rge 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 too familiar but never
Junction in time to receive the corpse, which, along with several others, was enclosed in a simple wooden case and under the charge of one of our artillerymen, who, with tears in his eyes, gave me the particulars of his gallant commander's death.
I did not reach Richmond until late at night, and not finding the hearse, which I had telegraphed to be in readiness, at the station, was obliged to remove the body into the town in a common one-horse waggon.
Immediately on arriving I went to Governor Letcher, an old and stanch friend of Stuart's and mine, who kindly afforded all the assistance in his power, and placed a room at my disposal in the Capitol, where the Confederate Congress held its sessions.
The coffin was placed in it, covered with the large flag of the State of Virginia, and a guard of honour was placed over it. The next day I procured a handsome iron coffin, and with my own hands assisted in transferring the body to its new receptacle.
I was overcome with grief as I touche
of my identity.
The rumour of my having been killed spread over the whole country, and was accepted as true by every part of our army where I had not been seen since the battle, and the regret expressed at my loss, and manifest pleasure exhibited by both soldiers and citizens to know me still among them, administered not a little to my self-esteem.
Beside the many letters of condolence and offers received by Stuart on my account, greatly to his amusement, a request was despatched by Governor Letcher to General Lee to have my body forwarded, and claiming the privilege of having it interred with all the honours of the State of Virginia.
To this demand, General Lee sent the following characteristic reply: Can't spare it: it's in pursuit of Stoneman.
Our headquarters were established on one of the hills forming a semicircle round one side of the beautiful little valley in which the pleasant village of Orange Court-house is situated, and we overlooked the town, as well as a great pa