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[95] quietly and expeditiously was this retreat conducted that General Wise's command did not seem to know anything about it until that morning. Both commands now took up a line of march for ‘Dogwood Gap,’ not many miles distant—we arrived at this place the next day. After remaining here two days, about twelve o'clock at night, the long roll sounded, and we were ordered to strike tents at once, and prepare to fall back, as it was reported that General Cox, with a large force, was rapidly advancing upon us; we lost no time in executing these orders, and were soon on the march. Floyd's command fell back to ‘Meadow Bluff,’ which consumed several days. Here we encamped for about two weeks. General Wise's brigade fell back to Little Sewel Mountain—the General fortified his position, and said that he ‘would remain there until that hot place froze over.’ In a short while General Rosencrans, with his command of Federal troops came up and took their position, on Big Sewel Mountain, only a few miles from General Wise's position, all in sight.

About the 1st of October, General Floyd was ordered to reinforce General Wise at Little Sewel. These orders were executed in a few days. My command encamped at the eastern base of Little Sewel in anticipation daily of an engagement with the enemy. We remained here nearly two weeks. On a bright October morning, while walking down the mountain slope, I met a Confederate officer, who attracted my attention very much by his personal appearance. He was a noble looking soldier, had the eye of an eagle; he was riding a fine gray steed, and there was something about this officer that challenged my admiration and esteem. He rode up and spoke to me, and asked me where was General Wise's brigade. I informed him; he thanked me and rode in the direction I had given him. Upon meeting one of my officers I asked who was that noble looking officer just passed our camp; he replied that it was General Robert E. Lee, who at that time was little known to the Confederacy, but was destined to become one of the greatest captains the world ever saw, and whose name will ever live upon the brightest page of the historian. After remaining at Little Sewell mountain upwards of two weeks, General Lee made preparations to attack General Rosecrans; contrary, doubtless, to General Lee's expectations, on the morning the attack was to be made, General Rosecrans had very quietly evacuated Big Sewell, and only left a few broken down horses and wagons, and a few tents pitched to make it appear that he still occupied his position. This was considered a very ingenious piece of strategy, as General Lee was much disappointed when he found


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