as we marched away with flags flying and drums beating, to fight for our State, the eyes of all the world, we thought, were upon each and every one of us, and we looked forward with exultation to the time when the war over, we would glory in telling of our heroic deeds.
We did not doubt but that we would have attentive and eager listeners to our tales.
We have learned since that few things are so wearisome to our friends as our old war stories.
And when two or three of us, old soldiers, get together and commence—as we are sure to do-forming our lines of battle and marshaling our little battalions, and charging the enemy's breastworks, and all that, do we not see those from whom we looked for wondering admiration quietly slipping away uninterested in our well worn martial exploits?
Do we not hear them humming something about the old king, who
Fought all his battles o'er again,
And thrice he routed all his foes, and
Thrice he slew the slain?
And, after all, is it not enough if we can say with Uncle Toby:
... And for my own part, though I should blush to boast of myself, Trim.
Yet had my name been Alexander, I could not have done more at Namur than my duty.
And may we not content ourselves with the recollection, that if we did no more than our duty, that we did try
to do faithfully?
Begging, then, the patience of our friends who honor us with their presence to-day, let me ask them to bear with us while we go over the battle of the 29th August, 1862, the second day of the great battle of Manassas
, on which day our brigade bore so conspicuous a part, and in which battle, all together, the State of South Carolina
suffered so terribly.
Colonel William Allan
, who was Chief of Ordnance
on General Jackson
's staff, and who is as able a writer as he was a faithful and gallant soldier, whose pen has contributed so much to the truth of the history of the war, and to whom the soldiers of our corps especially are so much indebted for the preservation of their records, in a recent letter to the Philadelphia Times
describing the battlefields of Manassas
, as they appeared on a visit twenty years after the events which have made them so famous, thus describes the position which our brigade held on Friday, the 29th of August, 1862:
‘We were now at the extreme northern limit of the field of the second battle, and we turned to the southwest, and soon found our way to the position taken by Jackson on August 29th, 1862, and held by him so tenaciously ’