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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 25. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.23 (search)
ers from the brigade to go to Petersburg. Colonel Rion stepped out and said: The whole battalion will go. He directed me to put the eight companies, comprising some 500 men, on the train. It was close packing, standing and sitting, inside and outside, on engine, tender and cars. I was on top taking in the scenery and the pine smoke from the engine. I was a dirty white man before we started, but by the time we arrived in Petersburg I was black. Right across Pocahontas Bridge and up the Main street we marched, my blackness illuming and leading the way. It was just after Wise's brigade had given way. They were running back, some hatless, some shoeless, and nearly all without guns. The women of Petersburg were out on the sidewalks, carrying their household goods from place to place. What brigade is that? they asked. Hagood's brigade, I proudly answered. We are safe now, said they, as they went down on their knees on the pavements. Hagood's brigade had saved them twice r