This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 make the whole march that night. But it proved a most wearisome and unsatisfactory march — the straggling was fearful — and we only reached Piedmont Station, thirty-four miles from Manassas, in the time in which a year later we could easily have made Manassas Junction. Jackson's brigade being in front reached Piedmont at 8 o'clock in the morning of the 19th, and two hours later took the cars for Manassas. Our brigade did not reach Piedmont until late that night. Incidents of the march were the wading of the Shenandoah — the cheers with which we greeted the announcement that Beauregard had defeated the attack upon him at Bull Run — the frequent raids we made on blackberry patches (a witty surgeon of our brigade remarked that our bill of fare on the march was “three blackberries a day; pick them yourself, and if you got a fourth one it was to be turned over to the commissary” )--and the crowds of people who turned out to see us pass and supply us with what food they had. I remember that on reaching Piedmont, late in the night, my regiment was assigned a place of bivouac which was covered with water, and I looked around for some more comfortable quarters until I found in an old-fashioned Virginia chicken-coop a couch where “nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep,” soon brought me rest as refreshing as I ever enjoyed on downy pillows. We were detained at Piedmont until late in the night of the 20th by being unable to obtain transportation. I witnessed here an incident which illustrated the fact that at this date every private in our ranks thought himself as good as the highest officer. While General Kirby Smith was superintending the embarkation of the troops, a private in my company asked him a question, to which the General gave a rough reply, whereupon the soldier straightened himself up and said: “I asked you a civil question, sir, and if you were disposed to act the gentleman you would give me a civil answer.” General Smith at once grasped the hilt of his sword, but the soldier quietly drew his pistol and said: “If you don't put up that sword I'll shoot you.” The private was arrested, but Colonel Hill interceded for him and General Smith generously consented to his release. I do not know whether it is true, as was currently reported, that one of the engineers proved traitor and caused a collision of two trains, but I know that we had a wearisome night on the crowded cars waiting for the track to be cleared; that we went down Sunday morning very cautiously, expecting the enemy to strike the railroad; that for miles we heard the roar of the battle then progressing; that once we disembarked and formed line of battle on a report that the enemy were advancing on the road, and that we reached Manassas Junction when the
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.