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Macon (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
ep to ascend on horseback, so that we were compelled to dismount and lead our horses. The briars and brambles scratched our hands and faces, and made sad work with our uniforms. The night had now deepened into great darkness, and we expected momentarily to lose our way or tumble over one of the frightful precipices along the verge of which we had to pass. But, surmounting all difficulties and escaping all dangers, we at last reached the foot of the Blue Ridge, near the small village of Macon, at a short distant from which place we saw a large camp-fire, and in the glare of the flames discovered a group of soldiers around it. We halted, of course, at once, and with a proper precaution sent forward on foot one of our couriers to ascertain whether the men before us were friends or foes. After a few minutes of extreme anxiety on our part, the courier came back with the pleasing intelligence that all was right, as the picket in sight consisted of soldiers belonging to the division
Millwood (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
. 4th November. The deep sleep which succeeded to the fatigues of the previous day had hardly fallen upon me, when I was aroused by the touch of Stuart's hand upon my shoulder. The General's wish was that I should bear him company, with several of our couriers and Dr Eliason, who was well acquainted with all the roads in the neighbouring county, to the headquarters of General Jackson, who had encamped about twelve miles off, on the opposite side of the Shenandoah, near the village of Millwood. The command of our cavalry had been temporarily transferred to Colonel Rosser, who had instructions to hold his position as long as possible, and to keep General Stuart informed by frequent messengers of the progress of the impending fight. A cold wind was blowing in our faces as we trotted through the village of Paris in the direction of the Shenandoah, and it was freezing hard when we reached the stream, about midnight, at a point where ordinarily it was easily fordable, but where w
Rappahannock (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
atable. Very good beer is made from it, and the kernels were frequently employed by us in the preparation of a wretched substitute for coffee. The North Carolina troops were often chaffed by their comrades from other States for being so fond of persimmons — a taste they had in common with the negroes and that remark-able animal the Virginia opossum, which is always fattest when the persimmon season is at its height. The Yankees not making their appearance on the opposite bank of the Rappahannock, we left behind several squadrons and two pieces of artillery to guard the two nearest fords, and went at nightfall with the main body of our troops a few miles farther back, establishing our bivouac in a dense forest of oak and pine. The night set in cold again, and the rain changed to a heavy fall of snow, giving us every prospect of a most uncomfortable time of it. But the accustomed woodfire, with its immense pile of blazing logs, around which General and Staff and escort collected,
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 13
producing the highest effects of light and shade. The never-failing prevision of my negro servant William supplied our evening repast with some excellent Irish potatoes, which he had contrived to pick up somewhere on the road, and which he roasted in such a manner as to produce a very pleasing result. One of our couriers, whom we had sent off to the postoffice at Culpepper Court-house, came in after supper, bringing me the first letters I had received from home since my departure for America. Stretched out upon the damp ground, I became so much absorbed in reading them by the fitful glare of the fire, that my blanket caught from the embers without my perceiving it, and was in rapid combustion when Stuart called out to me, Von, what are you doing there? Are you going to burn yourself like an Indian widow? 8th, 9th, and 10th November. Early the following morning we left our beds of mud and snow, and moved to the Hazel river, where we awaited the further approach of the
Hampton (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
rew my blankets closely around me, and, wearied with a ride of more than fifty miles, stretched my limbs on the hard ground, in the hope of gaining some refreshment for the inevitable rough work of the coming day. 5th November. The bugle sounding to saddle cruelly cut short my slumbers with the dawn, and a few minutes afterwards we galloped up to Fitz Lee's brigade, which, according to orders, occupied its position on the cross road. We now found, to our inexpressible delight, that Hampton's brigade, which, having been detached to our infantry, had been separated from us during the past week, had also arrived on the spot; and the hearty welcome we gave them attested the new hope and confidence as to the issue of the impending conflict which their presence inspired. General Hampton had been ordered to form the right wing of our line of battle, and I accompanied him upon a little reconnaissance to a slight eminence, from which we could narrowly watch the approach of the vas
White Post (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
en, the weather frequently changing from biting frost to genial warmth in a few hours; and we experienced this pleasant alternation as we rode forth into the brilliant sunshine of the clear November morning. To avoid the disagreeable passage of the river by swimming our horses, General Stuart had determined to cross higher up, where the Shenandoah might be forded without difficulty, and we continued our ride through the rich country on the left bank, passing the pleasant little hamlet of White Post on our route, until mid-day, when we made an easy ford, and soon after partook of a hasty dinner at a hospitable mansion most picturesquely situated on the very margin of the beautiful stream. Here I could not resist purchasing for our mess-table two of a flock of fat turkeys, which, tied together by the legs, I carried for a while thrown across the pommel of my saddle. The fowls gave me so much annoyance, however, by the flapping of their wings, that I was glad to give them in charge to
Front Royal (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
minutes of extreme anxiety on our part, the courier came back with the pleasing intelligence that all was right, as the picket in sight consisted of soldiers belonging to the division of General D. H. Hill, who had retired in the direction of Front Royal, but was still holding Manassas Gap. Dr Eliason being now fully acquainted with the neighbourhood, we dismissed our mountaineer, who evinced great delight when General Stuart handed him a fifty-dollar note for his services. The perils of ed, and had gone into camp in the vicinity of Culpepper Court-house, General Longstreet, with his whole corps, having reached there several days before, followed by Jackson, who had left behind only one of his divisions under D. H. Hill, near Front Royal. General Stuart went off next day on a little reconnaissance to Brandy Station and Rappahannock Bridge, but for once I did not accompany him, being detained in camp by domestic duties, arranging the interior of my tent, and building the cu
Blue Ridge (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
cutting off their heads with his pocket-knife. The son of the gentleman who entertained us at dinner, being thoroughly familiar with the bridlepaths across the mountains, offered himself as our guide to save us the long detour of the common highway, and his services were thankfully accepted. So we pursued our course along the rough mountain-side, but seldom touched by human foot, and, as we rode, enjoyed frequent opportunities of admiring the wild and wonderful scenery of the majestic Blue Ridge. Climbing up steep banks and skirting dizzy precipices, we were often obliged to cut our way with our sabres through the dense entanglement of bushes and vines, many of the latter heavy with clusters of small dark-blue grapes. A rolling cannonade, borne to us from the direction of Ashby's Gap, hurried us on our toilsome and difficult way, and about five o'clock in the afternoon we reached the summit of the mountain. The view we obtained from this point was surely the most magnificent I
Jackson (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
Chapter 12: Night-ride to Jackson's camp. return across the Mountains. we are cut off by the enemy. fight at Barber's cross-roads. retreat towards Orleans and across the Rappahannock. fights near Waterloo Bridge and Jefferson. Crossing of the Hazel river. bivouac in the snow. scout with General Stuart. headquarters near Culpepper Court-house. reconnaissance in force, and fight near Emmetsville. 4th November. The deep sleep which succeeded to the fatigues of the prevripped from the flanks of our horses, congealed into icicles, and the legs of the animals were rough with ice. But a sharp ride, as it promoted the circulation of the blood, kept us tolerably warm, and at two o'clock in the morning we arrived at Jackson's encampment. Stuart, being unwilling in his great tenderness for Old Stonewall to disturb his slumbers, proposed that we should seek rest for the remaining hours of the night; but in our frozen condition, it being first necessary that we shoul
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 13
now let us be off, said Stuart, and slapping me on the back to conceal his own slight embarrassment, he rose from the table, followed by his companions. In a few minutes we rode off at a gallop to fresh scenes of excitement and activity. In Virginia the vicissitudes of temperature are great and sudden, the weather frequently changing from biting frost to genial warmth in a few hours; and we experienced this pleasant alternation as we rode forth into the brilliant sunshine of the clear Novemnumerous persimmon trees on either side of the road-fruit which the recent frosts had brought plentifully to perfection, and which furnished a welcome though meagre repast of our famished troopers. The persimmon tree grows very abundantly in Virginia, and its fruit resembles somewhat the European medlar or the Asiatic date. In the green state the persimmon is exceedingly acrid and astringent, but it becomes mellowed by successive frosts, and in winter its taste is sweet and palatable. Very
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