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Notes and Queries.

Field Notes at Chancellorsville from Stuart and Jackson.

My Dear Sir,—Mrs. Thos. R. Price, of Richmond, Va., has recently submitted to my perusal some letters and papers left by her son, Major R. Channing Price, General Stuart's Adjutant-General, who was killed in battle near Chancellorsville, on 1st May, 1863. Among these I find one of the last field dispatches written by Stonewall Jackson.

General Stuart writes to General Jackson as follows:

headquarters cavalry division, 12 M., May 1st, 1863.
General,—I am on a road running from Spotsylvania C. H. to Silvers, which is on Plank Road, three miles below Chancellorsville. General Fitz. Lee is still further to the left and extends scouts to Plank Road (Orange), and has the Turnpike watched beyond [138] to see if any large movement takes place that way. I will close in on the flank and help all I can when the ball opens. I will communicate through Wickham and Owens to you.

May God grant us victory.

Yours truly,

J. E. B. Stuart, Major-General.

Upon the back of this dispatch General Jackson writes, evidently while on horseback, and with a badly pointed lead pencil:

12 1/2 P. M., May 1st, 1863.
I trust that God will grant us a great victory.

Keep closed on Chancellorsville.

Yours very truly,

What a commentary upon the lives of these two great men!

Yours very truly,

The ‘Macon Light Artillery’ at Fredericksburg.

Our gallant friend, Major N. M. Hodgkins, sends us the following note:

Macon, Ga., November 17th, 1882.
Rev. J. Wm. Jones, Secretary Southern Historical Society, Richmond, Va..
My Dear Sir,—In your last (October and November), General E. P. Alexander, in his admirable paper (No. 2) relative to ‘the battle of Fredericksburg,’ says:

‘Their advance exposed their left flank to a raking fire from the artillery on Lee's hill, which with good ammunition ought to have routed them without the aid of infantry. As it was some single shots were made which were even terrible to look at. Gaps were cut in their ranks visible at the distance of a mile, and a long cut of the unfinished Orange railroad was several times raked through by the thirty-pound Parrot, which enfiladed it from Lee's Hill, while filled with troops.’ * * * General A., in his ‘notes,’ says, ‘This gun [139] exploded during the afternoon at the thirty-ninth discharge, but fortunately did no harm, though Generals Lee, Longstreet, and others were standing very near it.’

Now, what I desire to state is, this gun was one of a section of the Macon Light Artillery, of Macon, Georgia, referred to in General A's first paper, wherein he says, ‘Among the guns in position on Lee's hill were two thirty-pound Parrotts, under Lieutenant Anderson, which had just been sent from Richmond,’ and which ‘did beautiful practice until they burst, one at the thirty-ninth round, and the other at the fifty-fourth.’

In connection with this I will state, that during this engagement an officer bore a message from General Lee, complimenting the command upon its effective fire. In returning, and in sight of the men, this officer was killed by a fragment of shell. Now, who was this officer? We have had his name given as Captain King. We have alluded to this incident in a former publication, and wish to give his name if we can.

The Macon Light Artillery afterwards formed a part of Colonel John C. Haskell's command in North Carolina. Colonel Edgar F. Moseley in Virginia, and Major Jos. G. Blount, of Georgia, commanded the batallion at the surrender, composed of Young's, Cummings's, Mitlers, and the Macon Light Artillery.

Very respectfully,

The hero of Fredericksburg of whom General Alexander spoke in his admirable paper in our November (1882) number, as carrying water to the wounded of the enemy at the peril of his own life was, of course, Richard Kirkland, of South Carolina, of whom General Kershaw wrote so interesting a sketch. [See Vol. 8, S. H. S. Papers, page 186.]

Two ‘unknown heroes’ of the ranks.

Our accomplished friend, Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, of Savannah, has furnished us the following incident which is but one of a thousand similar ones which might be given to illustrate the morale of ‘the men who wore the gray’:

At the time of General Hood's defeat before Nashville, the brigade [140] to which my regiment belonged, Smith's brigade, Cleburne's division, was detached and operating with General N. B. Forrest in the vicinity of Murfreesboro. Hood's retreat in the direction of Columbia placed the enemy on the direct line between our little force and the main body of the army, and in consequence we were obliged to make a wide detour by a forced march across the country to regain our place in our division line. In this march the men suffered terribly, as large numbers of them were barefooted and there were not half a dozen overcoats in the brigade, while the weather was intensely cold and the whole earth covered with sleet and snow. We reached Columbia at about nine o'clock at night, at least the head of the column did; but ‘the lame and the halt’ were coming up by ones and twos all night.

Early the next morning we were formed to march through the town, the First Georgia in the lead. In the first file of fours was a young fellow of about twenty years, who on the march of the day before had been compelled by physical weakness to throw away a part of his burden as a soldier. He had parted with his blanket and held on to his musket. Now, as we marched, with indomitable pluck he was at the head of the regiment though his trowsers were worn to a fringe from the knees down, and his bare feet cracked and bleeding left their marks upon the frozen road. At this moment a private of cavalry came riding by—he turned and looked at the poor lad— then reining in his horse he threw his leg over the pommell of the saddle and took off first one shoe and then the other, and throwing the pair of them down at the poor fellow's feet with these words: ‘Friend, you need them more than I do,’ he galloped away. Who he was I never knew, but surely no knight of old ever bore himself more like a true gentleman than he. I thought at the time of Philip Sydney and the acts and words that have made him immortal as he passed the cup of water from his own fevered and dying lips to those of another. And it almost startles me now to think that the words were nearly identical. Sydney said, ‘Friend, thy need is greater than mine.’ The same noble spririt of self-sacrifice was in both men, separated though they were by centuries of time. And both gave equal evidence that the divine spark in their natures was indeed ‘a living fire.’

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