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Chapter 51: Yellow Tavern.—Death of Stuart. On the morning of May 13th, Mr. Davis came hurriedly in from the office for his pistols, and rode out to the front, where Generals Gracie and Ransom were disposing their skeleton brigades to repel General Sheridan's raiders, who had been hovering around for some days. At the Executive Mansion, the small-arms could be distinctly heard like the popping of fire-crackers. I summoned the children to prayer, and as my boy Jefferson knelt, he raised his little chubby face to me, and said, You had better have my pony saddled, and let me go out to help father; we can pray afterward. Wherever it was possible, the President went to the battle-field, and was present during the engagement, and at these times he bitterly regretted his executive office, and longed to engage actively in the fight. A line of skirmishers had been formed near the Yellow Tavern, our forces were closely pressed, and seeing a brigade preparing to charge on the left
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 53: battle of Drury's Bluff, May 16, 1864. (search)
g the first week in May. I was near Drury's Bluff with a battery of light guns and Barton's and Gracie's brigades, and our company of irregular cavalry. The President came to my camp, and finding oult the outer works north of Richmond, at dawn the next day. Immediately my two movable brigades, Gracie's and Fry's, and a light battery were hastened to and through Richmond, and I arrived with them t Chafin's Bluff, it being impracticable to withdraw it from that position. As the day advanced Gracie's brigade was thrown in front of the works and pressed forward to feel Sheridan, but it was soonby leaving Richmond entirely unprotected, except by the clerks and citizens. Sheridan withdrew, Gracie's and Fry's brigades returned to near Drury's Bluff. During the week most all of Beauregard'rder from Beauregard to advance by brigades in echelon, left in front. This movement was begun, Gracie's brigade leading and I with it. After advancing some distance I heard firing to right and rear,
not space to name. Mississippi gave her Ferguson, Barksdale, Martin, the two Adams, Featherston, Posey, and Fizer, who led an army on the ramparts of Knoxville but left his arm there, and a host of gallant men. Alabama sent us Deas, Law, Gracie, and James Longstreet, dubbed by Lee upon the field of Sharpsburg his old war horse, a stubborn fighter, who held the centre there with a scant force and a single battery of artillery; the gallant Twenty-seventh regiment of North Carolina troops,Hood, one of the bravest and most dashing division commanders in the army. Always in the front, he lost a limb at Chickamauga; John C. Breckinridge, Charley Field, S. B. Buckner, Morgan, Duke, and Preston; the latter with his fine brigades under Gracie, Trigg, and Kelly, gave the enemy the coup de grdce which terminated the battle of Chickamauga. Missouri gave us Bowen, and Green, and Price, that grand old man, worshipped and followed to the death by his brave patriotic Missourians. Fr