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[92] go by. I stopped and requested that they would send word to my father that our battery had been ordered off, we knew not where. This message was very kindly and courteously delivered, and I am satisfied that it was due to the fervent prayers of that righteous man that my life was preserved through the three or four special incidents which I shall relate as I go on.

Just before dark we crossed the Chickahominy—at that point a very small creek—at a place called ‘Half Sink,’ then belonging to Hon. John Minor Botts. Here we found the first Federal pickets, but before any shots could be exchanged, they made off in great haste, and we went into camp for the night.

By daylight next morning we were again on the march. From time to time we found the Federal cavalry disposed to contest our advance, and from where we crossed the Chickahominy to Atlee's Station, on the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad, we had an almost continual skirmish. Just before reaching the railroad the enemy made a very determined stand, and we lost two or three men, but captured the guidon flag of the Federal cavalry. The last stand by the Yankees was on the field in front of the large white house on the right-hand side of the Chesapeake and Ohio road going from Richmond. Our guns were run up and one round from a section of the battery routed the cavalry, and we saw no more of them. The occupants of the house above referred to could not sufficiently express their delight at again being in the midst of Confederate soldiers. There was nothing about the house too good for us, and while the quality of the rations given us was not what we would have expected in olden times, it was furnished with such a hearty good will and with so many expressions of joy that it was as nectar of the gods to us.

It is probable that the road forked somewhere near this point, as we saw no more of the Yankees, and finally reached Mechanicsville. The advance of Branch's Brigade, our battery and the cavalry had uncovered the Meadowbridge road, whereupon General A. P. Hill crossed over and attacked the enemy just beyond Mechanicsville. A short distance before we reached the extreme left of our line the road was cut out from the hill, leaving a protected point where the surgeons had established a field hospital. To the right and forward of this point McIntosh's battery was doing good work, opposed to a battery of ten-pound Parrotts on the other side of the creek.

Captain Johnson ordered the writer forward to report to General Branch, to state that the battery was up, and ask where he desired

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