Reminiscences of the army of Northern Virginia, or the boys in gray, as I saw them from Harper's Ferry in 1861 to Appomattox Court-house in 1865.
.--The readers of our Papers
will bear witness that the Secretary
has not often troubled them with his own writing, preferring that our valuable space should be filled by other pens.
As I have been, however, frequently urged by gentlemen, in whose judgment I have great confidence, to publish a series of papers which shall attempt a sketch of army life as I saw it, I have decided to yield to their solicitation, so far, at least, as to present several papers on different phases of the history of our grand old army.
It is for others to say how far it may be desirable to continue them.
My general design is (while preserving the strictest historic accuracy as to our great campaigns and battles, bringing out especially the great odds against which we fought) to draw a series of pictures of the prominent leaders, and of the private soldiers of that army, showing who they were, what they were, what they did, and what they said on the march, in the camp, the bivouac, the hospital, and on the battlefield.]
Paper no. 1.
Early days of the war.
It was my proud privilege to follow the fortunes of the Army of Northern Virginia, from Harper's Ferry
, in 1861, to Appomattox Court-house, in 1865.
Entering the service as “high private in the rear rank,” and afterward acting as chaplain in both Stonewall Jackson
's and A. P. Hill
's corps, I had some peculiar facilities for seeing and knowing what occurred.
Personally acquainted with Robert E. Lee
, J. E. Johnston
, A. P. Hill
, Edward Johnson
, Fitzhugh Lee
, W. H. F. Lee
, John B. Gordon
, J. A. Walker
, and a large number of others of our leading officers, I at the same time made it my duty to know thoroughly the unknown private of the rank and file.
I marched with him along the weary road; I bivouaced with him in the pelting storm; I shared with him the rough delights of the camp; I joined with him in those delightful services which proved that Jesus was often in the army with a power rarely witnessed at home.
I went with him into the leaden and iron hail of battle, and I ministered to him in the loathsome hospital.
I saw him in the hour of victory giving a right royal greeting to his loved and honored chief — and I saw him