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

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

SECOND REGIMENT. The Second Regiment chose as officers–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Company H–H. McManus, D. Clyburn.

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

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

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

* * * * *


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

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

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

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

G.W. Shell, Laurens, Quartermaster.

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

Ed. Hicks, of Laurens, Sergeant Major.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


The Seventh Regiment was reorganized by electing–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


The Eighth South Carolina Regiment was reorganized by electing–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


Battle of Seven Pines–Seven Days’ Fight Around Richmond.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Don’t you see ’em yonder? They are putting up a balloon.”

“No,” said the officer, “that’s nothing but a star,” which it really was.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hello, Bob Toombs! Hello, Bob Toombs! Don’t you know your old friend Webster?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


The March to Maryland–Second Manassas. Capture of Harper’s Ferry–Sharpsburg.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


Sharpsburg or Antietam–Return to Virginia.

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

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

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

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

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

McClellan was now growing desperate, his lines making no headway either on the left or centre. His forces were held at bay on our right across the Antietam, having failed to force a crossing at the bridges. Jackson and Hill, on the left, were being sorely pressed by the corps of Mansfield and Hooker, but still doggedly held their ground. Jackson had left the division of A.P. Hill at Harper’s Ferry to settle the negotiations of surrender, and had but a comparative weak force to meet this overwhelming number of two army corps. Again and again the Confederate ranks were broken, but as often reformed. Stuart stood on the extreme left, with his body of cavalry, but the condition of the field was such as to prevent him from doing little more service than holding the flanks. General Toombs, with his Georgia Brigade, and some detached troops, with two batteries, held the lower fords all day against the whole of Burnside’s corps, notwithstanding the imperative orders of his chief “to cross and strike the Confederates in the rear.” Assaults by whole divisions were repeatedly made against the small force west of the stream, but were easily repulsed by Toombs and his Georgians. In all probability these unsuccessful attacks would have continued during the day, had not the Federals found a crossing, unknown to the Confederate Generals, between the bridges. When the crossing was found the whole slope on the western side of the stream was soon a perfect sheet of blue. So sure were they of victory that they called upon the Confederates to “throw down their arms and surrender.” This was only answered by a volley and a charge with the bayonet point. But there was a factor in the day’s battle not yet taken account of, and which was soon to come upon the field like a whirlwind and change the course of events. A.P. Hill, who had been left at Harper’s Ferry, was speeding towards the bloody field with all the speed his tired troops could make. Gregg, Branch, and Archer, of Hill’s Division, were thrown into the combat at this most critical