previous next

[101] without an entrenchment. But the 8,000 Confederates were veterans and were commanded by Stonewall Jackson. That night 20,000 dead and wounded men lay on the field of Sharpsburg.

About one o'clock that day I rode forward to see the General. I found him a little to the left of the Dunkard church. I remember that I had my saddle pockets filled with peaches to take to him—knowing how much he enjoyed fruit—and was eating a peach when I approached him. The first thing he asked me was if I had any more. I told him yes, that I had brought him some. After he got them he began to eat them ravenously, so much so, that he apologized and told me that he had had nothing to eat that day. I told him why I had come. That our lines were so thin and the enemy so strong, that I was afraid that at some point our line might be broken and in the rush, the hospital captured. He was perfectly cool and quiet, although he had withstood three separate attacks of vastly superior numbers. He thought the enemy had done their worst and made me the reply I have already quoted, but he agreed that I should establish the hospital in Shepherdstown. Before returning to my post, I rode forward with him to see the old Stonewall Division. They had been reduced to a very small body of men and were commanded by Colonel Grigsby. In some places lieutenants commanded brigades; sergeants, regiments. Nearly all of his Generals had fallen, but he had two left who were hosts in themselves, the unconquerable D. H. Hill, and that grand old soldier, Jubal Early.

While talking to Grigsby I saw off at a distance in a field, men lying down, and supposed it was a line of battle. I asked Colonel Grigsby why he did not move that line of battle to make it conform to his own, when he said: ‘Those men you see lying over there, which you suppose to be a line of battle, are all dead men. They are Georgia soldiers.’ It was a stern struggle, but Jackson always expected to hold his lines. I heard him once say: ‘We sometimes fail to drive the enemy from his position. He always fails to drive us.’ But he was never content with the defensive, however successful or however exhausting. In this most destructive battle he was looking all of that day for a chance to make the counter-stroke. He urged General McLaws, who had been sent to his assistance, to move forward and attack the enemy's right flank, but General McLaws was so hotly engaged with those directly in front, that he never had an opportunity to do what General Jackson desired.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Sharpsburg (Maryland, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stonewall Jackson (3)
Grigsby (3)
Gen Fayette McLaws (2)
D. H. Hill (1)
Jubal Early (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: