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Chapter 8: March to Leesburgh fertility and beauty of London we are subjected to manwho mass heavy forces, and endeavor to shell Leesburgh from their superior position. Within a shettled that we should move up the country to Leesburgh — a stone's throw from the Potomac and Marylwas known, therefore, that we had orders for Leesburgh, London County — the most fertile and richesistance by the river (unnavigable here) from Leesburgh to the Ferry was about forty miles; the landnings! The whole aspect of the country from Leesburgh to the river, north and east, and far in Mars still standing in the old camp-ground near Leesburgh; next day would find us in some other directlfilled to the letter. The possession of Leesburgh was, in truth, of paramount importance to us than any other in the State. The people of Leesburgh had been somewhat disaffected to our cause, ntly shelled, in the vain hope of destroying Leesburgh, which they had not manhood enough to attemp
e that large bodies of troops were waiting orders. Although possessed of fine sites for counter-fortifications, General Evans never essayed to build, and save one small field-work that crowned a rising ground midway between Edwards's Ferry and Leesburgh, and our own invaluable bodies, we had nothing to withstand the enemy's approach. Don't talk to me of earthworks, Evans would petulantly exclaim; I have more fortifications now than I can well arm; besides, these Mississippians don't want to cGoose Creek, at which point all flanking forces from Drainsville must of necessity make their first appearance. This was a ruse designed to bewilder the enemy, who were accurately informed of all our movements by spies among the townspeople of Leesburgh. As for our men, what this habitual retreating and advancing might mean, none could tell — it sufficed that Evans ordered it, and the men obeyed cheerfully, although frequently compelled to march in drenching rains and impassable mud. In order
that night, a courier came dashing towards us, and brought the stirring news that McCall, with a heavy force, was marching from Drainsville to cut off Evans at Leesburgh. The latter, therefore, had hastily retreated to Goose Creek, ten miles nearer Centreville, and we were ordered to follow in his track, and if the enemy had reat at a certain point for further orders. We marched through Hillsborough like shadows-all were in bed and not a dog barked-and continued at a great pace towards Leesburgh. Towards evening we halted on a large hill overlooking the town, and received orders to keep to the woods and proceed on to our brigade at Goose Creek. The raie roads were awful, as all roads in Virginia are at this season. When within a mile of the creek, a courier brought orders to halt for the night, and proceed to Leesburgh at break of day. With much swearing and grumbling at Evans's idea of strategy, the order was obeyed, and shoeless, foot-sore, and dirty, we pitched tents on our
Chapter 11: What the enemy did when our forces had left Leesburgh Plots of Union traitors during our absence threatened approach of the enemy from Dramy to Maryland our reenforcements arrive. While our brigade was away from Leesburgh, and pickets were no longer at the river, many negroes crossed the stream, anhomestead, and was neither insulted nor annoyed by any one. Our return to Leesburgh caused some speculation, but the answer to all inquiries was, that we were torossed a few days previously, and seeing only a few tents on the outskirts of Leesburgh, had reported that three companies held the town. About three A. M., Sundetrayed little, yet sufficient to reveal that it was designed to draw us from Leesburgh along the Drainsville road, while Stone crossed-and occupied the town. Evanssquadron of cavalry were sent out to reconnoitre. They galloped gaily toward Leesburgh, and passed a company of the Eighteenth ensconced in the woods. The gay-look
ernal Rencontre the negroes with either army Humorous incidents Evans is sent to defend his native State, South-Carolina General D. D. Hill assumes command fortifications are erected we prepare for winter quarters. From two or three weeks previous to the battle of Leesburgh, the Northern papers overflowed with joyful expectations regarding the movements then in preparation. The Administration organ at Washington predicted that in a few days the rebels would suddenly drop out of Leesburgh ; others said, We shall begin to make history next week; let all prepare for a succession of Union victories that shall eclipse all the doings of the Old World! It may well be supposed that enough had occurred to disenchant them of these bombastic ideas; but no, the Federal generals, to cover up their defeat by misrepresentation, acknowledged having met with reverses at Ball's Bluff, but triumphantly rejoined-: We have captured Harrison's Island, and hold it against all efforts of the reb
y a quartermaster's wagon, and soon arrived at Centreville. The outposts and guards at the latter place were extremely vigilant — annoyingly so, I thought; and for the slightest irregularity in our passes and papers, would have sent us back to Leesburgh. Fortifications of immense strength and extent arose on every hand, and were all well mounted. Though I could not comprehend the half of what fell under my notice, I felt strongly impressed that no army in the world could capture the place bytify a place, there is no man on the continent that could do it better. He commanded the small Confederate force that defeated Butler in the engagement at Little Bethel, and was ably assisted by Colonel D. H. Hill, now a General, commanding at Leesburgh. When the war commenced, Magruder was registered on the U. S. army roll, Captain company I, first artillery. I saw dozens of other generals, since known to fame, and conversed with many, but defer speaking of them until their names occur as p
Chapter 14: The battle of Belmont, on the Mississippi, described in a letter from a friend the forces of General Pillow surprised by Grant the Southern troops narrowly escape a defeat reenforcements from General Polk and Columbus arrival of Polk on the field the Federal troops defeated and spoils taken characters of General Pillow and General Polk compared misrepresentations of the Northern press. I had only just returned to my regiment at Leesburgh when I received a letter from a Kentucky friend, serving under General Polk, at Columbus, descriptive of the engagement at Belmont, which had been fought some time before at the village of that name in Missouri: Columbus, Ky., Nov. 10th, 1861. Dear Tom: You will, ere this reaches you, have heard more than one account of the late fight at Belmont; but this will satisfy you that I am all right, and ready to have another shake with the Great Anaconda, so much talked of in the North. In my former letter, I full
though their force was small, and that of the enemy large, they unexpectedly appeared and disappeared like phantoms before Banks and Shields, acting like Jack-o‘--lanterns to draw them on to destruction. Our position on the Upper Potomac at Leesburgh was also threatened at not less than four points, namely, westward, from Lovettsville and Harper's Ferry; northward, from Point of Rocks; eastward, from Edwards's Ferry; and our rear from Drainsville. It was thought by some that our movement wpatients: If I was only a Yankee, the darned doctors would do more for-me than now. The dead, on all practicable occasions, were decently buried; and in many cases I have known putrid carcases handled and coffined by our men, and even a board placed at the head of the grave, as at Leesburgh, with the words: Here lies a Yankee; Co. H, Fifteenth Massachusetts. I am emphatic about this subject, for many infamous misrepresentations have been widely circulated regarding us by the Northern press
ow that had old Mac followed us up vigorously after passing Sudley Ford, we should never have been here now, I'm thinking, drinking bad whisky, at four o'clock oa the morning. Why, man, our right wing was never engaged at all. Longstreet, Jones, and Ewell hardly fired a shot all day; and there was the left overlapped by the Yankees at three in the afternoon, and when we did drive them back, and got them into a panic, Beauregard hadn't more than two regiments at their heels. Old Evans, at Leesburgh, did the thing handsomely; he killed more than the number of his own men actually engaged; made prisoners of twice as many, and drowned the rest. I hear he came from Fife before entering the Northern army. Yes, dear old Scotland has given a good many men in this war-there's McClellan from Argyle, and Scott from Dumfries, and- Johnstone might have gone on claiming Southern celebrities for natives of Scotia, but Moore, becoming indignant, swore roundly that Beauregard was from Limerick
hood, and will seek to maintain it in the same manner. Falsehood is their settled plan of action. You remember the column of lies that appeared after Manassas, Leesburgh, etc. They have the most fertile imaginations of any race on the globe, and could battles be fought on paper, and with woodcuts, instead of powder and sabre-oners we took, said the major, could give a version of Seven Pines rather different from that published by McClellan. When Stone failed, and Baker fell at Leesburgh, McClellan was indignant at the idea that he was said to have ordered their unfortunate advance. Baker was dead and could not speak; Stone, who could speak, wasve gold-corded caps and coats. Volumes might be written upon the great kindness shown to our troops by the ladies of Virginia: although the women of Winchester, Leesburgh, Charlottesville, and other places, did much for the common cause, their noble-hearted and open-handed sisters of Richmond far surpassed them all. Nothing that h
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