the run to Hannon
's (now Jackson
's) old ice-pond; here entered a military foot-path leading along the pond eastward to the head of the pond; thence filed eastwardly up a ravine along the same military foot-path to the Jerusalem plank-road.
We are now at a point a few feet from the southwestern corner of the Jewish cemetery
of to-day, and the position of the foot-path in this ravine along which we came is yet plainly marked.
At the plank-road we are halted and counter-march by regiments, thereby placing each regiment with its left in front.
Here we see on the roadside, General Mahone
, with other officers, dismounted, their horses standing near by. Mahone
had then reported to General Beauregard
at the headquarters of General Johnson
, which were at the old house, which, until a few years ago, stood on the crest of the hill a short distance northwest from the northwest corner of Blandford Cemetery and near the road leading southwardly up the hill to the cemetery.
It was now about half-past 8 o'clock, and the enemy were just as they had been for nearly four hours, in quiet occupation of the Crater, with about one hundred and fifty yards of our breastworks to the south and some two hundred yards of these works to the north of the Crater, reaching down to the foot of the hill on the north side.
To these limits on either side the Confederates
occupying the lines north and south of the Crater confined them.
, having had the regiments counter-march at the Jerusalem plank-road, goes ahead along the covered way leading directly across the road, southeastwardly to the ravine in rear and west of the Confederate
works now occupied by the enemy.
Ascending the little knoll at the point where the ravine is entered by another smaller ravine or gully, into which the zig-zag covered way led and terminated, he sees the Confederate
works filled to overflowing with Federal troops, and, counting eleven regimental flags, estimates the Federal
force in possession as at least 3,000 men. The situation is an extremely grave one.
His own little force of two brigades, then approaching in the covered way, if assailed in this position, would be inevitably cut to pieces and destroyed.
orders Courier J. H. Blakemore
to go at once back and bring up the Alabama
') to come by the same route which the Virginia
brigades had taken.
Whilst General Mahone
is at the knoll surveying the enemy and arranging for the attack, we are cautiously approaching the ravine along the covered way. At the angles, where the enemy could see a moving column with ease, the men are ordered to run quickly by,