ards one o'clock it ceased almost entirely.
About this time we returned to the spot where General Longstreet had taken his position the day before, and where several of our generals were assembled, to whom I was presented by General Stuart. President Davis soon came up, congratulating the Generals, and expressing his great satisfaction at the issue of the day.
I had now the opportunity of closely observing General Longstreet for the first time.
He was a stout man, of middle height, and mo soldiers were perfectly devoted to him, and I have frequently heard friendly contentions between officers and men of his corps, and those of Stonewall Jackson's, as to which of the two was the most meritorious and valuable officer.
President Jefferson Davis is a tall thin man, with sharplydefined features, an air of easy command, and frank, unaffected, gentlemanlike manners.
I had the honour of being presented to him, and was struck with the simple friendly tone in which he conversed with
him upon it, he said, Ah, this is all very well, Major, but we have yet much hard work before us.
And indeed we had. That same evening the troops were again on the march to Sharpsburg, where General Lee was rapidly concentrating his army, and where a great decisive battle was expected to be fought during the next twenty-four hours. We had yet to learn how great a misfortune was the escape of the cavalry regiment the night before the surrender.
During the night, under its bold leader, Colonel Davis, it came accidentally in contact with Longstreet's ordnance trains, capturing and destroying a great number of the waggons and stampeding the whole of the teams.
Riding over the plateau from point to point, I witnessed a ridiculous scene, which nearly proved tragical to a Yankee officer.
Jackson had granted to the officers of the garrison permission to retain their side-arms and horses.
Some of our men, ignorant of this fact, had just surrounded a Federal captain, summoning him to
ers to serve as a large common grave, not less than 800 of their men being buried in it. The bodies of these poor fellows, stripped nearly naked, were gathered in huge mounds around the pit, and tumbled neck and heels into it; the dull thud of corpse falling on corpse coming up from the depths of the hole until the solid mass of human flesh reached near the surface, when a covering of logs, chalk, and mud closed the mouth of this vast and awful tomb.
On my return to Lee's Hill I saw President Davis and Governor Letcher with our Commander.
They had come from Richmond to congratulate him and the troops under him on their success, and had been greeted all along the lines with the utmost enthusiasm.
It was late at night when we returned to headquarters, where I stretched my weary limbs along my blankets, intensely soothed with the balmy reflection that I was about to enjoy a long spell of rest for my body, and relief for my mind from the racking anxiety and emotion with which the t
wet, better than did the horses.
Especially was this exhibited in the case of my grey mule Kitt, for in spite of hard times she looked as gay and sleek as ever; but it must be added that she displayed an omnivorous appetite.
All was fodder to her impartial palate, from pine-leaves to scraps of leather, and even the blankets with which I covered my horses were not safe from her voracity.
On the 21st we had a visit from Custis Lee, son of our Commander-in-Chief, and aide-de-camp to President Davis, who wished to inspect the battle-field and the town of Fredericksburg; and at his request General Stuart and I gladly accompanied him on the expedition.
I had thus the first direct opportunity presented to me of leisurely inspecting the ruins of poor Fredericksburg, which, with its shattered houses, streets ript open, and demolished churches, impressed me sadly enough.
The inhabitants had nearly all deserted the place, the only visible exceptions being here and there a wretched paupe
orning the General felt comparatively easy, and the physician entertained great hope that the wound might not prove fatal.
Towards noon, however, a change took place for the worse, and our fears began to be greatly excited.
About this time President Davis visited the prostrate hero; taking his hand, the President said, General, how do you feel?
He replied, Easy, but willing to die if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty.
As evening approached mortification sGovernment duty, but which, till then, I had always refused, hoping soon to be able to go into active campaigning — was renewed.
There being very little chance of active service during the cold weather, and General Hampton, General Lee, and President Davis, urging me to go on a mission for the Government to England, I at last yielded to their wishes, hoping to be back for the spring campaign.
My commanding officer had in the mean time urgently requested that my rank should be raised to that o