On reaching our new line of battle, under what influence I know not, I announced General Beauregard
to the men, to which they promptly responded with three rousing cheers, and so, as we marched along the rear of our line, I, every fifty to seventy steps, announced General Beauregard
, to which a similar response was invariably and promptly given.
On reaching the left of the line I found it in much disorder.
Here, General Beauregard
informed me that he must leave me, and repeating his orders left me. He had not gone more than forty steps when a cry from the disordered crowd referred to, demanded to see General Beauregard
Calling to the General
to return, as the men say they must see you, I announced him to them, to which, responding with three hearty cheers, they promptly formed in line.
This I understood was Jackson
's left, on which, as ordered, I formed my men; the three companies which had joined me, as heretofore stated, having been detached, as far as I can learn, by General Johnston
and placed under the command of Colonel F. J. Thomas
of his staff, who was unfortunately killed.
I have recently visited the spot where he fell.
From the time I reported to General Beauregard
to the time I took my position on the left, we were at no time under fire, certainly none that annoyed us. It may not be amiss here to add that the half dozen cheers to which I have referred, and with which General Beauregard
was honored, had, I have reason to believe, a very happy effect on our troops and a very depressing one on those of the enemy, being regarded by him as the indications of frequent and heavy reinforcements from General Johnston
At least the letters of the Federal
correspondents, which were spread all over the country and were, as I have heard, republished in Europe
, so stated; while I know that the entire force represented by those cheers did not exceed 450 men, one-half of whom belonged to the Army of the Potomac.
Having taken my position, I found myself quite well sheltered from view by a small growth of old-field pines, as was Jackson
's left, with some small gullies now plainly to be seen in the rear of my left.
Looking around me, I found myself on the eastern slope of the ridge or plateau, opposite to, with my left a little to the south of the Henry house
, and directly in front of the Ricketts
battery, which had just taken position.
I am quite sure the enemy had not yet discovered us. I admonished my men to be cool and deliberate, and not to fire without an object under sight, and gave the word to fire.
This fire, with Jackson
's, which was no doubt simultaneous, was so destructive that it utterly disabled the Ricketts
battery for all efficient purposes.
I am not sure, but I am under the impression, that it never fired upon us