only casualty was one of “A's” men falling into a creek and being fished out with a bayonet.
The first time I was ever placed on picket duty was on the Princess Anne road, leading into Norfolk
, about a mile from camp.
It was a splendid moonlight night.
When I was detailed for such a dangerous duty I began to think I was a man of great importance, and felt my upper lip for a moustache.
It had been rumored all the evening that the Yankees
were landing in large forces at Virginia Beach.
I was placed at the forks of a road, and told to halt everything and everybody, and demand the countersign.
If they did not have it correct, word for word, I was to march them to the officer in charge.
The countersign for that night was ‘Beauregard
Being a new name to me, I got it Guardbeaure.
Between the hours of 2 and 3, while everything was perfectly quiet and the moon throwing its beaming rays on this mother earth of ours, I heard, away off in the distance, the soldiers' soul-stirring music—drum and fife.
I looked down the road, and as plainly as I could see at the distance from which I guessed the music came, I saw a moving mass.
Under the exciting circumstances, my eyes imagined so much that I took it to be a regiment.
The body drew nearer and nearer, and as it did, it grew larger and larger, and the sound was plainer.
I secreted myself behind a bush and waited developments.
While I was waiting, my mind was busily engaged in scheming what I would do. Well, I thought if they were Yankees I would fire my gun and run, but things did not turn out that way, for when the object came to within fifty yards of me, I saw it was a vehicle of some kind, so I straightened up and yelled as loud as I could: ‘Halt!
who comes there?’
The music ceased all of a sudden, and a voice deep and strong said:
‘Whoa, mule! 'Fore de Lord
, what is dat?
I guess it is one of dem soldiers.
It is a market cart from Princess Anne county, God bless you.’
I then said: ‘Advance, market cart from Princess Anne county, and give the countersign.’
‘De what, sah?’
‘Advance, and give the countersign.’
‘I declare 'fore de Lord
, I ain't got none of dem things in my ’