a ride through the Federal lines at night
The battle of Chickamauga
was fought on the 19th and 20th of September, 1863.
The incident I am about to narrate was associated with the movement, a week before this battle, to attack in detail the widely separated corps of the Federal
army, which, crossing Lookout Mountain
, had descended through three defiles from ten to twenty miles apart.
Our division of cavalry (Martin
's) was moved by a rapid, all-night march from near Lee
and Gordon's Mills through Lafayette, Georgia
, in the direction of Alpine
It was a tiresome ride, and although we did our best, it was slow work for a large body of cavalry stretched along a country road, at night, with here and there a narrow or defective bridge or causeway.
We were the advance brigade, and I recall the fact that in the effort to get as much fun and frolic out of an uncomfortable situation as possible, a number of the best voices in the command had been gathered about the center of our regiment and were waking the echoes in the gloomy forests which hemmed us in, by singing lively war songs.
From my point of view, at that time, the war had become a very serious matter.
In the beginning I thought it would be a grand and exciting, yet short-lived, adventure, and with a host of others under military age hastened into the service fearing war might be over before we had a chance for the glory of it. That illusion had been dispelled.
Nearly three years had passed, and despite the patient toil and suffering and the heroic self-sacrifice of the battlefield, our army had met with so much disaster, it forced upon me the conclusion that our