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[251]

These pertinent questions will be considered, it is hoped, by Confederate veterans throughout the length and breadth of the Army of Northern Virginia, and will be determined fairly, by those especially who were present for duty on the last day of the war at Appomattox Courthouse.

This last charge occurred on the morning of the 9th of April, 1865, and my recollection is that we retired some time before noon of that day. I heard no further firing along our infantry or cavalry lines.

Our cavalry had been sorely pressed on all sides from Petersburg to Appomattox Courthouse. The demand on this branch of the service had been necessarily extremely exacting—not only to work in the advance of our columns, but in protecting the rear and flanks of our several lines of retreat, and to serve in the places of disabled and knocked out staff officers and couriers—and our ranks meantime were naturally reduced greatly in number by the death, wounds, and capture of men and horses, and in effectiveness by details, dismounts, fatigue, and hunger, that told most severely on our staggering horses, that had become a burden either to be abandoned or led dismounted; until at the last our entire brigade force was about equal to a depleted regiment at the latter end of the war.

The Fourteenth Virginia Cavalry.

Our regiment the 14th Virginia Cavalry, that was commanded at the time by myself as Captain of Company B, no field officer being present, had been transferred from General John M. McCausland's Brigade but a few weeks prior to the surrender, and assigned to General R. L. T. Beale's Brigade—W. H. F. Lee's Division.

On the night of the 8th, in obedience to orders delivered by Major Joseph Van Holt Nash, Adjutant-General of Cavalry—Stuart's Corps-we advanced our regiment to the head of our brigade and division and march through the village of Appomattox Courthouse, where there had been a skirmish the night before. When we had passed the village some little distance, in the direction of Lynchburg, we were halted and ordered to dismount—to hold our horses and not to turn them loose. There we remained, holding them by their bridles, and sitting and lying down on the ground, catching every wink of sleep that was possible, until the morning of the 9th.

Soon after day, General W. H. F. Lee rode to the head of our regiment, inquiring who was in command. When told and directed


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