and many a poor fellow has been killed by his own friends because he could not resist the temptation of discarding his duty rags for a new blue coat and trousers.
In addition to the loss of my captured horse, I was very much teased for my mistake, and General Stuart often laughingly asked me, How many prisoners of the 9th Virginia have you taken lately?
Pursuing my ride, after having disposed of the Confederate prisoner, I found General Stuart at a point upon the riverbank where Captain Stephen D. Lee, who later distinguished himself as a general at Vicksburg and in the Western campaigns, had placed the six pieces of artillery in a very favourable position.
We had not long to wait before opening fire.
The expected Yankee transports, five in number, soon came in sight, and passed us slowly not more than one hundred yards distant from our battery.
Our pieces thundered all together, and kept up an incessant discharge.
The effect on the transports, which were densely crowded with
with hushed anxiety at the imposing columns which moved towards the Confederate position as a water-spout moves over the deep.
The silence was something appalling, when, at the instant, forty pieces of artillery poured a withering shower of shells into the very midst of the advancing host, while, at the same time, their first line was received with a perfect sheet of fire from our triple infantry line concealed in the dense undergrowth of the forest.
The artillery was in charge of Colonel Stephen D. Lee, and the accuracy with which the shells exploded in the very faces of the foe testified to the admirable service of the guns.
It was as if an annihilating bolt out of the thunder-cloud had let loose its fury upon those doomed men, who until now had been pressing onward like moving walls, and they now wavered and swayed to and fro as if the very earth reeled beneath their feet.
Again and again roared the thunder of our guns, again and again deadly volleys sent their hail of bullets