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[50] highest soldierly qualities uniformly displayed, and in the hope of contributing something not wholly void of interest to the archives of the Southern Historical Society, that these reminiscences have been penned. Writing from memory, after the lapse of fifteen years, I shall not be expected to give details with the accuracy of an official report, or even to recall the names of many of those whose gallantry entitled them to honorable mention.

The following was the composition of the brigade when the campaign began:

The Fourth Alabama regiment, commanded by Colonel P. D. Bowles (afterwards Brigadier-General).

The Fifteenth Alabama, under Colonel William C. Oates.

The Forty-fourth Alabama, under Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Jones.

The Forty-seventh Alabama, under Major J. M. Campbell.

The Forty-eighth Alabama, under Major J. W. Wigginton.

The brigade numbered not exceeding fifteen hundred men rank and file.

Battle of the Wilderness.

When General Grant began his advance from Culpeper, two divisions of General Longstreet's corps, Kershaw's and Field's, were in the neighborhood of Gordonsville, having recently arrived from east Tennessee. The march began on the 4th of May, I believe, about 2 o'clock. After dark on the evening of the 5th the troops went into camp nearly ten miles, as the road ran, from the point on the Plank road at which General A. P. Hill's corps had been engaged that evening. About midnight the men were aroused by marching orders, and the corps moved off, Kershaw's division in front. It was probably 2 o'clock A. M. when my brigade left camp.

The progress made before light was slow. The night was dark, and we seemed to be on a narrow country road. As it grew light the speed of the men was quickened. At sunrise firing was heard in the distance, and about the same time the direction of our march changed almost at a right angle to the left. The distance to the scene of the engagement was now probably about five miles, and it was traversed with the greatest possible speed.

The first visible sign of battle that we encountered was the field hospital, through the depressing scenes of which our line of march lay. We were now on the Orange plank-road, and began to meet the wounded retiring from the field. At first there were few; but


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