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into battle; if so, once is enough.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


Battle of Gettysburg–July 2d.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gettysburg Continued–Pickett’s Charge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To the Editor of The Kershaw Gazette:

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

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

A Member of the Old Brigade.

Taken from Kershaw Gazette of February 26, 1880.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Did your men take any rails?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Did you have them put back?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Captain Gary, did your men use any rails?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Did you have them replaced?”

“No, sir.”

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

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

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

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

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Transferred to Georgia–Scenes Along the Route.

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

All expected a good, long rest after their many marches and bloody