for me to 
reinforce Barksdale with a larger force than I sent to 
him, and I then weakened very much the defences on the 
right. Had Sedgwick communicated his purposes to me 
and informed me that he would assault Marye s and 
Lee s Hills and those positions alone, then I would have 
moved my whole force to those points and held them 
against his entire force. 

As it was, a division of Sedgwick s corps larger than 
my own immediately confronted the position occupied 
by the three brigades of my division left after Hays 
had been sent to Barksdale, and if that position had been 
abandoned and the brigades defending it moved to the 
left, the division confronting it, and which was con 
stantly demonstrating towards it, would have moved up, 
taken possession of the line, and then moved upon my 
rear, compelling me to abandon the works on the left 
practically without a struggle, or submit to a much 
greater disaster than that which occurred. Sedgwick 
would hardly have been so blind as to rush his troops 
up against the strong positions at Marye s and Lee s 
Hill s while defended by a force sufficiently large to hold 
them, when there would have been an easy way open 
to him for their capture and that of the whole force 
defending them by simply moving a portion of troops 
to the rear. Marye s Hill would have fallen much sooner 
than it did, if it had been occupied by my whole force, 
or if a force sufficiently strong to prevent the position 
from being turned had not been retained on the right. 
By holding the position on the right, therefore, the fall 
of Marye s Hill and the consequent advance of Sedg 
wick s column above were both very considerably re 
tarded, and when the catastrophe did happen there was 
left a considerable force to threaten and fall upon Sedg 
wick s rear. I think I may claim that the force entrusted 
to my command had accomplished all that could reason- 



ably have been expected of it under the circumstances 
in which it was placed. 

I will now return to my own position. Just as I 
was returning from observing Sedgwick s column I en 
countered, at Hazel Run, one of General McLaws staff 
officers, Major Costin, coming down under an escort of 
cavalry, and he informed me that General McLaws had 
moved down the Plank road to meet the enemy, and 
that General Lee wished him and myself to attack Sedg- 
wick in conjunction and endeavor to overwhelm him, and 
there was a note or message from General McLaws re 
questing information as to my position and that of the 
enemy, and asking what place I proposed, for attacking 
the enemy. 

I think there was a note received later from General 
Lee communicating his wishes in regard to the proposed 
attack, similar to information brought by Major Costin 
at any rate the information of his views and wishes was 
brought by Lieutenant Pitzer on his return. It was about 
an hour before sunset when Major Costin reached me, and 
that part of my division on the right was more than three 
miles from the position at Cox s, so that it was im 
possible to accomplish anything that night. I imme 
diately sent a note to General McLaws informing him 
that I would concentrate all my force that night and 
move against the enemy very early next morning, drive 
him from Lee s and Marye s Hills, and extend my left 
while advancing so as to connect with his (McLaws ) 
right, and continue to move against the enemy above, 
after his connection with Fredericksburg was severed; 
and I asked General McLaws co-operation in this plan. 
During the night, I received a note from him assenting 
to my plan and containing General Lee s approval of 
it also. 

As soon as the first communication had been received 
from General McLaws, my troops from the right were 
ordered up, but it was after night before they were all 
concentrated. Andrews artillery was brought up before 



night, one battery being left on the ridge so as to cover 
my right flank on the line across the Telegraph road, 
and a regiment of infantry being posted so as to guard 
against a surprise on that flank, if the enemy should 
move around Lee s Hill up the left of Deep Bun. Just 
before dark, we discovered a piece of artillery advancing 
along the Telegraph road in our front, followed by a few 
wagons. The men in charge of the piece of artillery 
came on so deliberately, though in full view of our line, 
that we took it for granted that it must be one of the 
pieces supposed to be captured, with a forge or two, that 
had been probably able to elude the vigilance of the 
enemy by concealment in some of the ravines. 

The approaching darkness rendered objects very in 
distinct, and we therefore watched the approaching piece 
until it got within a few hundred yards of us, when the 
drivers suddenly discovered who we were, wheeled 
rapidly and dashed to the rear, and we became then 
aware that it was one of the enemy s pieces. Some of 
Andrews guns which were ready opened fire, but the 
piece of artillery got off, though some of the mules to 
a wagon and to a forge were killed, and we found and 
secured the latter the next day with several fine mules. 

The night passed quietly with us, and at light on the 
morning of the 4th I prepared to advance. My plan 
was to advance along the Telegraph road with Gordon s 
brigade in line in front, followed by Andrews battalion 
of artillery and Graham s battery, with Smith s and 
Barksdale s brigades following in the rear, forming a 
second line, and to throw Hays and Hoke s brigades 
across Hazel Eun opposite my present position so as to 
move down the left bank, as the column moved along 
the Telegraph road against the heights, both of which I 
took it for granted the enemy held, as the affair just at 
dusk the evening before must have given him notice of 
my presence. 

It was my purpose, as soon as the heights were taken 
and the enemy s connection with Fredericksburg cut, to 



advance with Gordon s and Smith s brigades up the 
Plank road and river, and for Hays and Hoke to advance 
across towards the Plank road extending to the left 
to connect with McLaws, while Barksdale s brigade and 
some of Pendleton s artillery should be posted to hold 
Marye s and Lee s Hills and protect my rear from the 
direction of Fredericksburg. The ravine of Hazel Run is 
so rugged that it was impossible to cross it except where 
there were roads, and therefore it was necessary to pass 
Hays and Hoke s brigades over at the ford on my left. 

Gordon s brigade was placed in line at light, and 
Andrews artillery immediately in its rear, while Smith 
and Barksdale were ordered to take their positions and 
be in readiness to follow. I then went with General Hays 
and Hoke, whose brigades were put in motion, across 
Hazel Run to point out to them the positions they were 
to take and how they were to move. After doing this, 
I rode back and found to my surprise that Gordon had 
moved off under a misapprehension of my order, as he 
was to have waited until all was ready, and I designed 
accompanying him. Andrews had followed him and I 
immediately put Smith and Barksdale in motion, the 
former along the road by flank, and Barksdale in line of 
battle on the right. 

The line of hills composed of Marye s, Cemetery, 
Stansbury s, and Taylor s Hills descends towards the 
Marye s Hill, which is the lowest, Taylor s, bordering 
on the river at the upper end of the canal, being much 
the highest. Stansbury s, Cemetery, and Marye s Hills 
are separated from a higher range on the southwest 
by a very small stream which rises between Taylor s 
Hill and the Plank road and runs across that road into 
Hazel Run, some distance above the crossing of the 
Telegraph road over that run. Cemetery and Marye s 
Hills slope back gradually to the little stream, and from 
the latter, on the southwest, rise steep hills terminating 
in a high, wide ridge, along which the Plank road runs ; 
and the face of these hills fronting towards Cemetery 



and Marye s Hills is intersected by a number of deep 
ravines, up one of which the Plank road ascends to get 
on the main ridge. On the south side of the road and 
a little distance from it the main ridge terminates in a 
high hill which descends abruptly to Hazel Eun, the face 
towards the run being wooded. At the lower front of 
the base of this hill is a mill called the Alum Spring 
Mill. Just at the upper part of the base of the hill a 
branch of Hazel Eun comes in, uniting with the main 
stream. This branch rises some distance above near 
the Plank road, and runs nearly parallel to it, through 
a deep valley to its junction with the main stream. 

On the south of this valley is another long wide ridge 
which extends for some distance parallel to that along 
which the Plank road runs and also terminates with an 
abrupt descent to Hazel Eun. On the south of the Plank 
road, and on the same ridge with it, is situated Mr. 
Guest s house some two or three miles from Fredericks- 
burg, and nearly opposite to it on the other ridge is Mr. 
Downman s house. On the extremities of the lesser 
ridges, projecting out from that on which the Plank 
road is located, was a line of small works and epaulments 
for artillery, extending from the river at Taylor s Hill 
to and across the Plank road, which had been previously 
made by our troops, and this line completely commanded 
the crests and rear slopes of Marye s, Cemetery and 
Stansbury s Hills, being much higher. 

The Plank road crosses the little stream, with a 
high embankment extending for some distance on both 
sides, the stream passing through a culvert. The Tele 
graph road passes towards Fredericksburg from Cox s 
house, where I was, along a ridge to Lee s Hill and 
descends the hill on the side of the slope next to Hazel 

Gordon, when he started, advanced rapidly along the 
Telegraph road, and when he reached Lee s Hill, it was 
found unoccupied, but a body of infantry was moving 
along the Plank road from the town between Marye s 



Hill and the ridge above, which halted and took position 
behind the embankment of the road. In the valley be 
tween Guest s and Downman s houses, was observed a 
considerable body of infantry, and at Downman s house a 
battery of artillery. Gordon threw out his skirmishers 
and made preparations to descend the hill and cross over 
Hazel Bun above Marye s Hill. Andrews placed Gra 
ham s battery in position on the road and opened on the 
infantry in the valley, which moved out of the way. 
Two large bodies of infantry, supposed to be brigades, 
each then moved over the ridge just beyond the Alum 
Spring Mill, threatening Gordon s left, as he was ad 
vancing. Graham turned his guns on them and soon 
drove them off up the ridge. Gordon then made a dash 
across the run and after a sharp engagement drove off 
the infantry behind the road embankment, capturing 
some prisoners and securing several baggage and sub 
sistence wagons, a battery wagon, and a forge with 
their teams, which were passing up the road with the 
infantry he encountered. 

This gave us the possession of Marye s and Cemetery 
Hills again, and cut the enemy s connection with Fred- 
ericksburg. Arriving soon after with Smith s brigade I 
threw it across Hazel Run to the support of Gordon, 
the batteries from the Stafford Heights opening a heavy 
fire on it as it descended Lee s Hill. Barksdale s brigade, 
which had halted in the rear without orders, was then 
sent for, to occupy the stone wall at the foot of Marye s 
Hill, and General Barksdale was ordered to move rapidly 
into the town if not held by too large a force, get pos 
session of the bridge, and secure a camp of wagons seen 
at the lower part of the town. When Graham s guns 
were operating upon the bodies of infantry in the valley 
between Guest s and Downman s houses and those threat 
ening Gordon s flank, the enemy s battery at Down 
man s house, opened fire on them, but as soon as the 
infantry was disposed of, Graham turned his two 20 
pounder Parrots on the enemy s guns, which returned 



across the valley and took position near Guest s house 
where they were out of reach. 

Seeing the enemy s wagons moving off from the 
town and not hearing Barksdale s rifles, I sent a staff 
officer to repeat the orders, and received a reply that he 
was preparing to send forward his skirmishers ; a second 
messenger sent to him returned with the information that 
his skirmishers reported a heavy force holding the town, 
entrenched within rifle pits. The enemy s wagon trains 
had thus made their escape, and I sent orders to Barks- 
dale to desist from the attack on the town and to dis 
pose of his brigade so as to resist any advance from that 
direction. It turned out that the town was held by Gib 
bon s division which had been left behind. 

I had listened anxiously to hear the sound of McLaws 
guns or some indication of his being engaged, but heard 
nothing. The enemy had not expected us in this direc 
tion, and he was therefore evidently taken by surprise, 
but Gordon s advance, which was so handsomely made, 
being sooner than I had intended, had given the enemy 
time to form his troops in line, to meet any further 
advance I could make after my arrival; and as the char 
acter of the ground was such that considerable bodies of 
troops could be concealed from my view from any point 
that was accessible to me, I could not tell what force I 
would have to encounter on ascending the hills above. 

I could see that all the little works on the heights 
were occupied by infantry, making a line extending across 
from Taylor s Hill to the brow of the hill beyond and 
above the Alum Spring Mill. Gordon s and Smith s 
brigades had taken position in the trenches along the 
crests from the Plank road towards Taylor s Hill, facing 
towards the enemy above and with their backs towards 
Fredericksburg. The enemy did not open then with 
artillery, and as they were very much exposed, I thought 
possibly he did not have any on that flank, and I there 
fore determined to feel him and make him develop what 
he had. 

15 225 


Smith was ordered to advance his brigade towards 
the heights occupied by the enemy above ; two regiments, 
the 13th and 58th Virginia, advanced against one of the 
positions which appeared to be occupied by the strongest 
force, and the 49th and 52nd separately against other 
points. The regiments advanced to the base of the hills 
and commenced ascending, when the enemy appeared 
in force on their crests, and also opened with artillery 
from the neighborhood of Taylor s house. The 13th and 
58th Regiments became heavily engaged, and the 49th 
and 52nd slightly. 

It was now apparent that the hills were held in strong 
force, and as an attempt to carry them from that direc 
tion, as my troops were then located, would have been 
under great disadvantage and attended with great diffi 
culty, I ordered the regiments to be withdrawn. The 
49th and 52nd were withdrawn without difficulty and 
with but slight loss, the 13th and 58th being on the right 
and more exposed to the enemy s guns were withdrawn 
with more difficulty and heavier loss. The 13th lost 17 
prisoners and 58th 71, including the color bearer of 
the latter with his colors, the most of the men captured, 
including the color bearer of the 58th, taking refuge in 
a house at the foot of the hill, under the fire of the 
enemy s guns as well as his infantry, and declining to 
fall back over the plain while exposed to the fire of the 

They were thus captured by their own misconduct, 
the enemy sending to take possession of them, which I 
could not prevent without bringing on a heavy engage 
ment under disadvantageous circumstances, and thus in 
curring a much heavier loss of men. The brigade re 
sumed its position after this affair, and I sent Lieutenant 
Pitzer to General McLaws to apprise him of what had 
been done and my position, with a request for him to 
begin his attack on the enemy and the information that 
I could move two brigades, Hays and Hoke s, across 
towards the Plank road extending to the left as they 



advanced to connect with his right, and, as soon as the 
enemy was engaged so as to make it practicable, I would 
move up from below with my other two brigades, Gor 
don s and Smith s; Hays and Hoke s brigades had 
moved down the left bank of Hazel Run and were put in 
position to co-operate with McLaws attack, when made, 
by moving across the ridge on which Downman s house 
was located, and orders were given them accordingly. 
General McLaws did not make the attack, and Lieutenant 
Pitzer returned with the information that Anderson s 
division was coming down, and with instruction for me 
to wait until he was in position, when at a signal given 
by firing three guns rapidly in succession, a simultaneous 
attack should be made by the whole force. 

When Anderson s force began to arrive, I was able 
to draw Hays and Hoke nearer to my right, and I there 
fore brought Hays brigade across the branch of Hazel 
Run, which has been mentioned, and put his brigade in 
line at the foot of the hill near Alum Spring Mill, so that 
it might move up the wooded face of the hill on to the 
plain above, which was occupied by a part of the enemy s 
force. Hoke s brigade was placed in line just in the edge 
of the woods on the rear slope of the lower end of the 
ridge on which Downman s house was, facing towards 
the Plank road, concealed from the view of the enemy, 
as was Hays . 

General Lee came down himself before the signal was 
given, and sent for me to meet him towards my left. We 
examined the position of the enemy together, as well as 
we could, and I explained to him my plan of attacking 
with my force, which was, for Hays to move up the hill 
at foot of which he was and directly forward, which 
would carry him to the Plank road, and up on the right 
side; for Hoke to move over the ridge below Downman s 
house and across the valley to the other ridge, as far as 
the Plank road, where he was to change direction so as 
to move up on the left of the road ; and when the signal 
was heard, Gordon was to move rapidly by the flank to 



the ravine up which the Plank road runs, and then 
diagonally towards Taylor s house so as to sweep all the 
crests in front of him and Smith as they were then 
posted, and turn the enemy s left which rested near the 
river. Smith was to remain stationary so as to re 
inforce the brigades engaged, or Barksdale as might be 
necessary. General Lee approved my plan and directed 
me to carry it out as soon as the signal should be given, 
and then left me. 

Sedgwick s line covered the Plank road for some 
distance on the south side; being in the centre along 
the ridge or plateau on which the road is located, and 
bending back across it with both flanks which rested 
near the river, above and below. Guest s house was in 
his line and some artillery was posted near it, while 
Downman s house, and the ridge on which it was located 
were occupied by his skirmishers. In advance of the 
part of the line facing towards me, which was his left 
wing, there was an advanced line occupying the crests 
of the hills towards me, extending across from Taylor s 
Hill to the lower end of the valley which has been men 
tioned, with artillery posted near the left of this ad 
vanced line. 

The plateau, on the ridge where Downman s house was 
located, was entirely cleared of timber below the house, 
as was the valley between the two ridges. The ridge 
along which the Plank road runs was cleared on the 
south side of it, and from the direction of Fredericks- 
burg up to within a short distance below Guest s house, 
from which point bodies of woodland extended up the 
road for some distance and across towards Taylor s 
house, with occasional intervals of cleared land. 

We waited for the signal, but it was not given until 
a short time before sunset. When it was heard, Hoke 
moved at once across the plateau in his front between 
Downman s house and Hazel Run, then down the slope, 
across the valley, and up the steep ascent of the next 
ridge towards the Plank road, driving the enemy s 



skirmishers before him, while the guns at Guest s house 
played upon his advancing line without disturbing his 
beautiful order. Hays rapidly ascended the hill in front, 
immediately encountering the right of the enemy s front 
line, which he swept before him, and continued his ad 
vance without a halt. It was a splendid sight to see 
the rapid and orderly advance of these two brigades, 
with the enemy flying before them. The officers and 
men manning the artillery which had been posted on 
eminences along the Telegraph road and on the right 
bank of Hazel Bun so as to protect the infantry retreat 
in case of disaster, debarred from an active partici 
pation in the action, could not refrain from enthusiasti 
cally cheering the infantry, as it so handsomely swept 
everything in front. 

In the meantime Gordon, as soon as the signal was 
heard, moved his brigade by flank rapidly to the Plank 
road, formed in line up the ravine and swept on towards 
Taylor s house, clearing the crests of the enemy, com 
pelling his artillery on that flank to retire rapidly and 
driving the enemy s extreme left from its position back 
towards Banks Ford. On getting near the point of 
woods below Guest s house, Hays and Hoke s brigades 
approached each other. The artillery at Guest s house 
had been compelled to fly in order to prevent capture, 
and the enemy was retiring in confusion on all parts 
of the line confronting them and Gordon, but just then 
Hoke fell from his horse, with his arm badly shattered 
by a ball near the shoulder joint. 

The brigade thus losing its commander, to whom 
alone the instruction had been given, and without any 
one to direct its movement at that particular crisis, 
pushed on across the Plank road, encountered Hays 
brigade in the woods still advancing, and the two com 
mingling together were thrown into confusion. They 
crossed each other s paths in this condition, but still 
continued to advance, getting far into the woods. Hays 
brigade pressed on in its proper direction, but Hoke s, 



now under the command of Colonel Avery of the 6th 
North Carolina, had got to its right. The regiments 
of both brigades had lost their organization, and in the 
woods it was impossible to restore it. Portions of both 
brigades penetrated a considerable distance into the 
woods, still driving the enemy before them, but when 
scattered they came across a portion of the retiring force 
which had been rallied, and the advance parties were 
compelled to retire themselves, leaving some prisoners 
in the enemy s hands, many of whom had become so 
exhausted by their rapid advance that they were unable 
to get out of the way, and were picked up after the 
fighting was over. Other portions of the brigades, hear 
ing Gordon s firing on the right and not aware of his 
movements, thought the enemy was in their rear and 
retired also. The brigades were then rallied and re 
formed on the Plank road just below Guest s house. I 
had taken my position on the heights near the Telegraph 
road opposite the Alum Spring Mill, from which point 
I could see the movement of all three brigades, and 
when I discovered them all in motion and driving the 
enemy as described, I rode across Hazel Run in the 
direction taken by Hays brigade. 

I arrived just as the first men of that brigade were 
emerging from the woods, and directed the re-formation 
of the two brigades. Two regiments of Smith s brigade, 
the 49th and 52nd, were ordered up, but when, they 
arrived and the two brigades had been reorganized it 
had become too dark to make any further advance, and 
I did not hear either of the other two divisions engaged. 
Gordon s progress was also arrested by the approach 
of night, and he halted and assumed a position above 
Taylor s house confronting the enemy s left, which he 
had driven back very considerably. Hays and Hoke s 
brigades were put in line of battle across the Plank 
road, at the point where they had been rallied, with 
Smith s two regiments advanced to the front. 

McLaws division had not advanced at all. Ander- 



son s division had advanced on Hoke s left, driving the 
enemy s skirmishers, fronting his centre, from Down- 
man s house and the upper part of the ridge, but it 
did not cross to the Plank road until dark, when I saw 
Posey s brigade moving up the hill on my, then, left 
from the direction of Downman s house, and it took 
position above me on the Plank road, the enemy having 
retired from that road. Wright s brigade was subse 
quently moved across to the Plank road at eight or 
nine o clock and took position on Posey s left. The main 
attack had been made by my three brigades.* 

* The force which I encountered in front in this action was 
Howe s division. Brigadier General Howe testified before the Com 
mittee on the Conduct of the War. 

After speaking of the battle of Chancellorsville as a sharp 
skirmish, and claiming all the credit for capturing Marye s Hill, though 
his division advanced against Lee s Hill alone, and further claiming 
to have done all the fighting on the 4th, he says: 

" The prisoners taken all agreed that it was Early s, Anderson s, 
and McLaws divisions that attacked my division, and that the move 
ment was led by General Lee, who told them that it would be a good 
thing to destroy the 6th corps, or capture it; that it would not get out 
the Chancellorsville way, and that the movements in our rear would 
cut us off." 

It was my three brigades alone that attacked him, McLaws divi 
sion being above confronting Sedgwick s right, and Anderson s advanc 
ing against the centre. Again he says : 

" Some time after this movement, after we had returned to our 
old camps, I met General Hooker, and spoke to him of the movements 
we had made and the positions we held. I stated to him that after the 
fight on the 4th of May, I could have gone with my division on to the 
heights at Fredericksburg, and held them, or, if necessary, could have 
recrossed that way. He was surprised that those heights could have 
been held the night of the 4th, and said : If I had known that you 
could have gone on those heights and held them, and would have held 
them, I would have reinforced you with the whole army. That was the 
key of the position, and there was no difficulty in holding it. I told 
him that if I had not received orders to go back to Banks Ford, but 
had been allowed to go to the Fredericksburg heights, I could have 
marched there uninterruptedly after nine o clock that night; for after 
the fight we had had, the rebels abandoned the heights, and there was 
nothing to be seen of them. There was a bright moon that night, and 



After dark General Lee sent for me to go to him at 
Downman s house, where he had established his head 
quarters for the night. After informing him of the 
condition of things on my front, he directed me to leave 
two of my brigades in line on the north of the road, at 
right angles with it and facing the enemy, and to rein- 

we could see an object of the size of a man or a horse at a great 

Verily General Howe had accomplished wonders according to his 
own showing. He had with his solitary division routed the greater 
part of Lee s army, notwithstanding the rough handling it had been 
able to give Hooker s five corps above. Perhaps if he had made the 
attempt to march to the heights, he might have encountered the brigades 
of Gordon and Hoke which occupied a line extending from above 
Taylor s house towards the Plank road at Guest s house, and which had 
escaped his observation notwithstanding the light of the " bright moon 
that night." He might also have encountered Barksdale s, Hays , and 
Smith s brigades holding the heights, and disturbed my own head 
quarters on the left of Lee s Hill, which had been assumed at 12 at 
night after I had ridden along his whole front with my staff at a late 
hour, posting Hoke s brigade on Gordon s left and examining the 
position of the latter. General Howe was either mistaken or he was 
star gazing. 

Hooker, in his examination before the Congressional Committee in 
regard to the battle, made the following statement: 

" Our artillery had always been superior to that of the rebels, as 
was also our infantry, except in discipline, and that, for reasons not 
necessary to mention, never did equal Lee s army. With a rank and 
file mostly inferior to our own, intellectually and physically, that army 
has, by discipline alone, acquired a character for steadiness and effi 
ciency unsurpassed, in my judgment, in ancient or modern times. We 
have not been able to rival it, nor has there been any near approxima 
tion to it in the other rebel armies." 

Their artillery certainly surpassed ours far in numbers of guns, 
weight of metal, and the quality of the ammunition, and at long range 
their firing was admirable, while ours \vas defective from the defect 
in the ammunition, but when we came to close range so that our guns 
could tell, their gunners lost their coolness and ours surpassed them in 
the accuracy of the firing, always getting the advantage under such 
circumstances unless the odds were too great. 

Hooker did not complain that he was overpowered by numbers, 
and he was the first of the commanders of that army who had not made 
that complaint. 



force Barksdale at Fredericksburg with the other two. 
Hoke s brigade was moved to the right and placed on 
line with Gordon s on its left, and Hays brigade was 
moved back and placed in the trenches at Lee s Hill on 
Barksdale s right, and Smith s two regiments rejoined 
the others and took position in the trenches on the left 
of the Plank road overlooking the canal. 

During the night General Barksdale reported to me, 
once by his aide and once in person, that the enemy was 
crossing troops and artillery into the town, and asked for 
more reinforcements. I told him I had no doubt the 
enemy was recrossing and would be gone in the morn 
ing, and that I had no more reinforcements to give him. 
When it became light the enemy was gone from the 
town and his bridge was taken up. Sedgwick had also 
recrossed during the night his whole force on bridges 
laid at Banks Ford and nothing remained on the south 
bank but Hooker s force above. Some of McLaws 
brigades had advanced toward Banks Ford during the 
night, picking up some prisoners, and some pieces of 
artillery had opened on the enemy s bridge as he was 
recrossing. Posey s and Wright s brigades had also 
advanced towards Banks Ford, picking up some pris 
oners. Next morning a number of prisoners were gath 
ered who had been left behind when the main force 
crossed, some of them being taken on the river by de 
tachments from Gordon s brigade. 

On the 5th, after it had been ascertained that all of 
Sedgwick s force was gone, I was ordered to move up 
the Plank road towards Chancellorsville, leaving Barks- 
dale at Fredericksburg. I moved up to the vicinity of 
Salem Church, and was halted, remaining there some 
time, when I was ordered to return to my old position. 
In doing so my brigades were heavily shelled by the 
enemy s batteries from across the river, as they were 
crossing Hazel Eun to the Telegraph road. Smith s 
brigade was left with Barksdale in the position it had 
occupied the night before, and the others moved to their 



former positions, which they regained in the morning, in 
a tremendous storm of rain. 

General Lee had moved all his troops back to oppose 
Hooker, who had been confronted during the operations 
against Sedgwick by Jackson s three divisions alone, 
but on the morning of the 6th, he was found gone also, 
having recrossed under cover of the storm and dark 
ness of the previous night. The whole army then re 
turned to its former camps, and Hooker resumed his 
position opposite Fredericksburg. 

My loss in the different actions around Fredericks- 
burg at this time was, in my own division, 125 killed and 
721 wounded, total 846; in Andrews artillery 7 killed 
and 21 wounded, total 28; in Barksdale s brigade 45 
killed and 181 wounded, total 226. 

A little over 500 prisoners were lost in my division, 
more than half of which were lost in resisting the cross 
ing at the enemy s lower bridge; from Hays brigade 
at the time of the fall of Marye s Hill ; and from Smith s 
brigade in forcing the enemy s position on the morning 
of the 4th; and the residue from Hays and Hoke s 
brigades in the attack on Sedgwick above Fredericks- 
burg. Barksdale s brigade lost a little over 300 pris 
oners captured from the 17th and 21st Mississippi Regi 
ments at Marye s Hill. General Lee s entire loss in 
killed and wounded was 1,581 killed and 8,700 wounded. 
Hooker s loss far exceeded it in killed and wounded, and 
we secured several thousand prisoners, thirteen pieces of 
artillery, over twenty thousand stand of arms, besides a 
large amount of ammunition, accoutrements, etc. 

Hooker s army was more than double General Lee s, 
which did not exceed, including my force, 50,000 muskets 
and including all arms was under 60,000; yet Hooker, 
on returning to his camps, issued a general order con 
gratulating his troops on their achievements, and stat 
ing that they had added new laurels to their former 
renown, though on first crossing the river he had issued 
an address to his troops intimating that General Lee s 



army was then in his power and that he would proceed 
to destroy it. 

During the operations at Chancellorsville and Fred- 
ericksburg, the enemy s cavalry in large force under 
Stoneman, having crossed the rivers higher up, made a 
raid in the direction of Eichmond which accomplished 
nothing of consequence, but merely frightened and depre 
dated upon the unarmed country people. Stoneman s 
force was glad to make its escape back to its former 

On our part, our rejoicings over the brilliant and 
important victory that had been gained were soon damp 
ened by the sad news of the death of General Jackson. 



UPON returning to our camps after Hooker had re- 
crossed the Rappahannock, the old positions were re 
sumed, General A. P. Hill, as senior major general, being 
now in command of the corps. 

Nothing of consequence occurred in our front during 
the month of May. On the 30th of the month, a general 
order was issued, organizing the army of Northern Vir 
ginia into three corps of three divisions each. General 
James Longstreet, who had returned from the south 
of James Eiver, retained command of the 1st corps, now 
composed of McLaws , Hood s, and Pickett s divisions. 
General Richard S. Ewell was made a lieutenant gen 
eral and assigned to the command of the 2nd corps, now 
composed of my division, and those of Rodes and John 
son Brigadier General Robert E. Rodes having been 
promoted and assigned to the command of D. H. Hill s 
division, and Brigadier General Edward Johnson hav 
ing been promoted and assigned to the command of 
Trimble s division, formerly Jackson s. 

A third corps was formed, composed of the division 
of Anderson (taken from the 1st corps), Heth s and 
Pender s; and General A. P. Hill was made lieutenant 
general and assigned to the command of it, and two 
divisions of four brigades each were formed out of it 
and two brigades, one of which was brought from North 
Carolina and the other formed of Mississippi regiments 
taken from other brigades, to the command of which 
division Brigadier Generals Hetli and Pender were pro 
moted, respectively. 

My inspector general, Lieutenant Colonel John M. 
Jones, and Colonel James A. Walker of the 13th Virginia 
Regiment were made brigadier generals, and the former 
was assigned to J. R. Jones brigade in Johnson s divi- 



sion, and the latter to Rodes (the old Stonewall brigade), 
in the same division, both promotions well deserved. 

General Lee now determined to make a campaign 
across the Potomac by turning the enemy s right flank, 
so as to transfer the war into the enemy s country and 
compel his army to withdraw from Virginia. Long- 
street s corps was moved to Culpeper in advance of the 
others, the two divisions which had been south of the 
James having moved from Richmond by the way of 
Gordonsville on the railroad. 

On the 4th of June, Swell s corps took up its line 
of march towards Culpeper Court-House my division 
moving by the way of Spottsylvania Court-House, fol 
lowed by Johnson s and Rodes by the way of Chancel 
lor sville. A. P. Hill s corps was left to watch and amuse 
Hooker s army. The first day of the march I passed 
Spottsylvania Court-House and camped beyond it. On 
the second day, during the march, I received an order 
to halt and wait for further orders, as the enemy had 
crossed a force at Fredericksburg in front of Hill. I 
accordingly went into camp after crossing the Catharpin 
Creek and remained stationary until the next day (the 
6th of June). In the afternoon of the 6th, I received 
orders to move on, and did so, continuing the march to 
Culpeper Court-House by the way of Verdierville, and 
Somerville Ford on the Rapidan, and, passing the Court- 
House on the 8th, camped three or four miles west of 
that place. We remained stationary near the Court- 
House for two days. On the afternoon of the 9th, my 
division was moved to the vicinity of Brandy Station 
during a fight between our cavalry and that of the enemy, 
but not being needed, it returned to its camps at night. 

The 31st Virginia had returned just before our march 
from Fredericksburg. The official tri-monthly report 
of my division of the 10th of June, made at this place, 
shows present for duty 610 officers and 6,616 enlisted 
men, total 7,226. The brigade inspection reports of the 
same date show about the same number of effectives 



present. Lieutenant Colonel Hilary P. Jones battalion 
of artillery of four batteries, numbering in all thirteen 
guns, had been assigned to duty with my division just 
before starting. 

My division was fully an average one for the whole 
army, and perhaps more than an average one. Sixty- 
five thousand officers and men may therefore be set down 
as covering the whole of General Lee s infantry with 
which he commenced the campaign, perhaps sixty thou 
sand would cover the effective strength. Ten thousand 
men would fully cover the artillery and cavalry and per 
haps considerably overgo it (The return for the 31st 
of May, just four days before the commencement of the 
movement, shows the infantry to have been 54,356 for 
duty, cavalry 9,536, and artillery 4,460, total 68,352. This 
return was not accessible to me when the within was 
written.) 150 guns would cover all of our artillery, 
and they consisted of field pieces, the most of which had 
been captured from the enemy. The largest guns we 
had were a very few twenty pounder Parrots. The 
brigade inspection reports in my division show that 
about one-third of the men were without bayonets, and 
this deficiency existed in the rest of the army, owing 
in a great measure to the fact that nearly all of our small 
arms had been taken from the enemy on the various 
battlefields. There was a very great deficiency in shoes 
for the infantry, a large number of the men being in 
differently shod, and some barefooted. A like deficiency 
existed in regard to the equipment of the men in other 
respects, the supply of clothing, blankets, etc., being 
very limited. 

On the llth of June, Swell s corps resumed the 
march, taking the road from the lower Shenandoah Val 
ley across the Blue Eidge at Chester Gap. Johnson s 
division, followed by mine, moved on the road by Sperry- 
ville, and Little Washington through the gap, and Bodes 
division on a road further to the right through the same 
gap. Late in the day of the 12th, my division reached 



Front Royal, Bodes and Johnson s having preceded it, 
crossing both forks of the Shenandoah near that place. 
Two of my brigades, Hoke s and Smith s, were crossed 
over both of the forks that night. Hays and Gordon s 
and Jones artillery with the division trains remained 
on the east side of the South Branch. 



VERY early in the morning of the 13th, the remainder 
of my division crossed over the Shenandoah, and I re 
ceived orders from General Ewell to move to the Valley 
pike at Newtown, and along that road against the 
enemy then occupying Winchester, while Johnson moved 
along the direct road from Front Eoyal to the town, 
Bodes being sent to the right to Berryville, where there 
was also a force. Milroy occupied the town of Win 
chester with a considerable force in strong fortifications, 
and my orders were to move along the pike to Kerns- 
town, and then to the left, so as to get a position on the 
northwest of Winchester from which the main work of 
the enemy could be attacked with advantage. 

This main work was on a hill a little outside of the 
town on the northwest, being an enclosed fort, with em 
brasures for artillery, and I was informed that there 
was a high hill on the northwest which commanded it, 
and of which I was directed to get possession, if I could. 
Six main roads centre at Winchester, to-wit: the Front 
Royal road on which we were, coming in from the south 
east and uniting with the Millwood road a mile or two 
before it reaches town ; the Valley pike coming in on the 
south and uniting with the Cedar Creek pike between 
Kernstown and Winchester, Kernstown being about two 
miles from the town ; the Romney or Northwestern pike 
coming in on the west side; the Pughtown road coining 
in on the northwest; the Martinsburg pike coming in 
on the north, and uniting with the direct Charlestown 
and Harper >s Ferry roads, three or four miles from 
town ; and the Berryville road coming in on the east. 

Lieutenant Barton of the 2nd Virginia Regiment, 
Walker s brigade, Johnson s division, who had been 
raised in the neighborhood, was furnished me as a guide, 



and Brown s battalion of reserve artillery, under Captain 
Dance, was ordered to accompany my division in addition 
to Jones . 

Having received my orders, and leaving all my 
wagons, except the regimental ordnance and medical 
wagons, at Cedarville on the Front Eoyal road, I 
diverged from that road at a little place called Ninevah 
and reached the Valley pike at Newtown. On moving 
along the latter road past Bartonsville towards Kerns- 
town, I found Lieutenant Colonel Herbert of the Mary 
land line occupying a ridge between the two places 
with his battalion of infantry, a battery of artillery and 
a part of a battalion of Maryland cavalry, and engaged 
in occasional skirmishing with a body of the enemy s 
troops which had taken position in and near Kernstown. 

This force of the enemy covered the road which I 
had to take to get to the west of Winchester, and it was 
therefore necessary to dislodge it to enable me to get 
into that road, and to drive it back upon the main body 
in order that my movement should be unobserved. 
Colonel Herbert could not inform me of the strength 
of the force in his immediate front, and I therefore halted 
my division and formed it in line across the pike, and 
proceeded to reconnoitre. The only force in sight when 
I arrived was a cavalry force, but I was informed that 
a strong infantry picket occupied the town, and the sup 
position was that a stronger force was in the neighbor 
hood. Just beyond Kernstown and Pritchard s Hill and 
a ridge extending from it to our left, which was covered 
with trees, being the position occupied by Shields troops 
when General Jackson attacked him on the 23rd of 
March, 1862. It was a position on which a considerable 
body of troops might be posted out of our view, and I 
soon discovered a battery of artillery on Pritchard s Hill 
which opened on us. 

I then reconnoitred the ground carefully, and, after 
doing so, I moved Hays brigade to the left, through 
a skirt of woods and a meadow, to a small road coming 

10 241 


in from Bartonsville towards the Cedar Creek pike, and 
then along that to a suitable position for advancing 
against the artillery on Pritchard s Hill; and ordered it 
to advance and get possession of the hill. Whilst ad 
vancing General Hays sent me word that the enemy had 
a considerable infantry force on the ridge to his left. 
I immediately moved Gordon s brigade over the same 
route Hays brigade had taken, and ordered him to 
advance and clear the ridge on Hays left, sending an 
order to the latter, who had advanced to Pritchard s 
Hill, compelling the artillery and the force supporting it 
to retire, to wait until Gordon had got up and cleared 
the ridge on his left. Gordon advanced handsomely, as 
directed, encountering a considerable force of infantry, 
which, in conjunction with a body of skirmishers sent 
out by Hays, he drove from behind a stone fence, and 
then swept over the fields beyond the ridge, inclining, as 
he moved, to the Valley pike, and forcing the enemy 
across the Cedar Creek pike and Abraham s Creek, which 
here crosses the Valley pike, to Bower s Hill on the 
north of the creek under Burton s Mill, where there 
were some reserves. Hays, in the meantime, advanced 
to the front, thus coming up on Gordon s left after the 
latter had reached the Valley pike. As soon as Hays 
and Gordon were both in motion, Hoke s and Smith s 
brigades were advanced to the front on each side of the 
Valley pike past Kernstown. 

The enemy had strong position on Bower s Hill, 
held by infantry and artillery, and it was difficult of 
access, from the nature of Abraham s Creek, a boggy 
stream, running at its base, and the steep ascent to the 
hill on the other side. Gordon formed his brigade in line 
across the Valley pike. Hays was posted on his left 
along a ridge between Cedar Creek pike and Abraham s 
Creek, and Hoke s and Smith s brigades were brought 
up and the latter placed on Hays left, with a view to 
further operations against the enemy, in order to drive 
him from Bower s Hill; Hoke s brigade, under Colonel 



Avery of the 6th North Carolina being held in reserve. 
During these arrangements the enemy shelled my 
brigades heavily from his guns on Bower s Hill; and 
by the time they were made it became too dark to pro 
ceed farther. Colonel Avery was then ordered back to 
Kerns town, with his brigade, where it was placed in 
position to protect the ambulances, ordnance and medical 
wagons, and the artillery from any movement around 
our left, and Colonel Herbert was ordered to take posi 
tion with his battalion of infantry on Gordon s right, 
which extended across the Valley pike. The troops then 
lay down on their arms and spent the night in a drench 
ing rain. 

General Ewell had moved with Johnson s division on 
the Front Eoyal road to the vicinity of Winchester, and, 
after I had arranged my troops, I endeavored to reach 
him by riding across the country, but the storm was so 
violent and the night so dark that I was compelled to 
desist and return. 

During the night, the enemy withdrew his artillery 
and the main body of his infantry from Bower s Hill to 
the town, leaving only a body of skirmishers confronting 
us. Very early on the morning of the 14th, I ordered 
Hays and Gordon to advance each a regiment across the 
creek to drive the enemy s skirmishers from Bower s 
Hill, which was done after some sharp skirmishing. At 
the same time Smith s skirmishers were advanced across 
the creek on the left, and we got possession of the works 
on the hill. While these operations were going on at 
Bower s Hill, Major Goldsborough, with the skirmishers 
of the Maryland battalion, advanced on the right into 
the outskirts of Winchester, but fearing that the enemy, 
whose principal force had taken position in and near the 
main fort, might shell the town, I ordered him to retire. 

General Ewell came up immediately after my skir 
mishers had advanced to Bower s Hill, and together we 
proceeded to reconnoitre from that point, from which we 
had a very distinct view of the works about Winchester. 



We discovered that the hill on the northwest, which I 
had been ordered to occupy, had been fortified with 
works facing in the direction from which I would have 
to approach it, and that they were occupied. It became 
necessary then to take this hill, which was the key to 
the position, by assault, and having discovered a ridge 
back of it from which it might be attacked, I was ordered 
to leave a brigade and some artillery, where, I then was, 
to amuse the enemy in front, while I moved the rest of 
my command around by the left to the point from which 
I could make the assault, taking care to conduct my 
movement with secrecy so that the enemy would not 
discover it. I accordingly left Gordon to occupy Bower s 
Hill, and I left with him besides his own brigade the 
Maryland battalion and battery, and another battery 
(Hupp s) of Brown s battalion, and with the other three 
brigades and the rest of the artillery I moved to the 
left, following the Cedar Creek pike for a mile or two 
and then passing through fields and the woods, which 
latter was here sufficiently open to admit of the passage 
of the artillery, and crossing the Romney road at Lup- 
ton s house, about three miles west of Winchester, and 
half a mile from a point at which I was informed by Mr. 
Lupton that the enemy had had a picket the night before, 
and probably had one then. 

Leaving the 54th North Carolina Regiment of Hoke s 
brigade at the point where I crossed the Romney road, 
to watch my rear, I moved on along a small obscure road 
to the rear of the position from which I wished to assault 
the enemy s works, and I found it a very favorable one 
for the purpose. My route had been a very circuitous 
one, in order to check the enemy s vigilance, and I was 
conducted over it by a very intelligent and patriotic 
citizen, Mr. James C. Baker, who had a son in the service, 
and who had been made to feel the tyranny of Milroy. 
Mr. Baker thoroughly understood the object in view, and 
fully appreciated the advantage of the position I was 
seeking to reach; and it was mainly owing to the in- 



telligent and skilful manner in which he guided me that I 
was able to get there without attracting the slightest 
attention from the enemy. 

Having conducted me to the desired point, he thought 
it prudent to retire, as he was of no further use as a 
guide, and his residence was in the immediate neighbor 
hood of the town. On the route we had not seen a 
solitary man from the enemy s force, whether straggler, 
scout or picket. We had met two very ordinary looking 
men in the roads, and from prudential motives they 
were carried with us and left at Lupton s with in 
junctions to keep them. 

After that the only person we saw was a young girl 
of about thirteen years of age whom we met on horse 
back with her young brother behind her. She was 
carrying before her a large bundle of clothes tied up in 
a sheet, and when she unexpectedly came upon us she 
was at first very much frightened, but soon discovering 
that we were Confederates, she pulled off her bonnet, 
waved it over her head and " hurrahed," and then burst 
into tears. She told us that the enemy had been shelling 
the woods all around, firing occasionally into her father s 
house, and that she had been sent from home by her 
father and mother to get out of the way. She said that 
they had not been able to imagine what the shelling 
meant, as they did not know that any of "our soldiers," 
as she called us, were anywhere in the neighborhood. 
It was not necessary to use any precaution as to her, 
and she was permitted to pass on, feeling much happier 
for the encounter. 

To return from this digression: the position which 
I reached proved to be a long ridge bordering, at the 
further end, on the Pughtown road and immediately con 
fronting the fortified hill which I wished to carry, and 
within easy range of it for our pieces. Where it imme 
diately confronted the enemy s work it was wooded, the 
trees having been partially cut down, and we found 
posted at different points notices to the following 



effect: "General Milroy orders all of the timber east 
of this point to be cleared off." Enough, however, re 
mained to conceal our movements and enabled me to 
push forward a brigade under cover to within a short 
distance of the base of the hill on which was the enemy s 

On the left of this woods, near the Pughtown road, 
was a cornfield on Mr. Brinly s land, facing towards 
the enemy s position and affording an excellent position 
for posting artillery in the edge of the woods bearing 
on the enemy. On the right of the woods, on the crest 
of the ridge, was an old orchard and the remains of an 
old house, called "Folk s old house," with the slope in 
front cleared, which furnished another good position 
for artillery to bear on the other flank of the enemy. I 
reached this position about four o clock P.M., and as the 
day was exceedingly hot, and the men had marched a 
circuit of eight or ten miles without meeting with water 
to drink, and were very much exhausted, I massed them 
in the woods in the rear of the position and gave them 
time to rest. 

In the meantime I proceeded to reconnoitre the 
enemy s position and the ground over which I would 
have to move. The enemy had no pickets thrown out 
in the direction where I was, and did not seem to be 
keeping any lookout that way. The main work on the 
hill presented a bastion front towards us, and appeared 
as if it might be an enclosed work. It was on the south 
of the Pughtown road, and there was a line of works 
running across that road from the flank of the main 
one along a ridge, a small redoubt which, about 150 
yards from the main work, was occupied by two guns 
supported by infantry. On the other flank were rifle 
pits on the slope of the hill. The men constituting the 
force occupjdng the works in our front did not seem to 
apprehend any danger in their immediate neighbor 
hood, but were looking intently in the direction of Gor 
don s position, against which a gradual advance was 



being made with skirmishers supported by a body of 
infantry and some pieces of artillery, which were firing 
in that direction. 

Colonel Jones, who had been entrusted with the com 
mand of all the artillery, had been quietly getting it 
into position out of sight, so as to be pushed by hand 
rapidly to the front when the time arrived to open on 
the enemy. When the men had become sufficiently re 
freshed, Hays brigade, which was selected to make the 
assault, was moved to the front near to the edge of the 
woods next the enemy s position, with directions to Gen 
eral Hays to keep his men under cover until the artillery 
opened, and then to advance to the assault across the 
field and up the hill to the enemy s works, as soon as he 
should discover that the force occupying them was 
demoralized by the artillery fire. The artillery under 
Jones had been posted, with twelve pieces on the right 
of the woods, near Folk s old house, and right on the 
left in rear of the cornfield the 57th North Carolina 
Regiment of Hoke s brigade was posted so as to pro 
tect the pieces on the left from an attack in the direction 
of the Pughtown road. The rest of Hoke s brigade, 
except the 54th North Carolina Regiment, still on picket 
on the Romney road, and the whole of Smith s, were 
placed in line in the woods about a quarter of a mile in 
rear of Hays , so as to be ready to support him. 

About an hour before sunset, everything being ready, 
Jones caused his pieces to be run by hand to the front, 
and opened almost simultaneously with the whole twenty 
pieces upon the enemy, who thus received the first in 
dication of our presence in that quarter. Of course he 
was taken by surprise and thrown into confusion. Our 
fire continued for about three-fourths of an hour very 
rapidly, being replied to, after the first consternation 
was over, by the enemy s guns, but in a very wild man 
ner. Hays then advanced to the assault as directed, 
crossing the field in his front, ascending the hill the 
slope of which was covered with abattis made by cutting 



the brush wood growing on it, and carrying the main 
work on the crest in handsome style, capturing some 
prisoners and six pieces of artillery, including those in 
the small redoubt, two of which were immediately turned 
on a body of the enemy s infantry seen approaching 
from the main fort to the assistance of these outer 

The greater portion of the force occupying the cap 
tured works was enabled to make its escape towards 
the town, as it proved that this main work was open in 
the rear with wings thrown back from the two flanks 
of the bastion front presented to us. As soon as I saw 
Hays men entering the works, I ordered Smith s brigade 
forward to their support, and directed Colonel Jones, 
whose guns had ceased firing when Hays advanced, to 
move the pieces on the left to the captured hill, those on 
the right being left under the protection of three regi 
ments of Hoke s brigade. Riding on myself in advance 
of the supports ordered to Hays I discovered him in 
secure possession of the captured works, and ascertained 
that the attempt to advance against him had been aban 
doned, the force that commenced advancing having been 
repulsed by the fire from the captured guns which had 
been turned on it. 

The force which had been advancing upon Gordon 
in the direction of Bower s Hill had retired precipitately, 
and the enemy s whole force seemed to be in great com 
motion. He had turned all his guns from the main fort, 
and from a square redoubt on a ridge north of it, upon 
the position now occupied by us, and as soon as Jones 
guns arrived they replied to the enemy s, firing into 
both forts, which were completely commanded by the 
one in our possession, and upon the masses of infantry 
near them. The enemy s force occupying the works, 
and around them, was quite large, and deep and rugged 
ravines interposed between us and the two occupied 
works, which rendered an assault upon them from that 
direction very difficult. 



By the time Smith s brigade and the artillery arrived, 
it was too late to accomplish anything further before 
night, and the capture of the other works by assault 
would evidently require the co-operation of the other 
troops around Winchester. The artillery fire upon the 
enemy s position and his masses of infantry was con 
tinued until a stop was put to it by the approach of 
darkness. Hays brigade was formed in line on the crest 
of the ridge behind the captured works, with Smith s in 
rear. The 57th North Carolina, Colonel Godwin, was 
sent for, to occupy a portion of the works on the north 
of the Pughtown road, Colonel Avery being left with 
two regiments, to protect the artillery which had not been 
brought forward and guard against a surprise in our 
rear, the 54th North Carolina Regiment being still left 
on picket on the Romney road, and the front and flanks 
of our main position being watched by pickets thrown 
out. The men then lay down on their arms to rest 
from the fatigues of the day. 

During my operations on the northwest, Johnson s 
division had demonstrated and skirmished heavily with 
the enemy on the east of the town, while Gordon demon 
strated and skirmished with him from the direction of 
Bower s Hill, his attention being thus diverted entirely 
from the point of real attack, which enabled us to effect 
a surprise with artillery in open day upon a fortified 
position. It was very apparent that the enemy s posi 
tion was now untenable, and that he must either submit 
to a surrender of his whole force or attempt to escape 
during the night. 

I was of opinion that he would attempt an evacuation 
during the night, and I sent a courier to General Ewell 
with information of what I had accomplished, stating 
my opinion of the probability of the attempt to escape, 
but also informing him that I would renew the attack at 
light if the enemy was not gone. I had been given to 
understand that Johnson s division would be so moved 
as to cut off the enemy s retreat in the event I succeeded 



in capturing the position commanding his works, and I 
took it for granted this would be done. 

In order to prepare for any emergency that might 
exist, I sent my aide, Lieutenant Callaway, with orders 
to General Gordon, to move direct from Bower s Hill 
against the main force at light next morning, and I set 
my pioneer party at work during the night to turn the 
captured works for my artillery, so that it might have 
some protection from the enemy s guns, if it should be 
necessary to open fire in the morning. As soon as it 
was light enough to see it was discovered that the enemy 
had evacuated his works and the town of Winchester 
during the night, taking the Martinsburg road, and some 
artillery was heard on the road which proved to be 
Johnson s guns near Stephenson s depot firing on the 
retiring enemy, whose retreat had been cut off by his 

The brigades with me, including the detached regi 
ments of Hoke s, were immediately ordered forward to 
the Martinsburg road for the purpose of taking up the 
pursuit. Gordon had advanced at light, as ordered, and 
finding the main fort unoccupied had pulled down the 
large garrison flag still left floating over that work. The 
13th Virginia Regiment under Colonel Terrill was im 
mediately detailed by me as a guard for a large number 
of loaded wagons found standing outside of the town, 
and a considerable amount of stores left in the town 
by the enemy, and the rest of my command, as soon as 
Avery came up with Hoke s brigade, advanced in pur 
suit along the Martinsburg road, Gordon s brigade hav 
ing preceded the others. On getting near Stephenson s 
depot, five or six miles from Winchester, I found that 
General Johnson s division had captured the greater 
part of Milroy s force, Milroy himself having made his 
escape with a small fraction of his command, prin 
cipally mounted on the mules and horses taken from the 
wagons and artillery that had been left behind, and I 
therefore desisted from further pursuit, 



An enemy flying for safety cannot be overtaken by 
a force on foot moving with arms in their hands, and 
as we had but a very small battalion of cavalry (that 
belonging to Herbert s command, which did capture 
some prisoners), nothing was accomplished by the at 
tempts made at further pursuit of Milroy, and he suc 
ceeded in getting in safety to Harper s Ferry. 

During the operations against Winchester, Rodes had 
moved to Berryville, but the enemy fled from that place 
before him; he then moved on to Martinsburg in con 
junction with Jenkins brigade of cavalry, and there 
captured several hundred prisoners, several pieces of 
artillery, and some stores. My division bivouacked near 
Stephenson s depot, and I was ordered by General Ewell 
into Winchester to make arrangements for securing the 
stores and sending off the prisoners. 

The enemy had abandoned the whole of his artillery, 
wagon trains, camp equipage, baggage, and stores, and 
twenty-five pieces of artillery with all their equipments 
complete, including those captured by Hays brigade at 
the storming of the outer work, a very large number of 
horses and mules, and a quantity of ammunition, though 
in a damaged state, which fell into our hands. In the 
hurry of the movement after Milroy was found to have 
evacuated, I made such arrangements as I could to secure 
the abandoned property by detailing a regiment to guard 
it, but as usual on such occasions the contents of the 
wagons and the stores in town were considerably plun 
dered by stragglers and followers of our trains, before 
they could be secured, and even after our quartermasters 
and commissaries got possession of them, there was great 
waste, and perhaps misappropriation of much of them, 
as always seemed unavoidable on such occasions. 

On getting into town I endeavored to rectify the 
abuses as well as I could, but much was lost to the army 
of what was of real value, because there was no means 
of holding such agents to a strict responsibility. I sent 
off to Richmond, under guard, by the way of Staunton, 



108 commissioned officers and 3,250 enlisted men as pris 
oners, much the larger portion of which had been cap 
tured by Johnson s division. Besides these there were 
left in Winchester several hundred sick and wounded 

My loss in the operations around Winchester was 
slight, consisting of 30 killed and 144 wounded, total 174, 
all but one killed and six wounded being from Hays 
and Gordon s brigades. 



I REMAINED in Winchester until the afternoon of the 
18th, General Ewell having moved in the meantime to 
Shepherdstown on the Potomac, to which place Johnson s 
division, and Gordon s brigade, Hays brigade and three 
regiments of Smith s brigade of my own division had 
also moved. The 54th North Carolina Regiment of 
Hoke s brigade, and the 58th Virginia of Smith s brigade 
had been sent to Staunton in charge of the prisoners, 
and leaving the 13th Virginia Regiment in Winchester, 
I proceeded on the afternoon of the 18th with the residue 
of Hoke s brigade, and Jones battalion of artillery, to 
Shepherdstown, which place I reached on the 19th. 

By this time Longstreet s corps had begun to arrive 
in the valley, and Hill s was following. The crossing 
of the river at Fredericksburg by a portion of Hooker s 
army had been for the purpose of ascertaining whether 
our army had left the vicinity of that place, and when 
ascertained that we were concentrating near Culpeper 
Court-House, he withdrew his force from across the 
river and moved his army north to defend Washington. 

I remained at Shepherdstown until the 22nd. The 
field return of my division at this place on the 20th 
showed 487 officers and 5,124 men present for duty, 
making a total of 5,611, and the brigade inspection re 
ports for the same day showed the number of efficient 
present to be about the same number, the reduction 
since the last reports being caused by the absence of the 
three regiments before mentioned and which did not 
rejoin until the campaign was over, the permanent de 
taching of Wharton s battalion of Hoke s brigade as a 
provost guard for the corps, the loss sustained at Win 
chester, and the sick and exhausted men left behind. 

It is as well to state here that we had no hired men 



for teamsters, or in any other capacity, but all the 
duties usually assigned to such men with an army had 
to be performed by men detailed from the ranks, as were 
all our pioneer and engineer parties. 

On the 22nd of June I crossed the Potomac with my 
division and Jones battalion of artillery at Boteler s 
Ford below Shepherdstown and marched through 
Sharpsburg and Boonsboro, camping three miles beyond 
Boonsboro on the pike to Hagerstown. The 17th Vir 
ginia Regiment of cavalry, under Colonel French, from 
Jenkins brigade, joined me on the march this day to 
accompany my division by orders of General Ewell. 
Rodes had moved through Hagerstown towards Cham- 
bersburg, and Johnson s division, which had crossed the 
Potomac ahead of me, moved in the same direction. I 
was ordered to proceed along the western base of the 
South Mountain. Maryland Heights and Harper s Ferry 
were both strongly fortified, and were occupied by a 
heavy force of the enemy, which we left behind us, with 
out making any effort to dislodge it, as it would have 
been attended with a loss disproportionate to any good 
to be obtained. Our movements through and from 
Sharpsburg were in full view of the enemy from the 

On the 23rd, I moved through Cavetown, Smithtown, 
and Ringgold (or Ridge ville as it is now usually called) 
to Waynesboro in Pennsylvania. On the 24th I moved 
through Quincy and Altodale to Greenwood, at the west 
ern base of the South Mountain, on the pike from Cham- 
bersburg to Gettysburg. There were no indications of 
any enemy near us and the march was entirely without 
molestation. We were now in the enemy s country, and 
were getting our supplies entirely from the country 
people. These supplies were taken from mills, store 
houses, and the farmers, under a regular system ordered 
by General Lee, and with a due regard to the wants of 
the inhabitants themselves, certificates being given in all 
cases. There was no marauding, or indiscriminate plun- 



dering, but all such acts were expressly forbidden and 
prohibited effectually. On the 25th my command re 
mained stationary at Greenwood, and I visited General 
Ewell, by his request, at Chambersburg, where Rodes* 
and Johnson s divisions had concentrated. 

In accordance with instructions received from Gen 
eral Lee, General Ewell ordered me to move with my com 
mand across the South Mountain, and through Gettys 
burg to York, for the purpose of cutting the Northern 
Central Railroad (running from Baltimore to Harris - 
burg), and destroying the bridge across the Susquehanna 
at Wrightsville and Columbia on the branch railroad 
from York to Philadelphia. Lieutenant Colonel Elijah 
White s battalion of cavalry was ordered to report to 
me for the expedition in addition to French s regiment, 
and I was ordered to leave the greater portion of my 
trains behind to accompany the reserve ordnance and 
subsistence trains of the camps. I was also ordered to 
rejoin the other divisions at Carlisle by the way of 
Dillstown from York, after I had accomplished the task 
assigned me. 

I returned to Greenwood on the afternoon of the 
25th, and directed all my trains except the ambulances, 
one medical wagon, one ordnance wagon, and one wagon 
with cooking utensils, for each regiment, and fifteen 
empty wagons for getting supplies, to be sent to 
Chambersburg. No baggage whatever was allowed for 
officers, except what they could carry on their backs or 
horses, not excepting division headquarters, and with 
my command and the trains thus reduced, I moved across 
South Mountain on the morning of the 26th, and we 
saw no more of our trains until we crossed the Potomac 
three weeks later. 

As we were leaving, I caused the iron works of Mr. 
Thaddeus Stevens near Greenwood, consisting of a 
furnace, a forge, a rolling mill with a saw mill and 
storehouse attached, to be burnt by my pioneer party. 
The enemy had destroyed a number of similar works, 



as well as manufacturing establishments of different 
kinds, in those parts of the Southern States to which 
he had been able to penetrate, upon the plea that they 
furnished us the means of carrying on the war, besides 
burning many private houses and destroying a vast deal 
of private property which could be employed in no way 
in supporting the war on our part; and finding in my 
way these works of Mr. Stevens, who as a member of 
the Federal Congress had been advocating the most 
vindictive measures of confiscation and devastation, I 
determined to destroy them. This I did on my own re 
sponsibility, as neither General Lee nor General Ewell 
knew I would encounter these works. A quantity of 
provisions found in store at the furnace was appropri 
ated to the use of my command, but the houses and 
private property of the employees were not molested. 

On getting to the eastern slope of the South Moun 
tain, where the road forks about one and a half miles 
from Cashtown, I heard that there was probably a force 
in Gettysburg, and the pike leading through Cashtown 
was found to be slightly obstructed by trees felled across 
the road. I determined, therefore, to move a portion 
of my force along the pike, which was the direct road 
to Gettysburg, in order to skirmish with and amuse 
the enemy in front, while I moved with the rest on the 
road to the left, by the way of Hilltown and Murn- 
masburg, so as to cut off the retreat of such force as 
might be at Gettysburg. Accordingly, Gordon was sent 
on the pike directly towards the town with his brigade 
and White s battalion of cavalry, and I moved with the 
rest of the command on the other road. There had been 
a heavy rain the night before, and it was now raining 
slightly but constantly, in consequence of which the 
dirt road, over which the left column moved, was very 

Gordon moving along the pike, with about forty men 
of White s cavalry in front, as an advance guard, en- 



countered a militia regiment a mile or two from Gettys 
burg, which fled across the fields at the first sight of 
White s advance party without waiting to see what was 
in the rear, and Gordon moved on without resistance 
into the town. 

On reaching Mummasburg with French s cavalry in 
advance of the infantry, I was informed that there was 
but a comparatively small force at Gettysburg, and I 
halted to wait for the infantry, whose march was im 
peded by the mud, sending out one of French s com 
panies towards the latter place to reconnoitre. In a 
short time this company encountered some of the fleeing 
militia and captured a few prisoners, and being in 
formed of this fact and that the command to which they 
belonged was retreating through the fields between 
Mummasburg and Gettysburg, I sent the rest of 
French s cavalry in pursuit. Hays brigade, arriving 
soon after, was ordered to move towards Gettysburg, 
while the rest of this column was ordered into the camp 
near Mummasburg. 

I then rode to Gettysburg, and finding Gordon in 
possession of the town, Hays was halted and encamped 
within a mile of it, and two of his regiments were sent 
to help French in catching the frightened militia, but 
could not get up with it. French caught about two 
hundred, but the rest succeeded in getting off through 
enclosed fields and the woods. The regiment proved to 
be the 26th Pennsylvania Militia, eight or nine hundred 
strong. It was newly clad with the regular United States 
uniform, and was well armed and equipped. It had 
arrived in Gettysburg the night before and moved out 
that morning on the Cashtown road. This was a part 
of Governor Curtin s contingent for the defence of the 
State, and seemed to belong to that class of men who 
regard "discretion as the better part of valor." It was 
well that the regiment took to its heels so quickly, or 
some of its members might have been hurt, and all 

17 257 


would have been captured. The men and officers taken 
were paroled next day and sent about their business, 
rejoicing at this termination of their campaign. 

On entering Gettysburg myself I called for the town 
authorities in order to make a requisition on them for a 
sum of money and some supplies. The principal 
municipal officer was absent, but I saw one of the au 
thorities, who informed me that the town could furnish 
no supplies, as they were not there, and the people were 
too poor to afford them. I caused the stores in town to 
be searched and succeeded in finding only a small quan 
tity of articles suited for commissary supplies, which 
were taken. It was then late and I had to move early 
in the morning towards York, so that I did not have 
time to enforce my demands. Two thousand rations 
were found in a train of cars which had been brought 
with the militia, and these were taken and issued to 
Gordon s brigade. The cars, ten or twelve in number, 
and also a railroad bridge near the place were burnt, 
there being no railroad buildings of any consequence. I 
then ordered Colonel White to proceed with his bat 
talion early the next morning along the railroad from 
Gettysburg to Hanover Junction on the Northern Central 
road, and to burn all the bridges on the former road, 
also the railroad buildings at the Junction and a bridge 
or two south of it on the Northern Central, and then 
move along that road to York, burning all the bridges. 
Gordon was ordered to move at the same time along the 
macadamized road to York, and during the night I sent 
him a company of French s cavalry and Tanner s bat 
tery of artillery to accompany him. 

With the rest of the command I moved at light next 
day (the 27th) from Mummasburg towards York by the 
way of Hunterstown, New Chester, Hampton, and East 
Berlin, halting and bivouacking for the night after pass 
ing the latter place a few miles. I then rode across to 
the York pike to Gordon s camp to arrange with him 
the means of moving against the town next day in the 



event that it should be defended. The information which 
Gordon had received was that there were no troops in 
York, and I directed him, in the event the town should 
be unoccupied, to move on through to the Wrightsville 
and Columbia bridge and get possession of it at both 
ends and hold it until I came up. 

On the next day (the 28th) both columns moved at 
daylight, and a deputation consisting of the Mayor and 
other citizens of York came out to meet Gordon and 
surrender the town, which he entered early in the day 
without opposition. Moving by the way of Weiglestown 
into the Harrisburg and York road with the other 
column, I entered the town shortly afterwards, and re 
peated my instructions to Gordon about the bridge over 
the Susquehanna, cautioning him to prevent the bridge 
from being burned if possible. At Weiglestown French 
had been sent with the greater part of his cavalry to the 
mouth of the Conewago to burn two railroad bridges at 
that point and all others between there and York. Be 
fore reaching town Hays and Smith s brigades were 
ordered into camp about two miles on the north of it 
at some mills near the railroad. Hoke s brigade under 
Colonel Avery was moved into town to occupy it, and 
preserve order, being quartered in some extensive hos 
pital buildings erected by the United States Government. 
I then levied a contribution on the town for 100,000 dol 
lars in money, 2,000 pairs of shoes, 1,000 hats, 1,000 
pairs of socks, and three days rations of all kinds for 
my troops, for which a requisition was made on the 

Gordon moved promptly towards "Wrightsville, and 
on reaching the vicinity of that place found the western 
end of the bridge defended by a force, which proved to 
be twelve or fifteen hundred Pennsylvania militia, en 
trenched around Wrightsville. He immediately took 
measures to dislodge the enemy, and, finding it imprac 
ticable to turn the works so as to cut off the retreat of 
the enemy, opened with his artillery and advanced in 



front, the militia taking to its heels after a few shots 
from the artillery and outrunning Gordon s men, who 
had then marched a little over twenty miles. Gordon 
pursued as rapidly as possible, but, on getting half way 
across the bridge, he found it on fire, inflammable ma 
terials having previously been prepared for the pur 
pose. He endeavored to extinguish the flames, but his 
men had nothing but their muskets, and before buckets, 
which were sent for, could be procured, the fire had 
progressed so far as to render the effort hopeless, as 
the superstructure of the bridge was of wood, it being 
a covered one of more than a mile in length with a track 
for the railroad, another for wagons, and a third as a 
tow-path for the canal which here crossed the river. He 
had therefore to desist, and retire to Wrightsville with 
his men. 

The bridge was entirely consumed, and as one or two 
houses were adjoining it, at the Wrightsville end, they 
were also consumed. When these houses caught fire 
Gordon formed his brigade around them and by the ex 
ertions of his men, then much exhausted, arrested the 
flames and saved the town of Wrightsville from a con 
flagration, though the houses immediately adjoining the 
bridge could not be saved. The brigade which did this, 
and thus saved from a disastrous fire, kindled by their 
own defenders, one of the enemy s towns, was composed 
of Georgians, in whose State, just a short time before, 
the town of Darien had been fired and entirely destroyed 
by a regular expedition of Federal troops. 

As soon as I had made the necessary arrangements 
for establishing order in the town of York, and pre 
venting any molestation of the citizens, and had made 
the requisitions on the authorities for what I had 
determined to levy on the town, I rode in the 
direction of Wrightsville. By the time I got outside of 
the town I saw the smoke arising from the burning 
bridge, and when I reached Wrightsville I found the 
bridge entirely destroyed. I regretted this very much, 



as, notwithstanding my orders to destroy the bridge, I 
had found the country so defenceless, and the militia 
which Curtin had called into service so utterly inefficient, 
that I determined to cross the Susquehanna, levy a con 
tribution on the rich town of Lancaster, cut the Central 
Railroad, and then move up in rear of Harrisburg while 
General Ewell was advancing against that city from the 
other side, relying upon being able, in any event that 
might happen, to mount my division on the horses which 
had been accumulated in large numbers on the east side 
of the river, by the farmers who had fled before us, and 
make my escape by moving to the west of the army, 
after damaging the railroads and canals on my route 
as much as possible. 

This scheme, in which I think I could have been suc 
cessful, was, however, thwarted by the destruction of 
the bridge, as there was no other means of crossing the 
river. Gordon was therefore ordered to return to York 
early the next day, and I rode back that night. The 
affair at Wrightsville had been almost bloodless ; Gordon 
had one man wounded, and he found one dead militiaman, 
and captured twenty prisoners. 

Colonel White succeeded in reaching Hanover Junc 
tion and destroying the depot at that place and one or 
two bridges in the vicinity, but he did not destroy all the 
bridges between there and York, as one or two of them, 
as reported by him, were defended by a force of in 
fantry. Colonel French succeeded in destroying the 
bridges over the Conewago at its mouth, and all be 
tween there and York, and on the 29th he was sent to 
complete the destruction of the bridges south of the 
town, over the Codorus, which he succeeded in doing, 
as the force defending them had retired. 

In compliance with my requisition some twelve or 
fifteen hundred pairs of shoes, all the hats, socks, and 
rations called for, and $28,600 in money were furnished 
by the town authorities. The number of shoes required 
could not be found in the place, and the Mayor assured 



me that the money paid over was all that could be raised, 
as the banks and moneyed men had run off their funds to 
Philadelphia. I believed that he had made an honest 
effort to raise the money, and I did not, therefore, take 
any stringent measures to enforce the demand, but left 
the town indebted to me for the remainder. The shoes, 
hats, and socks were issued to the men, who stood very 
much in need of them. A portion of the money was 
subsequently used in buying beef cattle, which could be 
found much more readily when they were to be paid for 
than when certificates were to be given, and the residue 
was paid into the hands of the quartermaster of the army, 
to be used for public purposes. No public stores were 

A few prisoners taken in the hospitals and those cap 
tured at Wrightsville by Gordon were paroled. Some 
cars found in the town were burned. There were two 
large car factories, and two depots and other railroad 
buildings which I would have destroyed but for the fact 
that the burning of them would set fire to some private 
dwellings and perhaps consume a large part of the town, 
and I therefore determined not to run the risk of entail 
ing so much mischief on non-combatants, notwithstand 
ing the barbarous policy that had been pursued by the 
enemy in numerous similar cases. Neither were the 
hospitals burned or injured in any way. I think the 
people of York were very well satisfied and much sur 
prised to get out of my hands as well as they did.* Cer 
tainly any Southern town into which the enemy went 
would have considered itself exceedingly fortunate to 


I have abstained from burning the railroad buildings and car 
shops in your town, because, after examination, I am satisfied the 
safety of the town would be endangered; and, acting in the spirit of 
humanity which has ever characterized my government and its military 
authorities, I do not desire to involve the innocent in the same punish 
ment with the guilty. Had I applied the torch without regard to 
consequences, I would have pursued a course that would have been 



have got off so well. Our forbearance, however, was 
not at all appreciated by the enemy generally, for not 
only did they not follow the example set them, but some 
of the presses actually charged Gordon s brigade with 
firing the town of Wrightsville. 

During my movement to York, General Ewell had 
moved towards Harrisburg and reached Carlisle with 
Kodes division and Jenkins cavalry, Johnson s division 
going to Shippensburg; Longstreet s and Hill s corps 
had also moved into Pennsylvania and reached the 
vicinity of Chambersburg, while the Federal Army had 
moved north on the East side of South Mountain, in 
terposing between ours and Washington. 

Late on the afternoon of the 29th, Captain Elliot 
Johnson, aide to General Ewell, came to me with a copy 
of a note from General Lee to General Ewell stating the 
enemy s army was moving north and directing a con 
centration of the corps on the west side of the South 
Mountain; and also verbal instructions from General 
Ewell to move back so as to rejoin the rest of the corps, 
and information of his purpose to move back to unite 
with Johnson. 

In accordance with these instructions, I put my whole 
command in motion at daylight on the morning of the 
30th, taking the route by the way of Weiglestown and 
East Berlin towards Heidlersburg, so as to be able to 
move from that point to Shippensburg or Greenwood by 
the way of Aaronsburg, as circumstances might require, 
Colonel White being directed to move his battalion of 

fully vindicated as an act of just retaliation for the many authorized 
acts of barbarity perpetrated by your own army upon our soil. But 
we do not war upon women and children, and I trust the treatment 
you have met with at the hands of my soldiers will open your eyes to 
the monstrous iniquity of the war waged by your government upon 
the people of the Confederate States, and that you will make an 
effort to shake off the revolting tyranny under which it is apparent 
to all you are yourselves groaning. 

J. A. EAHLY, Major General, C. S. A. 


cavalry on the pike from York towards Gettysburg, to 
ascertain if any force of the enemy was on that road. 
At East Berlin, a small squad of the enemy s cavalry 
was seen and pursued by my cavalry advance, and I 
received at that place information, by a courier from 
Colonel White, that a cavalry and infantry force had 
been at Abbotstown on the York and Gettysburg road, 
but had moved south towards Hanover Junction. A 
courier also reached me here with a dispatch from Gen 
eral Ewell, informing me that he was moving with Rodes 
division by the way of Petersburg to Heidlersburg, and 
directing me to march for the same place. 

I marched to within three miles of Heidlersburg and 
bivouacked my command, and then rode to see General 
Ewell at Heidlersburg, where I found him with Rodes 
division. I was informed by him that the object was to 
concentrate the corps at or near Cashtown at the eastern 
base of the mountain, and I was directed to move to 
that point the next day by the way of Hunterstown and 
Mummasburg, while Rodes would take the Toute by 
Middletown and Arendtsville. 

My march so far, to the bank of the Susquehanna and 
back, had been without resistance, the performances of 
the militia force at Gettysburg and Wrightsville amount 
ing in fact to no resistance at all, but being merely a 
source of amusement to my troops. The country maps 
were so thorough and accurate that I had no necessity 
for a guide in any direction. There had been no dep 
redations upon the people, except the taking of such 
supplies as were needed in an orderly and regular man 
ner as allowed by the most liberal and intelligent rules 
of war. No houses had been burned or pillaged, no 
indignities offered to the inhabitants, who were them 
selves amazed at the forbearance of our troops; not 
even a rail had been taken from the fences for firewood. 
I had returned over a large portion of the route taken 
in going to York, and I was myself surprised to see so 
little evidence of the march of an invading army. It 



furnished a most striking contrast to the track of the 
Federal army, as I had witnessed the latter on many 
occasions in my own state. 

What was the case with my command, was the case 
with all the rest of our army, and I venture to say that 
the invasion of Pennsylvania by General Lee s army, for 
the forbearance shown to the invaded country, is with 
out a parallel in the history of war in any age. Yet this 
invasion was made by an army composed of men many 
of whose own houses had been destroyed by a most ruth 
less enemy, into the country of that very enemy, and 
many of the houses thus spared were those of the very 
men who had applied the torch to and ransacked the 
houses of the men now so forbearing: yet those who 
have left their mark indelibly all over the South charge 
the invaders of Pennsylvania and their countrymen with 
being barbarous, and with maltreating prisoners. 

As we moved through the country, a number of people 
made mysterious signs to us, and on inquiring we ascer 
tained that some enterprising Yankees had passed along 
a short time before, initiating the people into certain 
signs, for a consideration, which they were told would 
prevent the "rebels" from molesting them or their 
property, when they appeared. These things were all 
new to us, and the purchasers of the mysteries had been 
badly sold* 

* The " mysterious signs " referred to were supposed by the Con 
federates to be made by Knights of the Golden Circle, a secret 
organization said to sympathize with the South, but of which our 
soldiers knew nothing. 



HAVING ascertained, after I left General Ewell on 
the night of the 30th, that the road from my camp to 
Hunterstown was a very circuitous and rough one, on 
the morning of the 1st of July I moved to Heidlersburg, 
for the purpose of following the road from that point 
to Gettysburg until I reached the Mummasburg road. 
After moving a short distance for Heidlersburg on the 
Gettysburg road, I received a dispatch from General 
Ewell, informing me that Hill, who had crossed the 
mountain, was moving towards Gettysburg against a 
force of the enemy, which had arrived at that place and 
pushed out on the Cashtown road, and that Rodes divi 
sion had turned off from Middletown towards Gettys 
burg by the way of Mummasburg, and ordering me to 
move on the direct road from Heidlersburg to the same 
place. I therefore moved on until I came in sight of 

Hooker had been supplanted in the command of the 
Federal Army by Major General Meade, and the advance 
of that army, consisting of the 1st corps under Reynolds, 
the llth corps under Howard, and Buford s division of 
cavalry, had reached Gettysburg; the cavalry on the 
30th of June, and the infantry early on the morning of 
the 1st of July. The cavalry had moved, on the morning 
of the 1st, out on the Cashtown road and was there en 
countered by Hill s troops, two of his divisions only hav 
ing as yet crossed the mountain. The enemy s infantry 
then moved out to support his cavalry, and a heavy en 
gagement ensued between it and HilPs two divisions. 
While this was progressing Rodes division came up on 
the left of Hill, on the Mummasburg road, and imme 
diately engaged the enemy. 

When I arrived in sight of Gettysburg I found the 



engagement in progress on the Cashtown and Muminas- 
burg roads, the enemy s troops being advanced out from 
that town on both roads for about a mile. Bodes had 
opposed to him a very large force which overlapped 
his left, and seemed to be pressing back that flank. On 
the hill in rear of Gettysburg, known as Cemetery Hill, 
was posted some artillery so as to sweep all the ground 
on the enemy s right flank, including the Heidlersburg 
or Harrisburg road, and the York pike. I could not 
discover whether there was any infantry supporting this 
artillery, as the hill was much higher than the ground 
on which I then was. 

Moving on the Heidlersburg road and on Bodes left, 
I came up on the enemy s right flank. I immediately 
ordered the artillery forward and the brigades into line. 
Gordon s brigade being in front formed first in line on 
the right of the road, then Hays , with Smith s in rear 
of Hoke s, and thrown back so as to present a line 
towards the York pike. Jones battalion was posted in 
a field immediately in front of Hoke s brigade, so as to 
open on the enemy s flank, which it did at once with 
effect, attracting the fire of the enemy s artillery on 
Cemetery Hill and that in front of the town on the 
enemy s right flank. Between us and the enemy on the 
northeast of the town ran a small stream, called Bock 
Creek, with abrupt and rugged banks. 

On the opposite bank of this creek in front of Gordon 
was a heavy force of the enemy, on a low ridge par 
tially wooded, with a part of it in line moving against 
the left of Bodes division held by Doles brigade, so 
as to compel it to fall back, while the right flank of this 
advancing line was protected and supported by another 
in position along the crest of the ridge. While the 
brigades of Hays and Hoke were being formed, as 
Doles brigade was getting in a critical condition, Gordon 
charged rapidly to the front, passing over the fences 
and Bock Creek and up the side of the hill, and engaged 
the enemy s line on the crest, which, after a short but 



obstinate and bloody conflict, was broken and routed. 
The right flank of the force advancing against Doles 
became thus exposed to Gordon s fire, and that force 
endeavored to change front, but Gordon immediately 
attacked it and drove it from the field with heavy 
slaughter, pursuing towards the town and capturing a 
number of prisoners, among them being General Barlow, 
commanding a division of the llth corps, severely 

While Gordon was engaged, Hays and Hoke s 
brigades were advanced in line to Eock Creek, Smith s 
brigade being ordered to follow, supporting the artil 
lery as it advanced in rear of the other brigades. By 
the time Hays and Avery had reached Rock Creek, Gor 
don had encountered a second line just outside of the 
town in a strong position behind some houses, and 
halted his brigade behind the crest of a low ridge in 
the open field. I then rode to Gordon s position and, 
finding that the line confronting him extended beyond 
his left across the Heidlersburg road, I ordered him to 
remain stationary while Hays and Avery advanced on 
his left. The latter were then ordered forward, and 
advancing while exposed to a heavy artillery fire of 
shell and canister, encountered the second line and drove 
it back in great confusion into the town, capturing two 
pieces of artillery and a large number of prisoners. 

Hays encountered a portion of the force falling back 
on his right, on which he turned some of his regiments 
and entered the town fighting his way, along the left 
end of a street running through the middle of the town. 
Avery, after reaching the outskirts of the town, moved 
to the left, and crossed the railroad into the open fields, 
on the left of the town, while exposed to a heavy fire 
from the batteries on Cemetery Hill, and took a position 
confronting the rugged ascent to the hill, his men being 
placed in a depression under cover of a low ridge, so as 
to protect them from the fire of the enemy s artillery. 
A very large number of prisoners were taken in the 



town, where they were crowded in confusion, the number 
being so great as really to embarrass us and stop all 
further movement for the present. 

While Hays and Avery were driving the enemy so 
handsomely, I saw a large force to the right of Gordon, 
falling back in comparatively good order, before Bodes 
advancing brigades, around the right of the town, 
towards the hills in the rear, and I sent for a battery of 
artillery to be brought up so as to open on this force, 
and on the town from which a fire was being poured on 
Hays and Avery s then advancing brigades, but before 
the battery reached me, Hays had entered the town and 
the enemy s retreating columns had got out of reach, 
their speed being very much accelerated and their order 
considerably disturbed by Bodes rapid advance. At 
the same time I had sent for the battery, an order had 
been sent for the advance of Smith s brigade to the sup 
port of Hays and Avery, but, a report having been 
brought to General Smith that a large force of the 
enemy was advancing on the York road on our then rear, 
he thought proper to detain his brigade to watch that 

As soon as I saw my men entering the town, I rode 
forward into it myself, having sent to repeat the order 
to Smith to advance, and when I had ascertained the 
condition of things, I rode to the right of it to find either 
General Ewell, General Bodes, or General Hill, for the 
purpose of urging an immediate advance upon the enemy, 
before he could recover from his evident dismay and 
confusion. Bodes troops were then entering the town 
on the right and all plains on that flank had been cleared 
of the enemy. The enemy, however, held the houses 
in the edge of the town on the slope of Cemetery Hill 
with sharpshooters, from which they were pointing an 
annoying fire into Hays left, and along the streets 
running towards the hill. 

The ascent to the hill in front of Avery was very 
rugged, and was much obstructed by plank and stone 



fences on the side of it, while an advance through the 
town would have had to be made along the streets by 
flank or in columns so narrow as to have been subjected 
to a destructive fire from the batteries on the crest of the 
hill, which enfiladed the streets. I, therefore, could not 
make an advance from my front with advantage, and 
thought it ought to be made on the right. 

General Hill s troops had not advanced to the town, 
but remained on or beyond Seminary ridge, more than 
a mile distant, and before I could find either General 
Ewell or General Rodes, General Smith s aide came to 
me with a message from the General that the enemy 
was advancing a large force of infantry, artillery, and 
cavalry on the York road, menacing our left flank and 
rear. Though I believed this an unfounded report, as 
it proved to be, yet I thought it best to send General 
Gordon with his brigade out on that road, to take com 
mand of both brigades, and to stop all further alarms 
from that direction. 

Meeting with a staff officer of General Fender s I 
requested him to go and inform General Hill that if he 
would send a division forward we could take the hill 
to which the enemy had retreated. Finding General 
Ewell shortly afterwards in the town, I communicated 
to him my views, and he informed me that Johnson s 
division, which had moved from Shippensburg, by the 
way of Greenwood Gap, was coming up, and he de 
termined to move it to a wooded hill on the left of 
Cemetery Hill, which seemed to command the latter 
hill and to be the key to the position on that flank. This 
hill was on the right or southwestern side of Rock Creek, 
and seemed to be occupied by the enemy. 

Johnson s division was late in arriving and when it 
came, it was further delayed by a false, report that the 
enemy was advancing on the York road, so that it be 
came dark in the meantime, and the effort to get pos 
session of the wooded hill was postponed until morn 
ing, by which time it had been occupied and fortified 



by the enemy. My division went into this action about 
three o clock P.M. and at the close of the day a brilliant 
victory had been achieved, between six and seven thou 
sand prisoners and two pieces of artillery falling into 
our hands, a considerable portion of which had been 
captured by Bodes division. 

Perhaps that victory might have been made decisive, 
so far as Gettysburg was concerned, by a prompt ad 
vance of all the troops that had been engaged on our 
side against the hill upon and behind which the enemy 
had taken refuge, but a common superior did not hap 
pen to be present, and the opportunity was lost. The 
only troops engaged on our side were Hill s two divi 
sions and Swell s two divisions, the rest of the army 
not being up. 

Late in the evening, when it had become too dark to 
do anything further, General Lee came to General 
Swell s headquarters, and after conferring with Gen 
eral Ewell, General Bodes and myself, we were given 
to understand that, if the rest of the troops could be got 
up, there would be an attack very early in the morning 
on the enemy s left flank, and also on the right, at the 
wooded hill before named. 

During the night, Hays brigade was moved to the 
left into the open ground on that side, and placed in 
front of the left end of the town, under cover from the 
artillery and in a position to advance upon Cemetery 
Hill when a favorable opportunity should offer, his line 
connecting with Avery s right. In this position the two 
brigades were behind a low ridge close to the base of 
Cemetery Hill. 

Gordon was still retained on the York road with his 
own and Smith s brigades, as constant rumors were 
reaching us that the enemy was advancing on that road. 
Johnson s division had been moved to the left and 
posted in the valley of Bock Creek, confronting the 
wooded hill. 

During the night a large portion of Meade s army 



came up and the rest arrived in the course of the next 
day before the battle opened. 

The general attack was not made in the morning of 
the 2nd because there was great delay in the arrival of 
Longstreet s corps, and on the left Rodes and my divi 
sions remained in position until late in the afternoon, 
waiting for the preparations on the right. Johnson, 
however, had some heavy skirmishing during the day. 

During the morning General Ewell and myself rode 
to a ridge in rear of Johnson s position for the pur 
pose of posting some artillery and several batteries 
were placed in position there to fire upon Cemetery 
Hill and the wooded hill. 

I made an attempt to get possession of the wooded 
hill in the morning, but found it occupied by the enemy 
in force behind breastworks of felled trees. 

The enemy s position consisted of a low range of 
hills extending off to the southwest from Cemetery Hill 
to what was called Round Top Mountain, and on the 
right of it, confronting Johnson s division and my two 
brigades, was an elbow almost at right angles with the 
other part of the line, and terminating with the wooded 
hill or range of hills in Johnson s front, which extended 
beyond his left, the town of Gettysburg being located 
just in front of the salient angle at the elbow. 

For some distance on the right of Gettysburg the 
ground in front of the line was open and ascended to 
the crest of the ridge by a gradual slope. On the left 
of the town, the ascent was very steep and rough, and 
this was much the strongest part of the line and the most 
difficult of approach. 

The enemy had during the previous night and the 
fore part of this day strengthened their position by 

Having been informed that the attack would begin 
on the enemy s left at four o clock P.M., I directed Gen 
eral Gordon to move his brigade to the railroad on the 
left of the town, and take position on it in rear of Hays 



and Avery, Smith s brigade being left with General 
Stuart s cavalry to guard the York road. At or a 
little after four o clock P.M. our guns on the right opened 
on the enemy s left, and those on the ridge in rear of 
Johnson s division opened on that part of the line con 
fronting them, and a very heavy cannonading ensued. 
After this cannonading had continued for some time the 
attack was begun by Longstreet on the right, two of whose 
divisions had only arrived, and during its progress 
I was ordered by General Ewell, a little before sunset, 
to advance to the assault of the hills in front of me as 
soon as Johnson should become engaged on my left, 
being informed at the same time that the attack would 
be general, Rodes advancing on my right and Hill s divi 
sion on his right. 

I ordered Hays and Avery to advance, as soon as 
Johnson was heard engaged, immediately up the hill in 
their front, and Gordon to advance to the position 
then occupied by them in order to support them. 
Before Johnson was heard fairly engaged it was after 
sunset, and Hays and Avery then moved forward on the 
low ridge in their front and across a hollow beyond to 
the base of the hill, while exposed to a severe fire from 
the enemy s batteries. They then commenced ascending 
the steep side of the hill in gallant style, going over 
fences and encountering bodies of infantry posted in 
front of the main line on the slope of the hill behind 
stone fences which they dislodged, and continuing their 
advance to the crest of the hill, when by a dash upon 
the enemy s works Hays brigade and a portion of 
Hoke s succeeded in entering them and compelling the 
enemy to abandon his batteries. 

In the meantime Johnson was heavily engaged on the 
left, but no fire was heard on the right, Rodes division 
had not advanced nor had the left division of Hill. 
Colonel Avery, commanding Hoke s brigade, had fallen 
mortally wounded near the crest of the hill, and the 
portion of the force that had engaged the enemy s works 

18 273 


found itself unsupported, and paused for a moment, it 
being now nearly dark. 

During the attack on the left of the enemy s line, a 
portion of his troops had been withdrawn from this part 
of the line, but that attack had now ceased and in a few 
minutes a heavy force in several lines was concentrated 
on Hays brigade, and that part of Hoke s which had 
entered the enemy s works, and finding themselves un 
supported and about to be overwhelmed by numbers, 
they were compelled to retire, which they did with com 
paratively slight loss, considering the nature of the 
ground, and the difficulties by which they were sur 
rounded. Hoke s brigade fell back to the position from 
which it had advanced to bring off its wounded com 
mander, and was then re-formed by Colonel Godwin of 
the 57th North Carolina. Hays brigade fell back to a 
position on the slope of the hill, where it remained for 
some time awaiting a further advance, and was then 
drawn back, bringing off four battle flags captured on 
Cemetery Hill. Gordon s brigade had advanced to the 
position from which the two brigades had moved, for 
the purpose of following up their attack when the divi 
sions on the right moved, but finding that they did not 
advance, it was not ordered forward, as it would have 
been a useless sacrifice, but was retained as a support 
for the other brigades to fall back upon. 

During the advance of my two brigades I had ascer 
tained that Eodes was not advancing, and I rode to 
urge him forward. I found him getting his brigades 
into position so as to be ready to advance, but he in 
formed me that there was no preparation to move on 
his right, and that General Lane, in command of Fender s 
division, on his immediate right, had sent him word that 
he had no orders to advance, which had delayed his own 
movement. He, however, expressed a readiness to go 
forward if I thought it proper, but by this time I had been 
informed that my two brigades were retiring, and I told 
him it was then too late. He did not advance, and the 



fighting for the day closed Johnson s attack on the 
left having been ended by the darkness, leaving him 
possession of part of the enemy s works in the woods. 

Before light next morning Hays and Godwin, who 
had taken position on Gordon s left and right, respec 
tively, were withdrawn to the rear and subsequently 
formed in line on the street first occupied by Hays, 
Gordon being left to hold the position in front. During 
the night, by directions of General Ewell, Smith was 
ordered to report by daylight next day to General John 
son on the left and did so. Longstreet, supported by a 
part of the right of Hill s corps, had been very heavily 
engaged with the enemy s left, in the afternoon of the 
2nd, gaining some advantages, and driving a part of 
the enemy s force from an advanced line, but at the close 
of the fight the enemy retained his main positions. 

On the morning of the 3rd, the enemy made an attack 
on Johnson to dislodge him from that part of the works 
which he had gained the morning before, and very heavy 
fighting ensued, continuing at intervals throughout the 
day, in which Smith s three regiments were engaged 
under General Johnson s orders, the enemy finally re 
gaining his works. The rest of my command did not 
become at all engaged on this day. 

On the right, Pickett s division of Longstreet s corps 
having arrived, the attack on the enemy was renewed 
in the afternoon after a very heavy cannonading of all 
parts of his line, and a very sanguinary fight ensued 
during which the enemy s line was penetrated by Pick 
ett s division, but it was finally repulsed, as were the 
supporting forces, with very heavy loss on both sides. 

This closed the fighting at the battle of Gettysburg. 
Meade retained his position on the heights, and our army 
held the position it had assumed for the attack, while 
both armies had sustained very heavy losses in killed 
and wounded, as well as prisoners. 



DURING the night of July 3rd, Ewell s corps was 
withdrawn from its position in and to the left of 
Gettysburg, and moved to the right, to the Cashtown 
road, where it took position on Seminary Hill, the other 
corps retaining their positions. My brigades were with 
drawn from Gettysburg to the new position at two 
o clock in the morning of the 4th and were formed in 
line in rear of Seminary Hill, Bodes and Johnson s 
divisions occupying the front line on the crest of the 
hill across the road. 

During the battle our line had encircled that of the 
enemy, thus extending our army, which was much 
smaller than his own, over a very long line. 

We remained in position confronting the enemy dur 
ing the whole of the 4th, being subjected in the after 
noon to a very heavy shower of rain. The enemy showed 
no disposition to come out, but hugged his defences on 
the hills very closely. 

General Lee sent a flag of truce on the morning of 
this day to General Meade proposing an exchange of 
prisoners, but he declined to accede to the proposition. 

Before day on the morning of the 5th our army com 
menced retiring from before Gettysburg. 

The loss in my division in the battle, beginning with 
the first and ending with the last day, was in killed 154, 
wounded 799, and missing 227, total 1,180, of which Hays 
and Hoke s brigades lost in the assault at the close of 
the day of the 2nd, in killed 39, wounded 246, and miss 
ing 149, total 434. 194 of my command were left in hos 
pitals near Gettysburg, the rest being carried off. The 
loss of our army was heavy, as was that of the enemy. 

I have before stated the size of General Lee s army 
when this campaign was commenced. The army had 



received no accessions, but had been diminished by the 
march, from straggling, exhaustion, and sickness. My 
own division had been reduced from 7,226, its strength 
when it left Culpeper, to 5,611 when I crossed the 
Potomac, those numbers representing the strength in 
officers and men, and not muskets. A similar loss ex 
tended to the whole army, and I can venture to affirm 
that it was as small in my division as in any other. Be 
sides this we were in the enemy s country, and our large 
trains had necessarily to be guarded. I think it may 
be assumed, therefore, that General Lee s infantry at 
this battle did not exceed 55,000 officers and men, and 
that his whole force engaged, and in support of that part 
engaged, was smartly under 60,000, the cavalry not being 
employed at all except in watching the flanks and rear. 
His artillery numbered less than 150 guns. 

Meade, in his testimony before the Congressional 
Committee, states that his strength, in all arms, was a 
little under 100,000, about 95,000, making a greater re 
duction from Hooker s force than I have allowed for 
General Lee s for similar cause, and that he had but 
little under three hundred guns. The odds, therefore, 
were not very far from two to one. Hooker had conceded 
the fact that he outnumbered our army, yet Meade, who 
succeeded Hooker, taking up the old idea of superior 
numbers, thinks General Lee now outnumbered him by 
some 10,000 or 15,000 men. The figures which I give I 
think fully cover our force, and the probability is that 
it was less. 

It will be seen, therefore, what difficulties we had 
to encounter in attacking the enemy in his strong posi 
tion. That position fought the battle for him. It is 
exceedingly probable that, if we had moved promptly 
upon Cemetery Hill after the defeat of the enemy on 
the 1st, we would have gained the position, and 
thereby avoided the battle at that point. What might 
have been the result afterwards it is impossible to 
conjecture. The battle would have had to be fought 



somewhere else, and it may or may not have resulted 

The fight on the 1st had not been contemplated by 
General Lee, and he was not, therefore, on the ground 
until it was over, and the time had passed for accom 
plishing anything further when he arrived. This fight 
had been brought on by the movement of Buford s 
cavalry in the direction of Cashtown and the attack on 
it by Hill s two divisions, which brought up the two corps 
of the enemy. General Ewell had moved to the support 
of Hill, but there was no communication between them 
during the engagement, as they were on separate roads, 
and each force went into action under its own commander, 
without there being a common superior to direct the 
whole. This want of concert existed after the defeat of 
the enemy, and the consequence was that the opportunity 
was not improved. 

This battle of Gettysburg has been much criticised, 
and will continue to be criticised. Errors were undoubt 
edly committed, but these errors were not attributable 
to General Lee. I know that he was exceedingly anxious 
to attack the enemy at a very early hour on the morning 
of the 2nd, for I heard him earnestly express that wish 
on the evening previous, but his troops did not arrive 
in time to make the attack. Why it was so I cannot tell. 
In the assaults which were made on the enemy s posi 
tion, there was not concert of action, but that was not 
General Lee s fault. 

Without commenting on the assault from right of 
our line, which I did not witness, for that part of the 
battle was entirely excluded from my view, I will say 
that I believe that if the attack which was made by 
Johnson on the extreme left, and my two brigades on 
his right, at the close of the second day, had been sup 
ported by an attack by the divisions to the right of us, 
Johnson would have gained all of the enemy s works in 
front of him, Cemetery Hill would have been carried, 
and the victory would have been ours. 



So far as the fighting itself was concerned, the battle 
of Gettysburg was a drawn battle, but under the circum 
stances a drawn battle was a failure on our part and 
a success for the enemy. We were far away from our 
supplies of ammunition, and he was in his own country 
and in easy communication with his depots of supplies 
of all kinds. We were then in a part of the country by 
no means abounding in provisions and there was a moun 
tain at our back, which limited the area from which we 
could draw food for our men, a most difficult task always, 
under the most favorable circumstances, in a hostile 
country, and rendered doubly so by the immediate pres 
ence of a large army in our front, with its numerous 
cavalry to aid the citizens in resisting the demands of 
our foraging parties. 

We were, therefore, under the necessity of retreat 
ing, not because our army had been demoralized by a 
defeat, but because our supply of ammunition had be 
come short, and it was difficult to subsist our troops. 
That retreat was made deliberately and in perfect order, 
and the enemy did not venture to attack us, but was 
content to follow us with a corps of observation at a 
respectable distance. We carried off a very large pro 
portion of our wounded, but many were left because 
their condition would not admit of their transportation. 
We carried off some captured guns, and a large number 
of prisoners, after having paroled some three or four 
thousand. The enemy had none of our guns and he 
had in his hands fewer prisoners than we had taken. 

My division with the rest of EwelPs corps was moved 
from its position on the Cashtown road at two o clock on 
the morning of the 5th, arriving at the Fairfield road 
after sunrise. The withdrawal of the other corps was 
then progressing, and Swell s corps, being ordered to 
bring up the rear, was here halted for several hours, 
waiting for the others to clear the road, and confront 
ing the enemy s position, which was still in our view, 
by a line of battle. 



The enemy seemed to be very cautious about com 
ing out, but finally ran out a few pieces of artillery and 
opened at long range, without doing any damage. My 
division was ordered to constitute the rear guard of 
the army, and White s battalion of cavalry was ordered 
to accompany me. I waited on the Fairfield road until 
it had been cleared by the rest of the army, including 
the other two divisions of Swell s corps, and then in 
the afternoon moved off slowly in rear of the army and 
all the trains, Gordon, followed by White s battalion, 
bringing up my rear. 

On arriving in sight of Fairfield, which is situated 
near the eastern base of South Mountain on a wide low 
plain or valley surrounded by commanding hills, I found 
the wagon trains blocked up at the village. While wait 
ing for the road to be cleared of the wagons in front, 
Colonel White sent me information that a force of the 
enemy was advancing in my rear, and being on the 
plain where I would be exposed to a fire of artillery 
from the surrounding hills, I sent to hasten forward the 
trains, but as they did not move off I was preparing to 
fire a blank cartridge or two for the purpose of quick 
ening their speed, when the advance of the pursuing 
column of the enemy appeared on a hill in my rear with 
a battery of artillery supported by infantry, and I 
opened with shell on it. The enemy s battery replied to 
mine, and Fairfield was soon cleared of wagons, as the 
teamsters and wagon masters found it more convenient 
to comply with this inducement to travel than my orders 
and solicitations. 

Gordon deployed his brigade and sent out the 26th 
Georgia Regiment as skirmishers to dislodge the enemy s 
advance, which it did after a sharp skirmish, and a loss 
of seven wounded. This regiment was then ordered to 
be withdrawn, and I moved the division in line gradu 
ally through Fairfield to a favorable position for mak 
ing a defence, and here waited the enemy s advance, but 
he moved very cautiously, sending forward only a party 
of skirmishers, which kept at a respectful distance. 



It was now night, and my division was formed in 
line, a little nearer the base of the mountain, so as to 
cover our trains that were packed on its side and at its 
base. In this position my men lay on their arms all 
night without molestation from the enemy. 

At light on the morning of the 6th, the trains moved 
forward, and General Bodes, whose division was to con 
stitute the rear guard that day, relieved my skirmishers 
in front, his division being formed in line just at the 
base of the mountain, and I moved past him to take the 
front of the corps ; when, pursuing the road over South 
Mountain past Monterey Springs, I descended to the 
western base near Waynesboro, and bivouacked a little 
beyond the town, covering it on the north and west with 
my brigades. The other corps were found already on 
this side near the base of the mountain, and the rest of 
Ewell s corps reached the same vicinity with mine. The 
force following us proved to be the 6th corps under 
Sedgwick, acting as a corps of observation. It gave 
Bodes no trouble and did not come beyond Fairfield. 

A body of the enemy s cavalry had previously come 
upon that part of our trains that had preceded the army 
in the retreat, but was repulsed by a few guards accom 
panying the trains without being able to accomplish any 
damage of consequence. Early on the morning of the 
7th we moved towards Hagerstown by the way of Leit- 
ersburg, my division following Bodes and Johnson s 
bringing up the rear. The corps was established on 
the north and northeast of Hagerstown, and my division 
took position on the Chambersburg pike about a mile 
north of Hagerstown. In this position we remained 
until the 10th, when the corps was moved to the south 
of Hagerstown, the other corps being already there. 

The enemy s troops had now commenced arriving on 
the western side of the mountain, and we took position 
on the south and southeast of Hagerstown to await his 
attack Longstreet s corps being on the right, Swell s 
on the left and Hill in the centre, and our line covering 
the road to the Potomac at Williamsport and Falling 



Waters, a few miles below, where a pontoon bridge was 
being constructed in the place of one previously de 
stroyed by the enemy s cavalry. The advance of the 
enemy resulted in a sharp engagement between a portion 
of our cavalry and a part of his troops on the Boonsboro 

In the position near Hagerstown, my division was 
posted across the Cumberland road on the southwest 
of the town, but on the next day it was moved further 
to the right so as to rest its right on the Hagerstown and 
Williamsport road, where it remained until just before 
dark on the 12th. In the meantime Meade s army, now 
reinforced by some twelve or fifteen thousand fresh 
troops, according to his own statement, had moved up 
and taken position in our front, but did not attack. 

Two of my absent regiments, the 54th North Caro 
lina and 58th Virginia, had returned by this time, after 
having been engaged in repelling an attack, made by 
the enemy s cavalry at Williamsport on the 6th, on an 
ordnance train coming up with a supply of ammunition. 
Besides these, General Lee received no other reinforce 
ments, but our army was not at all demoralized, and 
calmly awaited the attack of the enemy. My own divi 
sion was buoyant and defiant, for it felt that it had sus 
tained no defeat, and though diminished in numbers it 
was as ready to fight the enemy as at Gettysburg. 

As night was setting in, on the 12th, my division was 
taken out of the line and moved to the right, to the rear 
of Hill s position, for the purpose of supporting his 
corps, in front of which a very large force of the enemy 
had accumulated. In this position it remained during 
the 13th, but no attack was made. The Potomac had 
been very much swollen by the previous rains, and after 
subsiding a little was again threatened with another rise 
from a rain that commenced on the 13th, and it was 
therefore determined to recross that river so as not to 
have an impassable stream at our back, when we had but 
one bridge and that not yet fully completed, and which, 



being laid on pontoons, hastily constructed by our pioneer 
and engineer parties, was liable to be washed away. 
Accordingly our army commenced retiring after dusk 
on the night of the 13th, Longstreet s and Hill s corps 
going to Falling Waters and Ewell s to Williamsport to 
ford the river. 

My division brought up the rear of Swell s corps, 
and the river being found too high for the passage of 
artillery, Jones battalion, under the escort of Hays 
brigade, was moved down the river to Falling Waters, 
where it crossed during the morning of the 14th. The 
rest of the division forded the river, in rear of the other 
two divisions, after sunrise on the morning of the 14th 
to a little above Williamsport, with the water nearly up 
to the armpits of the men, who had to hold their guns 
and cartridge boxes above their heads to keep them out 
of the water. The regular ford was too swift to allow 
of a crossing there, and we had therefore to cross in the 
deeper water above. 

The crossing at Williamsport was effected without 
any molestation whatever, but at Falling Waters there 
was considerable delay because of the greater number of 
troops crossing there and the passage of the artillery 
at that point, where there was but one bridge. The 
enemy s cavalry came by surprise upon a portion of 
Hill s corps covering the bridge, and succeeded in cap 
turing some prisoners and in getting two pieces of artil 
lery which were stuck in the mud, the surprise being 
caused by a mistaken opinion that the front was watched 
by some of our cavalry. 

Our army remained in the neighborhood of Haynes- 
ville that night, near which place my division camped, 
and now for the first time since I moved from Green 
wood, on the 26th of June, we had the benefit of our 
baggage wagons. On the next day we moved through 
Martinsburg, and on the 16th my division reached Dark- 
ville, where it went into camp and remained until the 
20th, in which neighborhood the whole of Ewell s corps 



was concentrated, the other corps taking positions 
further up towards and covering Winchester. In the 
meantime, Meade made preparations for crossing the 
Potomac below Harper s Ferry, and threw his army 
into Loudoun, while General Lee prepared to intercept 
his march by crossing his army over the Blue Ridge into 

It having been ascertained that a force had moved 
from Cumberland in Maryland to the mouth of Back 
Creek west of Martinsburg, on the afternoon of the 20th, 
my division was ordered to move across North Moun 
tain and then down Back Creek for the purpose of inter 
cepting that force, while another division should hold 
it in front. We moved that night to the foot of the 
mountain at Guardstown, and crossing early next morn 
ing (the 21st) through Mills Gap, marched down Back 
Creek to the rear of Hedgesville, where we found that the 
force had made its escape by retiring the night before. 
The division was then moved across the mountain 
through Hedgesville and camped. During the night I 
received orders to move up the valley for the purpose 
of crossing the Blue Ridge, and next day (the 22nd) I 
marched to Bunker Hill. 

On the 23rd I passed through Winchester to the 
Opequon on the Front Royal road, being joined that 
day by the 13th Virginia Regiment. General Ewell, 
who had preceded me with Rodes and Johnson s divi 
sions, had that day been engaged with a heavy force 
which came through Manassas Gap, which he moved 
out to meet, near the Gap, as he was moving past Front 
Royal, and he sent at night to inform me that he would 
retire up the Luray Valley for the purpose of crossing 
at Thornton s Gap, and to order me to cross to the Valley 
pike so as to move up by the way of New Market, and 
across from there to Madison Court-House, as the enemy 
was in very heavy force in Manassas Gap. The Shenan- 
doah was then high and a pontoon bridge had been laid 
near Front Royal below the forks, which he ordered 



to be taken up during the night, and to be transported 
up the Valley pike under my protection. 

Accordingly I moved by the way of Cedarville next 
day to get the pontoon train, and then crossed to the 
Valley pike, following the route taken by General Jack 
son s corps the fall before and arriving at Madison 
Court-House on the 28th, in the neighborhood of which 
I found the other divisions which had come through 
Thornton s Gap and by the way of Sperryville. I had 
to use the pontoon train for crossing the Shenandoah, as 
that river was up, and I then sent it up the Valley to 

After remaining near Madison Court-House until the 
31st I moved to the vicinity of the Eobinson Eiver, near 
the road from Liberty Mills to Culpeper Court-House, 
and the next day I crossed the Robinson just above its 
mouth into Culpeper and then the Rapidan at the rail 
road station, and encamped near Pisgah Church about 
four miles from the station, the other divisions moving 
to the same neighborhood. 

Longstreet s and Hill s corps had preceded Swell s 
corps across the Blue Ridge through Chester Gap, and 
while Meade was moving his army up into Manassas Gap 
to attack Ewell, they moved into Culpeper and waited 
until Meade s army had moved to the vicinity of War- 
renton and the Rappahannock and halted without in 
dicating any purpose to advance further; when, after a 
body of the enemy s cavalry had been driven back, these 
two corps moved to the south of the Rapidan and took 
position near Orange Court-House, leaving Stuart s 
cavalry to occupy the county of Culpeper. 

This was the close of all the operations resulting 
from the campaign into Pennsylvania. 

There have been various opinions as to the utility of 
this campaign into Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly we did 
not accomplish all that we desired, but still I cannot re 
gard the campaign in the light of a failure. If we had 
remained on the Rappahannock confronting Hooker s 



army, we would have been compelled to fight one or 
more battles, and perhaps a series of them, during the 
summer, which would probably have resulted in a much 
heavier loss to us than we sustained at Gettysburg, 
though the enemy might have been repulsed. Situated 
as we were, it was simply a matter of impossibility for 
us to have attacked the opposing army in its then posi 
tion, for we did not have the means of forcing a passage 
of the river the advantage in that respect being all 
on the other side. We should, therefore, have been 
compelled to await the enemy s attack, which could only 
have resulted in his repulse, in the most favorable aspect 
for us. 

We were in a country entirely devoid of supplies 
and of forage, for Fredericksburg had been occupied the 
previous summer by a Federal army, and no crops of 
any consequence had been made in all that region. By 
moving into Pennsylvania, we transferred the theatre 
of the war for a time into the enemy s country. Our 
army was supplied from that country and from stores 
captured from the enemy for more than a month and 
this gave a breathing spell to our commissary depart 
ment, which had been put to great straits. We had 
been living the previous winter on very limited rations 
of meat, only % of a pound of bacon to the ration, with 
few or no vegetables, and a change of diet was actually 
necessary for our men. 

When we came back, though we had lost many valu 
able lives, our army was reinvigorated in health, and 
the transfer of the two armies to the upper waters of 
the Rappahannock and the Rapidan was a decided ad 
vantage to us. The campaign into Pennsylvania cer 
tainly defeated any further attempt to move against 
Richmond that summer and postponed the war over into 
the next year. Could the most brilliant victories which 
it was in our power to gain in Virginia have accomplished 
more? I think not. 



IT was from the close of this campaign that the diffi 
culties in regard to the exchange of prisoners, and the 
consequent complaints about the maltreatment of those 
in our hands, dated. 

The fall of Vicksburg simultaneously with the battle 
of Gettysburg, gave to the enemy the excess of prisoners, 
which had hitherto been on our side, and he now began 
to discover that we would be more damaged by a cessa 
tion in the exchange than he would : our men when they 
came back would go into our army for the war, and we 
had no means of supplying their places while they re 
mained prisoners. Many of his prisoners in our hands 
had but limited terms to serve out, and the places of 
those whose terms were longer could be readily supplied 
by new drafts, while his high bounties, national, state 
and local, opened to him the whole civilized world as a 
recruiting ground. He had no inducement, therefore, 
to continue the exchange as a matter of policy affecting 
the strength of his army, while a failure to do so would 
very much cripple us, by detaining from our army the 
men held as prisoners, by imposing on our already over 
taxed resources the support of the prisoners themselves, 
as well as the diminution of the strength of our army 
by the detail of a force to guard them. 

While we were in Pennsylvania, President Lincoln 
had issued an order, declaring that no paroles given, 
unless at some of the places specified for the exchange of 
prisoners in the cartel which had been adopted, or in 
cases of stipulation to that effect by a commanding 
officer in surrendering his forces, would be recognized. 
I think the date of that order was the 1st of July, and 
it was evidently intended to embarrass us while in Penn 
sylvania, with the guarding and sustenance of such pris- 



oners as should fall into our hands. This order found 
us in possession of more than 6,000 prisoners taken on 
the 1st at Gettysburg. 

About 3,000 of them were paroled, but their paroles 
were not recognized and they subsequently returned to 
the army without being exchanged, including some offi 
cers who solemnly pledged their honor to surrender 
themselves as prisoners in the event their paroles were 
not recognized by their government. The rest declined 
to give paroles because of the order before mentioned, 
and they were carried to Virginia and held in custody. 
In addition to our willingness to parole these men, Gen 
eral Lee proposed to make an exchange of prisoners after 
the battle, but it was declined. Now if the prisoners 
brought off by us from Gettysburg subsequently suffered 
in prison, who was responsible for that suffering? 

The order in regard to the recognition of paroles was 
in violation of the well recognized principles of modern 
warfare. In the most ancient times, a captive taken in 
battle was held to have forfeited his life to his captors 
and it was always taken. After a time this was changed, 
and from motives of humanity the prisoner s life was 
spared and he became by the laws of war, even among 
the most civilized nations, the slave of his captor his 
enslavement being justified on the ground that it was a 
boon to him to spare his life at the expense of his liberty. 
The justice of this rule is recognized in Holy Writ 
itself, and the rule continued to prevail long after the 
commencement of the Christian era. 

In the age of chivalry a modification of the rule pre 
vailed, and a prisoner was allowed to ransom himself, 
when he could raise the means of doing so. In more 
modern times the system of paroles was adopted, and 
the prisoner was allowed to go at large upon pledging 
his honor not to take up arms against his captors until 
regularly exchanged, the penalty of a forfeiture of his 
parole being death if again captured. This is a contract 
between the prisoner and his captors, which his govern- 



ment is bound to respect in the interests of humanity, 
by the recognition of all civilized nations. It is not 
necessary for him to receive the permission of his gov 
ernment or his leader to give his parole. When he is 
a captive, he is beyond the power and protection of 
either and has a right to stipulate for his individual 
safety against the penalties of death, slavery, or im 
prisonment by neutralizing his services for the time 
being. If his contract is not respected by his govern 
ment, what must be the consequence! 

When two nations or parties are at war, the object 
of each is to destroy the physical power of the other, 
in order to obtain peace, or accomplish the object for 
which the war is undertaken. If one party is so situated 
that it cannot hold, or cannot support its prisoners, and 
the other will neither exchange nor recognize the validity 
of paroles, is it to be expected that the prisoners shall 
be turned loose to return again to augment the force of 
the antagonistic party, and thus perhaps insure the 
destruction of that party liberating them? 

The very principle which justifies killing in battle, 
that is the universal principle of self-preservation, will 
justify the taking of no prisoners or the destruction of 
all those that may be taken, if they can be neutralized 
in no other way. It was on this principle that the great 
Napoleon, in his Egyptian campaign, killed a number of 
prisoners whom he did not have the means of feeding, 
and who would not recognize the validity of a parole. 
If he turned them loose they would have gone imme 
diately into the ranks of his opponents, if he kept them 
he would have had to take the food from the mouths of 
his own soldiers to feed them, and the only way of getting 
rid of them was by killing them. It is true a clamor 
was raised by his enemies, whose interest it was to make 
him appear as a barbarian devoid of humanity, but now 
that the feelings of that day have subsided, impartial 
men do not doubt the conformity of the act to the prin 
ciples of war. 

19 289 


So when Mr. Lincoln s order appeared, if the safety 
of General Lee s army, or the success of his campaign 
had been jeopardized by the necessity of feeding and 
guarding the prisoners in our hands, he would have been 
justified in putting them to death, and the responsibility 
for the act would have rested on the shoulders of the man 
who issued the inhuman order. So too the latter was 
responsible for all the sufferings to which those pris 
oners who were carried off were afterwards subjected, 
if they suffered. 

The alleged reason for stopping the exchange was 
the fact that the Confederate Government would not 
parole or exchange negro slaves belonging to Southern 
citizens who were captured in the Federal ranks. But 
it cannot be doubted that this was the mere pretext and 
not the real reason. That is to be found in the belief 
existing on the part of the Federal authorities that the 
failure to exchange would cripple us. The constitution 
of the United States, then unchanged in any respect, 
recognized the right of property in slaves, and guaran 
teed the return of such as should flee from service. 

The constitution of the Confederate States contained 
the same guaranty, and the institution of slavery was 
recognized by the laws and constitutions of all the States 
composing the Confederacy, from which States alone 
the Confederate Government derived its delegated 
powers. That government was bound to respect the laws 
of the States and the rights of the citizens under those 
laws, and to protect them. Granting, for the sake of the 
argument, that the United States may have had the right 
to employ as soldiers the captured or fugitive slaves, 
as it had to take into its armies deserters from ours, 
still it took them subject to all the rights of the owners 
and of the Confederate Government, in the event of their 
recapture, just as deserters taken in arms in the op 
posite camp were liable to all the penalties for their 
crime without any infraction of the rules of war. 

Many of the slaves put into the ranks of the Federal 



Army were put there by force, but whether their service 
was enforced or voluntary, the Confederate Govern 
ment would have been recreant to its trust, and grossly 
neglectful of its rights and interests, to have allowed so 
large a proportion of its own population to be used by 
its enemy for the purpose of strengthening his armies, 
by recognizing the claim set up on the part of these 
slaves to the benefit of the rules of war. Most nations 
have denied the right of its citizens even to expatriate 
themselves, so as to be competent to serve in the ranks 
of its enemies. None permit that expatriation to take 
place after the commencement of hostilities, and it would 
be the blindest folly to do so. In the case of the re 
captured slaves, our government did not propose to 
punish the slaves themselves, though those that had 
voluntarily entered the enemy s service had justly for 
feited their lives, but merely returned them to their 
owners, to the great gratification of the negroes them 
selves in most cases. 

It was a case in which the Federal Government had 
no rights whatever, any more than it could have had in 
the case of deserters. The claim therefore set up to 
have these slaves treated as other soldiers taken in battle 
was without the slightest foundation in the principles 
of international law, or the rules of civilized war; and 
the cessation of the exchange on that pretence was a 
most atrocious act of cruelty to its own prisoners by the 

i Federal Government. 

A great clamor was raised on this specious pretext in 
order to reconcile the soldiers and the people of the 

^ North to the discontinuance of the exchange, and blind 
their eyes as to the real reason. Not denying the right 
of the Federal Government to refuse to exchange pris 
oners, if it was its interest to do so, and the war could 
not be terminated favorably to itself in any other way, 
still it had no right to violate the faith pledged to the 
exchange by the cartel ; and least of all did it have the 
right to deprive its own soldiers in our hands of the 



right to release themselves from prison by giving their 
paroles. If it thought proper not only to adopt the ex 
treme harsh measure of non-exchange from motives of 
policy, but to go further and adopt a new rule upon the 
subject of paroles, then it had no right whatever to com 
plain of any measures of harshness towards its pris 
oners which the necessities or the interests of our gov 
ernment and our army rendered necessary. 

So much for the question of rights ; and now for the 
facts as to the actual treatment which the prisoners in 
our hands received. I think I can safely deny that they 
were ever subjected to any maltreatment, suffering, or 
neglect, which it was in our power to avoid. We did 
not resort to the extreme measures which perhaps the 
laws of war and our own necessities would have justified, 
but the prisoners were treated with all the humanity 
possible under the circumstances in which we were 
placed. Doubtless there may have been rare individual 
acts of maltreatment, but until human nature is a very 
different thing from what it is, there can be no body of 
men in which there are not some who act unjustly and 

Such is the case everywhere over the world, in the 
church, in government, in society, and in all the relations 
which men bear to each other, it has been the case, and 
will continue to be the case until the end of all things 
that some will do wrong, and we of the South cannot 
claim an exemption from the common lot. What I main 
tain is that no harsh treatment to the prisoners was 
authorized or tolerated, and if there were individual 
cases of the kind they were exceedingly rare. 

The condition of a prisoner is by no means a desirable 
one under any circumstances, and he who is captured 
in war must expect to suffer inconveniences. The sol 
diers of the Federal Army were supplied with an abund 
ance of everything necessary for their comfort and even 
luxury, to which many of them, including some officers, 
had never been accustomed before, and to which but few 



of them perhaps, except those who enriched themselves 
by the plunder of our people, returned again after the 
war. No army that ever took the field was so well sup 
plied in all that was necessary, and much that was 

The easy communication always kept up with the 
positions of that army by railway and steamboat sup 
plied it abundantly not only with ample and comfortable 
clothing of every kind and the government ration of 
everything, but with most of the delicacies incident to 
city life. They had not only bread, meat, vegetables, 
coffee and sugar in abundance, but the enormous horde 
of sutlers following the army supplied it with wines, 
liquors, fruits, oysters, canned meats and in fact every 
thing that could be desired; and which high pay and 
high bounties enabled both officers and men to purchase. 
When such men, therefore, fell into our hands and were 
subjected to the scanty fare to which Confederate soldiers 
were reduced, it was very natural for them to complain 
of their treatment. 

Our ports were blockaded and we were cut off from 
the commerce of the world. The enemy made not only 
provisions, but medicines, contraband of war. He had 
devastated the portions of our country to which he had 
penetrated, destroying crops and farming utensils, and 
burning barns, mills, factories of cloth and stuffs of 
all kinds, and tanneries, and in fact committing every 
possible waste and devastation which could cripple our 
army or pinch the non-combatants who remained at 
home. Coffee, tea and sugar had disappeared early in 
1862 as a part of the ration to our men, and if there 
was any at all, it was to be found in rare quantities and 
at the most enormous prices. The scanty supplies of 
provisions to which our own men were reduced can 
hardly be conceived of by one who was not present to 
know the actual state of the case. 

On the night after the second victory at Manassas, 
thousands of our men lay down to rest without having 



had a mouthful to eat all day. I was then in command 
of a brigade, and I was very well content, after the fight 
at Ox Hill or Chantilly, to make my supper on two very 
small ears of green corn, which I roasted in the ashes. 
On the next day and for a day or two afterwards, all that 
I had to eat was a piece of cold boiled fresh beef with 
out either salt or bread, which I carried in a haversack. 
This was the strait to which a Brigadier General was 
reduced in our army. 

I have many a time on the march, while a division and 
corps commander, been glad to get a hard cracker and 
a very small piece of uncooked bacon for my dinner, and 
I have been often thankful on the road to a soldier for 
a biscuit from his haversack which he himself had baked, 
after mixing up the flour on an India rubber cloth, which 
he had secured on some battlefield. When our money 
became so depreciated as to be worth only from five to 
ten cents on the dollar, many of the company officers were 
compelled from necessity to eat with their men of the 
scanty food furnished them. 

I have seen commissioned officers often, marching on 
foot with their pantaloons out behind, their coats out 
at the elbow and their toes sticking out of their shoes, 
with but a pretence for a sole, while they had but the 
shirt that was on their backs as their whole supply of 
linen. I have seen this the case with gentlemen of refine 
ment, whose means before the war had enabled them to 
live with every desirable comfort, yet they submitted 
cheerfully not only to this, but to actual hunger ; and I 
have seen them go into battle with the proud tread of 
heroes, encouraging their men, cheering over the vic 
tory, or bravely meeting death in defence of a country 
which could treat them no better. 

What these men were content with, the prisoners 
taken by their valor, and who had been so well pampered 
in their own country, thought proper to regard, when 
furnished them, as evidence of a disposition to starve 
them. Not only was our army so meagrely supplied with 



what was necessary not only to its comfort, but to its 
very existence, but our people everywhere were pinched 
for the necessaries of life. Gentlemen, ladies, and chil 
dren, who had been accustomed to every indulgence and 
luxury, were very often put to the utmost straits for 
clothes to wear and meat and bread to eat, and while this 
was the case with them there was a long, long list of 
the wives and the children of the privates in the ranks 
fighting for their homes and their altars, who were on 
the very brink of actual starvation. 

Now, I ask, in the name of all that is sacred, did 
they expect that the men who had come down to make 
war upon a people so reduced by their barbarous acts 
to the very verge of starvation and nakedness should, 
when taken in battle, be fed and clothed better than the 
men who, sacrificing all mere personal considerations, 
were so bravely meeting their foes in deadly strife, while 
their wives, children, mothers and sisters were starving ? 

There is talk about the food furnished the sick and 
wounded as being unsuited for their condition. I will 
mention an incident that occurred under my own ob 
servation. While we were at Spottsylvania Court-House 
in May, 1864, battling with such immense odds, I was 
in command of a corps, and I received a message to come 
to General Lee s headquarters at night on one occasion 
for the purpose of receiving some instructions from him. 
General Lee was then himself suffering with a dysentery 
which had reduced him very much, and rendered all of 
us who were aware of his condition exceedingly uneasy, 
for we knew that if he failed all was gone. 

When I arrived his dinner and supper, both in one, 
were just ready and I was invited in to partake of the 
meal, and I found it to consist of, what to me was most 
acceptable, a scant supply of hard crackers, fried fat 
bacon, and a beverage made as a substitute for coffee 
out of parched wheat, without sugar, and this was all. 
This was what the foremost commander of the age was 
reduced to in the then critical condition of his health. 



Such fare, if furnished to a sick or wounded Federal 
soldier, would have been regarded as evidence of a bar 
barous purpose to cause his death. To inflame the minds 
of the Northern people and prejudice the civilized world 
against us, an investigation was had before a committee 
of the Federal Congress who made a report upon " rebel 
atrocities," founded on the testimony of men who swore 
to some things they had seen, many that they had heard, 
and a great many more that they had neither seen nor 

The press was flooded with stories of cruel treat 
ment, illustrated by pictures, and during the war every 
device was resorted to, to fix upon us the stigma of bar 
barous treatment of the prisoners in our hands. After 
the close of the war a poor feeble foreigner, Captain 
Wirz, who had been in our service, and was then on the 
very verge of the grave from wounds received in battle, 
was selected as a victim to be sacrificed to the demands 
of the North for more blood, and, after a farce of a trial, 
was hung for alleged cruelty to prisoners. As a speci 
men of the evidence given on his trial, it is only necessary 
to mention that of Boston Corbet, the man who killed 
Booth, while the latter, with a fractured leg, was in a 
house in flames and surrounded by a large party of 
Federal cavalry, by slipping up to the side of the house 
and firing his revolver through a crack. 

Boston Corbet testified on the trial of Wirz, stating 
that he was a prisoner at Andersonville, and among 
other atrocities testified to, by him, he mentioned the 
fact that bloodhounds were kept to pursue escaped pris 
oners, and he said that he himself with some others 
made an escape, and the bloodhounds were put on the 
track; that while he was concealed in the bushes, one of 
the bloodhounds came up and rubbed its nose against 
his. When asked why the hound did not do any mischief 
to him, he said that he served the same Lord that Daniel 
served when in the lions den. 

There were many other witnesses in whose stories 



there was as little truth as in that of Boston Corbet, and 
11 rebel " witnesses were denounced as unworthy of credit 
unless they would prove renegades and endeavor to 
propitiate their masters by turning against their com 
rades. Even poor Wirz himself was offered his life if 
he would testify against the high officials of the Con 
federate Government, but he was too true a man and 
Christian to attempt to save himself from his unjust 
sentence by perjuring his soul; and he, therefore, 
suffered on the gallows. 

To appreciate at its proper worth the evidence of 
the witnesses who have tried to fix upon the Confederate 
authorities this iniquitous charge of maltreatment of 
prisoners, it is only necessary to refer to the evidence 
of the general officers of the Federal Army before the 
Congressional Committee on the War. Let any candid 
man read, for instance, the evidence contained in that 
part of the report which refers to the battle of Gettys 
burg and the operations of the Army of the Potomac 
under Meade, where there is such palpable conflict, not 
as to opinions merely, but as to facts ; and when he has 
determined in his mind which of those general officers 
tell the truth and which do not, let him say how much 
credence is to be given to the stories of those men who 
testified as to the horrors of Andersonville, and other 
Confederate prisons. When the general officers of the 
army were so loose in their testimony as to important 
facts affecting each other, what was to be expected of 
the subordinates and the privates, when testifying 
against their enemies! 

It is very easy to raise the cry of " rebel when any 
statement is put forth on the part of the Confederate 
authorities ; and that is conceded a sufficient answer. The 
same cry would invalidate the testimony of General Lee 
or "Stonewall" Jackson. If such atrocities were com 
mitted as those alleged, why is it that poor Wirz is the 
solitary victim offered up in expiation of the thousands 
of victims who, it is said, died from the effects of the 



atrocities 1 The popular heart at the time of his sacrifice 
thirsted for blood, notwithstanding the oceans that 
flowed during the war, but when the first frenzy was 
over the more cautious panderers to the tastes of their 
countrymen felt that there was danger of shocking the 
minds of the civilized world, and desisted. 

If poor Wirz was guilty, he was the least guilty of 
all those charged with the same crime, and was but a 
mere instrument in the hands of others. His executioners 
owed it to themselves and to the cause of truth and 
justice to bring the others to trial in order to vindicate 
their action in his case, and failing in this, they must 
stand before the world as his murderers. Sufferings 
there were doubtless at Andersonville and other prisons, 
but how could they be avoided? 

Our men in the army were suffering, and our women 
at home were suffering. Could the men who came down 
to kill and plunder us expect a better fate than that 
which befell our own soldiers and people! Many per 
haps died from the want of proper medicines, but thou 
sands upon thousands of our own wounded and sick died 
from the same cause. Who deprived us of the means 
of getting medicines? When we could not feed, clothe, 
and provide for these prisoners in such a manner as 
would satisfy them, whose fault was it that they were 
not released to be cared for by their own friends? Who 
issued the order forbidding their being paroled? Who 
put a stop to the exchange? Was it to be expected that 
we would turn those men loose to come back again to 
kill and plunder our people? 

Kindred to this is another charge of plundering and 
disfiguring the dead. Now as to the question of plunder 
ing, I cannot but think that it is more cruel to plunder 
the living than the dead, especially if the living be help 
less women and children. I presume it is not necessary 
to state the reasons why I entertain this opinion. 

It is to me a little strange that the men who applauded 



Butler, Banks, Milroy, Sherman, and Sheridan, for 
plundering and rendering utterly desolate the houses 
of thousands of woman and children, should complain 
that our barefooted soldiers took the shoes from the feet 
of some of the men who had been engaged in this plunder 
and were killed in order that they might not be able to 
follow and fight the rest. 

I have myself but too often seen in the track of the 
Federal armies the evidence of how they plundered and 
destroyed the property of our people. Not content with 
taking provisions, cattle, horses, sheep and other things 
which they might use, they often took what was of no 
earthly use to them as soldiers, and destroyed what 
they could not carry away. I have seen where they had 
torn up the clothes of the women and children, hacked 
to pieces furniture, pianos, and other articles, destroy 
ing valuable papers and books, burned besides houses, 
plows, carts and a variety of such things. This I have 
seen in not a few instances, but I have seen whole com 
munities rendered destitute in this way. 

They also burned all our factories and tanneries 
which they could reach, taking the hides out of the vats 
in the latter and cutting them to pieces. When a man 
is naked and barefooted, is he to be blamed for taking 
such articles as he needs from the dead body of his enemy 
who has thus treated him or his comrades, in order that 
he may still continue to fight the despoilers of his home 
and his country? Let the man who is disposed to con 
demn him put the case to himself. He is plundered and 
robbed, and perhaps some of his family or friends killed, 
he pursues his plunderers and succeeds in killing one of 
them, but he finds himself faint and sorefooted from 
the want of shoes, and is therefore unable to continue 
the pursuit. Will he hesitate to strip the shoes from 
the feet of his fallen enemy to enable him to resume 
the task of recovering his own and chastising his other 
enemies ? 



On one occasion, a very worthy chaplain in our army 
on riding over a battlefield found a soldier pulling the 
shoes from the feet of a dead Federal soldier, and this 
being new to him, his feelings were rather shocked. 
Speaking to the soldier he said: " My friend, if I were 
in your place, I would have more respect for the dead, 
and not do that." The soldier, looking at the comfort 
able pair of boots which the chaplain by good luck was 
able to sport, said: "Sir, I have as much respect for 
the dead as you or any other man, but if you had marched 
as long as I have without any shoes, and your feet were 
as sore as mine, you would not think it so wrong to take 
these shoes which can t do this man any good now, and 
will do me a great deal." The chaplain was silenced, 
and that was the whole question in a few words. 

As to the other part of the charge, about disfiguring 
the bodies, I do not presume our enemies themselves 
believe it, though it was their policy to show that we 
were barbarous, and this was set forth in the report of 
a Congressional Committee. I was on many battlefields 
beginning with first Manassas, both during and after 
the battles, and I slept on some, with the enemy s dead 
lying all around me. I never in a solitary case saw any 
evidence of any such treatment, and I never heard of 
any except from the reports put in circulation. 

As I have passed along over the ground when we 
were fighting I have had some of the wounded appeal 
to me, saying they were informed by their officers that 
we killed all the wounded, and I have ordered them to 
be carried off and cared for. It was the policy to circu 
late such reports in regard to the treatment of pris 
oners, the wounded, and the dead, not only to inflame 
the minds of the Northern people in order to induce them 
to give a hearty support to the war, but to make the 
soldiers in the army fight more obstinately; and there 
were not wanting witnesses to aid the authorities by 
their testimony. 



The appeal may be safely made to the world to decide 
these charges against the comrades of General Eobert 
E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson, and now that the war 
is over, it would seem that we might even " appeal from 
Philip drunk to Philip sober," but it will seem as if 
such critics had not allowed those passions to subside, by 
which they were intoxicated during the existence of 
active hostilities. 


WE remained in camp during the month of August, 
and the forepart of September, resting our men from 
their late fatigues, and recruiting our strength by the 
return of the sick and wounded who had recovered. 
General Hoke having recovered from his wound, now re 
turned to his brigade, but was soon sent off with one of 
his regiments to North Carolina on special duty. In the 
last of August, or first part of September, Longstreet s 
corps was detached from our army, leaving only Ewell s 
and Hill s. 

The enemy s cavalry had been constantly increasing 
in amount, and he had now a much larger force of that 
arm than we had. He was able to keep his cavalry well 
mounted, while horses were becoming very scarce with us. 
On the 13th of September, a large force of the enemy s 
cavalry, supported by infantry, advanced into Culpeper, 
and Stuart s cavalry was compelled to retire. My divis 
ion, followed by Rodes , was advanced to the Kapidan 
to prevent the enemy from crossing, and we had some 
sharp skirmishing with the enemy s cavalry which came 
up to Somerville and Raccoon Fords, and we had some 
brisk artillery firing also. 

My division took position covering the two fords 
named, and Rodes went to Morton s Ford on my right 
and took position covering that; some of Hill s troops 
covering the fords above. The demonstrations by the 
enemy s cavalry and the skirmishing continued a day or 
two on the river, and a portion of Meade s infantry, all 
of which had moved into Culpeper, came up and relieved 
the cavalry, when the pickets were again established in 
sight of each other. We then proceeded to strengthen 
our position by rifle pits and epaulments for artillery, 
and continued in position until the 8th of October, there 



being occasional reconnaissances to the right and left 
by the enemy s cavalry, and demonstrations with his 
infantry by manoeuvring in our view, his camps being 
distinctly visible to us from a signal station on Clark s 
Mountain, at the base of which, on the north, the Eapidan 

Meade had now sent off two of his corps, the llth and 
12th, to reinforce Eosecrans at Chattanooga, Longstreet 
Laving reinforced Bragg with two of his divisions ; and 
General Lee determined to move around Meade s right 
and attack him, this movement commencing on the night 
of the 8th. One of Bodes brigades, and Fitz. Lee s brigade 
of cavalry, were left to hold the line of the river on the 
right of Eapidan Station until the enemy had disappeared 
from the front, and my pickets having been relieved, my 
division was concentrated that night in rear of my posi 
tion, for the purpose of moving early next morning. The 
movement was to be made by the way of Madison Court- 
House so as to avoid the observation of the enemy, Hill 
taking the lead, Ewell following. 

I moved early on the morning of the 9th, taking the 
road by Orange Court-House and crossing the Eapidan 
at a ford a little above the mouth of the Eobinson Eiver, 
camping a mile or two beyond. On the morning of the 
10th I moved by the way of Madison Court-House, follow 
ing the rest of the army, and crossing Eobinson Eiver, 
camped again three or four miles from it. Just before 
night there was a sharp fight in the advance with a por 
tion of the enemy s cavalry. On the llth we continued to 
move to the left and then in direction of Culpeper Court- 
House to Stone-House Mountain, when it was found that 
the enemy had fallen back across the Eappahannock with 
his infantry, but there was fighting with the cavalry 
in the direction of the Court-House. 

On the 12th we turned off in the direction of Fauquier 
Springs, and our advance drove a body of the enemy s 
cavalry from the river and crossed over, a portion of the 
troops, including my division, remaining on the south 



side. On the 13th we crossed and proceeded to Warren- 
ton, and Meade s army, which was on the Rappahannock 
below, commenced its retreat on both sides of the railroad 
towards Manassas. We took position that night around 
Warrenton, Hill s corps being advanced out on the road 
towards Centreville. 

Stuart, with a part of his cavalry, had crossed the 
river and got in between two of the enemy s columns, 
where he spent the night of the 13th in imminent danger 
of capture. We moved before daybreak on the morning 
of the 14th, as well for the purpose of relieving Stuart 
as for attacking the enemy, Swell s corps taking the road 
by Auburn towards Greenwich and Bristow Station, and 
Hill s, a route further to the left. About light, a con 
siderable force of the enemy, composed of both infantry 
and cavalry, was found at Auburn, on Cedar Creek, 
occupying the opposite banks of the stream, where a 
mill pond rendered the advance against him very difficult. 
Rodes division formed line in front, and some skirmish 
ing and cannonading ensued, while I moved with my 
division and Jones battalion of artillery to the left 
across the creek above the mill, and around to get in the 
enemy s rear. 

After I had started Rodes, having been replaced by 
Johnson, moved to the right to cross the stream below. 
The enemy s infantry in the meantime had moved off, 
leaving only a cavalry force and some horse artillery to 
dispute the passage, and as I was moving up to attack 
this force in the rear and Rodes was coming up from 
the right, it rapidly made its escape towards the railroad, 
passing between us. 

We then moved towards Greenwich, and near that 
place Swell s corps turned off through some farms in 
the direction of the bridge over Kettle Run, while Hill s 
corps preceded us on the direct road to Bristow. At this 
latter place, the 2nd corps of Meade s army, under War 
ren, was found, and two of Hill s brigades which were 



in the advance moved against it while behind the railroad 
embankment, and were repulsed with some loss, a battery 
of artillery, which was advanced to the front at the same 
time, falling into the hands of the enemy. About this 
time my division, in the lead of Ewell s corps, came up 
on the right near Kettle Eun Bridge, and was ordered to 
move forward against some troops and wagon trains said 
to be moving on the road across the run in the direction 
of Bristow. Gordon s brigade being in front was formed 
in line facing the run and he was directed to wait until 
the other brigades came up and were formed. 

While I was hurrying these brigades up, Gordon see 
ing some cavalry on the opposite hills made a rapid 
advance across the run and up the hills on the other side, 
driving the cavalry from the road to Bristow and pursu 
ing it towards Brentsville. When the other brigades 
were brought up, I found Gordon unexpectedly gone, and 
I moved to the run, expecting to find him there, but he 
was nowhere to be seen. Warren s corps constituted the 
rear of Meade s army, and the troops and trains seen 
across Kettle Run proved only a rear guard of cavalry 
with some ambulances, the main wagon trains moving 
on the east of the railroad by Brentsville. When I found 
there was no enemy to attack in the direction I had been 
ordered to move, I then formed my brigades in line across 
the railroad facing towards Bristow Station, and sent 
to find Gordon, for the purpose of moving against the 
force behind the railroad at the station, according to 
instructions I had received from General Lee. 

After a time one of Gordon s staff officers came up 
with the information that he was facing a heavy cavalry 
force immediately in his front from which he could not 
retire easily, and that there was a very large train of 
wagons about Brentsville. Gordon s brigade was more 
than one-third of my division, and with the other brigades 
I was not strong enough to advance against the enemy s 
position, especially as there was a very dense thicket of 

20 305 


young pines intervening between my position and that of 
the enemy which rendered an advance in line almost 

It was now getting late, it being very nearly dark, and 
though Johnson s division was ordered up to my assist 
ance, before it could reach me it became entirely dark, 
so as to put a stop to all further operations that night. 
Very early next morning I advanced towards the station, 
but the enemy was found to have made good his retreat 
during the night. I then halted my division, and moved 
on to Manassas Junction with a regiment, in order to 
reconnoitre, picking up some stragglers on the way. The 
enemy was found to have crossed Bull Run and taken 
position behind it. Our cavalry advanced up to the Run 
and had some skirmishing with the enemy, but our army 
did not make any further movement forward. 

We then proceeded to destroy the bridge over Broad 
Run and Kettle Run and to tear up the railroad, burning 
the cross-ties and bending the rails by heating them. 

On the march from Rapidan, Brigadier General 
Pegram, who had been assigned to the command of 
Smith s brigade, joined us, General Smith, who had been 
elected Governor of Virginia, having resigned at the close 
of the Pennsylvania campaign. 



WE remained near Bristow two or three days, but 
were unable to supply our army in this position, and as 
the enemy had destroyed the bridge over the Eappahan- 
nock on his retreat, we crossed the river on a pontoon 
bridge. Our army then occupied the line of the Bappa- 
hannock, and remained there until the 7th of November, 
nay division after several moves finally going into camp 
in rear of Brandy Station, Eodes covering Kelly s Ford 
on the right, with Johnson between us, while Hill was 
on the left. We still held the crossing of the Bappahan- 
nock at the railroad bridge with a pontoon bridge across 
the river and a tete du pont covering it. 

Meade in the meantime had gradually moved his army 
up to the vicinity of Warrenton and Warrenton Junction, 
and we had sent forward, on several occasions, wagons 
strongly guarded by infantry to bring back the rails that 
had been torn up from the railroad between Bealton and 
the river. On the last of these expeditions, which was 
protected by my division, a considerable force of the 
enemy s cavalry was encountered at Bealton and driven 

The tete du pont in front of the Eappahannock was 
occupied by a brigade detailed alternately from my divis 
ion and Johnson s with a battery of artillery detailed 
from the artillery of the corps. 

On the morning of the 9th of November, his position 
was occupied by Hays brigade under the command of 
Colonel Penn of the 7th Louisiana Eegiment, and Green s 
battery of artillery of four guns, while some works on 
the south bank, immediately in rear of the tete du pont, 
were occupied by Graham s and Dance s batteries of 

The tete du pont itself consisted of a line of rifle 



trenches encircling the bridge and resting on the river 
above and below, near the right of which were two small 
redoubts embraced in the circle of works, one of which 
had been constructed in the spring of 1862 when our 
troops fell back from Manassas to face to the north, and 
the other had been constructed by the enemy subsequently 
to face to the north, both being remodelled for the use of 
artillery. The rifle pits were slight, affording in them 
selves no obstacle to the passage of a force over them 
unless held by an opposing force, and the redoubts were 
imperfectly remodelled while there was no obstruction 
in front, in the way of ditches, abattis or otherwise. 

The work was completely commanded by higher posi 
tions in front, on ridges behind which a cover for the 
advance of troops from that direction was afforded, while, 
on the immediate right of the point at which the rifle 
pits touched the river, on that flank, the railroad 
approached to the bank of the stream by a high embank 
ment of earth, with a walled opening in it for the passage 
of a road just in front of that part of the work. In rear 
of the tete du pont the river was rendered impassable 
except over the bridge, which was near the right, by a 
mill dam which backed up the water, making a pond 
extending along the entire rear of the work, the bridge 
being across this pond. 

The works in rear of the bridge occupied by Graham s 
and Dance s batteries consisted of a redoubt that had 
been constructed by the enemy on that side and which 
had been turned, and some sunken pits for guns on the 
left of it, the ground occupied by these works being lower 
than the tete du pont in front. Some sunken pits for 
artillery had been made on the south side of the river on 
the right of the railroad in low, flat ground so as to sweep 
the east side of the railroad embankment that was on 
the north, but was unoccupied; there were also rifle 
trenches connected with this epaulment, and lower down 
to cover a point at which the enemy had had a bridge. 
The works which were occupied on the south bank really 



afforded no protection to those on the north, but merely 
served to command the bridge itself in the event of the 
tete du pont being carried, as the fire from the guns 
posted in them would be over the latter, in order to reach 
an advancing enemy. 

Early in the day of the 7th, a small force of infantry 
appeared in front of the tete du pont, beyond the range of 
the artillery there posted, passing down the river, and a 
little before noon a heavy force of infantry was developed 
in front of the works, forming a line of battle encircling 
them, but still out of range of our artillery ; and still later 
a large force was seen passing down the river, that in 
front still remaining in line of battle. 

The enemy confronting this position, subsequently 
ascertained to be two corps, the 5th and 6th, under Sedg- 
wick, then commenced advancing by gradual steps, com 
ing up a little nearer each time and forming a new line of 
battle ; and Colonel Penn, who had three of his regiments 
advanced to the front and on the flanks, so as to cover 
the main position with a line of pickets while one was 
in reserve in the trenches, and the other was on picket 
on the river on the south bank, was compelled to retire his 
advanced regiments gradually, until they were with 
drawn into the woods, leaving only a line of skirmishers 
in front as far as their safety would permit. On the 
first appearance of the enemy in force, Colonel Penn had 
sent me a dispatch informing me of the fact, but as my 
camp was fully five miles off it did not reach me until a 
little before 2 P.M. 

I immediately signalled the information to General 
Lee and General Ewell, and ordered my other brigades, 
then engaged in constructing huts for quarters, to be 
moved to the front as soon as they could be got together. 
As this required some time, I rode in advance towards 
the position occupied by my brigade on picket, and at 
Brandy Station received another dispatch from Colonel 
Penn informing me that the enemy still remained in his 
front in line of battle with a very heavy force. For fear 



that the information by signal had not reached General 
Ewell, as I understood he was coming up towards Brandy 
Station, I sent my Adjutant General, Major John W. 
Daniel, to meet him and communicate the contents of the 
two dispatches to him. 

Before reaching the river I encountered General Lee, 
who had not received my dispatch, and together we pro 
ceeded to the river, where we arrived a little after three 
o clock. I immediately crossed over to Penn s position 
and going out in front of the skirmish line, then con 
siderably advanced, I discovered a very heavy force 
which was gradually but very slowly and cautiously mov 
ing up, encircling the whole position. Penn s regiments 
had been drawn in, including the one on picket below, 
except one company still left on picket at that point, and 
now occupied the trenches, which they could not fully 
man, while the guns of Green s battery were posted in 
the works on the right. 

After fully reconnoitring in front I rode back across 
the river and communicated the state of the case to 
General Lee. Shortly after I recrossed the river, the 
enemy commenced forcing back our skirmishers, who 
were compelled to retire towards the works, and having 
got possession of the hills in front he opened with a bat 
tery of artillery, his guns being replied to by Graham s 
and Dance s with little or no effect, as the distance was 
too great. The enemy s skirmishers in very heavy line 
continued to advance, forcing ours back to the protection 
of the line of works, and a portion of his getting to the 
river bank about half a mile below the right of the tete du 
pont. An attempt was then made to send one of Dance s 
guns to the pits on the right of the railroad, but the 
advance of the enemy s skirmishers up the opposite bank 
of the river caused it to be abandoned, for fear of losing 
the horses. 

At four o clock, General Hays, who had been detained 
from his brigade by his duties as a member of a court 
martial, arrived and assumed command of the tete du 



pont. In a short time afterwards the three regiments of 
Hoke s brigade, forming the advance of the rest of the 
division, came up, and I sent them across the river, under 
command of Colonel Godwin, to the support of Hays. 
General Lee directed me to send no more troops across 
the river, but retain the others on the south side, and 
Gordon was moved to the right to occupy a hill further 
down the river, while Pegram s brigade was formed in 
line in rear of the hill occupied by Graham s and Dance s 
batteries, the 31st Virginia being sent to occupy the rifle 
trenches at the gun pits on the right of the railroad. 

The enemy now opened from a battery on our left and 
soon from another on our right, and the fire of these bat 
teries, which crossed in rear of our works, and that from 
the front rendered the bridge very unsafe. The fire from 
Graham s and Dance s guns seemed to be doing no good, 
as they could not be used to advantage by reason of 
having to fire over the works in front, and it was there 
fore stopped by General Lee s orders. Green s battery, 
however, under the command of Lieutenant Moore, con 
tinued the fire in front, but was greatly overmatched. 

On crossing the river, which was under the enemy s 
artillery fire, Godwin s three brigades were put in the 
trenches covering the river above the bridge three regi 
ments of Hays brigade, the 6th, 9th and 8th, being on 
the right and the 5th and 7th on the extreme left. The 
portion of the trenches occupied by the 6th, 9th and 8th 
regiments of Hays brigade covered the bridge and to 
the right of it and on this part of the works were the 
four guns of Green s battery. 

The enemy continued his artillery fire vigorously and 
rapidly until dark, his skirmishers in the meantime ad 
vancing in such heavy force as to drive ours into the 
works, and themselves coming up to within easy rifle 
range of the trenches. Just at dark the enemy s force 
advanced in heavy columns immediately in front of the 
position occupied by Hays three regiments and our artil 
lery, one of the columns moving up to within a short 



distance under cover of the railroad embankment and 
then suddenly debouching through the opening made for 
the passage of the road, before mentioned. 

This assault was resolutely met by Hays men and 
Green s guns, who poured a destructive fire into the 
advancing masses of the enemy, breaking the heavy line 
of skirmishers preceding the columns, but these columns 
came on in such strong force and such rapid succession 
that after a brief but obstinate resistance, Hays men 
were literally overpowered by numbers in the trenches, 
which they held to the last, without attempting to leave 
them. The enemy also rushed upon the guns at the same 
time and, meeting with little or no obstacle from the 
works themselves, overpowered the gunners at their 

When the guns were taken General Hays made an 
attempt to recapture them, but the enemy coming up 
in still further force in front rendered the attempt abor 
tive. The part of the line now taken was within a hun 
dred yards of the northern end of the bridge and com 
pletely commanded it, so that all the force on the left was 
completely cut off from retreat. 

An attack made on Godwin s front simultaneously 
with that on Hays right, but not in as strong force, had 
been repulsed by the 54th North Carolina Regiment, and 
when Godwin learned that Hays line was broken, he 
endeavored to move to his assistance, but the enemy had 
now got between the trenches and the river and com 
menced moving up a strong force against Godwin s right, 
at the same time that another advanced against him in 
front. He was therefore compelled to abandon a part of 
the trenches on his right and present front, as well as he 
could in the darkness, to the two forces, thus assailing 
him in different directions, so as to try to cut his way 
to the bridge. 

He made a resolute struggle, but the enemy threw 
such a force between him and the bridge that the attempt 
to reach it was hopeless, and the rest of his men were 



forced to abandon the trenches on the left. His three 
regiments and the two Louisiana regiments on his left 
were now completely surrounded, the enemy encircling 
them in front and on the flanks, while an impassable river 
was in their rear. Nevertheless, Colonel Godwin con 
tinued to struggle, rallying and encouraging his men as 
he retired from point to point towards the river, until he 
himself, with only about seventy men still remaining to 
him, was overpowered and taken by an irresistible force, 
without surrendering himself or his command. A like 
fate befell the 5th and 7th Louisiana Regiments. 

I had remained with General Lee, by his direction, on 
the hill in rear near Dance s guns, where he had taken 
his position, observing the enemy s movements as well 
as we could, until very nearly or about dark. When the 
enemy s artillery fire ceased, we had discovered some 
movement of his infantry, but we could see so indis 
tinctly that we could not tell what it meant. We saw 
the flashes of the rifles from our trenches and from the 
guns on the side of the river, but a very heavy wind was 
blowing, so that we could hear no sounds, not even that 
of our guns, which were not more than three or four 
hundred yards from us. 

After this firing had continued some minutes, perhaps 
twenty or thirty, it slackened, and not hearing from it, 
we were of the opinion that it was at the enemy s skir 
mishers. General Lee then, expressing the opinion that 
the movement of the enemy in our front at this point was 
probably intended merely as a reconnoissance or feint, 
and that it was too late for him to attempt anything 
serious that night, concluded to retire, leaving with me 
two dispatches for General Ewell. 

A short time before we saw the last firing, I had sent 
my Inspector General, Major Hale, on foot across the 
bridge to direct General Hays and Colonel Godwin to 
send and have rations brought up for their men, and 
just as I was preparing to send off the two dispatches 
left with me for General Ewell, Major Hale returned 



and informed me that when he saw General Hays the 
enemy was advancing against him, but he and his men 
were all right and in good spirits and that he then went 
to Colonel Godwin, whom he found all right, but as he 
was returning across the bridge he saw one or two of 
Hays men coming off, who said the enemy had just 
broken through the line, the Major himself expressing 
the opinion that the statement was entirely false. It was 
now very dark and objects could not be seen at a very 
short distance. General Lee could not have then gone 
more than a few hundred yards since he left me. 

Though I did not think the information brought could 
be true, as what I had witnessed did not indicate such 
a result, yet I sent Major Daniel to ascertain the truth, 
and ordered Pegram to move his brigade to the bridge 
immediately and Graham and Dance to man their guns. 
I then started to the bridge and soon met Major Daniel, 
who informed me he had just seen General Hays, who 
had made his escape, and that the greater part of his 
brigade was captured, the enemy in possession of the 
works, and Godwin cut off from the bridge. 

Pegram s brigade was then hurried up to the bridge 
to prevent the enemy from crossing and Gordon s was 
sent for, information of the disaster being sent to General 
Lee at once. Godwin s regiments had not yet been cap 
tured, and I had the mortification of seeing the flashes of 
their rifles, and hearing their capture without being able j 
to render them the slightest assistance, as it would have I 
been folly to attempt to cross the bridge, and I could not i 
open with the guns on the south side, as it was so very 1 
dark that nothing was visible, and we would have been 
as apt to fire into our own men as into the enemy. 

A number of Hays officers and men had been able to 
effect their escape by slipping off in the dark, after the 
works were in possession of the enemy, many swimming 
the river and others getting over the bridge. Some of 
Godwin s officers and men also effected their escape by 
swimming the river, and others by slipping down the 



banks of it to the bridge, while the enemy was engaged 
in securing the rest. General Hays had effected his 
escape after he was entirely surrounded by the enemy, 
and was in their power, by his horse s taking fright at a 
musket fired near him and dashing off, when a number of 
shots were fired at him, and finding that he had to run 
the gauntlet anyhow, he made for the bridge and escaped 

A regiment from Peg-ram s brigade had been sent to 
the end of the bridge and the rest of the brigade formed 
in line in rear of it. To have attempted to cross the rest 
of my command over the bridge would have but added 
to the disaster, and therefore, after waiting for some time 
to give an opportunity to all the men to escape who could, 
and ascertaining definitely the capture of the regiments 
on the left, and that the enemy had a guard at the further 
end, the bridge was fired at the end next us, and so 
destroyed that it could not be used by the enemy. 

Eeceiving orders from General Lee to move back to 
my camp, I did so at three o clock in the morning, after 
having sent off Graham s and Dance s batteries. 

The loss in my division in this affair was 5 killed, 
35 wounded, and 1593 missing, making a total of 1630. 
The loss in Green s battery was 1 killed and 41 missing, 
total 42, making the loss altogether 1672, besides the four 
guns and the small arms. The killed are those who were 
known to be killed, and the wounded were those who got 
off. Doubtless there were a number killed and wounded 
who were put down in the missing, but the enemy came up 
to the works firing but very little, and therefore the loss 
in that respect was comparatively slight. 

Nearly three hundred of Hays officers and men, be 
tween one hundred and one hundred and fifty from the 
three regiments under Godwin, and twenty men of 
Green s battery made their escape. A considerable num 
ber of the men in both brigades were engaged in getting 
timber for building huts at the time and were not present 
with their brigades, thus escaping capture. 



The total force occupying the works was a little over 
two thousand, and the force which attacked them con 
sisted of two corps, numbering probably over thirty 
thousand men. The result of the attack was unavoidable, 
and I fully exempted my officers and men from all blame. 
If the enemy chose to make the attack his success was 
inevitable. The works were of too slight a character to 
enable a body of troops to hold them against such over 
whelming numbers. When the enemy reached the works 
he had no trouble in walking over them, as there were no 
ditches or obstructions in front. 

In constructing these works too great reliance had 
been placed in the want of enterprise on the part of the 
enemy, and there was but one mode of approach to or 
retreat from them, so that when the works were carried 
in front of the only bridge there was, the fate of the rest 
of the command was sealed. The enemy on this occasion 
had more enterprise than had been presumed on, and 
hence the disaster. 

This was the first serious disaster that had befallen 
any of my immediate commands, either as a brigade or 
division commander, since the commencement of the war, 
and I felt that I was not responsible for it, though I 
bitterly regretted it. 

The same afternoon three corps of the enemy had 
attacked Eodes at Kelly s and forced a passage there, 
inflicting on his division some loss in killed, wounded, 
and prisoners. 

On the next morning, the 8th, we formed a line of 
battle, a mile or two in rear of Brandy Station, Ewell s 
corps occupying the right, with its left, my division, rest 
ing on the road to Culpeper Court-House, and Hill s corps 
occupying the left, with his right connecting with my left. 
In this position we awaited the advance of the enemy alii 
day, but he made no attack on us, though there was some 
fighting on Hill s left with the enemy s cavalry. Being 
now in a very unfavorable position, and having no good 
line to occupy in Culpeper, we fell back that night to the 




Rapidan, and next morning crossed over and occupied 
our old positions. Meade s army also occupied very 
much the same positions it had previously occupied, and 
the line of pickets on the Rapidan was re-established. 

While we were in Culpeper on this occasion we dis 
covered that Meade s army had almost entirely devas 
tated that county. Many beautiful residences of gentle 
men had been pulled down, and some within sight of 
Meade s own headquarters, for the purpose of making 
huts for the soldiers and chimneys to the officers tents. 
It was a scene of desolation, and the population was 
almost gone. I had been on the track of this army under 
all the other commanders, but I think it committed more 
depredations under Meade than under any of the rest, 
not excepting Pope himself. 

After resuming our positions on the Rapidan, the 
condition of things was pretty much as it had been before, 
the enemy making some demonstrations but no serious 
movement until the last of the month. 

A little after the middle of the month, General Swell s 
health had been impaired, and I succeeded temporarily 
to the command of the corps. 

There had been some demonstrations with the enemy s 
cavalry force, and General Lee, apprehending that the 
enemy might attempt to turn our right by moving across 
some of the lower fords, directed me to examine all the 
country on our right as far as Mine Run, and ascertain if 
a line could be formed there, extending towards Verdier- 
ville on the Plank road, which we could occupy in the 
event of an advance in that quarter ; and to make myself 
familiar with all the roads. Our right, then held by 
Rodes division, covered Morton s Ford and extended 
around to the river above the mouth of Mountain Run 
the extreme right flank being unfavorably located, and 
liable to be turned, not only by a movement across at 
Germana Ford, but also at Jacob s Ford higher up, and 
from our right, as well as at some other points in the 



After a careful examination of the country, I selected 
a line to be connected with Bodes right, by throwing 
the latter back from the river and then running the new 
line in its prolongation across Mountain Run, and a road 
leading past Rodes rear to Bartlett s Mill, to Locust 
Grove, to Black Walnut Run above Bartlett s Mill, from 
which point the line could be still further prolonged past 
Zoar Church to Verdierville, if necessary, on a dividing 
ridge between the waters of Black Walnut and Mine 
Runs, which streams united just above Bartlett s Mill. 
Johnson s division which had been camped in the rear 
was then moved up to construct and occupy the right of 
the line extending from Mountain Run to Black Walnut. 

While we were engaged in constructing this new line, 
with a view to its further prolongation if necessary, so 
as to cover all the roads coming in from the right between 
the Plank road and the river, on the 26th of November, 
Meade s army was discovered to be in motion towards the 
fords below on our right, and preparations were at once 
made to meet it. 

Fitz. Lee s cavalry was ordered to relieve our pickets, 
and late in the afternoon of that day Rodes division was 
moved across Black Walnut to the right of Johnson on 
the ridge extending towards Zoar Church, and my own 
division under the command of General Hays was with 
drawn from its position and concentrated with a view of 
moving next morning on the old stone pike leading from 
Orange Court-House to Fredericksburg by the way of 
Locust Grove or Robertson s Tavern, and the old Wilder 
ness Tavern so as to get on Rodes right in prolongation 
of the line. 


GENERAL LEE had discovered that the enemy was cross 
ing some of his troops as low down as Germana Ford, and 
to prevent him from getting too far to his rear, he deter 
mined to move forward, and not await the advance 
against this new line ; and during the night I was ordered 
to advance at daylight next morning as far as Locust 
Grove on the three roads leading to that point, to wit: 
the stone pike, the road by Zoar Church, and the one by 
Bartlett s Mill. 

In accordance with General Lee s instructions, the 
three divisions of the corps were advanced at light on the 
morning of the 27th, as follows: my own division under 
Hays on the stone pike on the right, Rodes on the road 
by Zoar Church, and Johnson s on the road by Bartlett s 
Mill ; and while the troops were moving forward I rode to 
meet General Lee at Verdierville, in accordance with a 
request from him to that effect. 

Rodes was a little in advance of the other divisions, 
and as the advance of his column came in view of the 
open ground around Locust Grove (Robertson s Tavern) 
a very large force of the enemy was discovered moving 
up and occupying the high ground at that point. General 
Rodes then formed his division in line across the road 
on which he was advancing, in a body of woods, and the 
point at which that road united with the one by Bartlett s 
Mill on which Johnson was. In a short time Hays came 
up from Bartlett s Mill and finding Rodes in position in 
possession of Locust Grove, formed his line across that 
road confronting him Johnson in the meantime coming 
up from Bartlett s Mill and finding Rodes in positon in 
front of him, halted his division along the road with his 
advance a short distance in rear of Rodes line, and his 
division extending back towards Bartlett s Mill, so as to 



make his position nearly at right angles with the line 
occupied by Eodes. The enemy opened with artillery on 
both Rodes and Hays, and some skirmishing ensued. 

While I was in consultation with General Lee at 
Verdierville, the information that the enemy had been 
encountered at Locust Grove reached me in the afternoon, 
and I rode to the front to Hays position. I found the 
enemy occupied commanding ground in front and around 
Locust Grove, while the position Hays had been com 
pelled to assume was low and very unfavorable. The 
enemy s guns raked the road as far as they could reach, 
and each side of it the ground, ascending towards the 
enemy, was very rough and so obstructed with young 
pines and underbrush as to make an advance very difficult. 
Causing Hays to connect his left with Rodes right and 
so post his troops as to render them as secure as possible, 
I rode to Rodes position, which I found equally disad 
vantageous for defence or attack. General Rodes in 
formed me that the force seen entering the plains around 
Locust Grove was very heavy and that it was evident 
other troops were moving up to that position. 

After reconnoitring I was fully satisfied that I could 
not make an attack upon the enemy with advantage, and 
that he had decidedly the advantage of the ground for 
attacking me. An examination of the ground on Hays 
right had caused me to suppose that an attack might be 
made on the enemy s left by a force coming up on that 
flank from the Plank road, and information of that fact 
had been sent to General Lee. 

While we were endeavoring to find out all we could 
about the enemy s position and strength, a little before 
sunset, General Johnson sent me word (to the point of 
intersection of the Bartlett s Mill and Zoar Church roads 
where I then was, just in Rodes rear) that a party of the 
enemy had fired on his ambulances, on the road from 
Bartlett s Mill. I had received information that a body 
of the enemy s cavalry had crossed in front of Fitz. Lee 
at Morton s Ford, and had been cautioned by General 



Fitz. Lee to look out for my left flank against molestation 
of the enemy s cavalry, and supposing the party firing on 
Johnson s train might be a body of cavalry that had 
crossed at some of the fords below Morton s, I sent word 
to General Johnson that such was my opinion and 
directed him to attack and drive off the cavalry. He at 
once formed his division and moved forward to the attack, 
soon encountering, instead of a cavalry force, a very 
heavy force of infantry advancing towards the Bartlett s 
Mill road. 

A very heavy engagement with both artillery and in 
fantry ensued, in which Johnson s division encountered 
the enemy s 3rd corps under French, supported by the 
6th corps under Sedgwick, and, after a very obstinate 
fight lasting until after dark, Johnson effectually checked 
the enemy s advance, driving his troops back, and main 
taining full occupation of the road. His brigades behaved 
with great gallantry, encountering many times their own 
numbers, and by the check thus given to the enemy in this 
quarter saved the whole corps from a very serious dis 
aster, for if the enemy had got possession of this road, 
he would have been able to come up in rear of the other 
division, while they were confronting the large force at 
Locust Grove. 

During the engagement one of Rodes brigades was 
taken from his left and sent to Johnson s assistance, but 
before it arrived the action had closed. Johnson s divis 
ion did not then exceed 4,000 men, if it reached that num 
ber. The two corps moving against it numbered not less 
than 30,000 men, though French s corps, the 3rd, was the 
only one which became actually engaged. 

This affair satisfied me that the enemy s whole army 
was in the immediate neighborhood, and as Swell s corps, 
under my command, was then in a most unfavorable posi 
tion, I determined to fall back across Mine Run about 
two miles in our rear, where I had observed a good posi 
tion as I passed on. Accordingly after Johnson s fight 
was over, and all his wounded and dead had been collected 

21 321 


as far as practicable, in the darkness, the divisions were 
withdrawn across Mine Run, my own and Rodes on the 
stone pike, and Johnson s on the road to Zoar Church. 
Division commanders were directed to place their divis 
ions in position at light next morning, on the west side of 
the run, Hays left and Rodes right resting on the stone 
pike, and Johnson s division across the Zoar Church road 
so as to connect with Rodes left. Anderson s division 
of Hill s corps had been sent from the Plank road to my 
assistance, by General Lee, arriving about dark in rear of 
Hays right, and before withdrawing my own troops I 
communicated to General Anderson my purpose, and he 
also withdrew across the run, so as to take position on 
Hays right next morning. A strong line of pickets hav 
ing been posted in front, the troops lay down on their 
arms a short time before day to rest from their fatigue. 

In the affair between Johnson s division and the 
enemy s 3rd corps, there was some loss of valuable offi 
cers and men in killed and wounded, among the former 
being Randolph of the Stonewall Brigade, and among 
the latter Brigadier General J. M. Jones; but a much 
heavier loss was inflicted on the enemy. 

After light on the morning of the 28th I rode to see 
General Lee at Verdierville for the purpose of advising 
him fully of the condition of things and receiving his 
further instructions. After being there a short time, in 
formation was sent me that the enemy ,was advancing 
on the stone pike from Locust Grove, and on riding to 
the front I found his skirmishers on the hills beyond Mine 
Run. The line on the west bank was now taken and the 
men commenced .strengthening it with rifle trenches. 
Previous to this time not a spade of earth had been 
thrown up on the whole line. In the course of the day 
the enemy moved up his whole force in our front; Hill s 
corps, which had come up, having taken position on my 
right extending across to the Plank road, and covering 
that also. 

Some skirmish firing ensued between the advance line 



of skirmishers, but no serious move was made by the 

Our position was a very good one and it was rapidly 
strengthened with the ordinary rifle trenches and some 
epaulments for artillery. The enemy s position on the 
opposite banks of Mine Eun was also a strong one for 
defence, the ground there being a little higher than that 
occupied by us; and he proceeded to throw up strong 
epaulments for his artillery in numerous favorable posi 
tions. A direct attack from either side would have been 
attended with great difficulties, on account of the neces 
sity of having to descend the slopes to Mine Run and 
then after crossing that stream to ascend the opposite 
slopes under the fire of artillery as well as infantry. 

As the enemy had crossed the river to attack us, we 
calmly awaited his assault for several days, with full 
confidence that we would be able to punish him severely 
for disturbance of us at this inclement season. 

The weakest part of the line occupied by me was on 
the left, where Mine Run made a turn somewhat around 
that flank, so as to afford the enemy an opportunity of 
placing guns in position to partially enfilade the line. 
He was slow, however, to take advantage of this, and 
our lines at the exposed parts were protected in some 
measure by traverses hastily made. On the 30th, he was 
observed moving troops to his right beyond our left, and 
dispositions were made to meet him by extending 
Johnson s line to the rear around towards Zoar Church. 
There had been occasional artillery firing by the enemy, 
and on this day he opened quite heavily for a time, our 
fire being generally reserved for the attack when it should 
be made. Andrews battalion of artillery, however, near 
Johnson s left, supported by some guns from the reserve 
artillery, replied to the enemy s for a time. 

A force of infantry crossing Mine Run in front of my 
division, under cover of some woods on the bank of the 
stream, came up to an imperfect line of trenches in front, 
which had been abandoned for a better and shorter line 



in their rear and were then only held by a line of skir 
mishers, but was soon compelled to retire. 

The enemy had possession of Bartlett s Mill road 
which ran on our left towards the fords above, and con 
nected with a road from Bartlett s Mill to Zoar Church in 
our rear; and as there was great danger of our left being 
turned in this direction, a watch was kept by videttes and 
pickets on that flank, so as to advise us of any movement, 
and enable us to move the line in prolongation until it 
connected with the one on the river. 

The enemy made no such movement, however, and 
though on the 30th there were indications as if he were 
going to attack our left, yet he did not do so. 

At the same time there had been indications of a 
purpose to attack our right beyond the Plank road, and 
corresponding movements were made to meet an attack 

We remained in position awaiting the enemy s move 
ments until December, when, all purpose to attack on his 
part being apparently abandoned, General Lee deter 
mined to attack him on his left flank, and for that purpose 
drew out two of Hill s divisions on the right to make the 
attack early next morning, the other division being moved 
to occupy their positions and my divisions being extended 
out to the right to occupy the part of the line evacuated 
by Hill s left division (Anderson s). During the night, 
however, the enemy withdrew from our front, and next 
morning he was found gone. 

As soon as this was discovered I moved forward with 
the whole corps on the stone pike and then towards Ger- 
mana Ford, capturing some two or three hundred pris 
oners, but the enemy s main force had crossed the river 
early in the morning.* After going to within a short dis- 

* Though Meade s performance on this occasion was somewhat 
like that of a King of France on a certain occasion, yet he had not 
failed to accomplish something towards the " suppression of the re 
bellion." There was a little tanyard near Locust Grove, in sight of 
his headquarters, which belonged to and was operated by a poor man 



tance of Germana Ford, and finding that there was no 
prospect of accomplishing anything further, I returned 
that night across Mine Run and encamped. The next 
day we returned to our former positions and the old state 
of things was resumed. 

During our absence a division of the enemy s cavalry 
had crossed at Morton s Ford, and after some fighting, 
had been compelled by Fitz. Lee s cavalry to retire. 

The loss in the corps during this affair was slight, 
nearly the whole of it being sustained by Johnson s 
division in the fight of the 27th. 

who took in hides to tan on shares for the neighbors, but who was in no 
wise engaged in tanning for the government or the soldiers. The 
community around it was very poor, and this was the sole dependence 
for shoes for the women and children of that neighborhood. The 
tannery building and the house of the owner were burned, the leather 
all destroyed, and the hides in the vats taken out and cut to pieces so 
as to be worthless. In addition to this, all the plows and farming 
utensils, and wheeled vehicles, including old ox-carts and dilapidated 
buggies, in the neighborhood and on the road to Germana Ford were 
burned, and the houses of a number of citizens ransacked and the 
furniture destroyed. In the very few cases where there were pianos or 
libraries, the former were hacked to pieces with axes, and the books in 
the latter torn up and scattered over the ground, private papers shar 
ing the same fate. I saw the evidences of these things myself. The 
women and children around Locust Grove had no new shoes that winter, 
and the people in all that country were deprived of the means of 
properly cultivating their crops next season, to say nothing of those 
who lost what little source of amusement, recreation or mental employ 
ment there was left to them. 

Can it be doubted that this was calculated to break the spirit of 
the "rebellion" 1 ? Meade s expedition to Mine Run accomplished this 
much if no more. 


A FEW days after our return from Mine Run, General 
Ewell came back to the command of the corps, and I re 
turned to my division, all remaining quiet on the Rapidan. 

About the middle of December a force of cavalry and 
infantry moved from New Creek on the Baltimore & Ohio 
Railroad up the south branch of the Potomac, under 
General Averill of the Federal Army, apparently threat 
ening Staunton in the Valley, while at the same time 
another force under Colonel Wells moved up the Valley 
from Martinsburg to Strasburg. General Imboden com 
manding in the Valley, having only a small brigade of 
cavalry and a battery of artillery, applied to General Lee 
for reinforcements, and two brigades of Hill s corps, 
Thomas and II. H. Walker s, were sent to Staunton over 
the railroad, Fitz. Lee s brigade of cavalry being ordered 
to move to the Valley also. General Lee then ordered 
me to proceed to the Valley and take command of all the 
troops there. 

I started at once, leaving Orange Court-House by rail 
and, reaching Staunton, by reason of some delay on the 
railroad, after the middle of the night. I found Thomas 
brigade in Staunton, it having arrived the evening before, 
ahead of me, and Walker s had moved out to Buffalo 
Gap, ten miles beyond Staunton on the road to McDowell, 
at or near which place the enemy under Averill was 
reported to be. 

Very early next morning General Imboden came into 
town, and I rode with him to his camp across the moun 
tain from Buffalo Gap near the Calf Pasture River. He 
reported that the enemy s force was about five thousand 
strong and still confronted him behind Bull Pasture 
River, on the other side of the intervening mountains, 
where it was watched by a detachment of his cavalry, and 


such was the report we found at his camp. After I had 
been at his camp but a very short time, a courier came 
to me with a telegraphic dispatch from General Lee, who 
was then in Eichmond, stating that Averill had left the 
Sweet Springs on the morning of the day before on the 
road towards Salem. I then started back to Buffalo Gap, 
and on the way I received another telegraphic dispatch 
from General Lee, informing me that Averill had entered 
Salem on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad the morning 
of that day, and directing me to make arrangements to 
capture him. 

It turned out that Averill with his cavalry had left 
the front of General Imboden at least two days before 
I started from Orange, leaving the small infantry force 
with him, under Colonel Thoburn, to. amuse Imboden s 
pickets, and that Thoburn had also started back to the 
valley of the South Branch before I arrived. Imboden 
was ordered to bring his brigade back to Buffalo Gap, 
that night, for the purpose of being sent after Averill. 

The question was how to cut off AverilPs retreat, as 
he had several ways of getting back to a safe position. 
He might return the way he went go up the railroad and 
then by the way of Blacksburg in Montgomery come back 
by the way of Fincastle to Covington or by the way of 
Buchanan and Lexington through the Valley, there being 
numerous intervening roads between these main routes 
which afforded him ample facilities for escape if he had 
good guides. After consultation with General Imboden, 
who was very familiar with the country, I determined to 
send his brigade to Covington next day, where it would be 
in a position to intercept AverilPs retreat on the road by 
that place or move to the right and intercept him at 
Callahan s if he returned the same way he went. 

During the night it rained in perfect torrents such 
a rain as I have rarely seen and by the next morning 
all the streams were very high. The direct route to 
Covington was down the valley of the Little Calf Pasture 
crossing that stream many times, across Big Calf Pasture 



and Cow Pasture Rivers. Little Calf Pasture itself, it 
was evident from the condition of the very small streams 
at Buffalo, would be impassable where there were no 
bridges, and there was no bridge over the Cow Pasture, 
quite a large river, on this route. It was, therefore, im 
possible for him to go the direct road, but being informed 
by him that there was a bridge over the Cow Pasture not 
far above its junction with Jackson s River, which could 
be reached by going through Rockbridge, and avoiding 
the other streams, I ordered him to take that route, which 
was by the way of Brownsburg. 

The infantry brigades I determined to move back to 
Staunton, to be used for the defence of that place in the 
event of Averill s moving that way, as it was useless to 
be sending them after cavalry over such a track of coun 
try. Colonel Wm. L. Jackson was at Jackson s River 
Depot at the termination of the Central Railroad, with 
about five hundred men of his brigade dismounted, and 
that covered a route by Clifton Forge from Fincastle up 
the river to Covington. Railroad communication with 
him was cut by the previous destruction of the bridge 
over Cow Pasture, but there was telegraphic communi 
cation with him, and he was ordered to keep a lookout 
and make disposition to stop Averill if he came that way. 
I expected to find Fitz. Lee in the valley by this time, 
either at Staunton or farther down, and I rode to that 
place to order him to such point as might be advisable 
after I heard what route Averill had taken. 

On arriving at Staunton, I found General Fitz. Lee 
himself, who had come in advance of his brigade, which 
had crossed the mountain at Swift Run Gap. I was now 
in telegraphic communication with General Nichols at 
Lynchburg, and from him I received information that 
Averill had started back on the same route he came, but 
was stopped by high water at Craig s Creek some twelve 
or fifteen miles from Salem. I, therefore, determined to 
order Fitz. Lee to Covington by the way of Lexington and 
Colliertown, at which latter place Imboden was ordered 



to unite with him. His brigade passed through Staunton 
late that afternoon, and General Lee followed very early 
next morning, with instructions to make all necessary 
arrangements to capture the raiding force, and with 
directions to move to any point that might be necessary 
according to the information which he might receive 
either at Lexington or elsewhere. 

About the middle of the day I received a telegraphic 
dispatch from General Nichols covering one from an 
operator, stating that he had gone on the railroad that 
morning to within a mile of Salem, and that Averill was 
returning to that place, having been unable to cross 
Craig s Creek. If this was true, Averill must then 
attempt to make his escape by the way of the western 
route by Blacksburg, or the northern route by the way 
of Buchanan, and taking it for granted that it was true, 
I at once sent a copy by a courier to General Lee for his 
information, stating to him at the same time that as he 
was much nearer to Averill than I was, he might have 
other information on which to act, and leaving it to his 
discretion to move to Buchanan or to Covington as his 
information might justify. 

When my dispatch reached General Lee he had united 
with Iinboden at Colliertown, and after consultation with 
the latter he determined to move to Buchanan, as he had 
no information which warranted him in supposing that 
the dispatch from Lynchburg was not true. 

During the night after I had received the dispatch 
informing me of Averill s return to Salem, I received 
another from General Nichols informing me that the in 
formation sent was not true and that Averill had suc 
ceeded after some delay in crossing Craig s Creek and 
moving on. It was now too late to reach Fitz. Lee by 
courier and I hoped that he might have had some accurate 

I now determined to try to reach Jackson s position 
with one of the brigades of infantry, and Thomas was 
sent next morning on the railroad, to endeavor to get 



across Cow Pasture in boats and so reach Jackson. The 
running stock of the railroad was in such bad condition, 
and the grades beyond Millboro were so heavy, having a 
temporary track with inclined planes at an unfinished 
part of the road beyond that point, that Thomas brigade 
could not get any further. I ran down on the road myself 
to see if the brigade could not be thrown to some point to 
intercept the enemy. Arriving just at night I found 
General Thomas in telegraphic communication with Jack 
son, and the information was soon received that AverilPs 
advance had made its appearance on an obscure road 
across the mountains into the Jackson s Eiver Valley, 
and that a small part of Jackson s men were skirmishing 
with the enemy. This road came in above Jackson s 
main position, and the party watching it was soon forced 
back, and Averill s force got into the road between 
Jackson and the bridge above him, which bridge was 
guarded by a party of some eight or ten reserves, who 
abandoned their post. 

The enemy thus got possession of the bridge and com 
menced crossing rapidly. Jackson, in the meantime, 
moved up and attacked the enemy s rear, which he threw 
into great confusion, capturing over two hundred pris 
oners. In his alarm the enemy set fire to the bridge, 
thus cutting off all of his wagons, and some two or three 
hundred of his men. The wagons were burned and the 
men left behind subsequently moved up the river and 
forded by swimming. 

All this information was communicated to me that 
night and next morning by telegram, and I knew that 
it was useless to make any further attempt to cut the 
enemy off with my infantry, as he was beyond pursuit of 
any kind. 

When Fitz. Lee reached Buchanan and found Averill 
was not coming that way, he moved by the way of Fin- 
castle in pursuit, and ascertaining what route Averill had 
taken, he then went to Covington and from there followed 
to Callahan s, but the greater part of the raiding party 



had made its escape, so he desisted from what was then 
a useless effort. The facts were that on going back on 
the route he had come, from the Sweet Springs, Averill 
found his retreat cut off that way by Echol s brigade of 
General Sam Jones force from Southwestern Virginia, 
which was posted on what is called Potts or Middle 
Mountain, and he then turned across toward Covington 
over Rich Patch Mountain, being compelled to come into 
the valley of Jackson s River at the point he did to 
reach the bridge on the road from Clifton Forge to 
Covington, as there was no bridge on the direct road to 
that place. He thus succeeded in making his escape by 
the stupidity or treachery of a telegraph operator, but the 
amount of damage he had been able to do did not com 
pensate for the loss of men and horses which he sustained, 
and the sufferings the others endured. He had been able 
to burn a small depot at Salem with a few supplies in it 
and one or two small bridges in the neighborhood, which 
were rebuilt in a few days. His raid really amounted to 
very little except the name of it. 

The same night that Averill made his escape by 
Jackson, I received a dispatch from General Walker at 
Staunton informing me that the force that had been at 
Strasburg was moving up the valley, and had passed 
New Market. I telegraphed to him to move to the North 
River at Mount Crawford at once, which he did early 
next day. Thomas brigade was moved back to Staunton, 
starting early in the morning, but on account of the con 
dition of the road, did not reach there until nearly night. 
On arriving at Staunton myself, I rode out to Walker s 
position eighteen miles beyond, leaving orders for 
Thomas to march up during the night. On reaching 
Walker I found that the enemy was in Harrisonburg, and 
I ordered an advance early next morning. 

At light next day, Thomas came up, both brigades 
moving forward. The enemy was found to have retired 
during the night, leaving a small cavalry rear guard, 
which retreated as we came up. I had no cavalry except 



a few stragglers from different cavalry commands, which 
I could employ only as scouts to observe the movements 
of the enemy, but I pushed on in pursuit. After passing 
Harrisonburg, a battalion of mounted men exempt from 
regular service by age or otherwise, called the Augusta 
Raid Guards, came up, and were ordered forward in pur 
suit, but accomplished nothing. According to the organ 
ization of the command, the men were not bound to go 
beyond the limits of any adjoining county, and when they 
reached the Shenandoah line they halted, standing upon 
their legal rights, though it may be doubted if they 
would have stood upon them if the enemy had turned 

This force of the enemy had now got beyond reach, 
and Thomas brigade was halted at Lacy s Springs after 
having marched thirty-six miles since after nightfall the 
evening before. Walker s moved on to New Market and 
halted there, having then marched twenty-eight miles. 

The movement in this direction had been made to 
divert some of the troops from the pursuit of Averill, 
so as to aid his escape ; and the force making it now re 
treated rapidly to Martinsburg. Thomas being moved 
up to New Market, I rested the men a few days, and I 
then received directions from General Lee to send a 
cavalry expedition into the counties of Hardy and Hamp 
shire to get some cattle and meat for his men. Our army 
was now very much straitened for provisions, espe 
cially for meat, of which they were sometimes devoid 
for days at a time. As soon as Fitz. Lee had returned 
from the pursuit of Averill I ordered him up to the 
vicinity of New Market, and when his men and horses 
had rested a few days he was ordered to cross the Great 
North Mountain into Hardy, try and dislodge an infantry 
force at Petersburg, cut the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad 
at the mouth of the South Branch of the Potomac, and of 
Patterson s Creek, gather all the beef cattle he could, 
and likewise get what of value was to be had. 

By the last of December he was ready to move, and 



started, accompanied by McNeil s company of partisan 
rangers and Gilmor s Maryland battalion, crossing the 
mountain over a rugged road near Orkney Springs. I 
started McClanahan s battery of artillery of Imboden s 
command with him and some wagons, but it was now the 
1st of January and the weather had become excessively 
cold, the thermometer being near zero, and when the 
artillery got to the top of the mountain, it was found 
that the roads on the other side, which were very steep, 
were sheeted with ice, rendering it impracticable to get 
the artillery down in safety. The cavalry succeeded in 
getting down, by the men being dismounted to lead their 
horses, but the artillery and wagons had to be sent back. 

To attract attention from this expedition I moved at 
the same time down the Valley pike to Fisher s Hill with 
Thomas brigade, preceded by Imboden s cavalry under 
Colonel Smith, and remained there until Fitz. Lee s re 
turn, Smith being sent beyond Strasburg to demonstrate 
towards Winchester. Walker s brigade had been left at 
Mount Jackson. While we were at Fisher s Hill, there 
were two heavy snows, and there was very hard freezing 
weather all the time. The men had no tents and their 
only shelter consisted of rude open sheds made of split 
wood, yet, though Thomas was a Georgia brigade, they 
stood the weather remarkably well and seemed to take 
a pleasure in the expedition, regretting when the time 
came to fall back. 

In the meantime Fitz. Lee had reached Hardy, 
attacked a guarded train moving from New Creek to 
Petersburg for the supply of that post, captured more 
than twenty wagons and some prisoners, invested the 
post at Petersburg, which he found strongly fortified, but 
having no artillery he abandoned the attempt to dislodge 
the enemy without making an attack. He then moved 
down to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, destroyed the 
bridge over Patterson s Creek and that over the South 
Branch partially, collected a large number of cattle, and 
came off with the captured wagons, and prisoners, and 



some eight hundred or one thousand head of beef cattle. 
His men had been exposed to the same severe weather 
to which those at Fisher s Hill had been, and the feet of a 
few of them had been frosted. As soon as I heard of 
his safe return, I moved back up the valley, and the cattle 
brought off were sent to the army. 

Not long afterwards, Fitz. Lee s cavalry returned to 
the eastern side of the ridge, but its place was taken by 
Rosser s brigade, which had come into the valley. 

About the last of January I undertook another expe 
dition into the Hardy Valley for the same objects for 
which the first had been made. This I determined to 
make with Rosser s brigade of cavalry and one of the 
brigades of infantry, accompanied by McClanahan s bat 
tery, that being the only artillery there was in the valley. 

Rosser with his brigade, McNeil s company, a part 
of Gilmor s battalion, the battery and some wagons 
passed through Brock s Gap into the valley of Lost River, 
while Thomas brigade moved over the mountains, at the 
Orkney Springs pass, to the same valley. Imboden was 
left with Walker s brigade of infantry at Mount Jackson, 
and his own brigade of cavalry advanced down the Valley 
pike towards Winchester, to demonstrate in that direc 
tion. Passing over the mountain to Matthews on Lost 
River in advance of Thomas brigade I found Rosser at 
that place, where we spent the night. From this point 
the road to Moorefield ascends to the summit of Branch 
Mountain and then along that for several miles, through 
a wild, mountainous and desolate looking region, until 
it comes to the point of descent into the Moorefield Val 
ley, which latter, a most beautiful and fertile valley sur 
rounded by high mountains, is reached at the western 
base of the mountain on the South Fork of the South 

Starting early in the morning we reached the South 
Fork with the cavalry and artillery early in the day, and 
leaving the main force there, behind the mountain inter 
vening between the two forks, McNeil s company was 



thrown forward to Moorefield and the North Fork, to 
cover our front and prevent the enemy, who occupied the 
fortified fort at Petersburg eight or ten miles above 
Moorefield on the North Fork, from discovering our pres 
ence in force; McNeil s company being composed mainly 
of men from that section, and being in the habit of mak 
ing frequent raids into the valley. 

We had ascertained that a large loaded wagon train 
was on the point of starting from New Creek for Peters 
burg, and some very trusty scouts perfectly familiar with 
the country were watching it. During the night, we were 
informed by the scouts that the train of about one hun 
dred wagons had started, guarded by a force of infantry, 
and that it would be on the Patterson Creek road across 
Patterson Mountain from Moorefield at an early hour 
next day. Rosser immediately made preparations to 
move with his brigade and the battery of artillery before 
light in the morning. Crossing over Patterson Moun 
tain, he found the road obstructed with trees felled across 
it, extending some distance on each side, and the obstruc 
tions defended by a force of infantry. Dismounting a 
part of his men, he attacked and drove the enemy from 
the obstructions, and clearing the road, he passed through 
and soon encountered the train. 

The infantry guard was very strong, and McClana- 
han s guns were brought into action, when by a vigorous 
charge the guard was dispersed, taking refuge in the 
mountains, and over ninety loaded wagons with their 
teams, and more than one hundred prisoners were cap 
tured. Fifty of the wagons were sent back with their 
teams and loads, but the rest were so badly smashed in the 
confusion resulting from the attack, that they could not 
be moved; and securing the teams and such of the con 
tents as could be brought off, the injured wagons were 

Rosser had been ordered to move around and take 
position on the road north and west of Petersburg, so 
as to cut off the retreat of the enemy from that place, 



against which I proposed moving at light next day, as the 
infantry would be up at night, and he proceeded to obey 
the orders. 

Thomas Georgians, moving along the summit of 
Branch Mountain with nothing but wild inaccessible 
mountains and deep ravines on each side as far as the eye 
could reach, could not understand why they were carried 
over such a route at this season and inquired of each 
other: " What can General Early mean by bringing us 
into such a country as this in the midst of winter ? But 
when they came suddenly in view of the beautiful valley 
of Moorefield and saw spread out before them what John 
son might have taken as the original of his ideas of the 
" Happy Valley " in Easselas, they burst into wild 
enthusiasm at the unexpected scene, so beautiful and 
inviting even in the midst of winter and with the tread 
of an invading enemy upon it. 

They were no longer disposed to murmur, and reach 
ing the vicinity of Moorefield late in the afternoon, their 
spirits were still further cheered by the sight of a large 
number of beautiful girls rushing out to see and welcome 
" our " infantry, as they fondly called it, a sight that 
had not met the eyes of those warm-hearted beings since 
a portion of the force constituting Garnett s ill-starred 
expedition had retreated that way early in the war. The 
Georgians were ready then to go anywhere. Not dis 
continuing their march they were thrown across the North 
Fork just at dark on the road to Petersburg, by felling 
trees from each side so as to interlap, and enable them 
to crawl over. 

The road to Petersburg passed through a narrow de 
file above, just wide enough for a wagon way, with the 
river on one side and a very high vertical precipice of 
rock on the other side, so as to make it impracticable to 
pass through the file if held by any force at all, and it was 
then strongly picketed by the enemy, whose main force 
was in reach. The men bivouacked and kept as quiet as 
possible during the night so as not to alarm the enemy, 



and at light next morning I moved with them over the 
mountain, on a mere pathway lately unused and nearly 
grown up with underbrush, so as to avoid the defile 
spoken of and get in its rear, being guided by Captain 
McNeil with his company. 

A thick fog overspread the mountains and the valley, 
as it was moist, mild weather, and when we reached the 
open ground on the other side where we were within easy 
artillery range of the enemy s works, nothing could be 
seen of them or the town of Petersburg. We heard some 
drums beating and an occasional cheer, and having sent 
a small force to get in rear of the defile while I made 
disposition to advance upon the point where I was told 
the enemy s works were, information reached me that 
Rosser was in possession of the enemy s works, the force 
of the latter consisting of two regiments and some artil 
lery, having evacuated during the night and taken a 
rough obscure road to the west through the mountains 
of which Rosser had not known. 

Some provisions and forage were found in the works 
which were appropriated, and Rosser was ordered to 
move at once down Patterson Creek, cut the railroad, and 
gather all the cattle and sheep he could by sending detach 
ments through the country. After demolishing the works, 
which contained several bomb-proof shelters for men and 
magazines for ammunition and other stores, Thomas 
brigade was moved back towards Moorefield, and next 
day posted so as to cover the approaches from the direc 
tion of Winchester. 

The men now had an abundance of provisions, and 
the luxury of a little coffee taken from the enemy; and 
the kind hospitality of the good people of Moorefield and 
the vicinity rendered this winter campaign into the 
mountains a most pleasant episode in their army 

Rosser succeeded in cutting the railroad at the mouths 
of Patterson Creek and the South Branch where it had 
been previously cut by Fitz. Lee, dislodging a guard from 
22 337 


the latter place, and also in collecting a considerable num 
ber of cattle and sheep, with which he returned to Moore- 
field in two or three days. The enemy, however, had 
moved from Cumberland with a large force of infantry 
and cavalry, and also a brigade of cavalry from Martins- 
burg to intercept, but he succeeded in passing in safety 
between the columns sent against Mm. McNeil s com 
pany and part of Gilmor s battalion had been sent west 
to the Allegheny Mountains to collect cattle and were now 
returning by the way of Petersburg with a good lot of 

The morning after Rosser s return I made prepara 
tions to retire with the prisoners, plunder, cattle, and 
sheep in our possession, and as we were moving out of 
Moorefield, the enemy s force consisting of Kelly s com 
mand from Cumberland and Averill s brigade of cavalry 
came in view on the opposite banks of the river, and 
opened with artillery. Thomas brigade, which had 
moved across to the valley of the South Fork, and com 
menced retiring, was brought back a short distance and 
formed in line across the valley with the artillery in posi 
tion, while Rosser s cavalry retiring through Moorefield 
took position below Thomas, sending out some skir 
mishers to encounter those of the enemy. 

The object of this was to enable Captain McNeil to 
get in rear with his cattle, with which he was coming up 
on a road around our left flank, as we were then faced, 
and give time to the wagons and cattle and sheep to get 
well up the sides of the mountain, so that they might be 
protected against the enemy. As soon as this was done, 
and we could see the wagons, cattle and sheep slowly mov 
ing up the road on the side of the mountain, extending 
over a distance of some two or three miles, we withdrew 
gradually, but a small force of the enemy s cavalry fol 
lowed at a most respectful distance, to the base of the 
mountains, where it halted. 

Rosser s brigade took an obscure road to the left 



across the mountain, so as to come into the valley of Lost 
River below Matthews , and Thomas followed the trains. 
The enemy did not attempt to molest us further, and he 
had the mortification of seeing all the plunder we had 
obtained marched off in a long winding train, visible to 
him for several miles, without being able to interfere with 
us. It was not in accordance with the object of my expe 
dition to give him battle at this time, and I therefore 
contented myself with securing what I had. 

Everything reached the valley in safety, Rosser taking 
the route through Brock s Gap with the wagons, etc., and 
Thomas moving across the mountain the same way we had 
gone. Riding ahead of the infantry the day after we left 
Moorefield, I understood, on the road, there was a report 
at Mount Jackson that the enemy was moving up from 
below in strong force, and quickening my force I reached 
Mount Jackson just after the report had been ascertained 
to be false, and the commotion had been allayed. The 
whole report had originated in the foolish fright of a 
small cavalry picket at Columbia Furnace, below, where 
a road comes in across the mountain from the valley of 
Lost River, which was caused by the approach on that 
road of a company of Rosser s men whose homes were 
in that immediate neighborhood, they having been allowed 
to go to them for a day or two. 

When discharged, after crossing the mountain, with 
out knowing that a picket was near, the men, who had 
been out in a rain, commenced discharging their arms, 
and the picket made off, not stopping to hear the calls of 
the men at whose appearance it had become frightened, 
but continuing to retreat the faster, magnifying the force, 
in imagination, at every step, until, when the commander 
of the picket reached General Imboden, with his horse 
panting and foaming, it had swelled to two or three 
thousand men. 

Those things will happen sometimes to the bravest of 
men. We were again able to send General Lee s army 



about a thousand beef cattle, and some few other supplies, 
which served to keep up the spirits of our much enduring 

The weather we had had for this expedition was 
unusually mild and favorable for that season when, in the 
section into which we went, the climate is usually as harsh 
among the mountains as it is in that part of Canada 
bordering on the Lakes. 

Shortly after our return, the troops were moved fur 
ther up the valley, the two infantry brigades going into 
camp near Harrisonburg, and the cavalry going to Rock- 
bridge and the railroad west of Staunton where forage 
could be obtained, a small force being left to picket down 
the valley. 

Major Gilmor subsequently made a raid down the 
valley, and captured a train on the Baltimore & Ohio 

After the troops had been located, in company with 
Captain Hotchkiss, topographical engineer for Swell s 
corps, I made a reconnoissance of the country and moun 
tain passes west of Staunton and extending across 
Jackson s River to the mountains beyond, and selected a 
line to be fortified so as to prevent raids. Captain Hotch 
kiss made a sketch of this line and the country, which 
being sent to General Lee, he ordered the necessary works 
to be constructed, which I believe was subsequently done. 

About the last of February, my services being no 
longer necessary in the valley, I left for the purpose of 
returning to my division, after a leave of absence of two 
weeks granted me. In reaching Gordonsville by the rail 
road, I ascertained that some movement was being made 
by the enemy, and I therefore ran down to Orange Court- 
House to be present with my command if anything serious 
was going on. 

It turned out that the enemy s movement was for the 
purpose of a cavalry raid against Richmond. A force 
being moved towards Charlottesville on our left, while 
the main raiding party, under Kilpatrick, went towards 



Richmond for the purpose of capturing and burning the 
city, releasing the Federal prisoners, and bringing off or 
killing the Confederate authorities. This raid proved a 
ridiculous failure, its approach to Richmond being pre 
vented by some home guards and local troops composed 
of employees in the departments, while Hampton dis 
persed a part of it with a few of his cavalry hastily gotten 
up. The force moving on Charlottesville retired from 
before a few pieces of artillery which had no support. 

After this affair was settled I took the benefit of my 
short leave the only indulgence of the kind asked for 
or received by me during the whole war. 

I returned to my division about the middle of March, 
and assumed command, finding it in its old position, 
nothing serious having occurred during the winter. 

What was left of Hoke s brigade had been detached 
and sent under General Hoke to North Carolina, where 
it participated in some movements, including the capture 
of the town of Plymouth, with its garrison, by Hoke. It 
did not return to the division until after the commence 
ment of the subsequent campaign, though it took part in 
the defence of Petersburg and the attack on Butler by 
General Beauregard. 

We remained in position in our old place until the 
opening of the spring campaign. In the meantime Major 
General U. S. Grant had been assigned to the command 
of all the armies of the United States, with the rank of 
Lieutenant General, and had come to take immediate com 
mand of the army confronting us, which army was being 
very greatly strengthened by recruits, drafted men, and 
other troops. 

The Army of the Potomac under Meade had been con 
solidated into three corps instead of five, to-wit : the 2nd, 
and 6th, and 9th corps under Burnside, which had been 
very greatly increased, was added to the force in our 
front. The Army of the Potomac, and the 9th corps, 
with the artillery and cavalry, the latter having been 
largely increased, constituted Grant s immediate com- 



mand, though he had a general control of all the forces. 
By the last of May it was very evident that the enemy 
was making very formidable preparations for a campaign 
against us, and to meet them we had but what remained 
of the army with which we had fought the year before, 
recruited since the close of active operations, only by 
such men as had recovered from wounds and sickness, 
and a few young men who had just arrived at the age of 
military service. Longstreet had returned from his ex 
pedition into Tennessee with two of his divisions, 
McLaws and Field s (formerly Hood s), Pickett s being 
absent and south of James River. 



ON the 3rd of May, 1864, the positions of the Con 
federate Army under General Lee, and the Federal Army 
under Lieutenant General Grant in Virginia, were as 
follows : General Lee held the southern bank of the Rapi- 
dan River, in Orange County, with his right resting near 
the mouth of Mine Run, and his left extending to Liberty 
Mills on the road from Gordonsville (via Madison Court- 
House) to the Shenandoah Valley; while the crossings of 
the river on the right, and the roads on the left, were 
watched by cavalry : Swell s corps was on the right, Hill s 
on the left, and two divisions of Longstreet s corps were 
encamped in the rear, near Gordonsville. Grant s army 
(composed of the Army of the Potomac under Meade, 
and the 9th corps under Burnside) occupied the north 
banks of the Rapidan and Robinson rivers ; the main body 
being encamped in Culpeper County and on the Rappa- 
hannock River. 

I am satisfied that General Lee s army did not exceed 
50,000 effective men of all arms. The report of the Fed 
eral Secretary of War, Stanton, shows that the " avail 
able force present for duty, May 1st, 1864," in Grant s 
army, was 141,166, to-wit: In the Army of the Potomac 
120,386, and in the 9th corps 20,780. The draft in the 
United States was being energetically enforced, and vol 
unteering had been greatly stimulated by high bounties. 
The Northwestern States had tendered large bodies of 
troops to serve one hundred days, in order to relieve 
other troops on garrison and local duty, and this enabled 
Grant to put in the field a large number of troops which 
had been employed on that kind of duty. It was known 
that he was receiving heavy reinforcements up to the very 
time of his movement on the 4th of May, and afterwards ; 
so that the statement of his force on the 1st of May, by 



Stanton, does not cover the whole force with which he 
commenced the campaign. Moreover, Secretary Stan- 
ton s report shows that there were in the Department of 
Washington and the Middle Department, 47,751 available 
men for duty, the chief part of which, he says, was called 
to the front, after the campaign began, " in order to re 
pair the losses of the Army of the Potomac; " and Grant 
says that, at Spottsylvania Court-House, "the 13th, 14th, 
15th, 16th, 17th and 18th (of May) were consumed in 
manoeuvring and awaiting the arrival of reinforcements 
from Washington." His army, therefore, must have 
numbered very nearly, if not quite, 200,000 men, before a 
junction was effected with Butler. 

On the 4th of May, it was discovered that Grant s 
army was moving towards Germana Ford on the Rapi- 
dan, which was ten or twelve miles from our right. This 
movement had begun on the night of the 3rd, and the 
enemy succeeded in seizing the ford and effecting a 
crossing, as the river was guarded at that point by only 
a small cavalry picket. The direct road from Germana 
Ford to Richmond passes by Spottsylvania Court-House 
and when Grant had effected his crossing, he was nearer 
to Richmond than General Lee was. From Orange Court- 
House, near which were General Lee s headquarters, 
there are two nearly parallel roads running eastwardly to 
Fredericksburg the one which is nearest to the river 
being called " The old Stone Pike," and the other " The 
Plank Road. The road from Germana Ford to Spottsyl 
vania Court-House crosses the old Stone Pike at the "Old 
Wilderness Tavern," and two or three miles farther on 
it crosses the Plank road. 

As soon as it was ascertained that Grant s movement 
was a serious one, preparations were made to meet him, 
and the troops of General Lee s army were put in motion 
Swell s corps moving on the old Stone Pike, and Hill s 
corps on the Plank Road; into which latter road Long- 
street s force also came, from his camp near Gordonsville. 

Ewell s corps, to which my division belonged, crossed 



Mine Run, and encamped at Locust Grove, four miles 
beyond, on the afternoon of the 4th. When the rest of the 
corps moved, my division and Ramseur s brigade of 
Rodes division were left to watch the fords of the Rapi- 
dan, until relieved by cavalry. As soon as this was done, 
I moved to the position occupied by the rest of the corps, 
carrying Ramseur with me. 

EwelPs corps contained three divisions of infantry, 
to wit: Johnson s, Rodes and my own (Early s). At this 
time one of my brigades (Hoke s) was absent, having 
been with Hoke in North Carolina ; and I had only three 
present, to wit: Hays 7 , Pegram s and Gordon s. One of 
Rodes brigades (R. D. Johnston s) was at Hanover Junc 
tion. I had about 4,000 muskets for duty; Johnson about 
the same number; and Rodes (including Johnston s bri 
gade) about 6,000. 



ON the morning of the 5th, Ewell s corps was put in 
motion, my division bringing up the rear. A short dis 
tance from the Old Wilderness Tavern, and just in ad 
vance of the place where a road diverges to the left from 
the old Stone Pike to the Germana Ford road, the enemy, 
in heavy force, was encountered, and Jones brigade, of 
Johnson s division, and Battle s brigade, of Bodes divis 
ion, were driven back in some confusion. My division was 
ordered up, and formed across the pike, Gordon s bri 
gade being on the right of the road. This brigade, as soon 
as it was brought into line, was ordered forward, and 
advanced through a dense pine thicket in gallant style. 
In conjunction with Daniel s, Doles and Eamseur s bri 
gades, of Bodes division, it drove the enemy back with 
heavy loss, capturing several hundred prisoners, and 
gaining a commanding position on the right. Johnson, 
at the same time, was heavily engaged in his front, his 
division being on the left of the pike and extending across 
the road to the Germana Ford road, which has been men 
tioned. After the enemy had been repulsed, Hays bri 
gade was sent to Johnson s left, in order to participate in 
a forward movement ; and it did move forward some half 
a mile or so, encountering the enemy in force ; but from 
some mistake, not meeting with the expected co-operation, 
except from one regiment of Jones brigade (the 25th 
Virginia), the most of which was captured, it was drawn 
back to Johnson s line, and took position on his left. 

Pegram s brigade was subsequently sent to take posi 
tion on Hays left; and, just before night, a very heavy 
attack was made on its front, which was repulsed with 
severe loss to the enemy. In this affair, General Pegram 
received a severe wound in the leg, which disabled him 
for the field for some months. 



During the afternoon there was heavy skirmishing 
along the whole line, several attempts having been made 
by the enemy, without success, to regain the position 
from which he had been driven ; and the fighting extended 
to General Lee s right on the Plank road. Gordon occu 
pied the position which he had gained, on the right, until 
after dark, when he was withdrawn to the extreme left, 
and his place occupied by part of Bodes division, 

The troops encountered, in the beginning of the fight, 
consisted of the 5th corps, under Warren; but other 
troops were brought to his assistance. At the close of the 
day, EwelPs corps had captured over a thousand pris- 
oneis, besides inflicting on the enemy very heavy losses 
in killed and wounded. Two pieces of artillery had been 
abandoned by the enemy, just in front of the point at 
which Johnson s right and Bodes left joined, and were 
subsequently secured by our troops. 

After the withdrawal of Gordon s brigade from the 
right, the whole of my division was on the left of the 
road diverging from the pike, in extension of Johnson s 
line. All of my brigades had behaved handsomely; and 
Gordon s advance, at the time of the confusion in the 
beginning of the fight, was made with great energy and 
dispatch, and was just in time to prevent a serious 

Early on the morning of the 6th, the fighting was re 
sumed, and a very heavy attack was made on the front 
occupied by Pegram s brigade (now under the command 
of Colonel Hoffman of the 31st Virginia Begiment) ; but 
it was handsomely repulsed, as were several subsequent 
attacks on the same point. 

These attacks were so persistent, that two regiments 
of Johnson s division were moved to the rear of Pegram s 
brigade, for the purpose of supporting it; and when an 
offer was made to relieve it, under the apprehension that 
its ammunition might be exhausted, the men of that gal 
lant brigade begged that they might be allowed to retain 



their position, stating that they were getting along very 
well indeed and wanted no help. 

During the morning, the fact was communicated to 
General Ewell, by our cavalry scouts, that a column of 
the enemy s infantry was moving between our left and the 
river, with the apparent purpose of turning our left 
flank; and information was also received that Burnside s 
corps had crossed the river, and was in rear of the 
enemy s right. I received directions to watch this column, 
and take steps to prevent its getting to our rear; and 
Johnston s brigade, of Rodes division, which had just 
arrived from Hanover Junction, was sent to me for that 
purpose. This brigade, with some artillery, was put in 
position, some distance to my left, so as to command some 
by-roads coming in from the river. In the meantime 
General Gordon had sent out a scouting party on foot, 
which discovered what was supposed to be the enemy s 
right flank resting in the woods, in front of my division ; 
and, during my absence while posting Johnston s brigade, 
he reported the fact to General Ewell, and suggested the 
propriety of attacking this flank of the enemy with his 
brigade, which was not engaged. On my return, the sub 
ject was mentioned to me by General Ewell, and I stated 
to him the danger and risk of making the attack under the 
circumstances, as a column was threatening our left flank 
and Burnside s corps was in rear of the enemy s flank, 
on which the attack was suggested. General Ewell con 
curred with me in this opinion, and the impolicy of the 
attempt at that time was obvious, as we had no reserves, 
and, if it failed, and the enemy showed any enterprise, a 
serious disaster would befall, not only our corps, but 
General Lee s whole army. In the afternoon, when the 
column threatening our left had been withdrawn, and it 
had been ascertained that Burnside had gone to Grant s 
left, on account of the heavy fighting on that flank, at my 
suggestion, General Ewell ordered the movement which 
Gordon had proposed. I determined to make it with Gor 
don s brigade supported by Johnston s and to follow 



it up, if successful, with the rest of my division. Gordon s 
brigade was accordingly formed in line near the edge of 
the woods in which the enemy s right rested, and John 
ston s in the rear, with orders to follow Gordon and obey 
his orders. 

I posted my adjutant general, Major John W. Daniel 
with a courier, in a position to be communicated with by 
Gordon, so as to inform me of the success attending the 
movement, and enable me to put in the other brigades at 
the right time. As soon as Gordon started, which was 
a very short time before sunset, I rode to my line and 
threw forward Pegram s brigade in a position to move 
when required. In the meantime Gordon had become en 
gaged, and, while Pegram s brigade was being formed 
in line, I saw some of Gordon s men coming back in con 
fusion, and Colonel Evans, of the 31st Georgia Eegiment, 
endeavoring to rally them. Colonel Evans informed me 
that his regiment which was on Gordon s right had struck 
the enemy s breastworks and had given way. I immedi 
ately ordered Pegram s brigade forward and directed 
Colonel Evans to guide it. Its advance was through a 
dense thicket of underbrush, but it crossed the road 
running through Johnson s line, and struck the enemy s 
works, and one of the regiments, the 13th Virginia, under 
Colonel Terrill, got possession of part of the line, when 
Colonel Hoffman ordered the brigade to retire, as it was 
getting dark, and there was much confusion produced by 
the difficulties of advance. Gordon had struck the 
enemy s right flank behind breastworks, and a part of his 
brigade was thrown into disorder. In going through 
the woods, Johnston had obliqued too much and passed 
to Gordon s left, getting in rear of the enemy. 

Major Daniel, not hearing from Gordon, had endeav 
ored to get to him, when, finding the condition of things, 
he attempted to lead one of Pegram s regiments to his 
assistance, and was shot down while behaving with great 
gallantry, receiving a wound in the leg which has per 
manently disabled him. Notwithstanding the confusion 



in part of his brigade, Gordon succeeded in throwing the 
enemy s right flank into great confusion, capturing two 
brigadier generals (Seymour and Shaler), and several 
hundred prisoners, all of the 6th corps, under Sedgwick. 
The advance of Pegram s brigade, and the demonstration 
of Johnston s brigade in the rear, where it encountered 
a part of the enemy s force and captured some prisoners, 
contributed materially to the result. It was fortunate, 
however, that darkness came to close this affair, as the 
enemy, if he had been able to discover the disorder on our 
side, might have brought up fresh troops and availed him 
self of our condition. As it was, doubtless, the lateness 
of the hour caused him to be surprised, and the approach 
ing darkness increased the confusion in his ranks, as he 
could not see the strength of the attacking force, and 
probably imagined it to be much more formidable than it 
really was. All of the brigades engaged in the attack 
were drawn back, and formed on a new line in front of 
the old one, and obliquely to it. 

At light on the morning of the 7th, an advance was 
made, which disclosed the fact that the enemy had given 
up his line of works in front of my whole line and a good 
portion of Johnston s. Between the lines a large number 
of his dead had been left, and at his breastworks, a large 
number of muskets and knapsacks had been abandoned, 
and there was every indication of great confusion. It was 
not till then that we ascertained the full extent of the 
success attending the movement of the evening before. 
The enemy had entirely abandoned the left side of the 
road, across which Johnston s line extended, and my divi 
sion and a part of his were thrown forward, occupying a 
part of the abandoned works on the right of the road, 
and leaving all those on the left in our rear. This ren 
dered our line straight, the left having been previously 
thrown back, making a curve. 

During the day there was some skirmishing, but no 
serious fighting in my front. The loss in my division 
during the fighting in the Wilderness was comparatively 



On the morning of the 8th, it was discovered that the 
enemy was leaving our front and moving towards 
Spottsylvania Court-House. General Lee s army was 
also put in motion, Ewell s corps moving along the line 
occupied by our troops on the day before, until it reached 
the Plank road, where it struck across to Shady Grove, 
which is on the road from Orange Court-House to 
Spottsylvania Court-House. 

On reaching the Plank road, I received through 
General A. P. Hill, who was sick and unable to remain on 
duty, an order from General Lee, transferring Hays bri 
gade from my division to Johnson s, in order that it 
might be consolidated with another Louisiana brigade 
in that division, whose brigadier general had been killed 
in the Wilderness, and Johnston s brigade from Bodes 
division to mine ; and assigning me to the temporary com 
mand of Hill s corps, which was still in position across 
the Plank road, and was to bring up the rear. I accord 
ingly turned over the command of my division to Gordon, 
the senior brigadier left with it, and assumed command 
of Hill s corps.* 

* Grant says General Lee had the advantage of position. As the 
latter had to move from his lines on the Rapidan and attack Grant in 
the Wilderness, how happened it that he was enabled to get the ad 
vantage of position, after the two days fighting? He also says that 
General Lee was enabled to reach Spottsylvania Court-House first, 
because he had the shorter line. The fact is, that, as the two armies 
lay in their positions at the Wilderness, their lines were parallel to 
the road to Spottsylvania Court-House. Grant had the possession of 
the direct road to that place, and he had the start. General Lee had 
to move on the circuitous route by Shady Grove, and he was enabled 
to arrive there first with part of his infantry, because his cavalry held 
Grant s advance in check for nearly an entire day. 



HILL S COEPS was composed of Heth s, Wilcox s and 
Mahone s (formerly Anderson s) division of infantry and 
three battalions of artillery under Colonel Walker. 
When I took command of it, the infantry numbered about 
13,000 muskets for duty. 

General Lee s orders to me were to move by Todd s 
Tavern along the Brock road to Spottsylvania Court- 
House as soon as our front was clear of the enemy. In 
order to get into that road, it was necessary to reopen 
an old one leading from Hill s right, by which I was en 
abled to take a cross-road leading into the road from 
Shady Grove to Todd s Tavern. The wagon trains and all 
the artillery, except one battalion, were sent around by 
Shady Grove. About a mile from the road from Shady 
Grove to Todd s Tavern, the enemy s cavalry videttes 
were encountered, and Mahone s division was thrown for 
ward to develop the enemy s force and position. Mahone 
encountered a force of infantry which had moved up from 
Todd s Tavern toward Shady Grove and had quite a 
brisk engagement with it, causing it to fall back rapidly 
towards the former place. At the same time General 
Hampton, who had communicated with me, after I left the 
Plank Eoad, moved with his cavalry on my right and 
struck the enemy on the flank and rear; but on account 
of want of knowledge of the country on our part, and 
the approach of darkness, the enemy was enabled to 
make his escape. This affair developed the fact that the 
enemy was in possession of Todd s Tavern and the Brock 
road, and a continuation of my march would have led 
through his entire army. We bivouacked for the night, 
at the place from which Mahone had driven the enemy, 
and a force was thrown out towards Todd s Tavern, which 
was about a mile distant. 



Very early next morning (the 9th), I received an order 
from General Lee, through Hampton, to move on the 
Shady Grove road towards Spottsylvania Court-House, 
which I did, crossing a small river called the Po twice. 
After reaching the rear of the position occupied by the 
other two corps, I was ordered to Spottsylvania Court- 
House, to take position on the right, and cover the road 
from that place to Fredericksburg. No enemy appeared 
in my front on this day, except at a distance on the Fred 
ericksburg road. 

Early on the morning of the 10th I was ordered to 
move one of my divisions back, to cover the crossing of 
the Po on the Shady Grove road; and to move with 
another division to the rear and left, by the way of 
Spottsylvania Old Court-House, and drive back a column 
of the enemy which had crossed the Po and taken pos 
session of the Shady Grove road, thus threatening our 
rear and endangering our trains which were on the road 
leading by the Old Court-House to Louisa Court-House. 

Our line was then north of the Po, with its left, Fields 
division of Longstreet s corps, resting on that stream, 
just above the crossing of the Shady Grove road. The 
whole of the enemy s force was also north of the Po, 
prior to this movement of his. Mahone s division was 
sent to occupy the banks of the Po on Fields left, while 
with Heth s division and a battalion of artillery I moved 
to the rear, crossing the Po on the Louisa Court-House 
road, and then following that road until we reached one 
coming in from Waiters Shop on the Shady Grove road. 
After moving about a mile on this road, we met Hampton 
gradually falling back before the enemy, who had pushed 
out a column of infantry considerably to the rear of our 
line. This column was in turn forced back to the posi 
tion on Shady Grove road which was occupied by what 
was reported to be Hancock s corps. Following up and 
crossing a small stream just below a mill pond, we suc 
ceeded in reaching Waite s Shop, from whence an attack 
was made on the enemy, and the entire force, which had 

23 353 


crossed the Po, was driven back with a loss of one piece 
of artillery, which fell into our hands, and a consider 
able number in killed and wounded. This relieved us from 
a very threatening danger, as the position the enemy 
had attained would have enabled him to completely enfi 
lade Fields position and get possession of the line of our 
communications to the rear, within a very short distance 
of which he was, when met by the force which drove him 
back. In this affair Heth s division behaved very hand 
somely, all of the brigades (Cook s, Davis , Kirkland s 
and Walker s) being engaged in the attack. General 
H. H. Walker had the misfortune to receive a severe 
wound in the foot, which rendered amputation necessary, 
but otherwise our loss was slight. As soon as the road 
was cleared, Mahone s division crossed the Po, but it was 
not practicable to pursue the affair further, as the north 
bank of the stream at this point was covered by a heavily 
entrenched line, with a number of batteries, and night 
was approaching. 

On the morning of the llth, Heth was moved back to 
Spottsylvania Court-House and Mahone was left to 
occupy the position on the Shady Grove road from 
which the enemy had been driven.* 

My line on the right had been connected with EwelPs 
right, and covered the Fredericksburg road, as also the 
road leading from Spottsylvania Court-House across 
the Ny into the road from Fredericksburg to Hanover 
Junction. Wilcox was on my left, uniting with Ewell, and 
Heth joined him. The enemy had extended his lines 
across the Fredericksburg road, but there was no fighting 
on this front on the 10th or llth, except some artillery 

* It will be seen that after this affair I held, for a time, both of 
General Lee s flanks, which was rather an anomaly, but it could not 
be avoided, as we had no reserves and the two other corps being imme 
diately in front of the enemy in line of battle, and almost constantly 
engaged, could not be moved without great risk. It was absolutely 
necessary to occupy the position, held on the left by Mahone, to avoid 
a renewal of the danger from which we had escaped. 



On the afternoon of the llth, the enemy was demon 
strating to our left, up the Po, as if to get possession 
of Shady Grove and the road from thence to Louisa 
Court-House. General Hampton reported a column of 
infantry moving up the Po, and I was ordered by General 
Lee to take possession of Shady Grove, by light next 
morning, and hold it against the enemy. To aid in that 
purpose, two brigades of Wilcox s division (Thomas and 
Scales ) were moved from the right, and Mahone was 
ordered to move before light to Shady Grove ; but during 
the night it was discovered that the movement to our 
left was a feint and that there was a real movement of 
the enemy towards our right. 

Before daybreak on the morning of the 12th, Wilcox s 
brigades were returned to him, and at dawn Mahone s 
division was moved to the right, leaving Wright s brigade 
of that division to cover the crossing of the Po on Field s 
left. On this morning, the enemy made a very heavy 
attack on Ewell s front, and the line where it was occupied 
by Johnson s division. A portion of the attacking force 
swept along Johnson s line to Wilcox s left, and was 
checked by a prompt movement on the part of Brigadier 
General Lane, who was on that flank. As soon as the 
firing was heard, General "Wilcox sent Thomas and 
Scales brigades to Lane s assistance and they arrived 
just as Lane s brigade had repulsed this body of the 
enemy, and they pursued it for a short distance. As soon 
as Mahone s division arrived from the left, Perrin s and 
Harris brigades of that division and, subsequently, Mc- 
Gowan s brigade of Wilcox s division were sent to 
General Ewell s assistance, and were carried into action 
under his orders. Brigadier General Perrin was killed 
and Brigadier General McGowan severely wounded, 
while gallantly leading their respective brigades into 
action; and all the brigades sent to Ewell s assistance 
suffered severely. 

Subsequently, on the same day, under orders from 
General Lee, Lane s brigade of Wilcox s division and 



Mahone s own brigade (under Colonel Weisiger) were 
thrown to the front, for the purpose of moving to the 
left, and attacking the flank of the column of the enemy 
which had broken Ewell s line, to relieve the pressure on 
him, and, if possible, recover the part of the line which 
had been lost. Lane s brigade commenced the movement 
and had not proceeded far, when it encountered and 
attacked, in a piece of woods in front of my line, the 
9th corps, under Burnside, moving up to attack a salient 
on my front. Lane captured over three hundred pris 
oners and three battle flags, and his attack on the enemy s 
flank taking him by surprise, no doubt contributed mate 
rially to his repulse. Mahone s brigade did not become 
seriously engaged. The attacking column which Lane 
encountered got up to within a very short distance of a 
salient defended by Walker s brigade of Heth s division, 
under Colonel Mayo, before it was discovered, as there 
was a pine thicket in front, under cover of which the 
advance was made. 

A heavy fire of musketry from "Walker s brigade and 
Thomas which was on his left, and a fire of artillery from 
a considerable number of guns on Heth s line, were 
opened with tremendous effect upon the attacking column, 
and it was driven back with heavy loss, leaving its dead 
in front of our works. This affair took place under the 
eye of General Lee himself. In the afternoon another 
attempt was made to carry out the contemplated flank 
movement with Mahone s brigade, and Cook s brigade 
of Heth s division, to be followed up by the other troops 
under my command ; but it was discovered that the enemy 
had one or more entrenched lines in our front, to the fire 
from which our flanking column would have been exposed. 
Moreover the ground between the lines was very rough, 
being full of ragged ravines and covered with thick pines 
and other growth ; and it was thought advisable to desist 
from the attempt. The two brigades which were to have 
commenced the movement were then thrown to the front 



on both sides of the Fredericksburg road, and passing 
over two lines of breastworks, defended by a strong force 
of skirmishers, developed the existence of a third and 
much stronger line in rear, which would have afforded an 
almost insuperable obstacle to the proposed flank move 
ment. This closed the operations of the corps under 
my command on the memorable 12th of May. 

Between that day and the 19th, there was no serious 
attack on my front, but much manoeuvring by the enemy. 
General Mahone made two or three reconnaissances to 
the front, which disclosed the fact that the enemy was 
gradually moving to our right. In making one of them, 
he encountered a body of the enemy which had got pos 
session of Gayle s house, on the left of the road leading 
from our right towards the Fredericksburg and Hanover 
Junction road, at which a portion of our cavalry, under 
Brigadier General Chambliss, had been previously 
posted, and drove it back across the Ny.* 

Another reconnaissance, handsomely made by Briga 
dier General Wright, who had been brought from the 
left, ascertained that a heavy force of the enemy was be 
tween the Ny and the Po, in front of my right, which was 
held by Mahone, and was along the road towards Hanover 
Junction. To meet this movement of the enemy Field s 
division was brought from the left and placed on my 

On the 19th, General Ewell made a movement against 
the enemy s right, and to create a diversion in his favor, 
Thomas brigade was thrown forward, and drove the 
enemy into his works in front of the salient, against which 

* The Matapony River, which, by its juncture with the Pamunkey 
forms York River, is formed by the confluence of four streams, called 
respectively, the " Mat," " Ta," " Po," and " Ny." The Ny is north 
and east of Spottsylvania Court-House, and behind it the enemy did 
most of his manoeuvring in my front. It unites with the Po, a few 
miles to the east and south of Spottsylvania Court-House, and both 
streams are difficult to cross except where there are bridges. 



Burnside s attack had been made on the 12th, while the 
whole corps was held in readiness to co-operate with 
Ewell, should his attack prove successful; but as he was 
compelled to retire, Thomas was withdrawn. 

Subsequently, the enemy retired from Heth s and 
Wilcox s fronts; and on the afternoon of the 21st Wilcox 
was sent out on the road leading from Mahone s front 
across the Ny with two of his brigades to feel the enemy, 
and found him still in force behind entrenched lines, and 
had a brisk engagement with that force. While Wilcox 
was absent, an order was received by me, from General 
Lee, to turn over to General Hill the command of his 
corps, as he had reported for duty. I did so at once and 
thus terminated my connection with this corps, which I 
had commanded during all the trying scenes around 
Spottsylvania Court-House. The officers and men of the 
corps had all behaved well, and contributed in no small 
degree to the result by which Grant was compelled to 
wait six days for reinforcements from Washington, be 
fore he could resume the offensive or make another of his 
flank movements to get between General Lee s army and 



THE movement of the enemy to get between our army 
and Eichrnond had been discovered, and on the afternoon 
of the 21st Swell s corps was put in motion towards 
Hanover Junction.* After turning over to General Hill 
the command of his corps, I rode in the direction taken 
by EwelPs corps, and overtook it, a short time before day 
on the morning of the 22nd. Hoke s brigade, under Lieu 
tenant Colonel Lewis, this day joined us from Petersburg, 
and an order was issued, transferring Gordon s brigade, 
now under the command of Brigadier General Evans, to 
Johnson s division, which was placed under the command 
of General Gordon, who had been made a major general. 
This left me in command of three brigades, to wit: 
Pegram s, Hoke s and Johnston s, all of which were very 
much reduced in strength. My Adjutant General, Major 
Daniel, had been disabled for life by a wound received 
at the Wilderness, and my Inspector General, Major 
Samuel Hale, had been mortally wounded at Spottsyl- 
vania Court-House on the 12th while serving with the 
division and acting with great gallantry during the dis 
order which ensued after Ewell s line was broken. Both 
were serious losses to me. 

On this day (the 22nd) we moved to Hanover Junc 
tion, and, next day, my division was posted on the ex 
treme right, covering a ferry two or three jniles below 
the railroad bridge across the North Anna. While at 

* Hanover Junction is about 22 miles from Richmond and is at 
the intersection of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Rail 
road with the Central Railroad from Richmond west, via Gordonsville 
and Staunton. It is on the direct road, both from Spottsylvania 
Court-House and Fredericksburg, to Richmond. The North Anna 
River is north of the Junction about two miles and the South Anna 
about three miles south of it. These two streams unite south of east, 
and a few miles from the Junction, and form the Pamunkey River. 



Hanover Junction my division was not engaged. At one 
time it was moved towards our left, for the purpose of 
supporting a part of the line on which an attack was 
expected, and moved back again without being required. 
It was subsequently placed temporarily on the left of 
the corps, relieving Kodes division and a part of Field s 
while the line was being remodelled, and then took posi 
tion on the right again. During the night of the 26th, 
the enemy again withdrew from our front.* 

* At Hanover Junction General Lee was joined by Pickett s divi 
sion of Longstreet s corps, and Breckenridge with two small brigades 
of infantry, and a battalion of artillery. These, with Hoke s brigade, 
were the first and only reinforcements received by General Lee since 
the opening of the campaign. Yet Grant s immense army, notwith 
standing the advantage gained by it on the 12th of May, had been 
so crippled, that it was compelled to wait six days at Spottsylvania 
Court-House for reinforcements from Washington, before it could 
resume the offensive. Breckenridge s infantry numbered less than 
3,000 muskets. Grant puts it at 15,000 and says, " The army sent to 
operate against Richmond having hermetically sealed itself up at 
Bermuda Hundreds, the enemy was enabled to bring the most, if not 
all the reinforcements brought from the South by Beauregard against 
the Army of the Potomac." He therefore determined to try another 
flank movement, and to get more reinforcements from the army at 
Bermuda Hundreds. 



ON the 27th, the enemy having withdrawn to the 
north bank of the North Anna, and commenced another 
flank movement by moving down the north bank of the 
Pamunkey, Ewell s corps, now under my command, by 
reason of General EwelPs sickness, was moved across the 
South Anna over the bridge of the Central Railroad, and 
by a place called "Merry Oaks," leaving Ashland on the 
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad to the 
right, and bivouacked for the night at Hughes cross-road, 
the intersection of the road from Ashland to Atlee s Sta 
tion on the Central Railroad with the road from the 
Merry Oaks to Richmond. Next morning I moved by 
Atlee s Station to Hundley s Corner, at the intersection 
of the road from Hanover Town (the point at which Grant 
crossed the Pamunkey), by Pole Green Church to Rich 
mond, with the road from Atlee s Station, by Old Church 
in Hanover County, to the White House on the Pamunkey. 
This is the point from which General Jackson commenced 
his famous attack on McClellan s flank and rear, in 1862, 
and it was very important that it should be occupied, as it 
intercepted Grant s direct march towards Richmond. All 
of these movements were made under orders from 
General Lee. 

My troops were placed in position, covering the road 
by Pole Green Church, and also the road to Old Church, 
with my right resting near Beaver Dam Creek, a small 
stream running towards Mechanicsville and into the 
Chickahominy. Brigadier General Ramseur of Rodes 
division was this day assigned to the command of my 
division. Swell s corps, the 2nd of the Army of Northern 
Virginia, now numbered less than 9,000 muskets for duty, 
its loss, on the 12th of May, having been very heavy. 



On the 29th, the enemy having crossed the Tottopoto- 
moy (a creek running just north of Pole Green Church, 
and eastward to the Pamunkey), appeared in my front on 
both roads, and there was some skirmishing but no heavy 

On the afternoon of the 30th, in accordance with 
orders from General Lee, I moved to the right across 
Beaver Dam, to the road from Old Church to Mechanics- 
ville, and thence along that road towards Old Church, 
until we reached Bethesda Church. At this point the 
enemy was encountered, and his troops, which occupied 
the road, were driven by Bodes * division towards the 
road from Hundley s Corner, which unites with the road 
from Mechanicsville, east of Bethesda Church. Pegram s 
brigade, under the command of Colonel Edward Willis 
of the 12th Georgia Regiment, was sent forward with 
one of Rodes brigades on its right, to feel the enemy, and 
ascertain his strength; but meeting with a heavy force 
behind breastworks, it was compelled to retire, with the 
loss of some valuable officers and men, and among them 
were Colonel Willis, mortally wounded, and Colonel 
Terrill of the 13th Virginia Regiment, killed. This move 
ment showed that the enemy was moving to our right 
flank, and at night I withdrew a short distance on the 
Mechanicsville road, covering it with my force. When 
I made the movement from Hundley s Corner, my posi 
tion at that place was occupied by a part of Longstreet s 
corps, under Anderson. 

On the next morning, my troops were placed in posi 
tion on the east side of Beaver Dam across the road to 
Mechanicsville, but Rodes was subsequently moved to the 
west side of the creek. Grant s movement to our right, 
towards Cold Harbor, was continued on the 31st, and 
the 1st of June, and corresponding movements were made 
by General Lee to meet him, my command retaining its 
position with a heavy force in its front. 



On the 2nd, all the troops on my left, except Heth s 
division of HilPs corps, had moved to the right, and in 
the afternoon of that day, Rodes division moved for 
ward, along the road from Hundley s Corner towards Old 
Church, and drove the enemy from his entrenchments, 
now occupied with heavy skirmish lines, and forced back 
his left towards Bethesda Church, where there was a 
heavy force. Gordon swung round so as to keep pace 
with Rodes, and Heth co-operated, following Rodes and 
taking position on his left flank. In this movement there 
was some heavy fighting and several hundred prisoners 
were taken by us. Brigadier General Doles, a gallant offi 
cer of Rodes division, was killed, but otherwise our loss 
was not severe. 

On the next day (the 3rd), when Grant made an attack 
at Cold Harbor in which he suffered very heavily, there 
were repeated attacks on Rodes and Heth s fronts, those 
on Cook s brigade, of Heth s division, being especially 
heavy, but all of them were repulsed. There was also 
heavy skirmishing on Gordon s front. During the day, 
Heth s left was threatened by the enemy s cavalry, but 
it was kept off by Walker s brigade under Colonel Fry, 
which covered that flank, and also repulsed an effort of 
the enemy s infantry to get to our rear. As it was neces 
sary that Heth s division should join its corps on the 
right, and my flank in this position was very much ex 
posed, I withdrew, at the close of the day, to the line 
previously occupied, and next morning Heth moved to the 

My right now connected with the left of Longstreet s 
corps under General Anderson. The enemy subsequently 
evacuated his position at Bethesda Church and his lines 
in my front, and having no opposing force to keep my 
troops in their lines, I made two efforts to attack the 
enemy on his right flank and rear. The first was made 
on the 6th, when I crossed the Matadaquean (a small 



stream, running through wide swamps in the enemy s 
rear), and got in rear of his right flank, driving in his 
skirmishers until we came to a swamp, which could be 
crossed only on a narrow causeway defended by an en 
trenched line with artillery. General Anderson was to 
have co-operated with me, by moving down the other side 
of the Matadaquean, but the division sent for that pur 
pose did not reach the position from which I started until 
near night, and I was therefore compelled to retire, as my 
position was too much exposed. 

On the next day (the 7th), a reconnaissance made in 
front of Anderson s line showed that the greater part of 
it was uncovered, and, in accordance with instructions 
from General Lee, I moved in front of, and between it and 
the Matadaquean, until my progress was arrested by a 
ravine and swamp which prevented any further advance, 
but a number of pieces of artillery were opened upon the 
enemy s position in flank and reverse, so as to favor a 
movement from Anderson s front, which had been 
ordered but was not made ; and at night I retired from 
this position to the rear of our lines. 

Since the fighting at the Wilderness, Grant had made 
it an invariable practice to cover his front, flank, and rear 
with a perfect network of entrenchments, and all his 
movements were made under cover of such works. It 
was therefore very difficult to get at him. 

On the llth, my command was moved to the rear of 
Hill s line, near Games Mill; and on the 12th, I received 
orders to move, with the 2nd corps, to the Shenandoali 
Valley to meet Hunter. This, therefore, closed my con 
nection with the campaign from the Rapidan to James 

When I moved on the morning of the 13th, Grant had 
already put his army in motion to join Butler, on James 
River, a position which he could have reached, from his 
camp on the north of the Rapidan, by railroad trans- 



ports, without the loss of a man. In attempting to force 
his way by land, he had already lost, in killed and 
wounded, more men than were in General Lee s entire 
army; and he was compelled to give up, in despair, the 
attempt to reach Eichmond in that way.* 

* Grant, in describing his movement from Spottsylvania Court- 
House to Hanover Junction, says : " But the enemy again having the 
shorter line, and being in possession of the main roads, was enabled 
to reach the North Anna in advance of us, and took position behind it." 
And, when he speaks of his final determination to join Butler, he 
says : " After the battle of the Wilderness it was evident that the 
enemy deemed it of the first importance to run no risk with the army 
he then had. He acted purely on the defensive, behind breastworks, 
or, feebly, on the offensive, immediately in front of them, and where, 
in case of repulse, he could retire behind them. Without a greater 
sacrifice of life than I was willing to make all could not be accom 
plished that I designed north of Richmond." 

He has made some observations, in his report, about the advantages 
of interior lines of communication, supposed to be possessed by the 
Confederate commanders, which are more specious than sound. The 
Mississippi River divided the Confederacy into two parts, and the 
immense naval power of the enemy enabled him to render communica 
tion across that river, after the loss of New Orleans and Memphis, 
always difficult. The Ohio River, in the West, and the Potomac, in 
the East, with the mountains of Western Virginia, rendered it im 
possible for an invading army to march into the enemy s country, 
except at one or two fords of the Potomac, just east of the Blue Ridge, 
and two or three fords above Harper s Ferry. The possession of the 
seas, and the blockade of our ports, as well as the possession of the 
Mississippi, the Ohio, and Potomac Rivers, with the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railroad, and the railroads through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, 
Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee, enabled the enemy to transport 
troops, from the most remote points, with more ease and rapidity than 
they could be transported over the railroads under the control of the 
Confederate Government, all of which were in bad condition. The 
enemy, therefore, in fact, had all the advantages of interior lines; 
that is, rapidity of communication and concentration, with the ad 
vantage, also, of unrestricted communication with all the world, which 
his naval power gave him. 


THE Valley of Virginia, in its largest sense, embraces 
all that country lying between the Blue Ridge and Alle- 
ghany Mountains, which unite at its southwestern end. 

The Shenandoah Valley, which is a part of the Valley 
of Virginia, embraces the counties of Augusta, Rocking- 
ham, Shenandoah, Page, Warren, Clarke, Frederick, Jef 
ferson and Berkeley. This valley is bounded on the north 
by the Potomac, on the south by the county of Rockbridge, 
on the east by the Blue Ridge and on the west by the 
Great North Mountain and its ranges. 

The Shenandoah River is composed of two branches, 
called, respectively, the " North Fork " and the " South 
Fork," which unite near Front Royal in Warren County. 
The North Fork rises in the Great North Mountain, and 
runs eastwardly to within a short distance of New Market 
in Shenandoah County, and thence northeast by Mount 
Jackson and Strasburg, where it turns east to Front 
Royal. The South Fork is formed by the union of North, 
Middle and South Rivers. North River and Middle River, 
running from the west, uni% near Mount Meridian in 
Augusta County. South River rises in the southeastern 
part of Augusta, and runs by Waynesboro, along the 
western base of the Blue Ridge, to Port Republic in 
Rockingham, where it unites with the stream formed by 
the junction of the North and Middle Rivers, a few miles 
above. From Port Republic, the South Fork of the Shen 
andoah runs northeast, through the eastern border of 
Rockingham and the county of Page, to Front Royal in 
Warren County. 

The North Fork and South Fork are separated by the 
Massanutten Mountain, which is connected with no other 
mountain but terminates abruptly at both ends. Its 
northern end is washed at its base, just below Strasburg, 



by the North Fork. Its southern end terminates near 
the road between Harrisonburg and Conrad s Store on 
the South Fork, at which latter place the road through 
Swift Run Gap in the Blue Ridge crosses that stream. 
Two valleys are thus formed, the one on the North Fork 
being called "The Main Valley, 7 and the other on the 
South Fork, and embracing the county of Page and part 
of the county of Warren, being usually known by the 
name of The Luray Valley. The Luray Valley unites 
with the Main Valley at both ends of the mountain. There 
is a good road across Massanutten Mountain from one 
valley to the other through a gap near New Market. South 
of this gap, there is no road across the mountain, and 
north of it the roads are very rugged and not practicable 
for the march of a large army with its trains. At the 
northern or lower end of Massanutten Mountain, and 
between two branches of it, is a valley called " Powell s 
Fort Valley," or more commonly "The Fort." This 
valley is accessible only by the very rugged roads over 
the mountain which have been mentioned, and through a 
ravine at its lower end. From its isolated position, it 
was not the theatre of military operations of any conse 
quence, but merely furnished a refuge for deserters, 
stragglers and fugitives from the battlefields. 

From Front Royal, the^ghenandoah River runs along 
the western base of the Blue Ridge to Harper s Ferry, 
where it unites with the Potomac, which here bursts 
through the mountains. The mountain, in extension of 
the Blue Ridge from this point through Maryland and 
Pennsylvania, is called "South Mountain." 

Strictly speaking, the county of Berkeley and the 
greater part of Frederick are not in the Valley of the 
Shenandoah. The Opequon, rising southwest of Win 
chester, and crossing the Valley Pike four or five miles 
south of that place, turns to the north and empties into 
the Potomac some distance above its junction with the 
Shenandoah ; the greater part of Frederick and nearly the 



whole of Berkeley being on the western side of the 

Little North Mountain, called in the lower valley 
" North Mountain, " runs northeast, through the western 
portion of Shenandoah, Frederick and Berkeley Counties, 
to the Potomac. At its northern end, where it is called 
North Mountain, it separates the waters of the Opequon 
from those of Back Creek. 

Cedar Creek rises in Shenandoah County, west of 
Little North Mountain, and running northeast along its 
western base, passes through that mountain, four or five 
miles from Strasburg, and, then making a circuit, empties 
into the North Fork of the Shenandoah, about two miles 
below Strasburg. 

The Baltimore & Ohio Eailroad crosses the Potomac 
at Harper s Ferry, and passing through Martinsburg in 
Berkeley County, crosses Back Creek near its mouth, runs 
up the Potomac, crossing the South Branch of that river 
near its mouth, and then the North Branch to Cumberland 
in Maryland. From this place it runs into Virginia again 
and, passing through Northwestern Virginia, strikes the 
Ohio River by two stems, terminating at Wheeling and 
Parkersburg respectively. 

There is a railroad from Harper s Ferry to "Winches 
ter, called "Winchester & Potomac Railroad," and also 
one from Manassas Junction on the Orange & Alexan 
dria Railroad, through Manassas Gap in the Blue Ridge, 
by Front Royal and Strasburg to Mount Jackson, called 
"The Manassas Gap Railroad," but both of these roads 
were torn up and rendered unserviceable in the year 1862, 
under the orders of General Jackson. 

From Staunton, in Augusta County, there is a fine 
macadamized road called "The Valley Pike," running 
through Mount Sidney, Mount Crawford, Harrisonburg, 
New Market, Mount Jackson, Edinburg, Woodstock, Stras 
burg, Middletown, Newtown, Bartonsville and Kernstown 
to Winchester in Frederick County, and crossing Middle 
River seven miles from Staunton ; North River at Mount 



Crawford, eighteen miles from Staunton ; the North Fork 
of the Shenandoah at Mount Jackson ; Cedar Creek be 
tween Strasburg and Middletown; and the Opequon at 
Bartonsville, four or five miles from Winchester. There 
is also another road west of the Valley Pike connecting 
these several villages called the "Back Road," and in 
some places, another road between the Valley Pike and 
the Back Road, which is called the "Middle Road." 

From Winchester there is a macadamized road via 
Martinsburg, to Williamsport on the Potomac in Mary 
land, and another via Berryville in Clarke County, and 
Charlestown in Jefferson County, to Harper s Ferry. 
There is also a good pike from Winchester to Front 
Royal, which crosses both forks of the Shenandoah just 
above their junction; and from Front Royal there are 
good roads up the Luray Valley, and by the way of Con 
rad s Store and Port Republic, to Harrisonburg and 

From Staunton, south, there are good roads passing 
through Lexington, in Rockbridge County, and Buchanan, 
in Botetourt County, to several points on the Virginia 
& Tennessee Railroad; and others direct from Staunton 
and Lexington to Lynchburg. 

The Central Railroad, from Richmond, passes through 
the Blue Ridge, with a tunnel at Rockfish Gap, and runs 
through Waynesboro and Staunton, westwardly, to Jack 
son s River, which is one of the head streams of James 

This description of the country is given in order to 
render the following narrative intelligible, without too 
much repetition. In the spring of 1864, before the open 
ing of the campaign, the lower Shenandoah Valley was 
held by the Federal troops, under Major General Sigel, 
with his headquarters at Winchester, while the upper 
Valley was held by Brigadier General Imboden, of the 
Confederate Army, with one brigade of cavalry, or 
mounted infantry, and a battery of artillery. When the 
campaign opened, Sigel moved up the Valley and Major 

24 3G9 


General Breckenridge moved from Southwestern Vir 
ginia, with two brigades of infantry and a battalion of 
artillery, to meet him. Breckenridge, having united his 
forces with Imboden s, met and defeated Sigel at New 
Market on May 15th, driving him back toward Winches 
ter. Breckenridge then crossed the Blue Kidge and 
joined General Lee at Hanover" Junction, with his two 
brigades of infantry and the battalion of artillery. Subse 
quently, the Federal General Hunter organized another 
and larger force than Sigel s, and moved up the Valley, 
and on the 5th day of June defeated Brigadier General 
William E. Jones, at Piedmont, between Port Republic 
and Staunton Jones force being composed of a very 
small body of infantry, and a cavalry force which had 
been brought from Southwestern Virginia, after Breck 
enridge s departure from the Valley. Jones was killed, 
and the remnant of his force, under Brigadier General 
Vaughan, fell back to Waynesboro. Hunter s force then 
united with another column which had moved from Lewis- 
burg, in Western Virginia, under the Federal General 
Crook. As soon as information was received of Jones 
defeat and death, Breckenridge was sent back to the 
Valley, with the force he had brought with him. 


ON the 12th of June, while the 2nd corps (Ewell s) 
of the Army of Northern Virginia was lying near Games 
Mill, in rear of HilPs line at Cold Harbor, I received 
verbal orders from General Lee to hold the corps, with 
two of the battalions of artillery attached to it, in readi 
ness to move to the Shenandoah Valley. Nelson s and 
Braxton s battalions were selected, and Brigadier 
General Long was ordered to accompany me as Chief of 
Artillery. After dark, on the same day, written instruc 
tions were given me by General Lee, by which I was 
directed to move, with the force designated, at 3 o clock 
next morning, for the Valley, by the way of Louisa Court- 
House and Charlottesville, and through Brown s or Swift 
Eun Gap in the Blue Eidge, as I might find most advis 
able; to strike Hunter s force in the rear, and, if possible, 
destroy it; then to move down the Valley, cross the 
Potomac near Leesburg in Loudoun County, or at or 
above Harper s Ferry, as I might find most practicable, 
and threaten Washington City. I was further directed to 
communicate with General Breckenridge, who would 
co-operate with me in the attack on Hunter and the expe 
dition into Maryland. 

At this time the railroad and telegraph lines between 
Charlottesville and Lynchburg had been cut by a cavalry 
force from Hunter s army; and those between Eichmond 
and Charlottesville had been cut by Sheridan s cavalry, 
from Grant s army; so that there was no communication 
with Breckenridge. Hunter was supposed to be at Staun- 
ton with his whole force, and Breckenridge was supposed 
to be at Waynesboro or Eock-fish Gap. If such had been 
the case, the route designated by General Lee would have 
carried me into the Valley in Hunter s rear. 

The 2nd corps now numbered a little over 8,000 



muskets for duty. It had been on active and arduous 
service in the field for forty days, and had been engaged 
in all the great battles from the Wilderness to Cold 
Harbor, sustaining very heavy losses at Spottsylvania 
Court-House, where it lost nearly an entire division, in 
cluding its commander, Major General Johnson, who was 
made prisoner. Of the brigadier generals with it at the 
commencement of the campaign, only one remained in 
command of his brigade. Two (Gordon and Ramseur) 
had been made Major Generals; one (G. H. Stewart) had 
been captured; four (Pegram, Hays, J. A. Walker and 
R. D. Johnston) had been severely wounded; and four 
(Stafford, J. M. Jones, Daniel, and Doles) had been killed 
in action. Constant exposure to the weather, a limited 
supply of provisions, and two weeks service in the 
swamps north of the Chickahominy had told on the health 
of the men. Divisions were not stronger than brigades 
ought to have been, nor brigades than regiments. 

On the morning of the 13th, at two o clock, we com 
menced the march; and on the 16th, arrived at Rivanna 
River near Charlottesville, having marched over eighty 
miles in four days.* 

From Louisa Court-House I had sent a dispatch to 
Gordonsville, to be forwarded, by telegraph, to Brecken- 
ridge ; and, on my arrival at Charlottesville, on the 16th, 

* On the 15th we passed over the ground, near Trevillian s depot, 
on which Hampton and Sheridan had fought on the llth and 12th. 
Hampton had defeated Sheridan and was then in pursuit of him. 
Grant, in his report, says that on the llth Sheridan drove our cavalry 
" from the field, in complete rout," and, when he advanced towards 
Gordonsville, on the 12th, "he found the enemy reinforced by in 
fantry, behind well-constructed rifle-pits, about five miles from the latter 
place, and too strong to successfully assault." There was not an infantry 
soldier in arms nearer the scene of action than with General Lee s 
army, near Cold Harbor; and the "well-constructed rifle-pits" were 
nothing more than rails put up in the manner in which cavalry were 
accustomed to arrange them to prevent a charge. Sheridan mistook 
some of Hampton s cavalry, dismounted and fighting on foot, for 



to which place I rode in advance of my troops, I received 
a telegram from him, dated at Lynchburg, informing me 
that Hunter was then in Bedford County, about twenty 
miles from that place, and moving on it. 

The railroad and telegraph between Charlottesville 
and Lynchburg had been, fortunately, but slightly injured 
by the enemy s cavalry, and had been repaired. The 
distance between the two places was sixty miles, and 
there were no trains at Charlottesville except one which 
belonged to the Central road, and was about starting for 
Waynesboro. I ordered this to be detained, and immedi 
ately directed, by telegram, all the trains of the two roads 
to be sent to me with all dispatch, for the purpose of 
transporting my troops to Lynchburg. The trains were 
not in readiness to take the troops on board until sun 
rise on the morning of the 17th, and then only enough 
were furnished to transport about half of my infantry. 
Ramseur s division, one brigade of Gordon s division and 
part of another were put on the trains, as soon as they 
were ready, and started for Lynchburg. Rodes division, 
and the residue of Gordon s, were ordered to move along 
the railroad, to meet the trains on their return. The 
artillery and wagon-trains had been started on the 
ordinary roads at daylight. 

I accompanied Ramseur s division, going on the front 
train, but the road and rolling stock were in such bad con 
dition that I did not reach Lynchburg until about one 
o clock in the afternoon, and the other trains were much 
later. I found General Breckenridge in bed, suffering 
from an injury received by the fall of a horse killed under 
him in action near Cold Harbor. He had moved from 
Rock-fish Gap to Lynchburg by a forced march, as soon 
as Hunter s movement towards that place was discov 
ered. When I showed him my instructions, he very read 
ily and cordially offered to co-operate with me, and 
serve under my command. 

Hunter s advance from Staunton had been impeded 
by a brigade of cavalry, under Brigadier General Mc- 



Causland, which had been managed with great skill, and 
kept in his front all the way, and he was reported to be 
then advancing on the old stone turnpike from Liberty 
in Bedford County by New London, and watched by 
Imboden with a small force of cavalry. 

As General Breckenridge was unable to go out, at 
his request, General D. H. Hill, who happened to be in 
town, had made arrangements for the defence of the city, 
with such troops as were at hand. Brigadier General 
Hays, who was an invalid from a wound received at 
Spottsylvania Court-House, had tendered his services 
and also aided in making arrangements for the defence. 
I rode out with General Hill to examine the line selected 
by him, and make a reconnaissance of the country in 
front. Slight works had been hastily thrown up on 
College Hill, covering the turnpike and Forest roads from 
Liberty, which were manned by Breckenridge s infantry 
and the dismounted cavalry of the command which had 
been with Jones at Piedmont. The reserves, invalids 
from the hospitals, and the cadets from the Military In 
stitute at Lexington, occupied other parts of the line. 
An inspection satisfied me that, while this arrangement 
was the best which could be made under the circumstances 
in which General Hill found himself, yet it would leave 
the town exposed to the fire of the enemy s artillery, 
should he advance to the attack, and I therefore deter 
mined to meet the enemy with my troops in front. 

We found Imboden about four miles out on the turn 
pike, near an old Quaker church, to which position he 
had been gradually forced back by the enemy s infantry. 
My troops, as they arrived, had been ordered in front of 
the works to bivouac, and I immediately sent orders 
for them to move out on this road, at a redoubt about 
two miles from the city, as Imboden s command was 
driven back by vastly superior numbers. These bri 
gades, with two pieces of artillery in the redoubt, arrested 
the progress of the enemy, and Ramseur s other brigade, 
and the part of Gordon s division which had arrived, took 



position on the same line. The enemy opened a heavy 
fire of artillery on us, but, as night soon came on, he 
went into camp in our front.* 

Upon my arrival at Lynchburg, orders had been given 
for the immediate return of the train for the rest of my 
infantry, and I expected it to arrive by the morning of 
the 18th, but it did not get to Lynchburg until late in the 
afternoon of that day. Hunter s force was considerably 
larger than mine would have been, had it all been up, 
and as it was of the utmost consequence to the army at 
Richmond that he should not get into Lynchburg, I did 
not feel justified in attacking him until I could do so with 
a fair prospect of success. I contented myself therefore 
with acting on the defensive on the 18th, throwing Breck- 
enridge s infantry and a part of his artillery on the front 
line, while that adopted by General Hill was occupied by 
the dismounted cavalry and the irregular troops. Dur 
ing the day, there was artillery firing and skirmishing 
along the line, and, in the afternoon, an attack was made 
on our line, to the right of the turnpike, which was hand 
somely repulsed with considerable loss to the enemy. A 
demonstration of the enemy s cavalry on the Forest road 
was checked by part of Breckenridge s infantry under 
Wharton and McCausland s cavalry. 

On the arrival of the cars from Richmond this day, 
Major Generals Elzey and Ransom reported for duty, the 

* Hunter s delay in advancing from Staunton had been most re 
markable. He had defeated Jones small force at Piedmont, about 
ten miles from Staunton, on the 5th, and united with Crook on the 
8th, yet he did not arrive in front of Lynchburg until near night on 
the 17th. The route from Staunton to Lynchburg by which he moved, 
which was by Lexington, Buchanan, the Peaks of Otter and Liberty, 
is about one hundred miles in distance. It is true that McCausland 
had delayed his progress by keeping constantly in his front, but an 
energetic advance would have brushed away McCausland s small force, 
and Lynchburg, with all its manufacturing establishments and stores, 
would have fallen before assistance arrived. A subsequent passage 
over the greater part of the same route showed how Hunter had been 



former to command the infantry and dismounted cavalry 
of Breckenridge s command, and the latter to command 
the cavalry. The mounted cavalry consisted of the rem 
nants of several brigades divided into two commands, one 
under Imboden, and the other under McCausland. It was 
badly mounted and armed, and its efficiency much im 
paired by the defeat at Piedmont, and the arduous ser 
vice it had recently gone through. 

As soon as the remainder of my infantry arrived by 
the railroad, though none of my artillery had gotten up, 
arrangements were made for attacking Hunter at day 
light on the 19th, but some time after midnight it was dis 
covered that he was moving, though it was not known 
whether he was retreating or moving so as to attack 
Lynchburg on the south where it was vulnerable, or to 
attempt to join Grant on the south side of James River. 
Pursuit could not, therefore, be made at once, as a mis 
take, if either of the last two objects had been contem 
plated, would have been fatal. At light, however, the pur 
suit commenced, the 2nd corps moving along the turn 
pike, over which it was discovered Hunter was retreating, 
and Elzey s command on the right, along the Forest 
road, while Ransom was ordered to move on the right of 
Elzey, with McCausland s cavalry, and endeavor to strike 
the enemy at Liberty or Peaks of Otter. Imboden, who 
was on the road from Lynchburg to Campbell Court- 
House to watch a body of the enemy s cavalry, which had 
moved in that direction the day before, was to have 
moved on the left towards Liberty, but orders did not 
reach him in time. The enemy s rear was overtaken at 
Liberty, twenty-five miles from Lynchburg, just before 
night, and driven through that place, after a brisk skir 
mish, by Ramseur s division. The day s march on the 
old turnpike, which was very rough, had been terrible. 
McCausland had taken the wrong road and did not reach 
Liberty until after the enemy had been driven through 
the town. 

It was here ascertained that Hunter had not retreated 



on the route by the Peaks of Otter, over which he had 
advanced, but had taken the road to Buford s depot, at 
the foot of the Blue Ridge, which would enable him to go 
either by Salem, Fincastle or Buchanan. Ransom was, 
therefore, ordered to take the route, next day, by the 
Peaks of Otter, and endeavor to intercept the enemy 
should he move by Buchanan or Fincastle. The pursuit 
was resumed early on the morning of the 20th, and upon 
our arrival in sight of Buford s, the enemy s rear guard 
was seen going into the mountain on the road towards 
Salem. As this left the road to Buchanan open, my 
aide, Lieutenant Pitzer, was sent across the mountain to 
that place, with orders for Ransom to move for Salem. 
Lieutenant Pitzer was also instructed to ride all night 
and send instructions, by courier from Fincastle, and 
telegraph from Salem, to have the road through the 
mountains to Lewisburg and Southwestern Virginia 
blockaded. The enemy was pursued into the mountains 
at Buford s Gap, but he had taken possession of the crest 
of the Blue Ridge, and put batteries in position command 
ing a gorge, through which the road passes, where it 
was impossible for a regiment to move in line. I had 
endeavored to ascertain if there was another way across 
the mountain by which I could get around the enemy, but 
all men, except the old ones, had gotten out of the way, 
and the latter, as well as the women and children, were in 
such a state of distress and alarm, that no reliable infor 
mation could be obtained from them. We tried to throw 
forces up the sides of the mountains to get at the enemy, 
but they were so rugged that night came on before any 
thing could be accomplished, and we had to desist, though 
not until a very late hour in the night. 

By a mistake of the messenger, who was sent with 
orders to General Rodes, who was to be in the lead next 
morning, there was some delay in his movement on the 
21st, but the pursuit was resumed very shortly after sun 
rise. At the Big Lick, it was ascertained that the enemy 
had turned off from Salem towards Lewisburg, on a road 



which, passes through the mountains at a narrow pass 
called the "Hanging Rock," and my column was immedi 
ately turned towards that point, but on arriving there it 
was ascertained that the enemy s rear guard had passed 
through the gorge. McCausland had struck his column 
at this point and captured ten pieces of artillery, some 
wagons and a number of prisoners; but, the enemy hav 
ing brought up a heavy force, McCausland was compelled 
to fall back, carrying off, however, the prisoners and a 
part of the artillery, and disabling the rest so that it could 
not be removed. As the enemy had got into the moun 
tains, where nothing useful could be accomplished by pur 
suit, I did not deem it proper to continue it farther. 

A great part of my command had had nothing to eat 
for the last few days, except a little bacon which was 
obtained at Liberty.* The cooking utensils were in the 
trains, and the effort to have bread baked at Lynchburg 
had failed. Neither the wagon trains, nor the artillery 
of the 2nd corps, were up and I knew that the country, 
through which Hunter s route led for forty or fifty 
miles, was, for the most part, a desolate mountain region ; 
and that his troops were taking everything in the way of 
provisions and forage which they could lay their hands 
on. My field officers, except those of Breckenridge s com 
mand, were on foot, as their horses could not be trans 
ported on the trains from Charlottesville. I had seen 
our soldiers endure a great deal, but there was a limit to 
the endurance even of Confederate soldiers. A stern 
chase with infantry is a very difficult one, and Hunter s 
men were marching for their lives, his disabled being car 
ried in his provision train, which was now empty. My 
cavalry was not strong enough to accomplish anything 
of importance, and a further pursuit could only have 
resulted in disaster to my command from want of pro 
visions and forage. 

I was glad to see Hunter take the route to Lewisburg, 

* Now Bedford City. 



as I knew he could not stop short of the Kanawha River, 
and he was, therefore, disposed of for some time. Had 
he moved to Southwestern Virginia, he would have done 
us incalculable mischief, as there were no troops of any 
consequence in that quarter, but plenty of supplies at that 
time. I should, therefore, have been compelled to follow 

My command had marched sixty miles, in the three 
days pursuit, over very rough roads, and that part of it 
from the Army of Northern Virginia had had no rest 
since leaving Gaines Mill. I determined therefore to rest 
on the 22nd, so as to enable the wagons and artillery to 
get up, and to prepare the men for the long march before 
them. Imboden had come up, following on the road 
through Salem after the enemy, and the cavalry was sent 
through Fincastle, to watch the enemy and to annoy him 
as he passed through the mountains towards Lewisburg, 
and also ascertain whether he would endeavor to get into 
the valley towards Lexington or Staunton. 

* In his report Grant says : " General Hunter, owing to a want 
of ammunition to give battle, retired from before the place " (Lynch- 
burg). Now it appears that this expedition had been long contem 
plated and was one of the prominent features of the campaign of 
1864. Sheridan, with his cavalry, was to have united with Hunter at 
Lynchburg and the two together were to have destroyed General Lee s 
communications and depots of supplies and then have joined Grant. 
Can it be believed that Hunter set out on so important an expedition 
with an insufficient supply of ammunition? He had only fought the 
battle of Piedmont with a part of his force, and not a very severe 
one, as Jones force was a small one and composed mostly of cavalry. 
Crook s column, not being there, was not engaged. Had Sheridan 
defeated Hampton at Trevillian s, he would have reached Lynchburg 
after destroying the railroad on the way, and I could not have reached 
there in time to do any good. But Hampton defeated Sheridan and 
the latter saw "infantry too strong to successfully assault." Had 
Hunter moved on Lynchburg with energy, that place would have fallen 
before it was possible for me to get there. But he tarried on the way, 
and when he reached there, there was discovered " a want of ammuni 
tion to give battle." 



AT Lynchburg I had received a telegram from General 
Lee directing me, after disposing of Hunter, either to 
return to his army or to carry out the original plan, as 
I might deem most expedient under the circumstances in 
which I found myself. After the pursuit had ceased, I 
received another dispatch from him, submitting it to my 
judgment whether the condition of my troops would per 
mit the expedition across the Potomac to be carried out, 
and I determined to take the responsibility of continuing 
it. On the 23rd, the march was resumed and we reached 
Buchanan that night, where we struck again the route 
over which Hunter had advanced.* Ransom s cavalry 
moved by Clifton Forge, through the western part of 

* The scenes on Hunter s route from Lynchburg had been truly 
heart-rending. Houses had been burned, and women and children left 
without shelter. The country had been stripped of provisions and 
many families left without a morsel to eat. Furniture and bedding 
had been cut to pieces, and old men and women and children robbed 
of all clothing except what they were wearing. Ladies trunks had been 
rifled and their dresses torn to pieces in mere wantonness. Even 
negro girls had lost their little finery. We now had renewed evidences 
of outrages committed by the commanding general s orders in burn 
ing and plundering private houses. We saw the ruins of a number 
of houses so destroyed. At Lexington Hunter had burned the Military 
Institute, with all its contents, including its library and scientific 
apparatus; and Washington College had been plundered and the statue 
of Washington taken. The residence of Ex-Governor Letcher, at that 
place, had been burned, and but a few minutes given Mrs. Letcher and 
her family, to leave the house. In the same county a Christian gentle 
man, Mr. Creigh, had been hung because he had killed a straggling 
and marauding Federal soldier while in the act of insulting and 
outraging the ladies of his family. The time consumed in the per 
petration of those deeds was the salvation of Lynchburg, with its 
stores, foundries and factories, which were so necessary to our army 
at Richmond. 


Rockbridge, to keep a lookout for Hunter and ascertain 
if he should attempt to get into the Valley again. 

On the 26th, I reached Staunton in advance of my 
troops, and the latter came up next day, which was spent 
in reducing transportation and getting provisions from 
Waynesboro, to which point they had been sent over the 
railroad. Some of the guns and a number of the horses 
belonging to the artillery were now unfit for service, and 
the best of each were selected, and about a battalion taken 
from Breckenridge s artillery, under Lieutenant Colonel 
King, to accompany us, in addition to the two battalions 
brought with the 2nd corps. The rest were left behind 
with a portion of the officers and men in charge of them. 
The dismounted cavalry had been permitted to send for 
their horses which had been recruiting, and Col. Bradley 
T. Johnson, who had joined me at this place with a battal 
ion of Maryland cavalry, was assigned to the command 
of Jones brigade, with the temporary rank of brigadier 
general, that brigade having been reorganized and the 
two Maryland battalions attached to it. General Breck- 
enridge had accompanied us from Lynchburg, and, to 
give him a command commensurate with his proper one, 
and at the same time enable me to control the cavalry 
more readily, Gordon s division of infantry was assigned 
to his command in addition to the one under Elzey, and 
Ransom, in charge of the cavalry, was ordered to report 
to me directly. Major General Elzey was relieved from 
duty, at his own request, and the division under him was 
left under the temporary command of Brigadier General 

The official reports at this place showed about two 
thousand mounted men for duty in the cavalry, which 
was composed of four small brigades, to wit: Imboden s, 
McCausland s, Jackson s and Jones (now Johnson s). 
Vaughan s had not been mounted, but the horses had been 
sent for from Southwestern Virginia. The official re 
ports of the infantry showed 10,000 muskets for duty, 
including Vaughan s dismounted cavalry. Nearly, if not 



quite, half of the company s officers and men were bare 
footed or nearly so, and a dispatch had been sent from 
Salem by courier, and Lynchburg by telegraph, to Rich 
mond, requesting shoes to be sent to Staunton, but they 
had not arrived. 

Another telegram was received here from General 
Lee stating that the circumstances under which my orig 
inal orders were given had changed, and again submit 
ting it to my judgment, in the altered state of things, 
whether the movement down the Valley and across the 
Potomac should be made. The accession to my command 
from Breckenridge s forces had not been as great as 
General Lee supposed it would be, on account of the 
disorganization consequent on Jones defeat at Piedmont, 
and the subsequent rapid movement to Lynchburg from 
Rock-fish Gap, but I determined to carry out the original 
design at all hazards, and telegraphed General Lee my 
purpose to continue the movement. 

The march was resumed on the 28th with five days 
rations in the wagons and two days in haversacks, empty 
wagons being left to bring the shoes when they arrived. 
Imboden was sent through Brock s Gap in the Great 
North Mountain to the Valley of the south branch of the 
Potomac, with his brigade of cavalry and a battery of 
horse artillery, to destroy the railroad bridge over that 
stream and all the bridges on the Baltimore & Ohio Rail 
road from that point to Martinsburg. The telegraph line 
was repaired to New Market as we marched down the 
Valley, and communications kept up with that point by 
signal stations. On the 2nd of July_ we reached 
Winchester * and I here received a dispatch from General 

* On this day we passed through Newtown, where several houses, 
including that of a Methodist minister, had been burned by Hunter s 
orders, because a part of Mosby s command had attacked a train of 
supplies for Sigel s force, at this place. The original order was to 
burn the whole town, but the officer sent to execute it had revolted at 
the cruel mandate and another was sent who but partially executed 
it, after forcing the people to take an oath of allegiance to the United 



Lee, directing me to remain in the lower Valley until 
everything was in readiness to cross the Potomac and to 
destroy the Baltimore & Ohio Eailroad and the Chesa 
peake & Ohio Canal as far as possible. This was in 
accordance with my previous determination, and its policy 
was obvious. My provisions were nearly exhausted, and if 
I had moved through Loudoun, it would have been neces 
sary for me to halt and thresh wheat and have it ground, 
as neither bread nor flour could otherwise be obtained, f 
which would have caused much greater delay than was 
required on the other route, where we could take provi 
sions from the enemy. Moreover, unless the Baltimore & 
Ohio Railroad was torn up, the enemy would have been 
able to move troops from the West over that road to 

On the night of the 2nd, McCausland was sent across 
North Mountain, to move down Back Creek, and burn the 
railroad bridge at its mouth, and then to move by North 
Mountain depot to Haynesville on the road from Martins- 
burg to Williamsport ; and, early on the morning of the 3rd, 
Bradley Johnson was sent by Smithfield and Leetown, to 
cross the railroad at Kearneysville east of Martinsburg, 
and unite with McCausland at Haynesville, so as to 
cut off the retreat of Sigel, who was at Martinsburg with 
a considerable force. Breckenridge moved, on the same 
morning, direct from Martinsburg, with his command 
preceded by Gilmor s battalion of cavalry, while I moved 
with Rodes and Ramseur s divisions, over the route 
taken by Johnson, to Leetown. On the approach of 
Breckenridge, Sigel, after very slight skirmishing, evacu 
ated Martinsburg, leaving behind considerable stores, 
which fell into our hands. McCausland burned the bridge 

States to save their houses. Mosby s battalion, though called "gueril 
las" by the enemy, was a regular organization in the Confederate 
Army, and was merely serving on detached duty under General Lee s 
orders. The attack on the train was an act of legitimate warfare, and 
the order to burn Newtown and the burning of houses mentioned were 



over Back Creek, captured the guard at North Mountain 
depot, and succeeded in reaching Haynesville ; but John 
son encountered a force at Leetown, under Mulligan, 
which, after hard fighting, he drove across the railroad, 
when, Sigel having united with Mulligan, Johnson s com 
mand was forced back, just before night, on Rodes and 
Ramseur s divisions, which had arrived at Leetown, after 
a march of twenty-four miles. It was too late, and these 
divisions were too much exhausted, to go after the enemy ; 
and during the night, Sigel retreated across the Potomac 
at Shepherdstown, to Maryland Heights. 

On the 4th, Shepherdstown was occupied by a part of 
Ransom s cavalry. Rodes and Ramseur s divisions 
moved to Harper s Ferry and the enemy was driven 
from Bolivar Heights and the village of Bolivar, to an 
inner line of works under the cover of the guns from 
Maryland Heights. Breckenridge after burning the rail 
road bridges at Martinsburg, and across the Opequon, 
moved to Duffield s depot, five miles from Harper s Ferry, 
destroying the road as he moved. During the night of the 
4th, the enemy evacuated Harper s Ferry, burning the 
railroad and pontoon bridges across the Potomac. 

It was not possible to occupy the town of Harper s 
Ferry, except with skirmishers, as it was thoroughly 
commanded by the heavy guns on Maryland Heights ; and 
the 5th was spent by Rodes and Ramseur s divisions in 
demonstrating at that place. In the afternoon Brecken 
ridge s command crossed the river at Shepherdstown, 
and Gordon s division was advanced over the Antietam 
towards Maryland Heights. At night, considerable 
stores, which had been abandoned at Harper s Ferry, 
were secured; and before day, Rodes and Ramseur s 
divisions moved to Shepherdstown, and crossed the 
Potomac early on the 6th, Lewis brigade, of Ramseur s 
division, being left to occupy Harper s Ferry with 

On this day (the 6th) Gordon s division advanced 
towards Maryland Heights, and drove the enemy into 



his works. Working parties were employed in destroying 
the aqueduct of the canal over the Antietam, and the locks 
and canal-boats. 

On the 7th Rodes moved through Rohrersville, on the 
road to Crampton s Gap in South Mountain, and skir 
mished with a small force of the enemy, while Brecken- 
ridge demonstrated against Maryland Heights, with 
Gordon s division, supported by his other division, now 
under Brigadier General Echols, who had reported for 

While these operations were going on, McCausland 
had occupied Hagerstown, and levied a contribution of 
$20,000, and Boonsboro had been occupied by Johnson s 
cavalry. On the 6th I received a letter from General 
Lee, by special courier, informing me that, on the 12th, 
an effort would be made to release the prisoners at Point 
Lookout, and directing me to take steps to unite them 
with my command, if the attempt was successful; but I 
was not informed of the manner in which the attempt 
would be made General Lee stating that he was not, 
himself, advised of the particulars. 

My desire had been to manoeuvre the enemy out of 
Maryland Heights, so as to enable me to move directly 
from Harper s Ferry for Washington; but he had taken 
refuge in his strongly fortified works, and as they could 
not be approached without great difficulty, and an attempt 
to carry them by assault would have resulted in greater 
loss than the advantage to be gained would justify, I 
determined to move through the gaps of South Mountain 
to the north of the Heights. On the 7th, the greater por 
tion of the cavalry was sent across the mountain, in the 
direction of Frederick ; and that night, the expected shoes 
having arrived and been distributed, orders were given 
for a general move next morning; and an officer (Lieu 
tenant Colonel Goodwin of a Louisiana regiment) was 
ordered back to Winchester, with a small guard, to collect 
the stragglers at that place, and prevent them from 

25 385 


Imboden had reached the railroad, at the South 
Branch of the Potomac, and partially destroyed the 
bridge, but had not succeeded in dislodging the guard 
from the block-house at that place. He had been taken 
sick and very little had been accomplished by the expe 
dition ; and his brigade, now under the command of Col. 
George H. Smith, had returned. 

Early on the morning of the 8th the whole force 
moved; Eodes, through Crampton s Gap, to Jefferson; 
Breckenridge, through Fox s Gap ; and Eamseur, with the 
trains, through Boonsboro Gap, followed by Lewis bri 
gade, which had started from Harper s Ferry the night 
before, after burning the trestle-work on the railroad, 
and the stores which had not been brought off. Brecken 
ridge and Eamseur encamped near Middletown, and 
Eodes near Jefferson. Eansom had occupied Catoctan 
Mountain, between Middletown and Frederick, with his 
cavalry, and had skirmished heavily with a body of the 
enemy at the latter place. McCausland was ordered to 
move to the right, in the afternoon, and the next day cut 
the telegraph and railroad between Maryland Heights 
and Washington and Baltimore cross the Monocacy, 
and, if possible, occupy the railroad bridge over that 
stream, at the junction near Frederick. 

Early on the 9th, Johnson, with his brigade of cavalry, 
and a battery of horse artillery, moved to the north of 
Frederick, with orders to strike the railroads from Balti 
more to Harrisburg and Philadelphia, burn the bridges 
over the Gunpowder, also to cut the railroad between 
Washington and Baltimore and threaten the latter place ; 
and then to move towards Point Lookout, for the pur 
pose of releasing the prisoners, if we should succeed in 
getting into Washington. The other troops also moved 
forward towards Monocacy Junction, and Eamseur s 
division passed through Frederick, driving a force of 
skirmishers before it. 



THE enemy, in considerable force under General Lew 
Wallace, was found strongly posted on the eastern bank 
of the Monocacy near the Junction, with an earthwork 
and two block-houses commanding both the railroad 
bridge and the bridge on the Georgetown pike. Ram- 
seur s division was deployed in front of the enemy, after 
driving his skirmishers across the river, and several bat 
teries were put in position, when a sharp artillery fire 
opened from both sides. Rodes division had come up 
from Jefferson and was placed on Ramseur s left, cover 
ing the roads from Baltimore and the crossings of the 
Monocacy above the Junction. Breckenridge s command, 
with the trains, was in the rear between Frederick and the 
Junction, while the residue of the cavalry was watching 
a force of the enemy s cavalry which had followed from 
Maryland Heights. The enemy s position was too strong, 
and the difficulties of crossing the Monocacy under fire too 
great, to attack in front without greater loss than I was 
willing to incur. I therefore made an examination in per 
son to find a point at which the river could be crossed, so 
as to take the enemy in flank. 

While I was engaged in making this examination to 
my right, I discovered McCausland in the act of crossing 
the river with his brigade. As soon as he crossed, he 
dismounted his men, and advanced rapidly against the 
enemy s left flank, which he threw into confusion, and he 
came very near capturing a battery of artillery, but the 
enemy concentrated on him, and he was gradually forced 
back obstinately contesting the ground. McCausland s 
movement, which was very brilliantly executed, solved the 
problem for me, and, as soon as I discovered it, orders 
were sent to Breckenridge to move up rapidly with 
Gordon s division to McCausland s assistance, and to fol 
low up his attack. This division crossed at the same 



place, and Gordon was ordered to move forward and 
strike the enemy on his left flank, and drive him from 
the position commanding the crossings in Ramseur s 
front, so as to enable the latter to cross. This movement 
was executed under the personal superintendence of 
General Breckenridge, and, while Ramseur skirmished 
with the enemy in front, the attack was made by Gordon 
in gallant style, and, with the aid of several pieces of 
King s artillery which had been crossed over, and Nel 
son s artillery from the opposite side, he threw the 
enemy into great confusion and forced him from his 
position. Ramseur immediately crossed on the railroad 
bridge and pursued the enemy s flying forces and Rodes 
crossed on the left and joined in the pursuit. 

Echols division, which had been left to guard the 
trains, was ordered up during the engagement, but was 
not needed. The pursuit was soon discontinued, as 
Wallace s entire force had taken the road towards Balti 
more, and I did not desire prisoners. Wallace s force I 
estimated at 8,000 or 10,000 men, and it was ascertained 
that one division of the 6th corps (Rickett s), from 
Grant s army, was in the fight. Between 600 and 700 
unwounded prisoners fell into our hands, and the enemy s 
loss in killed and wounded was very heavy. Our loss 
in killed and wounded was about 700, and among them 
were Brigadier General Evans wounded, and Colonel 
Lamar of the 61st Georgia Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel 
Tavener of the 17th Virginia Cavalry and Lieutenant 
Hobson of Nelson s artillery, killed. The action closed 
about sunset, and we had marched fourteen miles before 
it commenced. All the troops and trains were crossed 
over the Monocacy that night, so as to resume the march 
early next day. Such of our wounded as could not be 
moved in ambulances or otherwise were sent to the hos 
pitals at Frederick under charge of competent medical 
officers, and our dead were buried. During the operations 
at Monocacy, a contribution of $200,000 in money was 
levied on the city of Frederick, and some needed supplies 
were obtained. 



ON the 10th, the march was resumed at daylight, and 
we bivouacked four miles from Eockville, on the George 
town pike, having marched twenty miles. Ramseur s 
division, which had remained behind for a short time to 
protect a working party engaged in destroying the rail 
road bridge, was detained for a time in driving off a party 
of cavalry which had been following from Maryland 
Heights, and did not get up until one o clock at night. 
McCausland, moving in front on this day, drove a body 
of the enemy s cavalry before them and had quite a brisk 
engagement at Rockville, where he encamped after defeat 
ing and driving off the enemy. 

We moved at daylight on the llth ; McCausland mov 
ing on the Georgetown pike, while the infantry, preceded 
by Imboden s cavalry under Colonel Smith, turned to the 
left at Rockville, so as to reach the 7th Street pike which 
runs by Silver Spring into Washington. Jackson s 
cavalry moved on the left flank. The previous day had 
been very warm, and the roads were exceedingly dusty, 
as there had been no rain for several weeks. The heat 
during the night had been very oppressive, and but little 
rest had been obtained. This day was an exceedingly 
hot one, and there was no air stirring. While marching, 
the men were enveloped in a suffocating cloud of dust, 
and many of them fell by the way from exhaustion. 
Our progress was therefore very much impeded, but I 
pushed on as rapidly as possible, hoping to get into the 
fortifications around Washington before they could be 
manned. Smith drove a small body of cavalry before him 
into the woods on the 7th Street pike, and dismounted his 
men and deployed them as skirmishers. I rode ahead 
of the infantry, and arrived in sight of Fort Stevens on 
the road a short time after noon, when I discovered that 
the works were but feebly manned. 



Rodes, whose division was in front, was immediately 
ordered to bring it into line as rapidly as possible, throw 
out skirmishers, and move into the works if he could. My 
whole column was then moving by flank, which was the 
only practicable mode of marching upon the road we were 
on, and before Rodes division could be brought up, we 
saw a cloud of dust in the rear of the works towards 
Washington, and soon a column of the enemy filed into 
them on the right and left and skirmishers were thrown 
out in front, while an artillery fire was opened on us 
from a number of batteries. This defeated our hopes 
of getting possession of the works by surprise, and it 
became necessary to reconnoitre. 

Rodes skirmishers were thrown to the front, driving 
those of the enemy to the cover of the works, and we pro 
ceeded to examine the fortifications in order to ascertain 
if it was practicable to carry them by assault. They were 
found to be exceedingly strong, and consisted of what 
appeared to be enclosed forts of heavy artillery, with a 
tier of lower works in front of each pierced for an im 
mense number of guns, the whole being connected by 
curtains with ditches in front, and strengthened by pali 
sades and abattis. The timber had been felled within 
cannon range all around and left on the ground, making 
a formidable obstacle, and every possible approach was 
raked by artillery. On the right was Rock Creek run 
ning through a deep ravine which had been rendered 
impassable by the felling of the timber on each side, and 
beyond were the works on the Georgetown pike which had 
been reported to be the strongest of all. On the left, as 
far as the eye could reach, the works appeared to be of 
the same impregnable character. The position was natur 
ally strong for defence, and the examination showed, 
what might have been expected, that every appliance of 
science and unlimited means had been used to render the 
fortifications around Washington as strong as possible. 
This reconnaissance consumed the balance of the day. 

The rapid marching which had broken down a number 



of the men who were barefooted or weakened by previous 
exposure, and had been left in the Valley and directed to 
be collected at Winchester, and the losses in killed and 
wounded at Harper s Ferry, Maryland Heights and 
Monocacy, had reduced my infantry to about 8,000 
muskets. Of those remaining, a very large number were 
greatly exhausted by the last two days marching, some 
having fallen by sunstroke, and I was satisfied, when we 
arrived in front of the fortifications, that not more than 
one-third of my force could have been carried into action. 
I had about forty pieces of field artillery, of which the 
largest were 12 pounder Napoleons, besides a few pieces 
of horse artillery with the cavalry. McCausland reported 
the works on the Georgetown pike too strongly manned 
for him to assault. We could not move to the right or 
left without its being discovered from a signal station 
on the top of the "Soldiers Home," which overlooked 
the country, and the enemy would have been enabled to 
move in his works to meet us. Under the circumstances, 
to have rushed my men blindly against the fortifications, 
without understanding the state of things, would have 
been worse than folly. If we had any friends in Washing 
ton, none of them came out to give us information, and 
this satisfied me that the place was not undefended. I 
knew that troops had arrived from Grant s army, for 
prisoners had been captured from Eickett s division of 
the 6th corps at Monocacy. 

From Sharpsburg I had sent a message to Mosby, by 
one of his men, requesting him to cross the Potomac below 
Harper s Ferry, cut the railroad and telegraph, and 
endeavor to find out the condition of things in Washing 
ton, but he had not crossed the river, and I had received 
no information from him. A Northern paper, which was 
obtained, gave the information that Hunter, after moving 
up the Ohio Eiver in steamboats, was passing over the 
Baltimore & Ohio Eailroad, and I knew that he would be 
at Harper s Ferry soon, as Imboden had done very little 
damage to the road west of Martinsburg. After dark on 



the llth I held a consultation with Major Generals 
Breckenridge, Rodes, Gordon and Ramseur, in which I 
stated to them the danger of remaining where we were, 
and the necessity of doing something immediately, as the 
probability was that the passes of the South Mountain 
and the fords of the upper Potomac would soon be closed 
against us. After interchanging views with them, being 
very reluctant to abandon the project of capturing Wash 
ington I determined to make an assault on the enemy s 
works at daylight next morning, unless some information 
should be received before that time showing its impracti 
cability, and so informed those officers. During the night 
a dispatch was received from Gen. Bradley Johnson from 
near Baltimore informing me that he had received infor 
mation, from a reliable source, that two corps had 
arrived from General Grant s army, and that his whole 
army was probably in motion. This caused me to delay 
the attack until I could examine the works again, and 
as soon as it was light enough to see, I rode to the front 
and found the parapets lined with troops. I had, there 
fore, reluctantly to give up all hopes of capturing Wash 
ington, after I had arrived in sight of the dome of the 
Capitol, and given the Federal authorities a terrible 

In his report, Grant says, in regard to the condition of 
things when I moved towards Washington, "The garri 
sons of Baltimore and Washington were at this time 
made up of heavy artillery regiments, hundred days men, 
and detachments from the invalid corps. " And, in re 
gard to the force of Wallace at Monocacy, he says: "His 
force was not sufficient to ensure success, but he fought 
the enemy nevertheless, and although it resulted in a 
defeat to our arms, yet it detained the enemy and thereby 
served to enable General Wright to reach Washington 
with two divisions of the 6th corps, and the advance of 
the 19th corps before him." Stanton says in his re 
port: "Here (at Washington) they (we) were met by 
troops from the Army of the Potomac, consisting of the 



6th corps under General Wright, a part of the 8th corps 
under General Gilinore and a part of the 19th corps, just 
arrived from New Orleans under General Emory." 

Taking Grant s statement of the troops which had 
arrived from his army, they were sufficient to hold the 
works against my troops, at least until others could 
arrive. But in addition to those which had already 
arrived, there were the detachments from the invalid 
corps, called, I believe, the " Veteran Beserves" (of which 
I was informed there were 5,000), the heavy artillery 
regiments, the hundred days men, and, I suppose, the 
part of the 8th corps mentioned by Stanton. To all 
of these may be added the local troops, or militia, and the 
Government employees. Some of the Northern papers 
stated that, between Saturday and Monday, I could have 
entered the city : but on Saturday I was fighting at Monoc- 
acy, 35 miles from Washington, a force which I could not 
leave in my rear; and after disposing of that force and 
moving as rapidly as it was possible for me to move, I 
did not arrive in front of the fortifications until after 
noon on Monday, and then my troops were exhausted and 
it required time to bring them up into line. I had then 
made a march, over the circuitous route by Charlottes- 
ville, Lynchburg and Salem, down the Valley and through 
the passes of the South Mountain, which, notwithstand 
ing the delays in dealing with Hunter s, Sigel s, and Wal 
lace s forces, is, for its length and rapidity, I believe, 
without a parallel in this or any other modern war the 
unopposed excursion of Sherman through Georgia not 
excepted. My small force had been thrown up to the very 
walls of the Federal Capital, north of a river which could 
not be forded at any point within 40 miles, and with a 
heavy force and the South Mountain in my rear, the 
passes through which mountain could be held by a small 
number of troops. A glance at the map, when it is recol 
lected that the Potomac is a wide river, and navigable 
to Washington with the largest vessels, will cause the 
intelligent reader to wonder, not why I failed to take 



Washington, but why I had the audacity to approach it 
as I did, with the small force under my command. 

It was supposed by some, who were not informed of 
the facts, that I delayed in the lower Valley longer than 
was necessary; but an examination of the foregoing 
narrative will show that not one moment was spent in 
idleness, but that every one was employed in making some 
arrangement, or removing some difficulty in my way, 
which it was necessary to make or remove ; so as to enable 
me to advance with a prospect of success. I could not 
move across the Potomac and through the passes of the 
South Mountain, with any safety, until Sigel was driven 
from, or safely housed in, the fortifications at Maryland 

After abandoning the idea of capturing Washington, I 
determined to remain in front of the fortifications during 
the 12th, and retire at night, as I was satisfied that to 
remain longer would cause the loss of my entire force. 

Johnson had burned the bridges over the Gunpowder, 
on the Harrisburg and Philadelphia roads, threatened 
Baltimore, and started for Point Lookout, but I sent an 
order for him to return. The attempt to release the 
prisoners, of which I was informed by General Lee, was 
not made, as the enemy had received notice of it in some 
way. Major Harry Gilmor, who burned the bridge over 
the Gunpowder on the Philadelphia road, captured Major 
General Franklin on a train at that point, but he was 
permitted to escape, either by the carelessness or exhaus 
tion of the guard placed over him, before I was informed 
of the capture. 

On the afternoon of the 12th, a heavy reconnoitring 
force was sent out by the enemy, which, after severe skir 
mishing, was driven back by Bodes division with but 
slight loss to us. About dark we commenced retiring and 
did so without molestation. 

Passing through Eockville and Poolsville, we crossed 
the Potomac at White s Ford, above Leesburg in Loudoun 
County, on the morning of the 14th, bringing off the pris- 



oners captured at Monocacy and everything else in safety. 
There was some skirmishing in the rear, between our 
cavalry and that of the enemy which was following, and 
on the afternoon of the 14th, there was some artillery fir 
ing by the enemy, across the river, at our cavalry which 
was watching the fords. Besides the money levied in 
Hagerstown and Frederick, which was subsequently very 
useful in obtaining supplies, we brought off quite a large 
number of beef cattle, and the cavalry obtained a number 
of horses, some being also procured for the artillery.* 

* On the night of the 13th the house of Postmaster General Blair 
near Silver Spring was burned, and it was assumed by the enemy that 
it was burned by my orders. I had nothing to do with it and do not 
yet know how the burning occurred. Though I believed that retalia 
tion was justified by previous acts of the enemy, yet I did not wish 
to incur the risk of any license on the part of my troops and it was 
obviously impolitic to set the house on fire when we were retiring, as 
it amounted to notice of our movement. 



WE rested on the 14th and 15th, near Leesburg; and 
on the morning of the 16th, resumed the march to the 
Valley, through Sincker s Gap in the Blue Eidge. Hunter 
had arived at Harper s Ferry, and united with Sigel, and 
the whole force had moved from that place, under Crook, 
to Hillsboro, in Loudoun, and a body of cavalry from it 
made a dash on our train, as we were moving towards the 
Valley, and succeeded in setting fire to a few wagons, but 
was soon driven off by troops from Rodes and Ramseur s 
divisions, and one piece of artillery was captured from 
the enemy. 

On the morning of the 17th, we crossed the Shenan- 
doah, at Snicker s or Castleman s Ferry, and took posses 
sion near Berryville Breckenridge covering the ford at 
the ferry and the river above and below, and Rodes and 
Ramseur s division the roads from Harper s Ferry. 

On the 18th the enemy, having moved through 
Snicker s Gap, appeared on the banks of the Shenandoah. 
and there was some skirmishing. In the afternoon, a 
heavy column of his infantry made a dash at Parker s 
Ford, one mile below the ferry, and crossed over, after 
driving back the picket of 100 men at that point. Brecken 
ridge moved Gordon s and Echols divisions to the front, 
and held the enemy in check, while Rodes division was 
brought up from the left, and attacked and drove him 
across the river, with heavy loss, and in great confusion. 

The enemy s main body still occupied the eastern bank 
of the Shenandoah on the 19th, and smaller columns 
moved up and down the river, to effect a crossing. Im- 
boden, with his own and McCausland s cavalry, resisted 
and repulsed one of these columns, which attempted to 
cross at Berry s Ferry, with considerable loss to the 
enemy. The horses of Vaughan s cavalry having been 



brought from Southwestern Virginia, his small force had 
been now mounted. On this day I received information 
that a column under Averill was moving from Martins- 
burg towards Winchester, and as the position I held near 
Berryville left my trains exposed to expeditions in the 
rear from Martinsburg and Harper s Ferry, I deter 
mined to concentrate my force near Strasburg, so as to 
enable me to put the trains in safety and then move out 
and attack the enemy. This movement was commenced 
on the night of the 19th; Ramseur s division, with a bat 
tery of artillery, being sent to Winchester, to cover that 
place against Averill, while the stores, and the sick and 
wounded were being removed, and the other divisions 
moving through Millwood and White Post to the Valley 
Pike at Newtown and Middletown. 

Vaughan s and Jackson s cavalry had been watching 
Averill, and, on the afternoon of the 20th, it was reported 
to General Ramseur, by General Vaughan, that Averill 
was at Stephenson s depot, with an inferior force, which 
could be captured, and Ramseur moved out from Win 
chester to attack him ; but relying on the accuracy of the 
information he had received, General Ramseur did not 
take the proper precautions in advancing, and his divis 
ion, while moving by the flank, was suddenly met by a 
larger force, under Averill, advancing in line of battle, 
and the result was that Ramseur s force was thrown into 
confusion, and compelled to retire, with the loss of four 
pieces of artillery, and a number in killed and wounded 
Brigadier Generals Lewis and Lilly being among the 
wounded, and Colonel Board of the 58th Virginia Regi 
ment among the killed. Colonel Jackson made a vigorous 
charge with his cavalry, which enabled Ramseur to rally 
his men, restore order, and arrest the progress of Averill 
before he reached Winchester. The error committed, on 
this occasion, by this most gallant officer, was nobly re 
trieved in the subsequent part of the campaign. I 
received at New Market the news of Ramseur s misfor 
tune, and immediately moved to his assistance with 



Rodes division; but on arriving at Winchester, I found 
that the enemy, after being checked, had fallen back a 
short distance ; and, as another and much larger column 
was moving through Berryville, I did not go after Averill, 
but moved the whole command to Newtown the stores, 
and such of the wounded and sick as could be transported, 
having been gotten off. 

On the 21st my whole infantry force was concentrated 
near Middletown ; and, on the 22nd, it was moved across 
Cedar Creek, towards Strasburg, and so posted as to 
cover all the roads from the direction of Winchester. 

A report having been sent to me, from Mount Jack 
son, that a force of the enemy was moving from the 
Valley of the South Branch of the Potomac to that place, 
Imboden was sent to ascertain its truth, and it proved to 
be false. We rested on the 23rd, while waiting to ascer 
tain the movements of the enemy, and during the day a 
report was received from the cavalry in front that a large 
portion of the force sent after us from Washington was 
returning, and that Crook and Averill had united and 
were at Kernstown, near Winchester. 



ON the reception of the foregoing information, I deter 
mined to attack the enemy at once; and, early on the 
morning of the 24th, my whole force was put in motion 
for Winchester. The enemy, under Crook, consisting of 
the "Army of West Virginia," and including Hunter s 
and Sigel s forces, and Averill s cavalry, was found in 
position at Kernstown, on the same ground occupied by 
Shields, at the time of General Jackson s fight with him, 
on March 22nd, 1862. Eamseur s division was sent to 
the left, at Bartonsville, to get around the enemy s right 
flank, while the other divisions moved along the Valley 
Pike, and formed on each side of it. Eansom s cavalry 
was ordered to move in two columns: one, on the right, 
along the road from Front Eoyal to Winchester, and the 
other on the left, and west of Winchester, so as to unite 
in rear of the latter place, and cut off the enemy s retreat. 
After the enemy s skirmishers were driven in, it was dis 
covered that his left flank, extending through Kernstown, 
was exposed, and General Breckenridge was ordered to 
move Echols division, now under Brigadier General 
Wharton, under cover of some ravines on our right and 
attack that flank. This movement, which was made under 
General Breckenridge s personal superintendence, was 
handsomely executed, and the attacking division struck 
the enemy s left flank in open ground, doubling it up and 
throwing his whole line into great confusion. The other 
divisions then advanced, and the rout of the enemy be 
came complete. He was pursued, by the infantry and 
artillery, through and beyond Winchester; and the pur 
suit was continued by Eodes division to Stephenson s 
depot, six miles from Winchester this division then hav 
ing marched twenty-seven miles from its position west 
of Strasburg. The cavalry had not been moved according 



to my orders ; and the enemy, having the advantage of an 
open country and a wide macadamized road, was enabled 
to make his escape with his artillery and most of his 
wagons. General Ransom had been in very bad health 
since he reported to me in Lynchburg, and unable to take 
the active command in the field ; and all of my operations 
had been impeded for the want of an efficient and ener 
getic cavalry commander. I think, if I had had one on 
this occasion, the greater part of the enemy s force would 
have been captured or destroyed, for the rout was thor 
ough. Our loss, in this action, was very light. The 
enemy s loss in killed and wounded was severe, and two 
or three hundred prisoners fell into our hands; and 
among them, Colonel Mulligan, in command of a divis 
ion, mortally wounded. The infantry was too much ex 
hausted to continue the pursuit on the 25th, and only 
moved to Bunker Hill, twelve miles from Winchester. 
The pursuit was continued by our cavalry, and thej 
enemy s rear guard of cavalry was encountered at Mar- 
tinsburg; but after slight skirmishing, it evacuated the 
place. The whole defeated force crossed the Potomac, 
and took refuge at Maryland Heights and Harper s 
Ferry. The road from Winchester, via Martinsburg, to 
Williamsport was strewed with debris of the rapid re 
treat twelve caissons and seventy-two wagons having 
been abandoned, and most of them burned. 



ON the 26th we moved to Martinsburg, the cavalry 
going to the Potomac. The 27th and 28th were employed 
in destroying the railroad, it having been repaired since 
we passed over it at the beginning of the month. While 
at Martinsburg, it was ascertained that while we were 
near Washington, after Hunter s return to the Valley, 
by his orders, a number of private residences had been 
burned, among them the homes of Mr. Alex. B. Boteler, 
an ex-member of the Confederate Congress, of Mr. 
Andrew Hunter, a member of the Virginia Senate, and of 
Mr. Edmund I. Lee, a distant relative of General Lee, all 
in Jefferson County, with their contents, only time 
enough being given for the ladies to get out of their 
houses. A number of towns in the South, as well as pri 
vate country houses, had been burned by the Federal 
troops. I came to the conclusion it was time to open the 
eyes of the people of the North to this enormity, by an 
example in the way of retaliation. I did not select the 
cases mentioned, as having more merit or greater claims 
for retaliation than others, but because they had occurred 
within the limits of the country covered by my command 
and were brought more immediately to my attention. 

The town of Chambersburg in Pennsylvania was 
selected as the one on which retaliation should be made, 
and McCausland was ordered to proceed, with his brigade 
and that of Johnson and a battery of artillery, to that 
place, and demand of the municipal authorities the sum 
of $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in U. S. currency, as a 
compensation for the destruction of the houses named 
and their contents; and in default of payment, to lay 
the town in ashes. A written demand to that effect was 
sent to the authorities, and they were informed what 
would be the result of a failure or refusal to comply with 

26 401 


it : for I desired to give the people of Chambersburg an 
opportunity of saving their town, by making compen 
sation for part of the injury done, and hoped the pay 
ment of such a sum would have the effect of causing the 
adoption of a different policy. McCausland was also 
directed to proceed from Chambersburg towards Cumber 
land, Maryland, and levy contributions in money upon 
that and other towns able to bear them, and if possible 
destroy the machinery of the coal pits near Cumberland 
and the machine shops, depots and bridges on the Balti 
more & Ohio Railroad as far as practicable. 

On the 29th, McCausland crossed the Potomac near 
Clear Spring above Williamsport, and I moved with 
Rodes and Ramseur s divisions and Vaughan s cavalry 
to the latter place, while Imboden demonstrated with his 
and Jackson s cavalry towards Harper s Ferry, in order 
to draw attention from McCausland. Breckenridge re 
mained at Martinsburg and continued the destruction of 
the railroad. Vaughan drove a force of cavalry from 
Williamsport, and went into Hagerstown, where he cap 
tured and destroyed a train of cars loaded with supplies. 
One of Rodes brigades was crossed over at Williamsport 
and subsequently withdrawn. On the 30th, McCausland 
being well under way I moved back to Martinsburg, and 
on the 31st, the whole infantry force was moved to 
Bunker Hill, where we remained on the 1st, 2nd, and 
3rd of August. 

On the 4th, in order to enable McCausland to retire 
from Pennsylvania and Maryland, and to keep Hunter, 
who had been reinforced by the 6th and 19th corps, and 
had been oscillating between Harper s Ferry and Monoc- 
acy Junction, in a state of uncertainty, I again moved to 
the Potomac with the infantry and Vaughan s and Jack 
son s cavalry, while Imboden demonstrated towards 
Harper s Ferry. On the 5th, Rodes and Ramseur s 
divisions crossed at Williamsport and took position near 
St. James College and Vaughan s cavalry went into 
Hagerstown. Breckenridge, with his command, and 



Jackson s cavalry, crossed at Shepherdstown, and took 
position at Sharpsburg. This position is in full view 
from Maryland Heights, and a cavalry force was sent 
out by the enemy to reconnoitre, which, after skirmishing 
with Jackson s cavalry, was driven off by the sharp 
shooters of Gordon s division. On the 6th, the whole 
force recrossed the Potomac at Williamsport, and moved 
towards Martinsburg, and on the 7th we returned to 
Bunker Hill.* 

* While at Sharpsburg on this occasion, I rode over the ground 
on which the battle of Sharpsburg or Antietam, as it is called by the 
enemy, was fought, and I was surprised to see how few traces of that 
great battle remained. In the woods at the famous Dunkard or Tunker 
Church, where, from personal observation at the battle, I expected to 
find the trees terribly broken and battered, a stranger would find diffi 
culty in identifying the marks of the bullets and shells. 

I will take occasion here to say that the public, North or South, 
has never known how small was the force with which General Lee 
fought that battle. From personal observation and conversation with 
other officers engaged, including General Lee himself, I am satisfied 
that the latter was not able to carry 30,000 men into action. The 
exhaustion of our men, in the battles around Richmond, the subsequent 
battles near Manassas, and on the march to Maryland, when they 
were for days without anything to eat except green corn, was so great, 
that the straggling was frightful before we crossed the Potomac. As 
an instance of our weakness, and a reminiscence worthy of being 
recorded, which was brought forcibly to my mind while riding over 
the ground, I state the following facts; in the early part of the day, 
all of General Jackson s troops on the field except my brigade (A. P. 
Hill had not then arrived from Harper s Ferry) were driven from the 
field in great disorder, and Hood had taken their place with his 

My brigade, which was on the extreme left, supporting some 
artillery with which Stuart was operating, and had not been en 
gaged, was sent for by General Jackson and posted in the left of the 
woods at the Dunkard Church. Hood was also forced back, and then 
the enemy advanced to this woods Sumner s corps, which was fresh, 
advancing on our left flank. My brigade, then numbering about 1000 
men for duty, with two or three hundred men of Jackson s own 
division, who had been rallied by Colonels Grigsby and Stafford, and 
with an interval of at least one-half a mile between us and any 
other part of our line, held Sumner s corps in check for some time, 



On the 30th of July McCausland reached Chambers- 
burg and made the demand as directed, reading to such 
of the authorities as presented themselves the paper sent 
by me. The demand was not complied with, the people 
stating that they were not afraid of having their town 
burned, and that a Federal force was approaching. The 
policy pursued by our army on former occasions had been 
so lenient that they did not suppose the threat was in 
earnest this time, and they hoped for speedy relief. Mc 
Causland, however, proceeded to carry out his orders, 
and the greater part of the town was laid in ashes.* 

He then moved in the direction of Cumberland, but 
on approaching that town, he found it defended by a force 
under Kelly too strong for him to attack, and he with 
drew towards Hampshire County in Virginia, and crossed 
the Potomac near the mouth of the South Branch, captur 
ing the garrison at that place and partially destroying 

until Green s division, of Mansfield s corps, penetrated into the in 
terval in the woods between us and the rest of our line, and I was 
compelled to move by the flank and attack it. That division was driven 
out of the woods by my brigade, while Grigsby and Stafford skirmished 
with Sumner s advancing force, when we turned on it, and with the 
aid of three brigades to wit : Anderson s, Semmes and Barksdale s 
which had just arrived to our assistance, drove it from the woods in 
great confusion and with heavy loss. So great was the disparity in 
the forces at this point that the wounded officers who were captured 
were greatly mortified, and commenced making excuses by stating that 
the troops in their front were raw troops who stampeded and pro 
duced confusion in their ranks. McClellan, in his report, states that 
Sumner s corps and Green s division encountered in this woods "over 
whelming numbers behind breastworks," and he assigns the heavy losses 
and consequent demoralization in Sumner s corps as one of the reasons 
for not renewing the fight on the 18th. "We had no breastworks or 
anything like them in that woods on the 17th, and, on our part, it was 
a stand up fight there altogether. The slight breastworks subsequently 
seen by McClellan were made on the 18th, when we were expecting a 
renewal of the battle. 

* For this act I, alone, am responsible, as the officers engaged in 
it were simply executing my orders, and had no discretion left them. 
Notwithstanding the lapse of time which has occurred and the result 
of the war, I see no reason to regret my conduct on this occasion. 



the railroad bridge. He then invested the post on the 
railroad at New Creek, but finding it too strongly forti 
fied to take by assault, he moved to Moorefield in Hardy 
County, near which he halted to rest and recruit his men 
and horses, as the command was now considered safe 
from pursuit. Averill, however, had been pursuing 
from Chambersburg with a body of cavalry, and John 
son s brigade was surprised in camp, before day, on the 
morning of the 7th of August, and routed by AverilPs 
force. This resulted also in the rout of McCausland s 
brigade, and the loss of the artillery (4 pieces), and about 
300 prisoners from the whole command. The balance of 
the command made its way to Mount Jackson in great 
disorder, and much weakened. This affair had a very 
damaging effect upon my cavalry for the rest of the 



ON the 9th, Imboden reported that a large force had 
been concentrated at Harper s Ferry, consisting of the 
6th, 19th, and Crook s corps, under a new commander, 
and that it was moving to our right. The new commander 
proved to be Major General Sheridan, from Grant s 
army. On the 10th, we moved from Bunker Hill to the 
east of Winchester, to cover the roads from Charles- 
town and Berry ville to that place ; and Ramseur s division 
was moved to Winchester, to cover that place against 
a force reported to be advancing from the west ; but, this 
report proving untrue, it was subsequently moved to the 
junction of the Millwood and Front Royal roads. 

On the morning of the llth, it was discovered that the 
enemy was moving to our right on the east of the Ope- 
quon, and my troops, which had been formed in line of 
battle covering Winchester, were moved to the right, 
towards Newtown, keeping between the enemy and the 
Valley Pike. Ramseur had a brisk skirmish with a body 
of the enemy s cavalry on the Millwood road, and drove 
it back. Imboden s and Vaughan s brigades had a severe 
fight with another body of cavalry at the double toll-gate, 
at the intersection of the Front Royal road with the road 
from White Post to Newtown ; and it was discovered that 
there had been a considerable accession to that arm from 
Grant s army. 

Just before night, Gordon had very heavy skirmish 
ing near Newtown, with a large force of cavalry, which 
advanced on the road from the double toll-gate, and drove 
it off. We encamped near Newtown; and on the morn 
ing of the 12th, moved to Hupp s Hill, between Strasburg 
and Cedar Creek. Finding that the enemy was advancing 
in much heavier force than I had yet encountered, I de 
termined to take position at Fisher s Hill, above Stras- 



burg, and await his attack there. Imboden with his bri 
gade was sent to the Luray Valley, to watch that route ; 
and, in the afternoon, we moved to Fisher s Hill. I had 
received information, a few days before, from General 
Lee, that General Anderson had moved with Kershaw s 
division of infantry and Fitz. Lee s division of cavalry 
to Culpeper Court-House; and I sent a dispatch to An 
derson informing him of the state of things, and request 
ing him to move to Front Royal, so as to guard the 
Luray Valley. 

Sheridan s advance appeared on the banks of Cedar 
Creek, on the 12th, and there was some skirmishing with 
it. My troops were posted at Fisher s Hill, with the right 
resting on the North Fork of the Shenandoah, and the 
left extending towards Little North Mountain; and we 
awaited the advance of the enemy. General Anderson 
moved to Front Royal, in compliance with my request, 
and took position to prevent an advance of the enemy 
on that route. Shortly after I took position at Fisher s 
Hill, Major General Lomax reported to me to relieve 
Ransom in command of the cavalry, and McCausland and 
Johnson joined us with the remnants of their brigades. 
Sheridan demonstrated at Hupp s Hill, within our view, 
for several days, and some severe skirmishing ensued. 

Upon taking position at Fisher s Hill, I had estab 
lished a signal station on the end of Three Top Mountain, 
a branch of Massanutten Mountain, near Strasburg, 
which overlooked both camps and enabled me to communi 
cate readily with General Anderson in the Luray Valley. 
A small force from Sheridan s army ascended the moun 
tain and drove off our signal-men and possession was 
taken of the station by the enemy, who was in turn driven 
away; when several small but severe fights ensued over 
the station, possession of it being finally gained and held 
by a force of 100 men under Captain Keller of Gordon s 

On the morning of the 17th, it was discovered that 
the enemy was falling back, and I immediately moved 



forward in pursuit, requesting General Anderson, by sig 
nal, to cross the river at Front Royal and move towards 
Winchester. Just before night, the enemy s cavalry and 
a body of infantry, reported to be a division, was encoun 
tered between Kernstown and Winchester, and driven 
through the latter place, after a sharp engagement, in 
which Wharton s division moved to the left and attacked 
the enemy s infantry, and drove it from a strong position 
on Bower s Hill, south of Winchester, while Ramseur 
engaged it in the front and Gordon advanced against the 
cavalry on the right. 

On the 18th we took possession to cover Winchester, 
and General Anderson came up with Kershaw s division 
of infantry, Cutshaw s battalion of artillery and two 
brigades of cavalry under Fitz. Lee. General Anderson 
ranked me, but he declined to take command, and offered 
to co-operate in any movement I might suggest. We had 
now discovered that Torbert s and Wilson s divisions of 
cavalry from Grant s army had joined Sheridan s force, 
and that the latter was very large. 

On the 19th, my main force moved to Bunker Hill and 
Lomax s cavalry made reconnaissances to Martinsburg 
and Shepherdstown, while Anderson s whole force re 
mained near Winchester. 

On the 20th, our cavalry had some skirmishing with 
the enemy s, on the Opequon, and on the 21st, by con 
cert, there was a general movement towards Harper s 
Ferry my command moving through Smithfield towards 
Charlestown, and Anderson s on the direct road by Sum 
mit Point. A body of the enemy s cavalry was driven 
from the Opequon, and was pursued by part of our 
cavalry towards Summit Point. I encountered Sheri 
dan s main force near Cameron s depot, about three miles 
from Charlestown, in a position which he commenced 
fortifying at once. Rodes and Ramseur s divisions were 
advanced to the front, and very heavy skirmishing en 
sued and was continued until night, but I waited for 
General Anderson to arrive before making a general 



attack. He encountered Wilson s division of cavalry 
at Summit Point, and, after driving it off, went into camp 
at that place. At light next morning, it was discovered 
that the enemy had retired during the night, and his rear 
guard of cavalry was driven through Charlestown to 
wards Halltown, where Sheridan had taken a strong 
position under the protection of the heavy guns on Mary 
land Heights. 

I demonstrated on the enemy s front on the 22nd, 23rd 
and 24th, and there was some skirmishing. General 
Anderson then consented to take my position in front of 
Charlestown and amuse the enemy with Kershaw s divis 
ion of infantry, supported by McCausland s brigade of 
cavalry on the left and a regiment of Fitz. Lee s cavalry 
on the right, while I moved with my infantry and artillery 
to Shepherdstown and Fitz. Lee with the rest of the 
cavalry to Williamsport, as if to cross into Maryland, in 
order to keep up the fear of an invasion of Maryland 
and Pennsylvania. 

On the 25th Fitz. Lee started by way of Leetown and 
Martinsburg to Williamsport, and I moved through Lee- 
town and crossed the railroad at Kearneysville to Shep 
herdstown. After Fitz. Lee had passed on, I encountered 
a very large force of the enemy s cavalry between Lee- 
town and Kearneysville, which was moving out with 
several days forage and rations for a raid in our rear. 
After a sharp engagement with small arms and artillery, 
this force was driven back through Shepherdstown, where 
we came near surrounding and capturing a considerable 
portion of it, but it succeeded in making its escape across 
the Potomac. Gordon s division, which was moved 
around to intercept the enemy, became heavily engaged, 
and cut off the retreat of part of his force by one road, 
but it made its way down the river to the ford by another 
and thus escaped. In this affair, a valuable officer, 
Colonel Monaghan, of the 6th Louisiana Regiment, was 
killed. Fitz. Lee reached Williamsport, and had some 



skirmishing across the river at that place, and then moved 
to Shepherdstown. 

On the 26th I moved to Leetown, on the 27th moved 
back to Bunker Hill ; while Anderson, who had confronted 
Sheridan, during the two days of my absence, with but 
a division of infantry, and a brigade and a regiment of 
cavalry, moved to Stephenson s depot. On the 28th our 
cavalry, which had been left holding a line from Charles- 
town to Shepherdstown, was compelled to retire across 
the Opequon, after having had a brisk engagement with 
the enemy s cavalry at Smithfield. On the 29th, the 
enemy s cavalry crossed the Opequon near Smithfield, 
driving in our cavalry pickets, when I advanced to the 
front with a part of my infantry, and drove the enemy 
across the stream again, and after a very sharp artil 
lery duel, a portion of my command was crossed over 
and pursued the enemy through Smithfield towards 

Quiet prevailed on the 30th, but on the 31st there 
were some demonstrations of cavalry by the enemy on the 
Opequon, which were met by ours. On this day Anderson 
moved to Winchester, and Eodes, with his division, went 
to Martinsburg on a reconnaissance, drove a force of the 
enemy s cavalry from that place, interrupted the prep 
arations for repairing the railroad, and then returned. 

There was quiet on the 1st, but on the 2nd, I broke 
up my camp at Bunker Hill, and moved with three divis 
ions of infantry and part of McCausland s cavalry, under 
Colonel Ferguson, across the country towards Summit 
Point, on a reconnaissance, while the trains under the 
protection of Eodes division were moved to Stephenson s 
depot. After I had crossed the Opequon and was moving 
towards Summit Point, Averill s cavalry attacked and 
drove back in some confusion first Vaughan s and then 
Johnson s cavalry, which were on the Martinsburg road 
and the Opequon, but Bodes returned towards Bunker 
Hill and drove the enemy back in turn. This affair 
arrested my march and I recrossed the Opequon and 



moved to Stephenson s depot, where I established my 

On the 3rd, Rodes moved to Bunker Hill in support of 
Lomax s cavalry, and drove the enemy s cavalry from 
and beyond the place. 

A letter had been received from General Lee request 
ing that Kershaw s division should be returned to him, 
as he was very much in need of troops, and, after consul 
tation with me, General Anderson determined to recross 
the Blue Ridge with that division and Fitz. Lee s cavalry. 
On the 3rd, he moved towards Berryville for the purpose 
of crossing the mountain at Ashby s Gap, and I was to 
have moved towards Charlestown next day, to occupy the 
enemy s attention during Anderson s movement. Sheri 
dan, however, had started two divisions of cavalry 
through Berryville and White Post, on a raid to our rear, 
and his main force had moved towards Berryville. 
Anderson encountered Crook s corps at the latter place, 
and after a sharp engagement drove it back on the main 
body. Receiving information of this affair, I moved at 
daylight next morning, with three divisions, to Ander 
son s assistance, Gordon s division being left to cover 

I found Kershaw s division extended out in a strong 
skirmish line confronting Sheridan s main force, which 
had taken position in rear of Berryville, across the road 
from Charlestown to that place, and was busily fortifying, 
while the cavalry force which had started on the raid was 
returning and passing between Berryville and the river 
to Sheridan s rear. As may be supposed, Anderson s 
position was one of great peril, if the enemy had pos* 
sessed enterprise, and it presented the appearance of the 
most extreme audacity for him thus to confront a force so 
vastly superior to his own, while, too, his trains were at 
the mercy of the enemy s cavalry, had the latter known 
it. Placing one of my divisions in line on Kershaw s left, 
I moved with the other two along the enemy s front 
towards his right, for the purpose of reconnoitring and 



attacking that flank, if a suitable opportunity offered. 
After moving in this way for two miles, I reached an 
elevated position from which the enemy s line was visi 
ble, and within artillery range of it. I at first thought 
that I had reached his right flank and was about making 
arrangements to attack it, when, casting my eye to my 
left, I discovered, as far as the eye could reach, with the 
aid of field glasses, a line extending toward Summit 

The position the enemy occupied was a strong one, 
and he was busily engaged fortifying it, having already 
made considerable progress. It was not until I had had 
this view that I realized the size of the enemy s force, and 
as I discovered that his line was too long for me to get 
around his flank and the position was too strong to attack 
in front, I returned and informed General Anderson of 
the condition of things. After consultation with him, we 
thought it not advisable to attack the enemy in his en 
trenched lines, and we determined to move our forces 
back to the west side of the Opequon, and see if he would 
not move out of his works. 

The wagon trains were sent back early next morning 
(the 5th) towards Winchester, and about an hour by sun, 
Kershaw s division, whose place had been taken by one 
of my divisions, moved toward the same point. About 
two o clock in the afternoon my troops were withdrawn, 
and moved back to Stephenson s depot. This withdrawal 
was made while the skirmishers were in close proximity 
and firing at each other; yet there was no effort on the 
part of the enemy to molest us. Just as my front divis 
ion (Rodes ) reached Stephenson s depot, it met, and 
drove back, and pursued for some distance, Averill s 
cavalry, which was forcing, towards Winchester, that 
part of our cavalry which had been watching the Martins- 
burg road. 

It was quiet on the 6th, but on the 7th the enemy s 
cavalry made demonstrations on the Martinsburg road 
and the Opequon at several points and was repulsed. 



On the 8th it was quiet again, but on the 9th a detach 
ment of the enemy s cavalry came to the Opequon below 
Brucetown, burned some mills and retreated before a 
division of infantry sent out to meet it. 

On the 10th, my infantry moved by Bunker Hill to 
Darksville and encountered a considerable force of the 
enemy s cavalry, which was driven off, and then pursued 
by Lomax through Martinsburg across the Opequon. We 
then returned to Bunker Hill and the next day to Stephen- 
son s depot, and there was quiet on the 12th. 

On the 13th, a large force of the enemy s cavalry, 
reported to be supported by infantry, advanced on the 
road from Summit Point, and drove in our pickets from 
the Opequon, when two divisions of infantry were ad 
vanced to the front, driving the enemy across the Opequon 
again. A very sharp artillery duel across the creek then 
took place and some of my infantry crossed over, when 
the enemy retired. 

On the 14th, General Anderson again started, with 
Kershaw s division and Cutshaw s battalion of artillery, 
to cross the Blue Ridge by the way of Front Royal, and 
was not molested. Fitz. Lee s cavalry was left with me, 
and Ramseur s division was moved to Winchester to 
occupy Kershaw s position. 

There was an affair between one of Kershaw s bri 
gades and a division of the enemy s cavalry, while I was 
at Fisher s Hill and Anderson at Front Royal, in which 
some prisoners were lost; and two affairs in which the 
outposts from Kershaw s command were attacked and 
captured by the enemy s cavalry, one in front of Win 
chester and the other in front of Charlestown; which I 
have not undertaken to detail, as they occurred when 
General Anderson was controlling the operations of that 
division, but it is proper to refer to them here as part of 
the operations in the Valley. On the 15th and 16th my 
troops remained in camp undisturbed. 

The positions of the opposing forces were now as 
follows: Ramseur s division and Nelson s battalion of 



artillery were on the road from Berryville to Winchester, 
one mile from the latter place. Rodes , Gordon s and 
Wharton s divisions (the last two being under Brecken- 
ridge), and Braxton s and King s battalions of artillery 
were at Stephenson s depot on the Winchester & Poto 
mac Railroad, which is six miles from Winchester. 
Lomax s cavalry picketed in my front on the Opequon, 
and on my left from that stream to North Mountain, while 
Fitz. Lee s cavalry watched the right, having small 
pickets across to the Shenandoah. Four principal roads, 
from positions, centred at Stephenson s depot, to wit: 
the Martinsburg road, the road from Charlestown via 
Smithfield, the road from the same place via Summit 
Point, and the road from Berryville via Jordan s Springs. 
Sheridan s main force was near Berryville, at the en 
trenched position which has been mentioned, while Averill 
was at Martinsburg with a division of cavalry. Berry 
ville is ten miles from Winchester, nearly east, and Mar 
tinsburg twenty-two miles nearly north. The crossing of 
the Opequon on the Berryville road is four or five miles 
from Winchester. From Berryville there are two good 
roads via White Post to the Valley Pike at Newtown and 
Middletown, the last two roads running east of the Ope 
quon. The whole country is very open, being a lime 
stone country which is thickly settled and well cleared, 
and affords great facilities for the movement of troops 
and the operations of cavalry. From the enemy s fortifi 
cations on Maryland Heights, the country north and east 
of Winchester, and the main roads through it are exposed 
to view. 

The relative positions which we occupied rendered 
my communications to the rear very much exposed, but 
I could not avoid it without giving up the lower Valley. 
The object of my presence there was to keep up a threat 
ening attitude towards Maryland and Pennsylvania, and 
prevent the use of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, as well as to keep as large 
a force as possible from Grant s army to defend the 



Federal Capital. Had Sheridan, by a prompt movement, 
thrown his whole force on the line of my communications, 
I would have been compelled to attempt to cut my way 
through, as there was no escape for me to the right or 
left, and my force was too weak to cross the Potomac 
while he was in my rear. I knew my danger, but I could 
occupy no other position that would have enabled me to 
accomplish the desired object. 

If I had moved up the Valley at all, I could not have 
stopped short of New Market, for between that place and 
the country, in which I was, there was no forage for my 
horses ; and this would have enabled the enemy to resume 
the use of the railroad and canal, and return all the 
troops from Grant s army to him. Being compelled to 
occupy the position where I was, and being aware of its 
danger as well as apprised of the fact that very great 
odds were opposed to me, my only resource was to use my 
forces so as to display them at different points with great 
rapidity, and thereby keep up the impression that they 
were much larger than they really were. The events of 
the last month had satisfied me that the commander 
opposed to me was without enterprise, and possessed an 
excessive caution which amounted to timidity. If it was 
his policy to produce the impression that his force was 
too weak to fight me, he did not succeed, but if it was to 
convince me that he was not an energetic commander, his 
strategy was a complete success, and subsequent events 
have not changed^my opinion. 

My. infantry force at this time consisted of the three 
divisions of the 2nd Corps of the Army of Northern Vir 
ginia, and Wharton s division of Breckenridge s com 
mand. The 2nd corps numbered a little over 8,000 
muskets when it was detached in pursuit of Hunter, and 
it had now been reduced to about 7,000 muskets, by long 
and rapid marches, and the various encampments and 
skirmishes in which it had participated. Wharton s 
division had been reduced to about 1,700 muskets by the 
same causes. Making a small allowance for details and 



those unfit for duty, I had about 8,500 muskets for duty. 

When I returned from Maryland, my cavalry con 
sisted of the remnants of five small brigades, to wit: 
Imboden s, McCausland s, Johnson s, Jackson s and 
Vaughan s. Vaughan s had now been ordered to South 
western Virginia, most of the men having left without 
permission. The surprise and rout of McCausland s and 
Johnson s brigades by Averill at Moorefield had resulted 
in the loss of a considerable number of horses and men, 
and such had been the loss in all the brigades, in the 
various fights and skirmishes in which they had been 
engaged, that the whole of this cavalry, now under 
Lomax, numbered only about 1,700 mounted men. Fitz. 
Lee had brought with him two brigades, to wit: Wick- 
ham s and Lomax s old brigade (now under Colonel 
Payne), numbering about 1,200 mounted men. I had 
three battalions of artillery which had been with me near 
Washington, and Fitz. Lee had brought a few pieces of 
horse artillery. When I speak of divisions and brigades 
of my troops, it must be understood that they were mere 
skeletons of those organizations. 

Since my return from Maryland, my supplies had been 
obtained principally from the lower Valley and the coun 
ties west of it, and the money which was obtained by 
contributions in Maryland was used for that purpose. 
Nearly the whole of our bread was obtained by threshing 
the wheat and then having it ground, by details from my 
command, and it sometimes happened that while my 
troops were fighting, the very flour which was to furnish 
them with bread for their next meal was being ground 
under the protection of their guns. Latterly our flour had 
been obtained from the upper Valley, but also by details 
sent for that purpose. The horses and mules, including 
the cavalry horses, were sustained almost entirely by 

I have no means of stating with accuracy Sheridan s 
force, and can only form an estimate from such data as 
I have been able to procure. Citizens who had seen his 



force stated that it was the largest which they had ever 
seen in the Valley on either side, and some estimated it as 
high as 60,000 or 70,000, but of course I made allowance 
for the usual exaggeration of inexperienced men. My 
estimate is from the following data: in Grant s letter to 
Hunter, dated at Monocacy, August 5th, 1864, and con 
tained in the report of the former, is the following state 
ment: "In detailing such a force, the brigade of cavalry 
now en route from Washington via Rockville may be 
taken into account. There are now on their way to join 
you three other brigades of the best cavalry, numbering at 
least 5,000 men and horses. " Sheridan relieved Hunter 
on the 6th, and Grant says in his report, "On the 7th of 
August, the Middle Department and the Departments of 
West Virginia, Washington and the Susquehanna were 
constituted into the Middle Military division, and Major 
General Sheridan was assigned to the temporary com 
mand of the same. Two divisions of cavalry, commanded 
by Generals Torbert and Wilson, were sent to Sheridan 
from the Army of the Potomac. The first reached him 
at Harper s Ferry on the llth of August." 

Before this cavalry was sent to the Valley, there was 
already a division there commanded by Averill, besides 
some detachments which belonged to the Department of 
West Virginia. A book containing the official reports of 
the chief surgeon of the cavalry corps of Sheridan s 
army which was subsequently captured at Cedar Creek 
on the 19th of October, showed that there were present 
for duty in that corps, during the first week in September, 
10,000 men. The extracts from Grant s report go to con 
firm this statement, as, if three brigades numbered at 
least 5,000 men and horses, the two divisions, when the 
whole of them arrived with Averill s cavalry, must have 
numbered over 10,000. 

I think, therefore, that I can safely estimate Sheri 
dan s cavalry at the battle of Winchester, on the 19th of 
September, at 10,000. His infantry consisted of the 6th, 
19th, and Crook s corps, the latter being composed of the 

27 417 


"Army of West Virginia, " and one division of the 8th 
corps. The report of Secretary Stanton shows that there 
was in the department of which the "Middle Military 
division" was composed the following "available force 
present for duty May 1st, 1864," to wit: 

Department of Washington 42,12 

Department of West Virginia 30,782 

Department of the Susquehanna 2,970 

Middle Department 5,627 

making an aggregate of 81,503 ; but, as the Federal Secre 
tary of War in the same report says, "In order to repair 
the losses of the Army of the Potomac, the chief part of 
the force designed to guard the Middle Department and 
the Department of Washington was called forward to 
the front," we may assume that 40,000 men were used 
for that purpose, which would leave 41,503, minus the 
losses in battle before Sheridan relieved Hunter in the 
Middle Military division, exclusive of the 6th and 19th 
corps, and the cavalry from. Grant s army. The infantry 
of the Army of the Potomac was composed of the 2nd, 
5th, and 6th corps, on the 1st of May, 1864, and Stanton 
says the "available force present for duty" in that army, 
on that day, was 120,386 men. Allowing 30,000 for the 
artillery and cavalry of that army, which would be a very 
liberal allowance, and there would be still left 90,385 
infantry; and it is fair to assume that the 6th corps 
numbered one-third of the infantry, that is 30,000 men on 
the 1st of May, 1864. 

If the losses of the Army of the Potomac had been 
such as to reduce the 6th corps to less than 10,000 men, 
notwithstanding the reinforcements and recruits received, 
the carnage in Grant s army must have been frightful 
indeed. The 19th corps was just from the Department of 
the Gulf and had not gone through a bloody campaign. 
A communication which was among the papers captured 
at Cedar Creek, in noticing some statement of a news 
paper correspondent in regard to the conduct of that 



corps at Winchester, designated it as " a vile slander on 
12,000 of the best soldiers in the Union army." 

In view of the foregoing data without counting the 
troops in the Middle Department and the Departments 
of Washington and the Susquehanna, and making liberal 
allowances for losses in battle, and for troops detained 
on post and garrison duty in the Department of West 
Virginia, I think that I may assume that Sheridan had 
at least 35,000 infantry against me. The troops of the 
6th corps and of the Department of West Virginia, alone, 
without counting the 19th corps, numbered on the 1st of 
May, 1864, 60,784. If with the 19th corps Sheridan 
did not have 35,000 infantry remaining from this force, 
what had become of the balance? Sheridan s artillery 
very greatly outnumbered mine, both in men and guns. 

Having been informed that a force was at work on the 
railroad at Martinsburg, I moved on the afternoon of the 
17th of September, with Bodes and Gordon s divisions, 
and Braxton s artillery, to Bunker Hill, and on the morn 
ing of the 18th with Gordon s division and a part of the 
artillery to Martinsburg, preceded by a part of Lomax s 
cavalry. Averill s division of cavalry was driven from 
the town across the Opequon in the direction of Charles- 
town, and we then returned to Bunker Hill. Gordon was 
left at Bunker Hill, with orders to move to Stephenson s 
depot by sunrise next morning, and Rodes division 
moved to the latter place that night, to which I also 
returned. At Martinsburg, where the enemy had a tele 
graph office, I learned that Grant was with Sheridan 
that day, and I expected an early move. 



AT light on the morning of the 19th, our cavalry 
pickets, at the crossing of the Opequon on the Berryville 
road, were driven in, and information having been sent me 
of that fact, I immediately ordered all the troops at 
Stephenson s depot to be in readiness to move, directions 
being given for Gordon, who had arrived from Bunker 
Hill, to move at once, but by some mistake on the part of 
my staff officer, the latter order was not delivered to 
General Breckenridge or Gordon. I rode at once to 
Ramseur s position, and found his troops in line across 
the Berryville road skirmishing with the enemy. Before 
reaching this point, I had ascertained that Gordon was 
not moving and sent back for him, and now discovering 
that the enemy s advance was a real one and in heavy 
force, I sent orders for Breckenridge and Rodes to move 
up as rapidly as possible. The position occupied by 
Ramseur was about one mile and a half out from Win 
chester, on an elevated plateau between Abraham s Creek 
and Red Bud Run. Abraham s Creek crosses the Valley 
Pike one mile south of Winchester, and then crosses the 
Front Royal road about the same distance southeast of 
the town, and running eastwardly, on the southern side 
of the Berryville road, crosses that road a short distance 
before it empties into the Opequon. 

Red Bud Run crosses the Martinsburg road about a 
mile and a half north of Winchester and runs eastwardly, 
on the northern side of the Berryville road, to the Ope 
quon. Ramseur was therefore in the obtuse angle formed 
by the Martinsburg and Front Royal roads. In front of 
and to the right of him, for some distance, the country 
was open. Abraham s Creek runs through a deep valley, 
and beyond it, on the right, is high open ground, at the 
intersection of the Front Royal and Millwood roads. To 



Ramseur s left the country sloped off to the Red Bud, 
and there were some patches of woods which afforded 
cover for troops. To the north of the Red Bud, the coun 
try is very open, affording facilities for any kind of 
troops. Towards the Opequon, on the front, the Berry- 
ville road runs through a ravine with hills and woods on 
each side, which enabled the enemy to move his troops 
under cover, and mask them out of range of artillery. 

Nelson s artillery was posted on Ramseur s line, 
covering the approaches as far as practicable, and Lomax 
with Jackson s cavalry and part of Johnson s was on the 
right, watching the valley of Abraham s Creek, and the 
Front Royal road beyond, while Fitz. Lee was on the left, 
across the Red Bud, with his cavalry and a battery of 
horse artillery; and a detachment of Johnson s cavalry 
watched the interval between Ramseur s left and the Red 
Bud. These troops held the enemy s main force in checlj 
until Gordon s and Rodes divisions arrived from 
Stephenson s depot. 

Gordon s division arrived first, a little after ten 
o clock A.M., and was placed under cover in a rear of a 
piece of woods behind the interval between Ramseur s 
line and the Red Bud, the detachment of Johnson s cav 
alry having been removed to the right. Knowing that it 
would not do for us to await the shock of the enemy s 
attack, Gordon was directed to examine the ground on the 
left, with a view to attacking a force of the enemy which 
had taken position in a piece of wood in front of him, and 
while he was so engaged, Rodes arrived with three of his 
brigades, and was directed to form on Gordon s right in 
rear of another piece of woods. While this movement 
was executed, we discovered very heavy columns of the 
enemy, which had been massed under cover between the 
Red Bud and the Berryville road, moving to attack Rarn- 
seur on his left flank, while another force pressed him 
in front. It was a moment of imminent and thrilling 
danger, as it was impossible for Ramseur s division, 



which numbered only about 1,700 muskets, to withstand 
the immense force advancing against it. 

The only chance for us was to hurl Rodes and Gordon 
upon the flank of the advancing columns, and they were 
ordered forward at once to the attack. They advanced 
in most gallant style through the woods into the open 
ground, and attacked with great vigor, while Nelson s 
battery on the right, and Braxton s on the left, opened a 
destructive fire. But Evans 1 brigade of Gordon s divis 
ion, which was on the extreme left of our infantry, re 
ceived a check from a column of the enemy, and was 
forced back through the woods from behind which it had 
advanced, the enemy following to the very rear of the 
woods, and to within musket range of seven pieces of 
Braxton s artillery which were without support. 

This caused a pause in our advance and the position 
was most critical, for it was apparent that unless this 
force was driven back the day was lost. Braxton s guns, 
in which now was our only hope, resolutely stood their 
ground, and under the personal superintendence of 
Lieutenant Colonel Braxton and Colonel T. H. Carter, my 
then Chief of Artillery, opened with canister on the 
enemy. This fire was so rapid and well directed that the 
enemy staggered, halted, and^ commenced falling back, 
leaving a battle flag on the ground, whose bearer was 
cut down by a canister shot. Just then, Battle s brigade 
of Rodes division, which had arrived and been formed in 
line for the purpose of advancing to the support of the 
rest of the division, moved forward and swept through 
the woods, driving the enemy before it, while Evans bri 
gade was rallied and brought back to the charge. 

Our advance, which had been suspended for a moment, 
was resumed, and the enemy s attacking columns were 
thrown into great confusion and driven from the field. 
This attacking force of the enemy proved to be the 6th 
and 19th corps, and it was a grand sight to see this 
immense body hurled back in utter disorder before my 
two divisions, numbering a very little over 5,000 muskets. 



Ramseur s division had received the shock of the 
enemy s attack, and been forced back a little, but soon 
recovered itself. Lomax, on the right, had held the 
enemy s cavalry in check, and, with a part of his force, 
had made a gallant charge against a body of infantry, 
when Ramseur s line was being forced back, thus aiding 
the latter in recovering from the momentary disorder. 
Fitz. Lee on the left, from across the Red Bud, had poured 
a galling fire into the enemy s columns with his sharp 
shooters and horse artillery, while Nelson s and Brax- 
ton s battalions had performed wonders. 

This affair occurred about 11 A.M., and a splendid 
victory had been gained. The ground in front was strewn 
with the enemy s dead and wounded, and some prisoners 
had been taken. But on our side, Major General Rodes 
had been killed, in the very moment of triumph, while 
conducting the attack of his division with great gallantry 
and skill, and this was a heavy blow to me. Brigadier 
General Godwin of Ramseur s division had been killed, 
and Brigadier General York of Gordon s division had 
lost an arm. Other brave men and officers had fallen, 
and we could illy bear the loss of any of them. 

Had I then had a fresh body of troops to push our 
victory," the day would have been ours, but in this action, 
in the early part of the day, Miad present only about 
7,000 muskets, about 2,000 cavalry and two battalions of 
artillery with about 30 guns ; and they had all been en 
gaged. Wharton s division and King s artillery had not 
arrived, and Imboden s cavalry under Colonel Smith, and 
McCausland s under Colonel Ferguson, were watching 
the enemy s cavalry on the right, on the Martinsburg road 
and the Opequon. The enemy had a fresh corps which 
had not been engaged, and there remained his heavy force 
of cavalry. Our lines were now formed across from 
Abraham s Creek to Red Bud and were very attenuated. 
The enemy was still to be seen in front in formidable 
force, and away to our right, across Abraham s Creek, 
at the junction of the Front Royal and Millwood roads, 



he had massed a division of cavalry with some artillery, 
overlapping us at least a mile, while the country was open 
between this force and the Valley Pike and Cedar Creek 
Pike back of the latter ; which roads furnished my only 
means of retreat in the event of disaster. My line did 
not reach the Front Royal road on the right or the 
Martinsburg road on the left. 

When the order was sent for the troops to move from 
Stephenson s depot, General Breckenridge had moved to 
the front, with Wharton s division and King s artillery, 
to meet a cavalry force, which had driven our pickets 
from the Opequon on the Charlestown road, and that 
division had become heavily engaged with the enemy, and 
sustained and repulsed several determined charges of 
his cavalry, while his own flanks were in great danger 
from the enemy s main force on the right, and a column 
of his cavalry moving up the Martinsburg road on the 
left. After much difficulty, and some hard fighting, 
General Breckenridge succeeded in extricating his force, 
and moving up the Martinsburg road to join me, but he 
did not reach the field until about two o clock in the 

In the meantime there had been heavy skirmishing 
along the line, and the reports from the front were that 
the enemy was massing for another attack, but it was 
impossible to tell where it would fall. As the danger 
from the enemy s cavalry on the right was very great and 
Lomax s force very weak, Wickham s brigade of Fitz. 
Lee s cavalry had been sent from the left to Lomax s 
assistance. When Wharton s division arrived, Patton s 
brigade of that division was left to aid Fitz. Lee in guard 
ing the Martinsburg road, against the force of cavalry 
which was advancing on that road watched by Lomax s 
two small brigades; and the rest of the division in the 
centre, in order to be moved to any point that might be 
attacked. Late in the afternoon two divisions of the 
enemy s cavalry drove in the small force which had been 
watching it on the Martinsburg road, and Crook s corps, 



which had not been engaged, advanced at the same time 
on that flank, on the north side of Eed Bud, and, before 
this overwhelming force, Patton s brigade of infantry 
and Payne s brigade of cavalry under Fitz. Lee were 
forced back. 

A considerable force of the enemy s cavalry then 
swept along the Martinsburg road to the very skirts of 
Winchester, thus getting in the rear of our left flank. 
Wliarton s two other brigades were moved in double 
quick time to the left and rear, and making a gallant 
charge on the enemy s cavalry, with the aid of King s ar 
tillery, and some of Braxton s guns which were turned to 
the rear, succeeded in driving it back. The division was 
then thrown into line by General Breckenridge, in rear of 
our left and at right angles with the Martinsburg road, 
and another charge of the enemy s cavalry was hand 
somely repulsed. But many of the men on our front line, 
hearing the fire in the rear, and thinking they were 
flanked and about to be cut off, commenced falling back, 
thus producing great confusion. At the same time Crook 
advanced against our left, and Gordon threw Evans bri 
gade into line to meet him, but the disorder in the front 
line became so great that, after an obstinate resistance, 
that brigade was compelled to retire also. 

The whole front line had now given way, but a large 
portion of the men were rallied and formed behind an 
indifferent line of breastworks, which had been made just 
outside of Winchester during the first year of the war, 
and, with the aid of the artillery which was brought back 
to this position, the progress of the enemy s infantry was 
arrested. Wharton s division maintained its organiza 
tion on the left, and Ramseur fell back in good order on 
the right. Wickham s brigade of cavalry had been 
brought from the right, and was in position on Fort 
Hill just outside of Winchester on the west. Just after 
the advance of the enemy s infantry was checked by our 
artillery, it was reported to me that the enemy had got 
around our right flank, and as I knew this was practicable 



and was expecting such a movement from the cavalry on 
the Front Royal road, I gave the order to retire, but in 
stantly discovering that the supposed force of the enemy 
was Ramseur s division, which had merely moved back 
to keep in line with the other troops, I gave the order 
for the latter to return to the works before they had 
moved twenty paces. 

This order was obeyed by Wharton s division, but not 
so well by the others. The enemy s cavalry force, how 
ever, was too large for us, and having the advantage of 
open ground, it again succeeded in getting around our 
left, producing great confusion, for which there was no 
remedy. Nothing now was left for us but to retire 
through Winchester, and Ramseur s division, which main 
tained its organization, was moved on the east of the town 
to the south side of it, and put in position, forming a basis 
for a new line, while the other troops moved back through 
the town. Wickham s brigade, with some pieces of horse 
artillery on Fort Hill, covered this movement and checked 
the pursuit of the enemy s cavalry. When the new line 
was formed, the enemy s advance was checked until night 
fall, and we then retired to Newtown without serious 
molestation. Lomax had held the enemy s cavalry on the 
Front Royal road in check, and a feeble attempt at pur 
suit was repulsed by Ramseur near Kernstown. 

As soon as our reverse began, orders had been sent 
for the removal of the trains, stores and sick and wounded 
in the hospitals to Fisher s Hill over the Cedar Creek 
Pike and the Back Road. This was done with safety, and 
all the wounded, except such as were not in a condition 
to be moved, and those which had not been brought from 
the field, were carried to the rear. 

This battle, beginning with the skirmishing in Ram 
seur s front, had lasted from daylight till dark, and, at 
the close of it, we had been forced back two miles, after 
having repulsed the enemy s first attack with great 
slaughter to him and subsequently contested every inch 
of ground with unsurpassed obstinacy. We deserved 



the victory, and would have had it, but for the enemy s 
immense superiority in cavalry, which alone gave it to 

Three pieces of King s artillery, from which the 
horses were shot, and which, therefore, could not be 
brought off, were lost, but the enemy claimed five, and if 
he captured that number, two were lost by the cavalry and 
not reported to me. My loss in killed, wounded and 
prisoners was severe for the size of my force, but it was 
only a fraction of that claimed by the enemy. Owing to 
its obedience to orders in returning to the works, the 
heaviest loss of prisoners was in Wharton s division. 
Colonel G. W. Patton, commanding a brigade, was mor 
tally wounded and fell into the hands of the enemy; 
Major General Fitz. Lee was also severely wounded. In 
the death of Major General Eodes, I had to regret the 
loss, not only of a most accomplished, skilful and gallant 
officer, upon whom I placed great reliance, but also of a 
personal friend, whose counsels had been of great service 
to me in the trying circumstances with which I had found 
myself surrounded. He fell at his post, doing a soldier s 
and patriot s duty to his country, and his memory will 
long be cherished by his comrades. General Godwin and 
Colonel Patton were both most gallant and efficient offi 
cers, and their loss was deeply felt, as was that of all 
the brave officers and men who fell in this battle. The 
enemy s loss in killed and wounded was very heavy, and 
some prisoners fell into our hands. 

A skilful and energetic commander of the enemy s 
forces would have crushed Eamseur before any assistance 
could have reached him, and thus ensured the destruction 
of my whole force ; and later in the day, when the battle 
had turned against us, with the immense superiority in 
cavalry which Sheridan had, and the advantage of the 
open country, would have destroyed my whole force and 
captured everything I had. As it was, considering the 
immense disparity in numbers and equipment, the enemy 
had very little to boast of. I had lost a few pieces of 



artillery and some very valuable officers and men, but the 
main part of my force and all my trains had been saved, 
and the enemy s loss in killed and wounded was far 
greater than mine. When I look back to this battle, I can 
but attribute my escape from utter annihilation to the 
incapacity of my opponent.* 

* The enemy has called this battle " The Battle of the Opequon," 
but I know of no claim it has to that title, unless it be in the fact 
that, after his repulse in the forepart of the day, some of his troops 
ran back across that stream. 



AT light on the morning of the 20th, my troops moved 
to Fisher s Hill without molestation from the enemy, 
and again took position at that point on the old line 
Wharton s division being on the right, then Gordon s, 
Bamseur s and Bodes , in the order in which they are 
mentioned. Fitz. Lee s cavalry, now under Brigadier 
General Wickham, was sent up the Luray Valley to a 
narrow pass at Millwood, to try to hold that valley 
against the enemy s cavalry. General Bamseur was 
transferred to the command of Bodes division, and 
Brigadier General Pegram, who had reported for duty 
about the 1st of August, and been in command of his 
brigade since that time, was left in command of the divis 
ion previously commanded by Bamseur. My infantry 
was not able to occupy the whole line at Fisher s Hill, 
notwithstanding it was extended out in an attenuated line, 
with considerable intervals. The greater part of Lomax s 
cavalry was therefore dismounted, and placed on Bam 
seur s left, near Little North Mountain, but the line could 
not then be fully occupied. 

This was the only position in the whole Valley where 
a defensive line could be taken against an enemy moving 
up the Valley, and it had several weak points. To have 
retired beyond this point would have rendered it neces 
sary for me to fall back to some of the gaps of the Blue 
Bidge, at the upper part of the Valley, and I determined 
therefore to make a show of a stand here, with the hopes 
that the enemy would be deterred from attacking me in 
this position, as had been the case in August. 

On the second day after our arrival at this place, 
General Breckenridge received orders from Bichmond, 
by telegraph, to return to Southwestern Virginia, and 
I lost the benefit of his services. He had ably co-operated 



with me, and our personal relations had been of the most 
pleasant character. 

In the afternoon of the 20th, Sheridan s forces ap 
peared on the banks of Cedar Creek, about four miles 
from Fisher s Hill, and the 21st, and the greater part of 
the 22nd, were consumed by him in reconnoitring and 
gradually moving his forces to my front under cover of 
breastworks. After some sharp skirmishing, he attained 
a strong position immediately in my front and fortified it, 
and I began to think he was satisfied with the advantage 
he had gained and would not probably press it further; 
but on the afternoon of the 22nd, I discovered that an 
other attack was contemplated, and orders were given for 
my troops to retire, after dark, as I knew my force was 
not strong enough to resist a determined assault. Just 
before sunset, however, Crook s corps, which had moved 
to our left on the side of Little North Mountain, and 
under cover of the woods, forced back Lomax s dis 
mounted cavalry and advanced against Ramseur s left. 

Ramseur made an attempt to meet this movement by 
throwing his brigades successively into line to the left, 
and Wharton s division was sent for from the right, but 
it did not arrive. Pegram s brigades were also thrown 
into line in the same manner as Ramseur s, but the move 
ment produced some disorder in both divisions, and as 
soon as it was observed by the enemy, he advanced along 
his whole line and the mischief could not be remedied. 
After a very brief contest, my whole force retired in 
considerable confusion, but the men and officers of the 
artillery behaved with great coolness, fighting to the very 
last, and I had to ride to some of the officers and order 
them to withdraw their guns, before they would move. 
In some cases, they had held out so long, and the roads 
leading from their positions into the Pike were so rugged, 
that eleven guns fell into the hands of the enemy. Vigor 
ous pursuit was not made, and my force fell back through 
Woodstock to a place called the Narrow Passage, all the 
trains being carried off safely. 



Our loss in killed and wounded in this affair was 
slight, but some prisoners were taken by the enemy, the 
most of whom were captured while attempting to make 
their way across the North Fork to Massanutten Moun 
tain, under the impression that the enemy had possession 
of the Valley Pike in our rear. I had the misfortune to 
lose my Adjutant General, Lieutenant Colonel A. S. Pen- 
die ton, a gallant and efficient young officer, who had 
served on General Jackson s staff during his Valley cam 
paign, and subsequently to the time of the latter s death. 
Colonel Pendleton fell mortally wounded about dark, 
while posting a force across the Pike, a little in rear of 
Fisher s Hill, to check the enemy. He was acting with 
his accustomed gallantry, and his loss was deeply felt 
and regretted. 


ON the morning of the 23rd, I moved back to Mount 
Jackson, where I halted to enable the sick and wounded, 
and the hospital stores at that place to be carried off. In 
the afternoon Averill s division of cavalry came up in 
pursuit, and after some heavy skirmishing was driven 
back. I then moved to Rude s Hill between Mount Jack 
son and New Market. 

On the morning of the 24th, a body of the enemy s 
cavalry crossed the North Fork below Mount Jackson, 
and attempted to get around my right flank, but was held 
in check. The enemy s infantry soon appeared at Mount 
Jackson, and commenced moving around my left flank, on 
the opposite side of the river from that on which my left 
rested. As the country was entirely open, and Rude s 
Hill an elevated position, I could see the whole movement 
of the enemy, and as soon as it was fully developed, I 
commenced retiring in line of battle, and in that manner 
retired through New Market to a point at which the road 
to Port Republic leaves the Valley Pike, nine miles from 
Rude s Hill. 

This movement was made through an entirely open 
country, and at every mile or two a halt was made, and 
artillery opened on the enemy, who was pursuing, which 
compelled him to commence deploying into line, when the 
retreat would be resumed. In this retreat, under fire in 
line, which is so trying to a retiring force, and tests the 
best qualities of the soldier, the conduct of my troops 
was most admirable, and they preserved perfect order 
and their line intact, notwithstanding their diminished 
numbers, and the fact that the enemy was pursuing in 
full force, and every now and then dashing up with horse 
artillery under the support of cavalry, and opening on the 
retiring lines. At the last halt, which was at a place 



called " Tenth Legion, " near where the Port Republic 
road leaves the Pike, and was a little before sunset, I 
determined to resist any further advance so as to enable 
my trains to get on the Port Republic road; and skir 
mishers were sent out and artillery opened on the ad 
vancing enemy, but after some skirmishing, he went into 
camp in our view, and beyond the reach of our guns. At 
this point a gallant officer of artillery, Captain Massie, 
was killed by a shell. As soon as it was dark, we retired 
five miles on the Port Republic road and bivouacked. 

In the morning Lomax s cavalry had been posted to 
our left, on the Middle and Back Roads from Mount Jack 
son to Harrisonburg, but it was forced back by a superior 
force of the enemy s cavalry, and retired to the latter 
place in considerable disorder. Wickham s brigade had 
been sent for from the Luray Valley to join me through 
the New Market Gap, but it arrived at that gap just as 
we were retiring through New Market, and orders were 
sent for it to return to the Luray Valley, and join me at 
Port Republic. In the meantime, Payne s small brigade 
had been driven from Millf ord by two divisions of cavalry 
under Torbert, which had moved up the Luray Valley, 
and subsequently joined Sheridan through the New 
Market Gap. This cavalry had been detained by Wick- 
ham with his and Payne s brigades, at Millf ord, a suffi 
cient time to enable us to pass New Market in safety. 
If, however, it had moved up the Luray Valley by Con 
rad s store, we would have been in a critical condition. 

On the morning of the 25th, we moved towards Port 
Republic, which is in the fork of the South Fork and 
South River, and where the road through Brown s Gap 
in the Blue Ridge crosses those rivers, in order to unite 
with Kershaw s division which had been ordered to join 
me from Culpeper Court-House. We crossed the river 
below the junction, and took position between Port Re 
public and Brown s Gap. Fitz. Lee s and Lomax s cav 
alry joined us here, and on the 26th, Kershaw s division 
with Cutshaw s battalion of artillery came up, after 

28 433 


having crossed through Swift Run Gap, and encountered 
and repulsed, below Port Republic, a body of the enemy s 
cavalry. There was likewise heavy skirmishing on my 
front on the 26th with the enemy s cavalry, which made 
two efforts to advance towards Brown s Gap, both of 
which were repulsed after brisk fighting in which artillery 
was used. 

Having ascertained that the enemy s infantry had 
halted at Harrisonburg, on the morning of the 27th, I 
moved out and drove a division of his cavalry from Port 
Republic, and then encamped in the fork of the rivers. I 
here learned that two divisions of cavalry under Torbert 
had been sent through Staunton to Waynesboro, and were 
engaged in destroying the railroad bridge in the latter 
place, and the tunnel through the Blue Ridge at Rock-fish 
Gap, and on the 28th I moved for those points. In mak 
ing this movement I had the whole of the enemy s infan 
try on my right, while one division of cavalry was in my 
rear and two in my front, and on the left was the Blue 
Ridge. I had therefore to move with great circum 

Wickham s brigade of cavalry was sent up South 
River, near the mountain, to get between the enemy and 
Rock-fish Gap, while the infantry moved in two columns, 
one up South River, with the trains guarded in front by 
Pegram s and Wharton s divisions, and in rear by Ram- 
seur s division, and the other, composed of Kershaw s 
and Gordon s divisions with the artillery, on the right 
through Mount Meridian, Piedmont and New Hope. Mc- 
Causland s cavalry, under Colonel Ferguson, was left to 
blockade and hold Brown s Gap, while Lomax, with the 
rest of his cavalry and Payne s brigade, watched the 
right flank and rear. Wickham s brigade, having got 
between Rock-fish Gap and Waynesboro, drove the 
enemy s working parties from the latter place, and took 
position on a ridge in front of it, when a sharp artillery 
fight ensued. Pegram s division, driving a small body of 
cavalry before it, arrived just at night and advanced upon 



the enemy, when he retired in great haste, taking the 
roads through Staunton and west of the Valley Pike, 
back to the main body. A company of reserves, com 
posed of boys under 18 years of age, which had been 
employed on special duty at Staunton, had gone to Rock- 
fish Gap, and another company of reserves from Char- 
lottesville, with two pieces of artillery, had moved to 
the same point, and when the enemy advanced towards 
the tunnel and before he got in range of the guns, they 
were opened and he retired to Waynesboro. 

On the 29th and 30th, we rested at Waynesboro, and 
an engineer party was put to work repairing the bridge, 
which had been but partially destroyed. 

On the 1st of October, I moved my whole force across 
the country to Mount Sidney on the Valley Pike, and took 
position between that place and North Eiver, the enemy s 
forces having been concentrated around Harrisonburg, 
and on the north bank of the river. In this position we 
remained until the 6th, awaiting the arrival of Rosser s 
brigade of cavalry, which was on its way from General 
Lee s army. In the meantime there was some skirmishing 
with the enemy s cavalry on the North River, at the 
bridge near Mount Crawford and at Bridgewater above. 

On the 5th, Rosser s brigade arrived and was tem 
porarily attached to Fitz. Lee s division, of which Rosser 
was given the command, as Brigadier General Wickham 
had resigned. The horses of Rosser s brigade had been 
so much reduced by previous hard service and the long 
march from Richmond, that the brigade did not exceed 
six hundred mounted men for duty, when it joined me. 
Kershaw s division numbered 2,700 muskets for duty and 
he had brought with him Cutshaw s battalion of artillery. 
These reinforcements about made up my losses at Win 
chester and Fisher s Hill, and I determined to attack 
the enemy in his position at Harrisonburg, and for that 
purpose made a reconnaissance on the 5th, but on the 
morning of the 6th it was discovered that he had retired 
during the night down the Valley. 



When it was discovered that the enemy was retiring, 
I moved forward at once and arrived at New Market 
with my infantry on the 7th. Rosser pushed forward 
on the Back and Middle roads in pursuit of the enemy s 
cavalry, which was engaged in burning houses, mills, 
barns, and stacks of wheat and hay, and had several 
skirmishes with it, while Lomax also moved down the 
Valley in pursuit, and skirmished successfully with the 
enemy s cavalry on the 8th; but on the 9th they encoun 
tered his whole cavalry force at Tom s Brook, in rear of 
Fisher s Hill, and both of their commands were driven 
back in considerable confusion, with a loss of some pieces 
of artillery, nine were reported to me as the number 
lost, but Grant claims eleven. Rosser rallied his com 
mand on the Back Road, at Columbia furnace opposite 
Edinburg, but a part of the enemy s cavalry swept along 
the Pike to Mount Jackson, and then retired on the 
approach of a part of my infantry. On the 10th, Rosser 
established his line of pickets across the Valley from 
Columbia Furnace to Edinburg, and on the llth Lomax 
was sent to the Luray Valley to take position at Millf ord. 



HAVING heard that Sheridan was preparing to send 
part of his troops to Grant, I moved down the Valley 
again on the 12th. On the morning of the 13th we reached 
Fisher s Hill, and I moved with part of my command to 
Hupp s Hill, between Strasburg and Cedar Creek, for the 
purpose of reconnoitring. The enemy was found posted 
on the north bank of Cedar Creek in strong force, and 
while we were observing him, without displaying any of 
my force except a small body of cavalry, a division of his 
infantry was moved out to his left and stacked arms 
in an open field, when a battery of artillery was run out 
suddenly and opened on this division, scattering it in 
great confusion. 

The enemy then displayed a large force, and sent a 
division across the creek to capture guns which had been 
opened on him, but when it had advanced near enough, 
Conner s brigade of Kershaw s division was sent forward 
to meet this division, and after a sharp contest drove it 
back in considerable confusion and with severe loss. 
Conner s brigade behaved very handsomely indeed, but 
unfortunately, after the enemy had been entirely re 
pulsed, Brigadier General Conner, a most accomplished 
and gallant officer, lost his leg by a shell from the opposite 
side of the creek. Some prisoners were taken from the 
enemy in this affair, and Colonel Wells, the division com 
mander, fell into our hands mortally wounded. The 
object of the reconnaissance having been accomplished, I 
moved back to Fisher s Hill, and I subsequently learned 
that the 6th corps had started for Grant s army but was 
brought back after this affair. 

I remained at Fisher s Hill until the 16th observing 
the enemy, with the hope that he would move back from 
his very strong position on the north of Cedar Creek, and 



that we would be able to get at him in a different position, 
but he did not give any indications of an intention to 
move, nor did he evince any purpose of attacking us, 
though the two positions were in sight of each other. 
In the meantime there was some skirmishing at Hupp s 
Hill, and some with the cavalry at Cedar Creek on the 
Back Eoad. On the 16th Rosser s scouts reported a 
brigade of the enemy s cavalry encamped on the Back 
Road, and detached from the rest of his force, and 
Rosser was permitted to go that night, with a brigade of 
infantry mounted behind the same number of cavalry, 
to attempt the surprise and capture of the camp. He 
succeeded in surrounding and surprising the camp, but 
it proved to be that of only a strong picket, the whole 
of which was captured the brigade having moved its 

At light on the morning of the 7th, the whole of my 
troops were moved out in front of our lines, for the pur 
pose of covering Rosser s return in case of difficulty, 
and, after he had returned, General Gordon was sent 
with a brigade of his division to Hupp s Hill, for the 
purpose of ascertaining, by close inspection, whether the 
enemy s position was fortified, and he returned with the 
information that it was. I was now compelled to move 
back for want of provisions and forage, or attack the 
enemy in his position with the hope of driving him from 
it, and I determined to attack. As I was not strong 
enough to attack the fortified position in front, I deter 
mined to get around one of the enemy s flanks and attack 
him by surprise if I could. 

After General Gordon s return from Hupp s Hill, he 
and Captain Hotchkiss, my topographical engineer, were 
sent to the signal station on the end of Massanutten 
Mountain, which had been re-established, for the purpose 
of examining the enemy s position from that point, and 
General Pegram was ordered to go as near as he could 
to Cedar Creek on the enemy s right flank, and see 
whether it was practicable to surprise him on that flank. 



Captain Hotchkiss returned to my headquarters after 
dark, and reported the result of his and General Gordon s 
examination, and he gave me a sketch of the enemy s 
position and camps. He informed me that the enemy s 
left flank, which rested near Cedar Creek, a short distance 
above its mouth, was lightly picketed, and that there was 
but a small cavalry picket on the North Fork of the 
Shenandoah, below the mouth of the creek, and he stated 
that, from information he had received, he thought it 
was practicable to move a column of infantry between the 
base of the mountain and the river, to a ford below the 
mouth of the creek. He also informed me that the main 
body of the enemy s cavalry was on his right flank on 
the Back Road to Winchester. 

The sketch made by Captain Hotchkiss, which proved 
to be correct, designated the roads in the enemy s rear, 
and the house of a Mr. Cooley at a favorable point for 
forming an attacking column, after it crossed the river, 
in order to move against the enemy and strike him on the 
Valley Pike in rear of his works. Upon this information, 
I determined to attack the enemy by moving over the 
ground designated by Captain Hotchkiss, if it should 
prove practicable to move a column between the base of 
the mountain and the river. Next morning, General Gor 
don confirmed the report of Captain Hotchkiss, express 
ing confidence that the attack could be sucessfully made 
on the enemy s left and rear, and General Pegram re 
ported that a movement on the enemy s right flank would 
be attended with great difficulty, as the banks of Cedar 
Creek on that flank were high and precipitous and were 
well guarded. General Gordon and Captain Hotchkiss 
were then sent to examine and ascertain the practicability 
of the route at the base of the mountain, and General 
Pegram, at his request, was permitted to go to the signal 
station on the mountain to examine the enemy s position 
himself from that point. Directions were given, in the 
meantime, for everything to be in readiness to move that 
night (the 18th) and the division commanders were re- 



quested to be at my quarters at two o clock in the after 
noon, to receive their final instructions. 

The river makes a circuit to the left in front of the 
right of the position at Fisher s Hill and around by Stras- 
burg, leaving a considerable body of land between it and 
the mountain, on which are several farms. Whenever 
Fisher s Hill had been occupied by us, this bend of the 
river had been occupied by a portion of our cavalry, to 
prevent the enemy from turning the right of the position, 
and it was now occupied by Colonel Payne with his 
cavalry, numbering about 300. In order to make the 
contemplated movement, it was necessary to cross the 
river into this bend, and then pass between the foot of 
the mountain and the river below Strasburg, where the 
passage was very narrow, and across the river again 
below the mouth of Cedar Creek. The enemy s camps 
and position were visible from a signal station on Round 
Hill in rear of Fisher s Hill, and had been examined 
by me from that point, but the distance was too great to 
see with distinctness. From the station on the mountain, 
which immediately overlooked the enemy s left, the view 
was very distinct, but I could not go to that point myself, 
as the ascent was very rugged, and it required several 
hours to go and come, and I could not leave my command 
for that time. I had, therefore, necessarily, to rely on 
the reports of my officers. 

General Gordon and Captain Hotchkiss, on their re 
turn, reported the route between the mountain and river, 
which was a blind path, to be impracticable for infantry, 
but not for artillery, and a temporary bridge was con 
structed under Captain Hotchkiss superintendence, at 
the first crossing of the river on our right. 

The plan of attack on which I determined was to send 
the three divisions of the 2nd corps, to wit: Gordon s, 
Ramseur s and Pegram sounder General Gordon, over the 
route which has been specified to the enemy s rear, to 
make the attack at five o clock in the morning, which 
would be a little before daybreak to move myself, with 



Kershaw s and Wharton s divisions, and all the artillery, 
along the Pike through Strasburg, and attack the enemy 
on the front and left flank as soon as Gordon should 
become engaged, and for Rosser to move with his own 
and Wickham s brigade, on the Back Road across Cedar 
Creek, and attack the enemy s cavalry simultaneously 
with Gordon s attack, while Lomax should move by Front 
Royal, across the river, and come to the Valley Pike, 
so as to strike the enemy wherever he might be, of which 
he was to judge by the sound of the firing. 

At two o clock P.M. all the division commanders, ex 
cept Pegram, who had not returned from the mountain, 
came to my headquarters, and I gave them their instruc 
tions. Gordon was directed to cross over the bend of the 
river immediately after dark; and move to the foot of the 
mountain, where he would rest his troops, and move from 
there in time to cross the river again and get in position 
at Cooley s house in the enemy s rear, so as to make 
the attack at the designated hour, and he was instructed, 
in advancing to the attack, to move for a house on the 
west side of the Valley Pike called the " Belle Grove 
House," at which it was known that Sheridan s head 
quarters were located. 

A guide, who knew the country and the roads, was 
ordered to be sent to General Gordon, and Colonel Payne 
was ordered to accompany him with his force of cavalry, 
and endeavor to capture Sheridan himself. Rosser was 
ordered to move before day, in time to attack at five 
o clock next morning, and to endeavor to surprise the 
enemy s cavalry in camp. Kershaw and Wharton were 
ordered to move, at one o clock in the morning, towards 
Strasburg under my personal superintendence, and the 
artillery was ordered to concentrate where the Pike 
passed through the lines at Fisher s Hill, and, at the 
hour appointed for the attack, to move at a gallop 
to Hupp s Hill the movement of the artillery being thus 
delayed for fear of attracting the attention of the enemy 
by the rumbling of the wheels over the macadamized road 



Swords and canteens were directed to be left in camp, so 
as to make as little noise as possible. 

The division commanders were particularly admon 
ished as to the necessity for promptness and energy in 
all their movements, and they were instructed to press 
the enemy with vigor after he was encountered, and to 
allow him no time to form, but to continue the pursuit 
until his forces should be completely routed. They were 
also admonished of the danger to be apprehended from a 
disposition to plunder the enemy s camps by their men, 
and they were enjoined to take every possible precaution 
against it. 

Gordon moved at the appointed time, and, after he had 
started, General Pegram reported to me that he had dis 
covered, from the signal station on the mountain, what he 
supposed to be an intrenchment thrown up since Gordon 
and Hotchkiss made their examination; and he suggested 
the propriety of attacking the enemy s left flank at the 
same time Gordon made his attack, as he would prob 
ably have more difficulty than had been anticipated. I 
adopted this suggestion and determined to cross Ker- 
shaw s division over Cedar Creek, at Bowman s Mill, a 
little above its mouth, and strike the enemy s left flank 
simultaneously with the other attacks, of which purpose 
notice was sent to General Gordon by General Pegram. 

At one o clock on the morning of the 19th, Kershaw 
and Wharton moved, and I accompanied them. At 
Strasburg Kershaw moved to the right on the road to 
Bowman s Mill, and Wharton moved along the Pike to 
Hupp s Hill, with instructions not to display his forces 
but avoid the enemy s notice until the attack began, when 
he was to move forward, support the artillery when it 
came up, and send a force to get possession of the bridge 
on the Pike over the creek. I accompanied Kershaw s 
division, and we got in sight of the enemy s fires at half- 
past three o clock. The moon was now shining and we 
could see the camps. The division was halted under cover 
to await the arrival of the proper time, and I pointed out 



to Kershaw, and the commander of his leading brigade, 
the enemy s position and described the nature of the 
ground, and directed them how the attack was to be made 
and followed up. Kershaw was directed to cross his 
division over the creek as quietly as possible, and to 
form it into column of brigades, as he did so, and advance 
in that manner against the enemy s left breastwork, ex 
tending to the right or left as might be necessary. 

At half -past four he was ordered forward, and, a very 
short time after he started, the firing from Eosser, on 
our left, and the picket firing at the ford at which Gordon 
was crossing were heard. Kershaw crossed the creek 
without molestation and formed his division as directed, 
and precisely at five o clock his leading brigade, with 
little opposition, swept over the enemy s left work, cap 
turing seven guns, which were at once turned on the 
enemy. As soon as this attack was made, I rode as 
rapidly as possible to the position on Hupp s Hill to which 
Wharton and the artillery had been ordered. I found 
the artillery just arriving, and a very heavy fire of mus 
ketry was now heard in the enemy s rear from Gordon s 
column. Wharton had advanced his skirmishers to the 
creek, capturing some prisoners, but the enemy still held 
the works on our left of the Pike, commanding that road 
and the bridge, and opened with his artillery on us. Our 
artillery was immediately brought into action and opened 
on the enemy, but he soon evacuated his works, and our 
men from the other columns rushed into them. 

Just then the sun rose, and Whar ton s division, and 
the artillery were ordered immediately forward. I rode 
in advance of them across the creek, and met General 
Gordon on the opposite hill. Kershaw s division had 
swept along the enemy s works on the right of the Pike, 
which were occupied by Crook s corps, and he and Gordon 
had united at the Pike, and their divisions had pushed 
across it in pursuit of the enemy. The rear division of 
Gordon s column (Pegram s) was crossing the river at 
the time Kershaw s attack was made, and General Gordon 



moved rapidly to Cooley s house, formed his troops and 
advanced against the enemy with his own division on the 
left, under Brigadier General Evans, and Ramseur s on 
the right, with Pegram in the right supporting them. 

There had been a delay of an hour at the river before 
crossing it, either from a miscalculation of time in the 
dark, or because the cavalry which was to precede his 
column had not gotten up, and the delay thus caused, 
for which no blame is to be attached to General Gordon, 
enabled the enemy partially to form his lines after the 
alarm produced by Kershaw s attack, and Gordon >s 
attack, which was after light, was therefore met with 
greater obstinacy by the enemy than it would otherwise 
have encountered, and the fighting had been severe. 

Gordon, however, pushed his attack with great energy, 
and the 19th and Crook s corps were in complete rout, 
and their camps, with a number of pieces of artillery and 
a considerable quantity of small arms, abandoned. The 
6th corps, which was on the enemy s right, and some dis 
tance from the point attacked, had had time to get under 
arms and take position so as to arrest our progress. 
General Gordon briefly informed me of the condition of 
things and stated that Pegram s division, which had not 
been previously engaged, had been ordered in. He then 
rode to take command of his division, and I rode forward 
on the Pike to ascertain the position of the enemy, in 
order to continue the attack. 

There was now a heavy fog, and that, with the smoke 
from the artillery and small arms, so obscured objects 
that the enemy s position could not be seen; but I soon 
came to Generals Ramseur and Pegram, who informed 
me that Pegram s division had encountered a division of 
the 6th corps on the left of the Valley Pike, and, after 
a sharp engagement, had driven it back on the main body 
of that corps, which was in their front in a strong posi 
tion. They further informed me that their divisions were 
in line confronting the 6th corps, but that there was a 
vacancy in the line on their right which ought to be filled. 



I ordered Wharton s division forward at once, and 
directed Generals Ramseur and Pegram to put it where 
it was required. In a very short time, and while I was 
endeavoring to discover the enemy s line through the ob 
scurity, Wharton s division came back in some confusion, 
and General Wharton informed me that, in advancing to 
the position pointed out to him by Generals Ramseur and 
Pegram, his division had been driven back by the 6th 
corps, which, he said, was advancing. He pointed out 
the direction from which he said the enemy was advanc 
ing, and some pieces of artillery, which had come up, 
were brought into action. The fog soon rose sufficiently 
for us to see the enemy s position on a ridge to the west 
of Middletown, and it was discovered to be a strong one. 
After driving back Wharton s division he had not ad 
vanced, but opened on us with artillery, and orders were 
given for concentrating all our guns on him. 

In the meantime, a force of cavalry was advancing 
along the Pike, and through the fields to the right of 
Middletown, thus placing our right and rear in great 
danger, and Wharton was ordered to form his division at 
once, and take position to hold the enemy s cavalry in 
check. Wofford s brigade of Kershaw s division, which 
had become separated from the other brigades, was 
ordered up for the same purpose. Discovering that the 
6th corps could not be attacked with advantage on its 
left flank, because the approach in that direction was 
through an open flat and across a boggy stream with deep 
banks, I directed Captain Powell, serving on General 
Gordon s staff, who rode up to me while the artillery 
was being placed in position, to tell the General to advance 
against the enemy s right flank and attack it in con 
junction with Kershaw, while a heavy fire of artillery 
was opened from our right; but as Captain Powell said 
he did not know where General Gordon was and expressed 
some doubt about finding him, immediately after he 
started, I sent Lieutenant Page of my own staff, with 



orders for both Generals Gordon and Kershaw to make 
the attack. 

In a short time Colonel Carter concentrated 18 or 20 
guns on the enemy, and he was soon in retreat. Ramseur 
and Pegram advanced at once to the position from which 
the enemy was driven, and just then his cavalry com 
menced pressing heavily on the right, and Pegram s divi 
sion was ordered to move to the north of Middletown, 
and take position across the Pike against the cavalry. 
Lieutenant Page had returned and informed me that he 
delivered my order to General Kershaw, but the latter 
informed him that his division was not in a condition 
to make the attack, as it was very much scattered, and 
that he had not delivered the order to General Gordon, 
because he saw that neither his division nor Kershaw s 
was in a condition to execute it. As soon as Pegram 
moved, Kershaw was ordered from the left to supply his 

I then rode to Middletown to make provision against 
the enemy s cavalry, and discovered a large body of it 
seriously threatening that flank, which was very much 
exposed. Wharton s division and Wofford s brigade 
were put in position on Pegram s right, and several 
charges of the enemy s cavalry were repulsed. I had no 
cavalry on that flank except Payne s very small brigade, 
which had accompanied Gordon, and made some captures 
of prisoners and wagons. Lomax had not arrived, but I 
received a message from him, informing me that he had 
crossed the river after some delay from a cavalry force 
guarding it, and I sent a message to him requiring him to 
move to Middletown as quickly as possible, but, as I subse 
quently ascertained, he did not receive that message. 
Rosser had attacked the enemy promptly at the appointed 
time, but he had not been able to surprise him, as he was 
found on the alert on that flank, doubtless owing to the 
attempt at a surprise on the night of the 16th. 

There was now one division of cavalry threatening my 
right flank and two were on the left, near the Back Road, 



held in check by Rosser. The force of the latter was too 
weak to make any impression on the enemy s cavalry, and 
all he could do was to watch it. As I passed across Cedar 
Creek after the enemy was driven from it, I had discov 
ered a number of men in the enemy s camps plundering, 
and one of Wharton s battalions was ordered to clear the 
camps, and drive the men to their commands. 

It was reported to me, subsequently, that a great 
number were at the same work, and I sent all my staff 
officers who could be spared, to stop it if possible, and 
orders were sent to the division commanders to send for 
their men. 

After he was driven from his second position, the 
enemy had taken a new position about two miles north of 
Middletown, and, as soon as I had regulated matters on 
the right so as to prevent his cavalry from getting in rear 
of that flank, I rode to the left, for the purpose of order 
ing an advance. 

I found Ramseur and Kershaw in line with Pegram, 
but Gordon had not come up. In a short time, however, I 
found him coming up from the rear, and I ordered him to 
take position on Kershaw s left, and advance for the pur 
pose of driving the enemy from his new position Ker 
shaw and Ramseur being ordered to advance at the same 
time. As the enemy s cavalry on our left was very strong, 
and had the benefit of an open country to the rear of that 
flank, a repulse at this time would have been disastrous, 
and I therefore directed General Gordon, if he found the 
enemy s line too strong to attack with success, not to make 
the assault. The advance was made for some distance, 
when Gordon s skirmishers came back, reporting a line 
of battle in front behind breastworks, and Gordon did not 
make the attack. 

It was now apparent that it would not do to press my 
troops further. They had been up all night and were 
much jaded. In passing over rough ground to attack the 
enemy in the early morning, their own ranks had been 
much disordered, and the men scattered, and it had re- 



quired time to re-form them. Their ranks, moreover, 
were much thinned by the advance of the men engaged in 
plundering the enemy s camps. The delay which had 
unavoidably occurred had enabled the enemy to rally a 
portion of his routed troops, and his immense force of 
cavalry, which remained intact, was threatening both of 
our flanks in an open country, which of itself rendered an 
advance extremely hazardous. 

I determined, therefore, to try and hold what had 
been gained, and orders were given for carrying off the 
captured and abandoned artillery, small arms and 
wagons. A number of bold attempts were made during 
the subsequent part of the day, by the enemy s cavalry, 
to break our line on the right, but they were invariably 

Late in the afternoon, the enemy s infantry advanced 
against Ramseur s, Kershaw s and Gordon s lines, and 
the attack on Ramseur s and Kershaw s fronts was hand 
somely repulsed in my view, and I hoped that the day 
was finally ours, but a portion of the enemy had pene 
trated an interval which was between Evans brigade, on 
the extreme left, and the rest of the line, when that bri 
gade gave way, and Gordon s other brigades soon fol 
lowed. General Gordon made every possible effort to 
rally his men, and lead them back against the enemy, but 
without avail. The information of this affair, with exag 
gerations, passed rapidly along Kershaw s and Ram 
seur s lines, and their men, under the apprehension of 
being flanked, commenced falling back in disorder, though 
no enemy was pressing them, and this gave me the first 
intimation of Gordon s condition. 

At the same time the enemy s cavalry, observing the 
disorder in our ranks, made another charge on our right, 
but was repulsed. Every effort was made to stop and 
rally Kershaw s and Ramseur s men, but the mass of 
them resisted all appeals, and continued to go to the 
rear without waiting for any effort to retrieve the partial 
disorder. Ramseur, however, succeeded in retaining with 



him two or three hundred men of his division, and Major 
Goggin of Kershaw s staff, who was in command of 
Conner s brigade, about the same number from that 
brigade; and these men, with six pieces of artillery of 
Cutshaw s battalion, held the enemy s whole force on our 
left in check for one hour and a half, until Ramseur was 
shot down mortally wounded, and the ammunition of 
those pieces of artillery was exhausted. While the latter 
were being replaced by other guns, the force that had 
remained with Ramseur and Goggin gave way also. 
Pegram s and Wharton s divisions, and Wofford s bri 
gade had remained steadfast on the right and resisted all 
efforts of the enemy s cavalry, but no portion of this 
force could be moved to the left without leaving the Pike 
open to the cavalry, which would have destroyed all hope 
at once. 

Every effort to rally the men in the rear having failed, 
I now had nothing left for me but to order these troops 
to retire also. When they commenced to move, the dis 
order soon extended to them, but General Pegram suc 
ceeded in bringing back a portion of his command across 
Cedar Creek in an organized condition, holding the enemy 
in check, but this small force soon dissolved. A part of 
Evans brigade had been rallied in the rear, and held a 
ford above the bridge for a short time, but it followed 
the example of the rest. I tried to rally the men immedi 
ately after crossing Cedar Creek, and at Hupp s Hill, but 
without success. 

Could 500 men have been rallied, at either of these 
places, who would have stood by me, I am satisfied that 
all my artillery and wagons, and the greater part of the 
captured artillery could have been saved, as the enemy s 
pursuit was very feeble. As it was, a bridge broke down 
on a very narrow part of the road between Strasburg and 
Fisher s Hill, just above Strasburg, where there was no 
other pas sway, thereby blocking up all the artillery, ord 
nance and medical wagons and ambulances which had not 
passed that point; and, as there was no force to defend 

29 449 


them, they were lost, a very small body of the enemy s 
cavalry capturing them. 

The greater part of the infantry was halted at 
Fisher s Hill, and Eosser, whose command had retired in 
good order on the Back Road, was ordered to that point 
with his cavalry. The infantry moved back towards New 
Market at three o clock next morning, and Rosser was 
left at Fisher s Hill to cover the retreat of the troops, 
and hold that position until they were beyond pursuit. 
He remained at Fisher s Hill until after ten o clock on the 
20th, and the enemy did not advance to that place while 
he was there. He then fell back without molestation to his 
former position, and established his line on Stony Creek, 
across from Columbia Furnace to Edinburg, seven miles 
below Mount Jackson. My other troops were halted at 
New Market, about seven miles from Mount Jackson, and 
there was an entirely open country between the two 
places, they being very nearly in sight of each other. 

Lomax had moved, on the day of the battle, on the 
Front Royal road towards Winchester, under the im 
pression that the enemy was being forced back towards 
that place, and he did not reach me. When he ascer 
tained the reverse which had taken place in the latter part 
of the day, he retired up the Luray Valley to his former 
place at Millf ord, without molestation. 

My loss in the battle of Cedar Creek was twenty- three 
pieces of artillery, some ordnance and medical wagons 
and ambulances, which had been carried to the front for 
the use of the troops on the field, about 1860 in killed 
and wounded, and something over 1,000 prisoners. Major 
General Ramseur fell into the hands of the enemy mor 
tally wounded, and in him not only my command, but the 
country sustained a heavy loss. He was a most gallant 
and energetic officer, whom no disaster appalled, but his 
courage and energy seemed to gain new strength in the 
midst of confusion and disorder. He fell at his post fight 
ing like a lion at bay, and his native State has reason 
to be proud of his memory. Brigadier General Battle 



was wounded at the beginning of the fight, and other 
valuable officers were lost. Fifteen hundred prisoners 
were captured from the enemy and brought off, and his 
loss in killed and wounded in this action was very heavy. 

This was a case of a glorious victory given up by my 
own troops after they had won it, and it is to be accounted 
for on the ground of the partial demoralization caused by 
the plunder of the enemy s camps, and from the fact that 
the men undertook to judge for themselves when it was 
proper to retire. Had they but waited, the mischief on 
the left would have been remedied. I have never been 
able to satisfy myself that the enemy s attack in the after 
noon was not a demonstration to cover his retreat during 
the night. It certainly was not a vigorous one, as is 
shown by the fact that the very small force with Ramseur 
and Goggin held him in check so long; and the loss in 
killed and wounded in the division which first gave way 
was not heavy, and was the least in numbers of all but 
one, though it was the third in strength, and its relative 
loss was the least of all the divisions. 

I read a sharp lecture to my troops, in an address pub 
lished to them a few days after the battle, but I have 
never attributed the result to a want of courage on their 
part, for I had seen them perform too many prodigies of 
valor to doubt that. There was an individuality about the 
Confederate soldier which caused him to act often in 
battle according to his own opinions, and thereby impair 
his own efficiency; and the tempting bait offered by the 
rich plunder of the camps of the enemy s well-fed and 
well-clothed troops was frequently too great for our 
destitute soldiers, and caused them to pause in the career 
of victory. 

Had my cavalry been sufficient to contend with that of 
the enemy, the rout in the morning would have been com 
plete; as it was, I had only about 1,200 cavalry on the 
field under Rosser, and Lomax s force, which numbered 
less than 1,700, did not get up. My infantry and artillery 
was about the same strength as at Winchester. The re- 



ports of the Ordnance officers showed in the hands of my 
troops about 8,800 muskets in round numbers, as follows : 
in Kershaw s division 2,700, Ramseur s 2,100, Gordon s 
1,700, Pegram s 1,200 and Wharton s 1,100. Making a 
moderate allowance for the men left to guard the camps 
and the signal station on the mountain, as well as for a 
few sick and wounded, I went into this battle with about 
8,500 muskets and a little over forty pieces of artillery. 

The book containing the reports of the chief surgeon 
of Sheridan s cavalry corps, which has been mentioned 
as captured at this battle, showed that Sheridan s cavalry 
numbered about 8,700 men for duty a few days previous, 
and from information which I had received of reinforce 
ments sent him, in the way of recruits and returned con 
valescents, I am satisfied that his infantry force was fully 
as large as at Winchester. Sheridan was absent in the 
morning at the beginning of the fight, and had returned in 
the afternoon before the change in the fortunes of the 

It may be asked why with so small a force I made the 
attack. I can only say we had been fighting large odds 
during the whole war, and I knew there was no chance of 
lessening them. It was of the utmost consequence that 
Sheridan should be prevented from sending troops to 
Grant, and General Lee, in a letter received a day or two 
before, had expressed an earnest desire that a victory 
should be gained in the Valley if possible, and it could 
not be gained without fighting for it. I did hope to gain 
one by surprising the enemy in his camp, and then 
thought and still think I would have had it, if my direc 
tions had been complied with, and my troops had awaited 
my orders to retire. 

* The retreat of the main body of his army had been arrested, 
and a new line formed behind breastworks of rails, before Sheridan 
arrived on the field ; and he still had immense odds against me when 
he made the attack in the afternoon. 



AFTER the return from Cedar Creek, the main body of 
my troops remained in their camp for the rest of the 
month without disturbance, but on the 26th of October 
the enemy s cavalry attacked Lomax at Millford and 
after sharp fighting was repulsed. Having heard that 
Sheridan was preparing to send troops to Grant, and that 
the Manassas Gap Railroad was being repaired, I moved 
down the Valley again on the 10th of November. I had 
received no reinforcements except about 250 cavalry 
under General Cosby from Breckenridge s department in 
Southwestern Virginia, some returned convalescents and 
several hundred conscripts who had been on details which 
had been revoked. 

On the llth, on our approach to Cedar Creek, it was 
found that the enemy had fallen back towards Winches 
ter, after having fortified and occupied a position on 
Hupp s Hill subsequently to the battle of Cedar Creek. 
Colonel Payne drove a small body of cavalry through 
Middletown to Newtown and I followed him and took 
position south of the latter place and in view of it. Sheri 
dan s main force was found posted north of Newtown in 
a position which he was engaged in fortifying. 

I remained in front of him during the llth and 12th, 
Rosser being on my left flank on the Back Road, and 
Lomax on my right between the Valley Pike and the 
Front Royal road, with one brigade (McCausland s) 
at Cedarville on the latter road. Rosser had some skir 
mishing with the enemy s cavalry on the llth, and on the 
12th two divisions advanced against him, and after a 
heavy fight the enemy was repulsed and some prisoners 
captured. Colonel Payne, who was operating immedi 
ately in my front, likewise had a sharp engagement with 
a portion of the enemy s cavalry and defended it. When 



Rosser was heavily engaged, Lomax was ordered to his 
assistance, with a part of his command, and during his 
absence, late in the afternoon, Powell s division of the 
enemy s cavalry attacked McCausland at Cedarville, and 
after a severe fight drove him back across the river with 
the loss of two pieces of artillery. 

At the time of this affair, a blustering wind was blow 
ing and the firing could not be heard; and nothing was 
known of McCausland s misfortune until after we com 
menced retiring that night. In these cavalry fights, three 
valuable officers were killed, namely: Lieutenant Colonel 
Marshall of Rosser s brigade, Colonel Radford of Mc 
Causland s brigade, and Captain Harvie of McCausland s 

Discovering that the enemy continued to fortify his 
position, and showed no disposition to come out of his 
lines with his infantry, and not being willing to attack 
him in his entrenchments, after the reverses I had met 
with, I determined to retire, as we were beyond the reach 
of supplies. After dark on the 12th, we moved to Fisher s 
Hill, and next day returned in the direction of New 
Market, where we arrived on the 14th, no effort at pur 
suit being made. I discovered by this movement that no 
troops had been sent to Grant, and that the project of 
repairing the Manassas Gap Railroad had been aban 

Shortly after our return to New Market, Kershaw s 
division was returned to General Lee, and Cosby s cav 
alry to Breckenridge. On the 22nd of November two 
divisions of the enemy s cavalry advanced to Mount 
Jackson, after having driven in our cavalry pickets. A 
part of it crossed over the river into Meem s Bottom at 
the foot of Rude s Hill, but was driven back by a portion 
of my infantry, and the whole retreated, being pursued 
by Wickham s brigade, under Colonel Munford, to 

On the 27th, Rosser crossed Great North Mountain 
into Hardy County, with his own and Payne s brigade, 



and, about the 29th, surprised and captured the fortified 
post at New Creek, on the Baltimore & Ohio Kailroad. At 
this place, two regiments of cavalry with their arms and 
colors were captured and eight pieces of artillery and a 
very large amount of ordnance, quartermaster and com 
missary stores fell into our hands. The prisoners, num 
bering 800, four pieces of artillery, and some wagons and 
horses, were brought off, the other guns, which were 
heavy siege pieces, being spiked, and their carriages and 
a greater part of the stores destroyed. Rosser also 
brought off several hundred cattle and a large number 
of sheep from Hampshire and Hardy counties. 

This expedition closed the material operations of the 
campaign of 1864 in the Shenandoah Valley, and, at that 
time, the enemy held precisely the same portion of that 
valley which he held before the opening of the cam 
paign in the spring, and no more, and the headquarters 
of his troops were at the same place, to wit : Winchester. 
There was this difference, however: at the beginning of 
the campaign, he held it with comparatively a small 
force, and, at the close, he was compelled to employ three 
corps of infantry, and one of cavalry, for that purpose, 
and to guard the approaches to Washington, Maryland 
and Pennsylvania. When I was detached from General 
Lee s army, Hunter was advancing on Lynchburg, 170 
miles south of Winchester, with a very considerable force, 
and threatening all of General Lee s communications with 
a very serious danger. 

By a rapid movement, my force had been thrown to 
Lynchburg, just in time to arrest Hunter s march into 
that place, and he had been driven back and forced to 
escape into the mountains of Western Virginia, with a 
loss of ten pieces of artillery and subsequent terrible 
suffering to his troops. Maryland and Pennsylvania had 
been invaded, Washington threatened and thrown into a 
state of frantic alarm, and Grant had been compelled to 
detach two corps of infantry and two divisions of cavalry 
from his army. Five or six thousand prisoners had been 



captured from the enemy and sent to Richmond, and 
according to a published statement by Sheridan, his army 
had lost 13,831, in killed and wounded, after he took 
command of it. Heavy losses had been inflicted on that 
army by my command, before Sheridan went to the 
Valley, and the whole loss could not have been far from 
double my entire force. The enemy moreover had been 
deprived of the use of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and 
the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, for three months. 

It is true that I had lost many valuable officers and 
men, and about 60 pieces of artillery, counting those lost 
by Ramseur and McCausland, and not deducting the 19 
pieces captured from the enemy ; but I think I may safely 
state that the fall of Lynchburg with its foundries and 
factories, and the consequent destruction of General Lee s 
communications, would have rendered necessary the 
evacuation of Richmond, and that, therefore, the fall of 
the latter place had been prevented; and by my subse 
quent operations, Grant s operations against General 
Lee s army had been materially impeded, and for some 
time substantially suspended. 

My loss in killed, wounded and prisoners, at Winches 
ter and Fisher s Hill, had been less than 4,000, and at 
Cedar Creek, about 3,000, but the enemy has claimed as 
prisoners several thousand more than my entire loss. 
I know that a number of prisoners fell into the enemy s 
hands who did not belong to my command : such as cav 
alrymen on details to get fresh horses, soldiers on leave 
of absence, conscripts on special details, citizens not in 
the service, men employed in getting supplies for the de 
partments, and stragglers and deserters from other com 
mands. My army during the entire campaign had been 
self-sustaining so far as provisions and forage were 
concerned, and a considerable number of beef cattle had 
been sent to General Lee s army; and when the difficulties 
under which I labored are considered, I think I may 
confidently assert that I had done as well as it was pos 
sible for me to do. 



Shortly after Rosser s return from the New Creek 
expedition, Colonel Munford was sent with Wickham s 
brigade to the counties of Hardy and Pendleton, to pro 
cure forage for his horses, and, cold weather having now 
set in so as to prevent material operations in the field, 
the three divisions of the 2nd corps were sent, in suc 
cession, to General Lee, Wharton s division, the cavalry, 
and most of the artillery being retained with me. 

On the 16th of December, I broke up the camp at 
New Market, and moved back towards Staunton, for the 
purpose of establishing my troops on or near Central 
Railroad Lomax s cavalry, except one brigade left to 
Yv T atch the Luray Valley, having previously moved across 
the Blue Ridge so as to be able to procure forage. Cav 
alry pickets were left in front of New Market, and tele 
graphic communications kept up with that place, from 
which there was communication with the lower Valley, by 
means of signal stations on the northern end of Massa- 
nutten Mountain, and at Ashby s Gap in the Blue Ridge, 
which overlooked the enemy s camps and the surrounding 

The troops had barely arrived at their new camps 
when information was received that the enemy s cavalry 
was in motion. On the 19th, Custer s division moved 
from Winchester towards Staunton, and, at the same 
time, two other divisions of cavalry, under Torbert or 
Merrit, moved across by Front Royal and Chester Gap 
towards Gordonsville. This information having been 
sent me by signal and telegraph, Wharton s division was 
moved on the 20th, through a hailstorm, towards Harri- 
sonburg, and Rosser ordered to the front with all the 
cavalry he could collect. Custer s division reached Lacy s 
Spring, nine miles north of Harrisonburg, on the evening 
of the 20th, and next morning before day, Rosser, with 
about 600 men of his own and Payne s brigades, attacked 
it in camp, and drove it back down the Valley in some 

Lomax had been advised of the movement towards 



Gordonsville, and as soon as Ouster was disposed of, 
Wharton s division was moved back, and on the 23rd a 
portion of it was run on the railroad to Charlottesville, 
Munford, who had now returned from across the great 
North Mountain, being ordered to the same place. 

On my arrival at Charlottesville on the 23rd, I found 
that the enemy s two divisions of cavalry, which had 
crossed the Blue Eidge, had been held in check near Gor 
donsville by Lomax, until the arrival of a brigade of 
infantry from Richmond, when they retired precipitately. 
I returned to the Valley and established my headquarters 
at Staunton Wharton s division and the artillery being 
encamped east of that place, and Rosser s cavalry west 
of it ; and thus closed the operations of 1864 with me. 



ON the 2nd of January, 1865, 1 had a consultation witn 
General Lee at Richmond, about the difficulties of my 
position in the Valley, and he told me that he had left 
me there with the small command which still remained 
in order to produce the impression that the force was 
much larger than it really was, and he instructed me to 
do the best I could. Before I returned from Richmond, 
Rosser started with between 300 and 400 picked cavalry, 
for the post of Beverly in West Virginia, and, on the 
llth, surprised and captured the place, securing over 
500 prisoners and some stores. This expedition was made 
over a very mountainous country, amid the snows of an 
unusually severe winter. Rosser s loss was very light, 
but Lieutenant Colonel Cook, of the 8th Virginia Cavalry, 
a most gallant and efficient officer, lost his leg in the 
attack, and had to be left behind. 

The great drought during the summer of 1864 had 
made the corn crop in the Valley a very short one, and, as 
Sheridan had destroyed a considerable quantity of small 
grain and hay, I found it impossible to sustain the horses 
of my cavalry and artillery where they were, and forage 
could not be obtained from elsewhere. I was therefore 
compelled to send Fitz. Lee s two brigades to General 
Lee, and Lomax s cavalry was brought from across the 
Blue Ridge, where the country was exhausted of forage, 
and sent west into the counties of Pendleton, Highland, 
Bath, Alleghany and Greenbrier, where hay could be 
obtained. Rosser s brigade had to be temporarily dis 
banded, and the men allowed to go to their homes with 
their horses, to sustain them, with orders to report when 
called on, one or two companies, whose homes were 
down the Valley, being required to picket and scout in 
front of New Market. 



The men and horses of Lieutenant Colonel King s 
artillery were sent to Southwestern Virginia to be win 
tered, and most of the horses of the other battalions 
were sent off under care of some of the men, who under 
took to forage them until spring. Nelson s battalion, with 
some pieces of artillery with their horses, was retained 
with me and the remaining officers and men of the other 
battalions were sent, under the charge of Colonel Carter, 
to General Lee, to man stationary batteries on his lines. 
Brigadier General Long, who had been absent on sick 
leave for some time and had returned, remained with me, 
and most of the guns which were without horses were sent 
to Lynchburg by railroad. This was a deplorable state 
of things, but it could not be avoided, as the horses of the 
cavalry and artillery would have perished had they been 
kept in the Valley. 

Echols brigade of Wharton s division was subse 
quently sent to Southwestern Virginia to report to 
General Echols for special duty, and McNeil s company 
of partisan rangers, and Woodson s company of unat 
tached Missouri cavalry, were sent to the county of 
Hardy, Major Harry Gilmor being likewise ordered to 
that county, with the remnant of his battalion, to take 
charge of the whole, and operate against the Baltimore & 
Ohio Eailroad ; but he was surprised and captured there, 
at a private house, soon after his arrival. Two very 
small brigades of Wharton s division, and Nelson s bat 
talion with the few pieces of artillery which had been 
retained, were left, as my whole available force, and these 
were in winter quarters near Fishersville, on the Central 
railroad between Staunton and Waynesboro. The tele 
graph to New Market and the signal stations from there 
to the lower Valley were kept up, and a few scouts sent 
to the rear of the enemy, and in this way was my front 
principally picketed, and I kept advised of the enemy s 
movements. Henceforth my efficient and energetic signal 
officer, Captain Welbourn, was the commander of my 
advance picket line. 



The winter was a severe one, and all material opera 
tions were suspended until its close. Late in February, 
Lieutenant Jesse McNeil, who was in command of his 
father s old company, with forty or fifty men of that 
company and Woodson s, made a dash into Cumberland, 
Maryland, at night and captured and brought off Major 
Generals Crook and Kelly, with a staff officer of the lat 
ter, though there were at the time several thousand troops 
in and around Cumberland. The father of this gallant 
young officer had performed many daring exploits during 
the war, and had accompanied me into Maryland, doing 
good service. When Sheridan was at Harrisonburg in 
October, 1864, Captain McNeil had burned the bridge at 
Edinburg in his rear, and had attacked and captured the 
guard at the bridge at Mount Jackson, but in this affair 
he received a very severe wound from which he subse 
quently died. Lieutenant Baylor of Eosser s brigade, 
who was in Jefferson County with his company, made one 
or two dashes on the enemy s outposts during the winter, 
and, on one occasion, captured a train loaded with sup 
plies, on the Baltimore & Ohio Eailroad. 

On the 20th of February, an order was issued by 
General Lee, extending my command over the Depart 
ment of Southwestern Virginia and East Tennessee, pre 
viously commanded by General Breckenridge, the latter 
having been made Secretary of War. 

On the 27th, Sheridan started from Winchester up the 
Valley with a heavy force, consisting, according to the 
statement of Grant, in his report, of "two divisions of 
cavalry, numbering about 5,000 each." I had been in 
formed of the preparations for a movement of some kind, 
some days previous, and the information had been tele 
graphed to General Lee. As soon as Sheridan started, I 
was informed of the fact by signal and telegraph, and 
orders were immediately sent by telegraph to Lomax, 
whose headquarters were at Millboro, on the Central 
Kailroad, forty miles west of Staunton, to get together 
all of his cavalry as soon as possible. Eosser was also 



directed to collect all of his men that ha could, and an 
order was sent by telegraph to General Echols, in South 
western Virginia, to send his brigade by rail to Lynch- 
burg. My own headquarters were at Staunton, but there 
were no troops at that place except a local provost guard, 
and a company of reserves, composed of boys under 18 
years of age, which was acting under the orders of the 
Conscript Bureau. Orders were therefore given for the 
immediate removal of all stores from that place. 

Rosser succeeded in collecting a little over 100 men, 
and with these he attempted to check the enemy at North 
River, near Mount Crawford, on the first of March, but 
was unable to do so. On the afternoon of that day, the 
enemy approached to within three or four miles of Staun 
ton, and I then telegraphed to Lomax to concentrate his 
cavalry at Pound Gap in Rockbridge County, and to fol 
low and annoy the enemy should he move towards Lynch- 
burg, and rode out of town towards Waynesboro, after all 
the stores had been removed. 

Wharton and Nelson were ordered to move to 
Waynesboro by light next morning, and on that morning 
(the 2nd) their commands were put in position on a 
ridge covering Waynesboro on the west and just outside 
of the town. My object in taking this position was to 
secure the removal of five pieces of artillery for which 
there were no horses, and some stores still in Waynes 
boro, as well as to present a bold front to the enemy, 
and ascertain the object of his movement, which I could 
not do very well if I took refuge at once in the mountain. 
The last report for Wharton s command showed 1,200 
men for duty; but as it was exceedingly inclement, and 
raining and freezing, there were not more than 1,000 
muskets on the line, and Nelson had six pieces of artillery. 
I did not intend making my final stand on this ground, 
yet I was satisfied that if my men would fight, which I 
had no reason to doubt, I could hold the enemy in check 
until night, and then cross the river and take position in 
Rock-fish Gap ; for I had done more difficult things than 
that during the war. 



About twelve o clock in the day, it was reported to me 
that the enemy was advancing, and I rode out at once 
on the line, and soon discovered about a brigade of cav 
alry coming up on the road from Staunton, on which the 
artillery opened, when it retired out of range. The 
enemy manoeuvred for some time in our front, keeping 
out of reach of our guns until late in the afternoon, when 
I discovered a force moving to the left. I immediately 
sent a messenger with notice of this fact to General 
Wharton, who was on that flank, and with orders for him 
to look out and provide for the enemy s advance; and 
another messenger, with notice to the guns on the left, 
and directions for them to fire towards the advancing 
force, which could not be seen from where they were. 

The enemy soon made an attack on our left flank, and 
I discovered the men on that flank giving back. Just 
then, General Wharton, who had not received my mes 
sage, rode up to me and I pointed out to him the disorder 
in his line, and ordered him to ride immediately to that 
point and rectify it. Before he got back, the troops gave 
way on the left, after making very slight resistance, and 
soon everything was in a state of confusion and the men 
commenced crossing the river. I rode across it myself 
to try and stop them at the bridge and check the enemy ; 
but they could not be rallied, and the enemy forded the 
river above and got in our rear. I now saw that every 
thing was lost, and after the enemy had got between 
the mountain and the position where I was, and retreat 
was thus cut off, I rode aside into the woods, and in that 
way escaped capture. I went to the top of a hill to 
reconnoitre, and had the mortification of seeing the 
greater part of my command being carried off as pris 
oners, and a force of the enemy moving rapidly towards 
Rock-fish Gap. 

I then rode with the greater part of my staff and 
15 or 20 others, including General Long, across the moun 
tain, north of the Gap, with the hope of arriving at 
Greenwood depot, to which the stores had been removed, 
before the enemy reached that place ; but on getting near 



it, about dark, we discovered the enemy in possession. 
We then rode to Jarman s Gap, about three miles from 
the depot, and remained there all night, as the night was 
exceedingly dark, and the ice rendered it impossible for 
us to travel over the rugged roads. 

The only solution of this affair which I can give is 
that my men did not fight as I had expected them to do. 
Had they done so, I am satisfied that the enemy could 
have been repulsed ; and I was and am still of opinion that 
the attack at Waynesboro was a mere demonstration, to 
cover a movement to the south towards Lynchburg. Yet 
some excuse is to be made for my men, as they knew that 
they were weak and the enemy very strong. 

The greater part of my command was captured, as 
was also the artillery, which, with five guns on the cars 
at Greenwood, made eleven pieces. Very few were killed 
or wounded on either side. The only person killed on our 
side, as far as I have ever heard, was Colonel Wm. H. 
Harman, who had formerly been in the army but then 
held a civil appointment ; and he was shot in the streets 
of Waynesboro, either after he had been made prisoner, 
as some said, or while he was attempting to make his 
escape, after everything was over. My aide, Lieutenant 
Wm. G. Callaway, who had been sent to the left with one 
of the messages, and my medical director, Surgeon H. Mc- 
Guire, had the misfortune to fall into the hands of the 
enemy. All the wagons of Wharton s command were 
absent getting supplies; but those we had with us, in 
cluding the ordnance and medical wagons and my own 
baggage wagon, fell into their hands. 

On the 3rd, I rode, with the party that was with me, 
towards Charlottesville ; but on getting near to that place, 
we found the enemy entering it. We had then to turn 
back and go by a circuitous route under the mountains to 
Gordonsville, as the Rivanna River and other streams 
were very much swollen. On arriving at Gordonsville, I 
found General Wharton, who had made his escape to 
Charlottesville on the night of the affair at Waynesboro, 





M > 


hj - 


and he was ordered to Lynchburg, by the way of the 
Central and Southside Eailroads, to take command of 
Echols brigade, and aid in the defence of the city. 
General Long was ordered to report to General Lee at 

The affair at Waynesboro diverted Sheridan from 
Lynchburg, which he could have captured without diffi 
culty, had he followed Hunter s route and not jumped at 
the bait unwillingly offered him, by the capture of my 
force at the former place. His deflection from the direct 
route to the one by Charlottesville was without adequate 
object, and resulted in the abandonment to capture 
Lynchburg, or to cross the James River to the south side. 
He halted at Charlottesville for two or three days, and 
then moved towards James River below Lynchburg, 
when, being unable to cross that river, he crossed over the 
Rivanna, at its mouth, and then moved by the way of 
Frederick s Hall on the Central Railroad, and Ashland 
on the R., F. & P. Railroad, across the South and North 
Anna, and down the Pamunkey to the White House. 

At Gordonsville, about 200 cavalry were collected 
under Colonel Morgan of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, and, 
with this force, I watched the enemy for several days 
while he was at Charlottesville, and when he was endeav 
oring to cross the James River. When Sheridan had 
abandoned this effort, and on the day he reached the 
vicinity of Ashland, while I was riding on the Louisa 
Court-House and Richmond Road, towards the bridge 
over the South Anna, with about 20 cavalry, I came 
very near being captured, by a body of 300 cavalry sent 
after me, but I succeeded in eluding the enemy with most 
of those who were with me, and reached Richmond at 
two o clock next morning, after passing twice between the 
enemy s camps and his pickets. My Adjutant General, 
Captain Moore, however, was captured, but made his 

Lomax had succeeded in collecting a portion of his 
cavalry and reaching Lynchburg, where he took position 

30 465 


on the north bank of the river, but the enemy avoided that 
place. Rosser had collected a part of his brigade and 
made an attack, near New Market, on the guard which 
was carrying back the prisoners captured at Waynesboro, 
with the view of releasing them, but he did not succeed 
in that object, though the guard was compelled to retire 
in great haste. He then moved towards Richmond on 
Sheridan s track. 

After consultation with General Lee, at his head 
quarters near Petersburg, Rosser s and McCausland s 
brigades were ordered to report to him under the com 
mand of General Rosser, and I started for the Valley, 
by the way of Lynchburg, to reorganize what was left of 
my command. At Lynchburg, a despatch was received 
from General Echols, stating that Thomas was moving in 
East Tennessee, and threatening Southwestern Virginia 
with a heavy force, and I immediately went, by train, 
to Wytheville. From that place I went with General 
Echols to Bristol, on the state line between Virginia and 
Tennessee, and it was ascertained, beyond doubt, that 
some important movement by the enemy was on foot. We 
then returned to Abingdon, and while I was engaged in 
endeavoring to organize the small force in that section, 
so as to meet the enemy in the best way we could, I re 
ceived, on the 30th of March, a telegraphic despatch from 
General Lee, directing me to turn over the command in 
Southwestern Virginia to General Echols, and in the 
Valley to General Lomax, and informing me that he 
would address a letter to me at my home. I complied at 
once with this order and thus terminated my military 


In the afternoon of the 30th of March, after having 
turned over the command to General Echols, I rode to 
Marion in Smythe County and was taken that night with 
a cold and cough so violent as to produce hemorrhage 



from the lungs, and prostrate me for several days in a 
very dangerous condition. While I was in this situation, 
a heavy cavalry force under Stoneman, from Thomas 
army in Tennessee, moved through North Carolina to the 
east, and a part of it came into Virginia from the main 
column, and struck the Virginia & Tennessee Eailroad 
at New Eiver east of Wytheville ; whence, after destroy 
ing the bridge, it moved east, cutting off all communi 
cation with Eichmond, and then crossed over into North 
Carolina. As soon as I was in a condition to be moved, 
I was carried on the railroad to Wytheville, and was 
proceeding thence to my home, in an ambulance under 
charge of a surgeon, when I received, most unexpectedly, 
the news of the surrender of General Lee. Under the 
disheartening influence of the sad tidings I had received, 
I proceeded to my journey s end, and I subsequently 
received a letter from General Lee, dated on the 30th 
of March, explaining the reasons for relieving me from 
command. This letter, written on the very day of the 
commencement of the attack on General Lee s lines, 
which resulted in the evacuation of Eichmond, and just 
ten days before the surrender of the Army of Northern 
Virginia, has a historical interest; for it shows that 
Lee, even at that late day, was anxiously and earnestly 
contemplating the continuation of the struggle with 
unabated vigor, and a full determination to make avail 
able every element of success. 

Immediately after the battle of Cedar Creek, I had 
written a letter to General Lee, stating my willingness 
to be relieved from command, if he deemed it necessary 
for the public interests, and I should have been content 
with the course pursued towards me, had his letter not 
contained the expressions of personal confidence in me 
that it does ; for I knew that in everything he did as com 
mander of our armies, General Lee was actuated solely 
by an earnest and ardent desire for the success of the 
cause of his country. As to those among my countrymen 
who judged me harshly, I have not a word of reproach. 



When there was so much at stake, it was not unnatural 
that persons entirely ignorant of the facts, and forming 
their opinions from the many false reports set afloat in a 
time of terrible war and public suffering, should -pass 
erroneous and severe judgments on those commanders 
who met with reverses. 

I was not embraced in the terms of General Lee s sur 
render or that of General Johnston, and, as the order 
relieving me from command had also relieved me from 
all embarrassment as to the troops which had been under 
me, as soon as I was in a condition to travel, I started 
on horseback for the Trans-Mississippi Department to 
join the army of General Kirby Smith, should it hold out; 
with the hope of at least meeting an honorable death 
while fighting under the flag of my country. Before I 
reached that Department, Smith s army had also been 
surrendered, and, without giving a parole, after a long, 
weary and dangerous ride from Virginia, through the 
states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Ala 
bama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, I finally suc 
ceeded in leaving the country. 


" HD. QRS., C. S. ARMIES, 
30th March, 1865. 


" General, My telegram will have informed you that I deem a 
change of commanders in your Department necessary; but it is due 
to your zealous and patriotic services that I should explain the reasons 
that prompted my action. The situation of affairs is such that we can 
neglect no means calculated to develop the resources we possess to 
the greatest extent, and make them as efficient as possible. To this 
end, it is essential that we should have the cheerful and hearty support 
of the people, and the full confidence of the soldiers, without which 
our efforts would be embarrassed and our means of resistance weak 
ened. I have reluctantly arrived at the conclusion that you cannot 
command the united and willing co-operation which is so essential to 
success. Your reverses in the Valley, of which the public and the 
army judge chiefly by the results, have, I fear, impaired your in 
fluence both with the people and the soldiers, and would add greatly 



to the difficulties which will, under any circumstances, attend our 
military operations in S. W. Virginia. While my own confidence in 
your ability, zeal, and devotion to the cause is unimpaired, I have 
nevertheless felt that I could not oppose what seems to be the current 
of opinion, without injustice to your reputation and injury to the 
service. I therefore felt constrained to endeavor to find a commander 
who would be more likely to develop the strength and resources of the 
country, and inspire the soldiers with confidence; and to accomplish 
this purpose, I thought it proper to yield my own opinion, and to 
defer to that of those to whom alone we can look for support. 

" I am sure that you will understand and appreciate my motives, 
and no one will be more ready than yourself to acquiesce in any 
measures which the interests of the country may seem to require, re 
gardless of all personal considerations. 

" Thanking you for the fidelity and energy with which you have 
always supported my efforts, and for the courage and devotion you 
have ever manifested in the service of the country, 

" I am, very respectfully and truly 

" Your ob t servant, 

" R. E. LEE, 

" Gen l." 



I FEEL reluctant to add a word to what General Early 
has written of himself and yet his letters, bearing (as 
many of them do) upon his manuscript, show that there 
are some things he has left untold which would interest 
the reader of his life. 

My feeling in this matter proceeds from the remem 
brance of his sentiments on the subject of biography, 
which he forcibly expressed in a letter written in 1866 
to a correspondent who proposed writing an account of 
his life, saying : 

I trust that you will not suspect me of rudeness or a desire to 
offend when I respectfully request that you omit mine from the list of 
biographies you propose writing. If I were to furnish you the ma 
terials desired, you would become the biographer of my choice, and I 
would be bound by what you might write. I hope you will understand 
what I mean, and will not interpret what I say as intended in an 
offensive sense. I cannot, of course, prevent your writing on any 
subject you may choose. 

If my biography was of sufficient importance to require its being 
placed before the world, and my wishes were consulted, I would not 
trust its compilation to any but one who had known me personally and 
well: you and I are, personally, entire strangers. During my life I 
have often associated with men who thought they knew me, but who 
in fact had very little appreciation of my true character. I would 
not therefore expect it to be understood by one who is a stranger. 

Naturally possessing a reserved disposition, and in 
his bachelor life cut off from the softening influences of 
familiar intercourse to be found in the home, it was not 
entirely the fault of others that he was often misunder 
stood : but as he has said, those who knew him best were 
the ones who best appreciated him. The opportunity of 
intimate acquaintance enabled one to fathom the depths 
of his kindly nature and to discover his real feelings. 

In his autobiographical sketch he writes of the mother 
whose death was the source of grief to her family, but 
he does not tell of the affection which caused him to 



choose her companionship preferably to that of any other, 
nor of the sense of deprivation he felt upon the loss of 
her tender counsels at the early age of sixteen. His 
father was a most thoughtful and affectionate parent, but 
from him, too, he was parted during the crucial period of 
his youth, though that parent s watchful care followed 
closely in a correspondence, preserved by the son, during 
a long life x of many vicissitudes. 

As the son s character developed, he inspired more 
and more confidence and respect, until the relations of 
father and son seemed to become reversed, and, as years 
wore on, the position of head of the family was insensibly 
accorded the son. Possessing a sense of right never 
swayed by impulse, his opinion and advice were never 
questioned by members of his family. His grandmother, 
observing the promise of his youth, had said of him that 
he was born to make a name for himself. 

In his nineteenth year, while a cadet at West Point 
Academy, his sympathies were very much aroused for 
the Texans in their revolt against the tyranny of Santa 
Anna, and he wrote urging his father s consent to his 
joining in their cause. This letter portrays the disposi 
tion of the future patriot, and is in part as follows : 

The Texans are bound by every principle of self-preservation and 
are justified by the natural law of rights, as well as by precedent, to 
declare their independence and to resist the attempt which is being 
made to annihilate them. And we of the United States are called upon 
by every principle of humanity, by our love of liberty and our detesta 
tion of oppression, to go to the succor of our countrymen and aid in 
overwhelming the tyrant. Shall we shed tears over the fate of Greece 
and Poland, yet see our countrymen slaughtered with indifference? 
The respect we entertain for our forefathers of the Revolution forbids 
it. The gratitude we owe another country for espousing our cause 
imperiously commands us to espouse that of the oppressed. The cause 
of the Texans is more justifiable than was ours. We resisted the 
usurpation of our lawful government. They are resisting the tyranny 
and cruelty of an usurped government. Liberty has been driven from 
the old world and its only asylum is in the new. It is the imperious 
duty of every one, who in this fair land has received it and its prin 
ciples unsullied from his ancestors, to extend its dominion and to 
perpetuate its glorious light to posterity. How can this be done if 



tyranny more despotic than that which exists in Europe is allowed to 
exist in our very confines ? In succoring the Texans we should consider 
that we extend the sway of the goddess we worship, that we secure to 
their progeny the benefits of which we are so tenacious, and secure 
to oppressed freemen of other countries an asylum which our own 
country will, ere long, not be able to afford them. . . . 

The great end of all education is to expand the mind and gain a 
knowledge of human nature. What is more calculated to expand the 
mind than the espousing and working in the cause of liberty? What 
better book in which to study human nature than such a variety of 
characters as I would be constantly thrown with? All things cry out 
to me to go. Oh, my dear father, will you not give me permission? 
Do not think that my resolution has been taken unadvisedly, and do 
not smile at my aspirations. I do not believe that I shall become a 
Bonaparte or a Bolivar, but he who never aspires, never rises. 

I have confined this letter to one subject because my whole soul is 
taken up with that subject. 

General Early returned from Canada to the States in 
1869; that winter was devoted to visits among his rela 
tives and friends from whom he had been so long parted. 
His father died in 1870. In the autobiography he writes 
of his father as still living: it is therefore presumable 
that his manuscript was, at least, commenced while he 
was in Canada. 

Previously he had published at Toronto (in 1866), 
"A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independ 
ence," which was written, he states, "under a solemn 
sense of duty to my unhappy country, and to the brave 
soldiers who fought under me, as well as to myself." 

His correspondence was very large and in many cases 
continued during years. Through this runs the story of 
his unflagging interest and industry in endeavoring to 
confirm every minutest detail of the narrative he desired 
to complete. The letters all show the esteem in which 
he was held. Many of them are written to thank him 
for contributions, already written, in the defence of the 
South. Others urge that he prepare a complete history 
of the war giving the Southern side. 

From among these letters the following are selected ; 
not the least of the interest in which proceeds from the 
fact that they are voluntary offerings, generally from 




warm personal friends and received in the course of 
private correspondence. 

The first is from the pen of the beloved leader and 
is followed by tributes from Jefferson Davis, Generals 
D. H. Hill and W. H. Payne, Colonels Marshall and John 
ston, Senator John W. Daniel, Professors Peters and 
Venable, Dr. McGuire, and others, if less known to 
fame, none the less ardent in the expression of their 

I received last night your letter, which gave me the first authentic 
information of you I had received since the cessation of hostilities 
and relieved the anxiety I had felt on your account. I am very glad 
to hear of your health and safety, and I wish you every happiness and 
prosperity : you will always be present to my recollections. 

I desire, if not prevented, to write a history of the campaigns in 
Virginia; all of my records, books, orders, etc., were destroyed in the 
conflagration and retreat from Richmond, only such reports as were 
printed are preserved. Your reports of your operations in 64 were 
among those destroyed. Can you not repeat them and send me copies 
of such letters, orders, etc., of mine and particularly give me your recol 
lection of our effective strength at the principal battles? My only 
object is to transmit, if possible, the truth and do justice to our brave 
soldiers. ROBERT E. LEE. 

March, 1866. 

I am much obliged for the copies of my letters. Send me reports 
of the operations of your commands in the campaign from the Wilder 
ness to Richmond, at Lynchburg, in the Valley, Maryland, etc. . . . 
All statistics as regards numbers, destruction of private property by 
the Federal troops, etc., I should like to have, as I wish my memory 
strengthened on these points. It will be difficult to get the world to 
understand the odds against which we fought and the destruction or 
loss of all returns of the army embarrasses me. We shall have to be 
patient and suffer till a period when reason and charity may resume 
their sway. At present the public mind is not prepared to receive 
the truth. I hope in time peace will be restored to the country and 
that the South may enjoy some measure of prosperity. I fear, how 
ever, much suffering is still in store for her and that the people must 
be prepared to exercise fortitude and forbearance. 



I wish to thank you for your last offering to the cause you 
served so zealously and efficiently in the field. To vindicate the struggle 



of the South to preserve their political and social inheritance by truth 
fully stating events was alike due to those to whom its regenera 
tion must be confided, as well as to those who suffered for that cause. 
Your career as a commander met my entire approval and secured my 
admiration. It was such estimate concurrently held by General Lee 
and myself that led to your selection to command the vitally important 
and difficult campaign which you have described in your recent pub 
lication. The means were known to be disproportionate to the task 
before you when you marched against General Hunter. That they 
proved adequate, is glory enough for you and your associates. It 
would be easy to show, if it were desirable now to enter upon that 
question, at whose door lies the responsibility of subsequent disasters. 
You have rendered the more grateful and useful service of showing at 
whose door it does not belong. JEFFERSON DAVIS. 


I have thought much of this matter of the Army of Northern 
Virginia, and my earnest, honest belief is that you should write 
memoirs of its campaigns. I don t know any nobler labor of love, even 
if you do not publish it. 

If you write and leave it unfinished even, I will pledge myself to 
edit it and have it published as a true memorial of your love and 
affection for that noble army of martyrs. General Lee ought to have 
done this thing. Now that he is gone, the duty devolves on you to 
give the account of all the campaigns in detail from the beginning to 
the end. This is the only way to defeat the deplorable effects of 
thousands of books of misapprehension, because nobody has written 
authoritatively on the subject. I do hope you will take the matter 
into consideration and undertake the work. I will do everything I 
can to collect material for you. . . . Your address at Washington and 
Lee is the best piece of military criticism which has been written on 
our war, and I beg you earnestly and solemnly as a duty to that old 
Army of Northern Virginia to write a history of its campaigns; it 
would be most appropriate and essential. 



I write, at the lapse of twenty-five years from the close of the 
war, on a matter in which you are interested as well as every man 
who served under you. It is due to yourself and to the truth of his 
tory that you should write a minute, calm and complete history of 
your campaigns, from the time you were detached from the army 
around Petersburg, in 1864, until the affair at Waynesboro. 

My honest conviction is that your campaign will lose nothing by 



comparison with that of our great Jackson in the same field, and for 
the following reasons: 

(1st) With about 12,000 (perhaps fewer) men you met and 
defeated Hunter at Lynchburg with an army of 20,000 men. You 
pursued him, driving him out of Virginia into Kanawha Valley, thus 
diverting him from the valley of Virginia. He had (I think) two 
brigades of cavalry, you did not have over 1,500 cavalry. 

(2nd) You made a forced march down the valley, whipping 
another army of 12,000 men at Monocacy, after driving all the Federal 
forces out of the valley, marched to the very walls of Washington 
City, causing the withdrawal of a large force from the front of Lee, 
for the protection of the city. 

(3rd) You fell back into Virginia, when your force reduced by 
fighting and marching could not have exceeded 9,000 men. Sheridan 
was sent to meet you with 35,000 or 40,000 men. Up to this period 
your campaign was brilliantly successful. The disproportion was vastly 
greater between your forces and Sheridan s than between Jackson s 
and Shields at Kernstown. If it had been possible to reinforce you 
at Winchester to the extent of 20,000, you would have driven Sheridan 
into the Potomac. 

(4th) Now observe. After Kernstown, Jackson fell back up the 
valley, was reinforced by Ewell; the latter was left to hold Banks in 
check. Jackson marched with his own force, 4,500 men, took command 
of Johnston s force of two brigades, 3,500 men, defeated Milroy, 
7,000 men, returned centre with Ewell and with a force, now some 
thing over 20,000, expelled Banks (who commanded not over 7,000) 
from the valley. When threatened by Fremont from the west and. 
Shields from the east each with about 18,000 men he retired, keeping 
them in check, and fought with equal numbers, the battle of Port 

Again. At Chancellorsville Jackson, by order of Lee, by a forced 
and daring march, attacked the right flank of the Federal Army, 
surprised and routed it. You, by a similar march, surprised and routed 
the advance forces of Sheridan at Cedar Creek. His remaining force 
would have been routed had not the troops halted to plunder the cap 
tured camp. Who was responsible for this? Those who commanded 
under you, whose business and duty it was to keep their troops well 
in hand, and pursue the routed army. 

I have thought much of your campaign in the valley when our 
military affairs were in extremis and think you did all that could have 
been done. I urge that you will write a full, consecutive history of 
that campaign, not leaving out of view the service rendered by your 
cavalry; they acted a most important part in saving Lynchburg until 
your arrival. 

You reached Lynchburg late in the afternoon; the day before 



your cavalry met the Federal force at New London at 2 o clock P.M. 
and held them until night; fell back during the night to the old 
Quaker Church and there held them till the following night. Had the 
cavalry not so detained Hunter, he would have captured Lynchburg 
during the forenoon of the day in which you reached the city. No 
campaign of the war was superior to this. WILLIAM E. PETERS. 


I throw out a suggestion for your consideration, which would be 
to the country a matter of inestimable value, for the merit of truth 
and knowledge. I refer to a history of Virginia. You have given the 
subject more accurate study than anybody else. Write it out and 
publish it. I write after a good deal of reflection about it. Though 
you may not know it, your explicit, lucid pen reflects your mind more 
accurately always than your tongue, which must banter, willy-nilly. 



More than a year ago in some correspondence with the sons of 
General R. E. Lee, I was referred to you by General W. H. F. Lee, 
for information respecting the intention of the commanding general 
of the Army of Northern Virginia at the time of the assault on Fort 
Steadman and Haskell before Petersburg, March 25th, 1865. Although 
you may not have been actually engaged there, General Lee says you 
are an authority on all the operations of that army. 



Accept my special thanks for a copy of your narrative of the 
military operations in the Shenandoah Valley and east of the Blue 
Ridge. Knowing your strict and straightforward fidelity to the truth 
makes the perusal all the more interesting. w. S. ROSECRANS. 

For the benefit of history, a physician would prolong 
his life indefinitely. 


I leave the city to-night on my way to England, but I cannot go 
without telling you how glad I am that you have been chosen to 
deliver the address at Lexington. 

I know General Jackson admired you and believe, if he could be 
consulted in the matter, he would select you to make the address. 
1 wish you could live forever, if only to keep history straight. 



There are so many pages devoted to recalling war 
incidents and exploits that it becomes difficult to make the 
choice, from among them, of such as might serve to gain 
the especial interest of the reader; those which disclose 
critical situations and unconscious heroism, such as these 
sent from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Farmdale, Ken 
tucky, will best appeal to veterans of the war : 


You remember that I was the cause of your being sent to Ross 
Pole just before the first Fredericksburg battle. Did you ever notice 
that Burnside said that Halleck had selected Ross Pole for the crossing 
of the Federal Army, but that he had taken the responsibility of 
crossing at Fredericksburg, because Halleck had selected Ross Pole 
before troops had been sent to guard it, and that as the circumstances 
had changed he felt at liberty to disobey orders ? Your presence at 
the first place made Burnside cross at Fredericksburg. On that hor 
rible Sunday I rode up with young Morrison from Port Royal to Ross 
Pole, and found that we did not have even a cavalry picket there, 
while the Federals were in force on the other side and were working 
on a batteau bridge. I wrote to General Jackson about the condition 
of things, and you were sent down. You never rendered more im 
portant service. . . . 

You and I were long side by side, and, like you, I was only un 
popular with those soldiers who did not do their duty. . . . 

Your letter was full of touching interest to me, who am alive to 
any incident connected with the rank and file. 

I have laid it away for the benefit of my children s children. You 
are so accurate in statistics, I would be afraid of a blunder, if I 
differed with you. 

In comparing my statistics with yours in my address, I wished 
to say, " General Early knows more of Confederate history than any 
man now living, probably for the reason that he has never moved out 
of the Confederacy " but I know you did not like some haversack anec 
dotes which were entirely to your credit, and which endeared you to 
thousands of our people. You were so fortunate, or unfortunate, as 
to be considered the wittiest man in the army and doubtless many 
clever and witty things were put upon you in consequence. 

Heaven bless you always ! D. H. HILL. 




Farmdale, Ky. 

Captain Sam Gaines went to the reunion at Gettysburg some 
years ago and while standing at the point taken by you (Hays and 
Hoke s brigades on Cemetery Heights) he says a Federal officer, who 
was also in the battle, told him that your charge was more serious 
than you or our people seemed to be aware of, that you really had 
passed in rear of Meade s headquarters and that Meade and his staff 
would certainly have been your prisoners had you been supported on 
your right, so that you could have held the ground you had taken. The 
officer pointed out the house in which Meade and his staff, virtually for 
the time (you held the heights) your prisoners, were at the time you 
made the assault, and that it was in the rear of your position ; that it 
was indeed a crisis with the Federals. D. F. BOYD, Supt. 

In his manuscript, General Early refers to his order 
for the burning of Chambersburg ; this I do not find, but 
in an article in the Bichinond State, June 22nd, 1887, 
he makes this statement: 

The act was done in retaliation for outrages committed by General 
David Hunter in the Valley of Virginia. 

I thought it was time to try and stop this mode of warfare by 
some act of retaliation, and I accordingly sent a cavalry force to 
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, to demand of the authorities of that 
town compensation for the houses of Messrs. Hunter, Lee and Boteler, 
upon pain of having their town reduced to ashes on failure to pay 
the compensation demanded. The three houses burned were worth 
fully $100,000 in gold and I demanded that, or what I regarded as 
equivalent in greenbacks. No attempt was made to comply with my 
demand and my order to burn the town was executed. 

This was in strict accordance with the laws of war and was a just 
retaliation. I gave the order on my own responsibility, but General 
Lee never in any manner indicated disapproval of my act, and his 
many letters to me expressive of confidence and friendship forbade 
the idea that he disapproved of my conduct on that occasion. It 
afforded me no pleasure to subject non-combatants to the rigors of 
war, but I felt that I had a duty to perform to the people for whose 
homes I was fighting and I endeavored to perform it, however dis 
agreeable it might be. 

It may not be out of keeping with General Early s 
object in writing a history of the war to insert a letter 



from a former Federal soldier acknowledging kindness 
received while he was held as prisoner within Southern 
lines. The one chosen gives the address at the National 
Military Home in Montgomery County, Ohio : 


I write in memory of old times and a special act of kindness on 
your part, when in the midst of battle, with your self -earned brave 
army around, and General Sheridan s army contending at Cedar Creek, 
Virginia, October 19th, 1864. I was wounded, early at dawn of day, 
in the face and right thigh, and was unable to walk on account of my 
wounds. Your men came to me and asked how long since I was paid 
off ; and then searched me, but I had no money, as I had not lately been 
paid. One of the men came up to me and took my canteen; just then 
you came riding along and spoke to me, asking if I was badly hurt. 
I said " Yes, sir, I am." I looked earnestly at you and said to you, 
"Do you allow a man to rob another of the last drop of water he 
possesses?" You replied, "No." "Well," I said, pointing to a man 
who had just robbed me, " there stands the man who took my can 

Straightway you rode up to him, made him give up my canteen, 
and filled it, yourself, with water for me. 

" Now," said you, " get away to your command." 

Late of Co. G, 12th Reg. 

Volumes might be filled from the collection, which in 
length of time covers the period of his manhood to old 
age, all attesting respect for the veracity of his character. 
Perhaps the finest tribute to him comes from the pen of 
his devoted friend, General Wm. H. Payne, of Warrenton, 
who writes : 

There is no man now living who so entirely commands my respect, 
or of whose good opinion I am so covetous, as yours. What I most 
admire in you is your passionate love of truth. I am truly pleased to 
know that you are to deliver the address on the Jackson statue. So 
many false conceptions of men and events are cultivated, that one 
gives up all hope of truth ever having an audience. It is a consolation 
to know that it will be spoken at Lexington. 

The friendship between General Early and Senator 
Daniel dated from the time the latter became a member 
of Early s staff. 

The acquaintance thus begun ripened into a friendship 



which never paled, and which afforded General Early 
great satisfaction. I have selected from a bundle of his 
letters a hurried note written in 1874 while Senator 
Daniel was a candidate for Congress, in order to show 
the friendly relations existing between these two. 


The three tickets enclosed were elected here to-night by overwhelm 
ing majorities. I shall have 60 votes on first ballot. I ask that you 
will do me the honor to nominate me in convention. It will be glory 
enough whether I succeed or not. I beg that you will come and help 
me now. You said, in Richmond, you " raised me." Come then and 

stand by your boy. v n mx tmlv 


After an interval of eight years, there is a letter tell 
ing of Daniel s desire to write the life of his friend. To 
accomplish this purpose he seems to have collected a vast 
deal of material. The answer to his request has not 
been found. 

MY DEAR GENERAL: December 3rd > 1882 

I have wished to talk with you about a contemplated undertaking 
in which you are not disinterested. With your permission and good 
will in the plan, I desire to render such contribution to the history of 
the war as I may be able to do, in the shape of a volume to bear the 
title " The Life and Campaigns of Lieutenant General Jubal A. Early." 
I have some elements of qualification in familiarity with some of 
your campaigns and a very good general knowledge of the conditions 
under, and means with which you conducted others. My mind con 
tinually recurs to the war and not a day passes that its various scenes 
and phases are not revolved over and over again. It would be a relief 
to work on the subject, and did you consent to my doing so in the 
manner indicated, in a year or two I could prepare the work as well 
as my poor abilities permit: and while, to tell the truth would be ever 
the uppermost thought, it would be a labor of love to me to recount it 
in the themes proposed. If for any reason you do not wish me to 
write such a book, your wishes would of course control me, but unless 
you object, my mind is made up to the undertaking. If yon approve 
there are many things in which I would need your assistance. Think 
over this matter and let me know your views. Most truly yours, 



Aaronsburg, 263 

Abbottstown, 264 

Abingdon, 466 

Abraham s Creek, 242, 420, 421, 423 

Adams, Captain, 188 

Aquia Creek, 15, 31, 104, 105, 168 

Aquia District, 51 

Alabama Troops, 3, 21, 27, 51, 60, 

61, 162, 185, 192, 468 
Alexandria, 2, 39, 44, 45, 48, 75, 118, 


Alleghany County, 459 
Alleghany Mountains, 338, 366 
Altodale, 254 
Alum Spring Mill, 224, 225, 227, 

Anderson, General, 68, 105, 132, 135, 

147, 149, 151, 152, 155, 156, 158, 

159, 163, 196, 198, 211, 212, 216, 

227, 231, 234, 236, 322, 323, 324, 

352, 362, 363, 364, 404, 407, 408, 

Andersonville, 297, 298 
Andrews, Colonel, 197, 199, 206, 211, 

220, 221, 222, 224, 323 
Antietam, 139, 140, 143, 150, 151, 

156, 161, 384, 385, 403 
Antietam Creek, 140 
Appomattox Court-House, 191 
Archer, General, 170, 172, 173, 174, 


Arendtsville, 264 
Arkansas, 468 
Arlington Heights, 41 
Armistead, General, 83, 84, 149, 153, 

Army of Northern Virginia, 74, 163, 

182, 236, 361, 371, 379, 415, 466 
Army of Potomac, 47, 50, 52, 74, 157, 

161, 341, 343, 344, 360, 392, | 

417, 418 

Army of Virginia, 92 
Army of Western Virginia, 399, 418 i 

Ashby s Gap, 411, 457 

Ashland, 361, 465 

Atkinson, Colonel N. N., 171, 172, 

173, 174, 175, 180 
Atlee s Station, 361 
Auburn, 304 

Augusta County, 366, 368 
Augusta Raid Guards, 332 
Averill, General (U. S. A.), 326, 327, 

328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 338, 397, 

398, 399, 410, 412, 414, 416, 417, 

419. 432 
Avery, Colonel, 230, 242, 243, 250, 

259, 268, 269, 271, 273 

Back Creek, 284, 368, 383, 384 
Back Road, 369, 426, 433, 436, 438, 

439, 440, 446, 450, 453 
Badham, Colonel J. C., 72 
Baker, Jas. C., 244 
Ball s Bluff, 52 
Baltimore, 51, 75, 135, 159, 255, 386, 

387, 388, 392, 394 
B. & O. R. R., 135, 136, 163, 326, 

332, 333, 340, 368, 382, 383, 391, 

402, 414, 455, 456, 460, 461 
Banks Ford, 208, 212, 229, 231, 

Banks, General (U. S. A.), 75, 92, 

101, 103, 112, 156, 157, 475 
Barksdale, Colonel, 19, 20, 23, 25 
Barksdale, General, 147, 149, 195, 

196, 198, 200, 202, 203, 204, 206, 

207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 218, 

219, 221-25, 228, 232-34, 404 
Barlow, General, 268 
Barnett s Ford, 93 
Bartlett s Mill, 318, 319, 320, 321, 


Barton, Lieutenant, 240 
Bartonsville, 241, 242. 368, 369 
Bartow, General, 31, 32 
Bath County. 459 




Battle, General, 346, 422, 450 

Baylor, Lieutenant, 461 

Bealton, 307 

Beauregard, General, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 

10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 26, 

27, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 38, 44, 46, 

47, 51, 52, 341 

Beaver Dam Creek, 361, 362 
Beckham, Lieutenant, 22, 25, 26, 


Bedford City, 372, 374 
Bedford County, 378 
Bee, General, 31, 32, 37 
Belle Grove, 437, 441 
Benning, Colonel, 81, 82 
Berkeley County, 366, 367, 368 
Bermuda Hundreds, 360 
Bernard House, 196 
Berry, Major, 11, 240, 251 
Berry s Ferry, 396 
Berryville, 164, 240, 369, 396, 397, 

406, 411, 414, 420, 421 
Bethesda Church, 362, 363 
Beverly, 459 
Beverly s Ford, 106 
Big Calf Pasture, 327 
Big Lick, 377 
Big Springs, 134 
Blackburn s Ford, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 

15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 31, 32, 39, 118, 


Black Horse Cavalry, 157 
Black Walnut Run, 318 
Blacksburg, 327, 329 
Blair, Postmaster General, U. S., 

Blue Ridge, 10, 11, 63, 164, 165, 238, 

284, 285, 366, 367, 368, 369, 370, 

371, 377, 396, 411, 413, 429, 433, 

434, 457, 458, 459, 476 
Board, Colonel, 397 
Bolivar, 384 

Bolivar Heights, 136, 137, 164, 384 
Bonham, General, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 15, 

20, 27, 31, 33, 38, 51, 52 
Boonsboro, Pa., 135, 139, 140, 254, 

282, 385 

Boonsboro Gap, 386 
Boteler, Honorable A. R., 401, 478 
Boteler s Ford, 139, 153, 162, 254 
Botetourt County, 369 

Bower s Hill, 242, 243, 244, 248, 249, 

250, 407 

Bowling Green, 168, 186, 203 
Bowman s Mill, 442 
Boyd, Superintendent, J. F., 477 
Bragg, General Braxton, 157, 303 
Branch, General, 128 
Branch Mountain, 334, 336 
Brandy Station, 106, 237, 307, 309, 

310, 316 
Braxton, Colonel, 371, 414, 417, 419, 

422, 423, 425 
Breckenridge, 360, 370, 371, 372, 374, 

375, 376, 378, 381, 382. 384, 385, 

386, 387, 388, 392, 396, 399, 402, 

414, 415, 420, 424, 425, 429, 453, 

454, 461 
Brentsville, 305 
Bridgewater, 435 
Brinly s Land, 246 
Bristol, 466 
Bristow, 54, 114, 115, 117, 133, 304, 

305, 307 

Broad Run, 116, 117, 118, 306 
Brock Road, 352 

Brockenborough, Colonel, 170, 173 
Brock s Gap, 334, 339, 382 
Brown, Captain, 97, 98, 127, 131, 176, 

179, 199, 206, 241, 244 
Brown, Captain Wm. F., 97, 99, 108, 


Brownsburg, 328 
Brown s Gap, 371, 433, 434 
Brucetown, 413 
Buchanan, 327, 329, 330, 369, 375, 

377, 380 

Buckner s Neck, 160 
Buffalo, 328 
Buffalo Gap, 326, 327 
Buford, Colonel, 278 
Buford, General (U. S. A.), 266 
Buford s Depot, 377 
Buford s Gap, 377 
Bull Mountain, 114 
Bull Pasture River, 326 
Bull Run, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 

25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 37, 39, 44, 

45, 46, 47, 52, 53, 54, 55, 58, 

118, 119, 127, 128, 129, 306 
Bunker Hill, 163, 284, 400, 402, 403, 

406, 408, 410, 411, 413, 419, 420 



Burke s Station, 50 

Burnside, General (U. S. A.), 104, 
105, 106, 131, 132, 150, 151, 158, 
165, 166, 169, 180, 189, 192, 341, 

343, 348, 356, 358, 477 
Burton s Mill, 242 

Butler, General (U. S. A.), 40, 341, 

344, 364 
Butterfield (U. S. A.), 218 

Cabell, General, 198, 210 

Calf Pasture River, 326 

Callahan s, 327, 330 

Callaway, Lieutenant Wm. G., 187, 

209, 250, 464 
Camden, 184 
Cameron s Depot, 408 
Campbell Court-House, 376 
Camp Walker, 6, 12 
Canada, 472 
Capital, 90, 159, 160 
Carlisle, 255, 263 
Caroline, 184 
Carpenter, 206 
Carrington, 176, 179 
Carter, Colonel, 445 
Carter House, 26, 27 
Carter, Lieutenant T. H., 422, 460 
Cash, Colonel, 27, 28 
Cashtown, 256, 257, 264, 266, 267, 

276, 278, 279 

Castleman s Ferry, 164, 396 
Catharpin Creek, 237 
Catlett s Station, 110, 114 
Catoctan Mountain, 386 
Cavetown, 254 
Cedar Creek, 242, 368, 369, 398, 406, 

407, 417, 418, 430, 437, 438, 439, 

440, 441, 442, 447, 449, 450, 

453, 456, 466, 475, 479 
Cedar Creek Pike, 240, 242, 304, 

424, 426 
Cedar Run, 92, 93, 94, 96, 106, 154, 


Cedarville, 241, 284, 453, 454 
Cemetery Hill, 169, 222, 223, 224, 

267, 268, 270, 271, 272, 273, 277, 

278, 478 
Central R. R., 261, 378, 359, 361, 

369, 372, 457, 460, 461, 465 

Centreville, 4, 5, 6, 7, 27, 31, 33, 35, 

44, 50, 51, 52, 119, 122, 128, 129, 

133, 304 

Chaffin s Bluff, 76, 89 
Chamberlain, Lieutenant, 172 
Chambersburg, 254, 255, 263, 281, 

401, 402, 404, 405, 477 
Chambliss, General, 357 
Chancellorsville, 167, 193, 197, 200, 

201, 202, 208, 211, 212, 213, 214, 

216, 217, 231, 233, 235, 237, 475 
Chantilly, 129 

Charles City Court-House, 73 
Charlestown, 136, 164, 240, 369, 406, 

408, 409, 411, 413, 414, 419, 424 
Charlottesville, 340, 341, 371, 372, 

378, 393, 401, 435, 458, 464, 465 
C. & O. Canal, 42, 134, 383, 414, 456 
Chester Gap, 238, 285, 457 
Chickahominy, 76, 77, 87, 89, 155, 361 
Chilton, Colonel R. H., 200, 201 
Chinn s House, 23, 25, 28 
Chisholm, Colonel, 17, 26 
Christie, Captain C. W., 187 
Clarke County, 366, 369 
Clark s Mountain, 303 
Clear Spring, 402 
Clifton Forge, 328, 331, 380 
Cobb s Brigade, 149 
Cocke, Colonel Ph. St. G., 3, 4, 5, 16, 

26, 31, 32, 35, 38, 41 
Codorus, 261 
Cold Harbor, 76, 361, 362, 363, 371, 


College Hill, 374 
Colliertown, 328, 329 
Colquitt, Genera], 158, 177 
Colston, General, 63, 195, 212 
Columbia, 255 
Columbia Bridge, 259 
Columbia Furnace, 339, 436, 450 
Conduct of the War, 161, 231-32 
Conewago, 259, 261 
Confederate Government, 2, 3, 10, 

98, 160 
Congressional Committee, 197, 207, 

232, 256, 277, 297, 300 
Conner s Brigade, 437, 449 
Conrad s Store, 367, 369, 433 
Conscript Act, 64 
Conscript Bureau, 462 



Cook, Lieutenant Colonel, 459 

Cooke, General, 353, 356, 363 

Cooley s House, 439, 441, 444 

Corbet, Boston, 296, 297 

Corse, Colonel, 48, 49 

Cosby, General, 453, 454 

Costin, Major, 220 

Covington, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331 

Cow Pasture River, 328, 330 

Cox, General (U. S. A.), 158 

Cox s House, 210, 220, 223 

Coxe, Dr. (U. S. A.), 49 

Craig s Creek, 328, 329 

Crampton s Gap, 385, 386 

Creigh, 380 

Crittenden s House, 95, 96 

Crook, General (U. S. A.), 370, 375, 

379, 396, 398, 399, 406, 411, 417, 

424, 425, 430, 443, 444, 461 
Crooked Creek, 93 
Cross Keys, 75 
Crutchfield, Colonel, 176 
Culpeper County, 285, 316, 317 
Culpeper Court-House, 93, 94, 95, 96, 

100, 101, 106, 165, 192, 237, 253, 

277, 284, 302, 303, 316, 343, 407, 

Cumberland, 282, 284, 338, 368, 402, 

404, 461 

Curtin, Governor, 257, 261 
Custer, General (U. S. A.), 457, 458 
Cutshaw s Battalion, 408, 413, 433, 

435, 449 
Cutt s Battalion, 198 

Dabney, Major, 78 

Dams, 59, 60, 63, 72, 80, 81, 109 

Dance, Captain, 241, 307, 308, 310, 

311, 313, 314, 315 
Daniel, General, 346 
Daniel, Major J. W., 187, 310, 314, 

349, 359, 473, 474, 479, 480 
Danville, 104 

D Aquin, Captain, 176, 180 
Darien, 260 
Darkesville, 283, 413 
Davis, Eugene, 4 
Davis, General, 353 
Davis, President Jefferson, 27, 45, 56, 

Death of Jackson, 235 

Delaware, 45, 157 

Dement, Captain, 97, 98, 108, 111, 

176, 179 

Deep Creek, 170, 201 
Deep Run, 167, 168, 193, 194, 198, 

199, 202, 205, 206, 209, 211, 221 
Department of the Gulf, 418 
Department of Northern Virginia, 51 
Department of Southwestern Vir 
ginia and Eastern Tennessee, 461 
Department of Susquehanna, 417, 

418, 419 
Department of Washington, 344, 417, 

418, 419 
Department of Western Virginia, 

417, 418, 419 
Dillstown, 255 
Dix, General (U. S. A.), 51 
Dogan House, 26 

Doles, General, 267, 268, 346, 363 
Douglas, Colonel, 108, 109, 112, 143 
Downman s House, 223, 224, 227, 

228, 231, 232 
Drainesville, 52, 134 
Drayton s Brigade, 132, 154 
Drewry s Bluff, 76, 89 
Duffield s Depot, 384 
Dunkard Church, 140, 142, 144, 145, 

146, 149, 151, 158 

Early, General J. A., 1-7, 13, 15-29, 
31, 33, 38, 41, 47-49, 52. 56, 58, 
60-73, 75-85, 88, 92-103, 106- 
111, 114, 116-130, 133, 136, 140- 
166, 170-179, 184, 185-187, 194, 
195, 200-213, 219-228, 230-238, 
240, 243-248, 250-257, 260, 263, 
264, 267, 269, 271-276, 279, 280- 

Early, Jno. C., 186 

Early, Captain R. D., 187 

Early, Lieutenant S. H., 68, 81, 97, 
130, 186 

East Berlin, 258, 263, 264 

East Tennessee, 466 

Echols. General, 331, 385, 388, 396, 
399, 460, 462, 465, 466 

Edinburg, 368, 436, 450, 461 

Elzey, General, 23, 24, 25, 33, 36, 38, 
77, 78, 375, 376, 381 

Emory, General (U. S. A.), 393 



Evacuation, 53, 54, 55, 56, 65, 66, 67, 
89, 105, 363, 384, 467 

Evans, Colonel, 4, 5, 16, 26, 31, 32, 35, 
37, 47, 52, 132, 140, 154, 155, 158, 
173, 188, 190, 349, 359, 388, 422, 

425, 444, 448 

Ewell, General, 3-6, 13, 15, 31, 33, 50, 
51, 54, 56, 63, 74-82, 84, 86, 88, 
92-94, 97, 101-03, 106, 107, 108, 
111, 112, 114-122, 126, 129, 131, 
133, 135, 136, 137, 144, 151, 153- 
155, 158, 163, 164, 185, 187, 188, 
236, 237, 238, 240, 243, 249, 251, 
253-56, 261, 264, 266, 269-273, 
275, 276. 279-281, 283-85, 303-05, 
309, 310, 313, 316, 317, 321, 326, 
340, 343-48, 351, 354-59, 361, 
371, 475 

Fairfax Court-House, 4, 39, 40, 45, 

47, 48, 50, 52, 129 

Fairfax Station, 4, 6, 15, 45, 47, 48, 50 
Fairfield, 279, 280, 281 
Fair Oaks, 74 
Falling Waters, 282, 283 
Falmouth, 167, 169, 198, 201, 202, 218 
Farmdale, 477, 478 
Fauquier Springs, 303 
Feagans, Captain, 152 
Ferguson, Colonel, 410, 423, 434 
Field, General, 170, 342, 353, 354, 

355, 357, 360 

Fincastle, 327, 328, 330, 377, 379 
First Division, C. S. A., 50 
Fisher, Colonel, 32 
Fisher s Hill, 333, 334, 406, 407, 413, 

426, 429, 430, 431, 435, 436, 437, 
440, 441, 449, 450, 454, 456 

Fishersville, 460 

Florida Regiment, 60, 63, 67, 69, 73 

Folk s Old House, 246, 247 

Forest Road, 374, 376 

Forno, General, 107, 114, 115, 116, 


Fort Haskell, 476 
Fort Hill, 425, 426 
Fort Magruder, 59, 68, 69, 70, 73 
Fort Steadman, 476 
Fort Stevens, 389 
Fortress Monroe, 58, 61, 65 
Fox s Gap, 386 

Franklin County, 468 

Franklin, General (U. S. A.), 151, 159, 
176, 181, 394 

Frazier, Captain, 162 

Frazier s Farm, 77, 87 

Frederick City, 135, 139, 385, 386, 
387, 388, 395 

Frederick County, 366, 367, 368 

Frederick s Hall, 74, 465 
I Fredericksburg, 63, 104, 135, 162, 
166-170, 176, 179, 182, 183, 190- 
192, 194-97, 200-207, 209, 212, 
214, 218, 220, 221, 223-25, 228, 
231, 233-35, 237, 253, 285, 318, 
344, 353, 354, 357, 477 
! Freeman s Ford, 106 
i Freestone Point, 4 

Fremont (U. S. A.), 75, 92, 158, 475 

French, Colonel, 254, 255, 257, 258, 
259, 261, 321 

French, General (U. S. A.), 149, 151 

Front Royal, 165, 239, 240, 241, 243, 
284, 366, 367, 368, 369, 399, 406, 
407, 408, 413, 420, 421, 423, 424, 
426, 444, 450, 453, 459 

Fry, A. A. G. (U. S. A.), 40 

Fry, Colonel, 363 

i Gaines, Captain S., 478 
I Games House, 75, 89 
i Games Mill, 76, 364, 371, 379 
; Gainesville, 114, 123, 133 
Garber, 176 

Gardner, Captain F., 19, 20, 29, 186 
Gardner, Lieutenant Colonel, 27 
Garland, General S., 12, 158 
! Garnett, Lieutenant, 8 

Garnett s Expedition, 336 
I Gayle s House, 357 
j General Conscription, 64 
Georgetown, 42, 134, 387 
Georgetown Pike, 387, 389, 390, 391 
Georgia Troops, 27, 49, 50, 67, 78, 81, 
95, 97, 98, 99, 107, 109, 111, 115, 
116, 118, 124, 125 127, 131, 153, 
173-77, 180, 185, 190, 193, 259, 
280, 333, 336, 349, 362, 388, 390, 
393, 468 
Germana Ford, 317, 319, 324, 325, 

344, 346 
Gerr^antown, 40 



Gettysburg, 254-58, 264, 266, 267, 271, 
272, 275, 276, 278, 279, 282, 286- 
288, 290, 478 

Gibbon, General (U. S. A.), 198, 206, 
209, 225 

Gibson, Captain, 28 

Gibson, Colonel, 153 

Gilmor, Major H., 333-34, 338, 340, 
383, 394, 460 

Gilmore, General (U. S. A.), 393 

Gloucester Point, 59, 61 

Godwin, Colonel, 249, 274-75, 311- 

Godwin, General, 423, 427 

Goggin, Major, 449, 451 

Goldsborough, Major, 243 

Goodwin, Colonel, 385 

Gordon, General J. B., 192, 209-11, 
221-25, 227, 229, 230, 232-33, 239, 
240, 242-44, 246, 248-250, 252-53, 
256-263, 267-