I rode forward to see if I could be of any assistance, when an infantry officer caught the mules, and taking the lines turned them around and drove rapidly down in the direction from which they came, and soon placed the party under the shelter of a hill.
We followed and found some surgeons had selected the same place for the reception of the wounded, and were rigging up some sort of a table, the sanguinary usage of which we only too well divined.
Of course, we cast in our lot with them, and proposed to render any assistance in our power.
But we also found seeking the same sheltered position, and in a wagon (how it got there I cannot tell), our lady friends, Miss
R—— and Miss
G——, from whom we had parted the day before.
The battle was now opened, and in a few minutes the first victim came in, a North Carolina
soldier, on a horse, though not a trooper.
We had only time to take him down and to see that he was badly wounded through the knee, and that his leg would probably have to be amputated, when increased noise in front indicated increased activity of some sort, and immediately a courier came dashing up and delivered an order from General Lee
for the surgeons to fall back at once, and to leave the wounded, the ladies, ambulances, wagons and everything, and showed us a rough road through the woods at right angles to our position by which we were to retreat.
And so left our poor wounded soldier on the ground, and the ambulance, wagon and ladies with hurried and rather informal adieu.
We heard that they fell into the enemy's hands shortly after we left, and that they received very courteous attention, and were sent back to Petersburg
The fight was the one at or near Rice
Some of you comrades have, doubtless, more accurate information in reference to it than I.
Our road soon carried us back to the main road on the right, along which the wagons, as many as were left, were dragging their slow length.
We marched all night, or rather crept along with them, until at some creek or double creek of some sort, a panic occurred, and there was crowding and confusion worse confounded.
How many ever came out, I do not know.
Being light of baggage ourselves, we got ahead of them, kept the Farmville
road, and went into that town about daylight the next morning, Thursday, with any number of soldiers, but none, I think, in regular organization.
There were two incidents of that night which indelibly impressed themselves on my memory.
It was during that night that I saw General Lee
for the last time, until after the war was over, when I