Crenshaw Battery, Pegram's Battalion, Confederate States Artillery.Graphic account of the effective career of this gallant organization.
Highly interesting details.Hanging of Webster the Spy. Battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, Bristow Station, Centreville, Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Marye's height, Gettysburg, Burgess' Mill, Hatcher's Run and Five Forks.
By Private J. C Goolsby.[The writer of the following interesting reminiscences, entered the service a boy of fourteen years, and was constantly present with his command to the bitter finale at Appomattox C. H. His commanders, by whom he was held in highest regard, attest his gallantry and fidelity. He is now the efficient manager of the printing and publishing  department of the Everett Waddey Company, of this city. —Editor.] At the suggestion of some of my old comrades I send for publication my recollection of the part played by this battery in our late war.
Organization.On the 14th day of March, 1862, on the Basin bank, in the warehouse of William G. Crenshaw, assembled a number of young men, middled-aged men and boys, all eager to do duty for the State in her defence. Well do I remember the means resorted to by some (at that period none but those who had attained the age of eighteen years were eligible) that they might overcome what they in their patriotism believed to be unjust in not permitting them to take up arms and march to the front. This meeting resulted in the selection of William G. Crenshaw as captain, James Ellett as first lieutenant, who gave up his life at the battle of Fredericksburg, December, 1862; Charles Hobson as second lieutenant, who was, we believe, lost at sea, having been detached for special service, and A. B. Johnson as junior second lieutenant, with as bright a complement of non-commissioned officers as ever left Richmond—namely, Thomas Graves, who was afterwards transferred to another service; Thomas Ellett, who in time became its commander, and surrendered as such; Hollis, who afterwards became our first lieutenant; Allegre, one of the noblest and best of soldiers; Allen, there were two of them, Bill, who in time was promoted to the lieutenancy, and Ralph, another one of that jolly throng; and Robert Ellett, that noble boy who gave up his life for the cause, and then, too, that modest, whole-souled soldier, George Young, another victim of that unequal struggle, who lost his life at Jericho Ford during Grant's flank movement from the Wilderness to the south side of the James; also the Smith boys, Hugh afterwards lieutenant, and Clinton, another one of the invincibles, with the Ratcliffe brothers, Walter and Willie. This is, I think, about the make — up of the Crenshaw Batterywith about eighty men and boys, as we marched to Camp Lee, all in bright uniforms, to commence the actual duties of the soldier. And just here let me say that Captain Crenshaw will ever be remembered by the remaining few with the kindest of feeling for his thoughtfulness in connection with the battery. Especially do we remember  the winter of ‘64, spent in quarters near Hatcher's Run, where we received those boots—English boots—and then at such times! But stop; let us go to
Camp Lee. Here we were for the first time to do guard duty, drill, and here, too, we were to feel the iron hand of military authority. I can almost see our company—their appearance after their first night under the canvas—stretching themselves after a sleepless night—many of the boys staying awake much of the night in enjoying themselves as only young men can, who for the first time are freed, as it were, from those constraints which were a part of their natural condition. Among the occurrences that were to cast a shadow over the then timid soldier boy, was the
Hanging of Webster. This is one of the sad parts or results consequent upon being in the army. Well do I remember the expressions when it was announced that at a certain hour during the day—I don't remember the hour—that a Yankee spy by the name of Webster, would be hung in the enclosed grounds, and that the soldiers were to turn out and witness the same. At the appointed hour the prisoner, escorted by a strong guard, entered the grounds, where, after a short delay, he mounted the scaffold and paid the penalty with his life. Such were some events which occurred at Camp Lee, and which will long be remembered by the writer. Camp life to the novice, or rather, to the new soldier, has some pleasing sides, and yet, too, the young soldier-boy gets tired of the drill-ground, with the officer's command of load by detail, load, and so the boys were not sorry much when the orders came to pack knapsacks (we were at that time well supplied with linen—towels. brushes, combs, and everything to make and keep us neat and tidy) —what a contrast to that scene which occurred on the Potomac river some months afterwards, when you might have seen thousands of men stripped, washing their clothes, for we had not had a change since we started that old windy soldier, Pope, on the go at Cedar mountain, some time previous. So after packing our knapsacks and haversacks we boarded the cars at the Fair Grounds and started for the field to join the forces near Fredericksburg, where we were to meet the Purcell and Johnson  and Fredericksburg Batteries, with which in time we should become close companions. Our camp was located near the Massaponax church, and many a pleasant day did we spend there, and nights, too, as we frequently visited the charming ladies in the near neighborhood, and enjoyed their hospitality, in which none others excel. But these days were soon to be over. Already that fateful day was dawning when we should bid good-bye to the hills of Spotsylvania and commence our
‘on to Richmond!’ Already was being fought the great battle of Seven Pines, in which General Joseph E. Johnston commanded what was afterwards known as the Army of Northern Virginia, and in which he was wounded, and which subsequently, by the order of President Davis, was commanded to the end by General Lee. We started on the march with three days rations in our knapsacks and the sun shining as bright and the weather as pleasant as one could desire; but this state of things was not continued long, for soon the sun disappeared and then a gentle rain, in which the boys brought into use their oilcloths, and kept up cheerfully until we reached the slashes of Hanover, when it seemed that the road would become impassable. Rain! I never saw it pour so in all my life. Marching all night, stumbling, falling down, not being able to see your hand before you. Now was the time the boys had rather been at home, and then, too, we were afraid that we would not get there in time to take a hand. I don't think I ever experienced such discomfort in all my life. At last the distant booming cannon told us that we were approaching the enemy—closer and closer we were getting, until we arrived in front of Richmond, after marching so near that we could see the spires of the churches, and here again we had to acknowledge a higher authority and remain in ranks. We at last reached the position that had been assigned us, and found next morning—for we marched all night—that we were on the farm of Dr. Friend, where we were to have the pleasure of an artillery duel, which, by the way, is one of the meanest fights that you can participate in.
balloon Ascension. Among the numerous devices practiced by the Yankees in order to inform themselves of the status of our troops was a daily balloon  ascension, which we as distant spectators enjoyed very much, but which was sure to be followed by the belching forth of innumerable number of cannon as gentle reminders that the young Napoleon was still in the ring, and was monarch of all he surveyed. We remained here some two or three weeks, during which time we received many visits from our parents, friends and others, bringing boxes of food, clothing, &c. Minus the artillery duel, we were doing pretty well. But there is an end to all things temporal, and soon we received orders to cook three days rations and take up the line of march, and after a short time we reached the road which leads to
where, after crossing the Chickahominy, we followed behind the troops of General Field—all Virginians—the Purcell Battery at that time being engaged heavily—the boys getting in their work with deadly destruction to the enemy. We laid under the fire of the enemy all that evening receiving it, but unable as yet to reply. There is nothing so demoralizing to troops as being compelled to remain quiet under the fire of an enemy, receiving his severe thrusts, and seeing their own men being killed and wounded. Such was the case at Mechanicsville. But we were to have our fire with our guns on to-morrow. Next morning the battery pulled out of the field and started out in advance, passing through Mechanicsville, the cannoneers being mounted on their caissons and limbers, all eyes turned in the direction of
at which point was to be another struggle. And right here again we experienced another withering fire without being able to reply. Soon, however, we started forward in a gallop, the minie balls rattling through the trees, the woods on fire, and large stores (commissary) being scattered all over the road, and the air, the whole atmosphere, seemed filled with the odor of burning flesh, until we reached
where we were to contend for the mastery of the field. Our battery consisted of six guns. Such was the number of guns and a sufficiency of men to properly man them. Just before we reached the field I saw General Lee. What a picture he was! I heard the command, fix bayonet, and with it the word, forward! unlimber!  commence firing! And fire we did, as rapidly as was ever done. But stop, just in my front the No. 2—poor Robert Hines—falls, having been shot through the temple; another man quickly fills his place at the gun. And right here the order to cease firing is heard. What for? Turning to look, you see that gallant old brigade—the 1st South Carolina—led by that hero, Maxey Gregg, pushing its way through the battery, many of whom will never return. What a shout went up as these noble Carolinians, with their old commander, passed through the battery in a double quick step. A minute or two elapses, when the field seems one living sheet of fire; we are at it again; now it is Sidney Strother, sergeant of the piece, who falls, mortally wounded. Such a scene I never before beheld; horses running hither and thither, many so shot as to be unfit for service again. The other guns also had suffered much, loosing many wounded, among them young Marion Knowles, shot in the knee, permanently disabled; Ben. V. Graves, who lost a leg; William B. Allen, M. A. Caldwell, Alonzo Phillips, and others, whose names I do not now recall. Such was the part played by this battery in this their first field fight. Immediately after that battle such was the condition of the battery, that it was ordered to Richmond to refit. (We left three guns and three caissons on the field of battle, disabled.) And glad enough, too, were the boys to see and shake hands with their loved ones. For our tents were pitched on the hill near the intersection of Venable street with the Mechanicsville turnpike, where we were visited by our friends, besides permission being given some to go home on a pass of a few hours. But soon (I think we remained here about forty-eight hours, overhauling the battery, filling up the caissons and limber chests with ammunition, repairing harness, &c.), the bugle blew the assembly call, and we were notified to prepare rations and start for
where another desperate struggle was going on. This march was quickly made, and soon we arrived at the point assigned us, only to witness the withdrawal of the troops in our front, and in which we were destined to keep quiet, owing to the want of place to operate the guns. The scenes in the neighborhood of this famous battleground beggar description. Here it was that McClellan missed his forces for his final and supreme effort to repel the combined forces of Jackson and Lee, and here the two mighty giants locked arms in  a deadly embrace, in which our foes proved themselves an enemy not to be despised. After the battle we took up the line of march, and soon we reached the vicinity of Tree Hill, where we went into camp—the army of Mc-Clellan having retired behind the gun boats, which ever and anon reminded us of their close proximity by sending forth as a greeting, what appeared to be a keg of nails, but which in reality was a large conical-shaped shell which meant death to all things with which it should come in contact. Here, again, began that intolerable drill, guard duty, policing camp, &c., and here too, commenced for the first time the punishment of the men, confinement in the guard-house, &c., and this, too, just because the boys would ‘run the blockade’ and steal into Richmond. Here it was also, that the famous
was formed, which afterwards played so conspicuous a part in the deadly and unequal struggle, and whose young commandant was to achieve almost immortal fame—whose bravery, coolness and self-possession under the most trying ordeals were such that commanded the love of his subordinates and the respect and admiration of the whole army—noble Willie Pegram! To live through all those hard-fought battles and then at the last—at Five Forks—surrender his young life upon the field of battle for his country. The following companies composed the battalion: The Purcell, Captain McGraw; the Crenshaw, Captain W. G. Crenshaw; the Fredericksburg, Captain Carter Braxton; the Letcher, Captain Greenlee Davidson, and the South Carolina battery, Captain McIntosh, with W. Gordon McCabe, as adjutant. After remaining in camp some two weeks or more, during which time the troops of Stonewall Jackson had embarked on the train for Gordonsville, we received marching orders, and took up the line of march to join the forces then gathering near Orange Courthouse, where we arrived in time to witness the fight of Cedar Mountain, in which the troops of General Pope were defeated, and where we remained until we commenced that remarkable flank movement in which that famous old braggart, the celebrated General Pope, ‘who had never seen anything but the backs of the rebels,’ was now to feel the iron hand of old Stonewall. The day after this battle, or rather the morning after, for it was  fought late in the evening—even into the night—a flag of truce had been displayed, which was a token of a cessation of hostilities in order that the dead might be buried and the wounded removed from the field; and now, right here occurred one of those ridiculous events in which confusion reigned supreme for a few moments. It happened somewhat in this way: In removing the wounded from the woods, some one, trying to secure as much plunder as he could carry off, came across a wounded soldier—a Yankee—and attempted ‘to go through him,’ which resulted in his firing a gun, and which at once seems to have been taken up by others, resulting in the drivers of the wagons, which had been brought up in order that the ordnance might be distributed as well as the commissary wagons, turning around, perfectly frantic, whooping, and belaying their teams, which in turn, became unmanageable. The woods, which at this time were filled with the wounded, were soon cleared, and every one that could walk, it would appear, was seen moving rapidly to the rear. Our guns, which lay a short distance in the rear, were ordered forward and unlimbered, but did not fire a shot. It soon leaked out what was the cause, and there was much laughing over what at one time seemed to be so dangerous a thing. But let us resume the march. After overcoming all obstacles in our front, the cavalry performing with remarkable faithfulness and diligence the double duty of protecting our flanks and screening us, as it were, from the enemy, we reached Paris, a little hamlet in Fauquier county, where we were made the happy recipients of a beautiful
by the charming ladies of that village, which flag is, I believe, now in the possession of Captain Thomas Ellett, the last commander of this battery. After leaving Paris we pushed on in a gallop and reached
a station on the Manassas Gap railroad, where we had a pic-nic, for here it was that General Stuart, who was in the lead, after capturing the trains which were then approaching from Washington with provisions for General Pope, set fire to the commissary stores; and such a fire-well, just think of lobsters, canned goods of all kinds, fruits, &c., for boys who had been without anything to eat except green corn and green apples for several days, for we had no rear,  and no wagons accompanied us on the march. But suddenly we hear the words, ‘Cannoneers, mount! Forward; unlimber! Fire by prolong!’ And right here let me say that this was the only occasion in which this character of firing was ever practiced by our battery. Well, we jumped up, and soon we saw our enemy, with glistening bayonets, as if on dress parade. We fired and the guns ran along a short distance and then fired again. They soon broke, proving to be nothing but a regiment which had been left there to guard the stores, and which had never seen or been under fire. We continued to go forward, and I verily believed that we would surely reach Washington. We arrived at
late that evening and occupied the old breastworks, having crossed the stone bridge which is connected so intimately with the first battle of Manassas, little dreaming that on the morrow we would return by another road and there wrestle with the whole of Pope's army, which was at that time falling back, pushed by the main army of General Lee, Longstreet having arrived from below Richmond, where he had remained until the plans of the enemy had become known, and was now pushing his way through Thoroughfare Gap. But let us go back to Manassas, for somehow this place is vividly impressed on my mind, as it recalls the
old first Virginia Regiment,
and that heroic band, whose deeds will ever live in the memory of those who followed the starry cross, and what Richmond boy is there who does not refer with pride to it. Well do I remember when they left Richmond, many of whom gave their lives for the cause, among them Alfonza Figner and Ned Ferneyhough and many others. Here, too, was where Mi!ton Barnes, in the first great battle of Manassas, yielded up his life. And, naturally, the writer felt an interest in everything connected with that noble band, for though too young and not permitted to leave school, yet he followed them in his imagination and was with them in spirit if not in person. And now we have here another demonstration of that truism, ‘Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad,’ for such had been the case with General Pope, for his wrath led him to relieve Fitz John Porter, the officer who made such a gallant fight before Richmond, and who was afterwards court martialed and disgraced for not doing what has  since been proven he did do in this campaign, in which those high in command in our army had indisputable proof. But, of course, some one had to be the scapegoat. We remained in Centreville only one night and moved next morniug down the Warrenton pike, where we were soon to be engaged with the enemy. After leaving Centreville, we fell back on the Warrenton pike some six or more miles, where we remained a short time, expecting to be ordered forward to battle at any minute, not being allowed to leave our guns. The army of Pope was then falling back, pushed by Generals Lee and Longstreet, and it seemed to me Jackson delayed giving battle as long as possible. However, this inaction was not to continue, for soon a courier with orders was seen coming, and we were moved forward and reached a position not far from the railroad cut, where the fighting of the infantry was, I believe, the severest of the war, and where, certainly, the heaviest musketry firing of the war occurred. It was here, when our battery was firing double charges of canister, that the gallant A. P. Hill rode into our battery and said to our captain that the Louisiana brigade, being out of ammunition, was holding the enemy in check with rocks. We fought here until late in the night, driving the enemy, after a stubborn fight, into the fortifications at Centreville; and now being anxious to see the railroad cut and the result of the battle at that point, in company with John Gray, a member of our battery, who has since died, we started early next morning for this point, where, to my sorrow, I saw stretched out in death, as I entered the woods, the body of Edwin G. Rawlings, a lieutenant in old Company F, which at one time was the pet company of Richmond. But we pushed on and soon arrived at the cut, where I saw the wounded enemy and heard from their lips the confirmation of General Hill's statement. I believe this was one of the most desperately fought battles of the war, the field near the railroad cut being almost covered with the dead and wounded of both armies. Terrible as was this battle, it was not without amusing incidents, one of which I shall never forget. During the firing and before Longstreet came up, while Jackson was fighting Pope's whole army with his corps alone, one of our company, a tall country boy who had not been long with the battery, was heard to exclaim: ‘Longstreet! Longstreet! why don't you come on! I don't believe there is any such a man as Longstreet!’ And right glad were we when we heard his firing on our right, and saw his approach, which soon had the effect of starting the enemy on the run.  After the battle we were hurriedly pushed forward, the rain of the previous night, together with the bad roads, making our progress not very rapid until we reached Ox Hill, or Chantilly, where although it was still raining hard, we came up again with the enemy, although we did not become engaged. Here it was that
Major-General Phil Kearney,
of the Federal army, was killed, in establishing, it is said, his skirmish line. His body falling into the hands of our troops, was afterwards sent by flag of truce through the lines. Here also fell General Stevens, of the Federal army. It is said that in this battle, when a certain brigade general reported to General Jackson that his ammunition was wet and he would be compelled to fall back—it was still raining and the roads were almost impassable, and blocked up with wagons, ambulances, etc.,—that old Stonewall sent him word to hold his position, that if the rain made his ammunition wet, it would do the same for the enemy. After parking the battery for the night near the road and cooking rations, with which at that time we were very well supplied, the Yankee commissary leaving quite a large quantity behind, we started forward and soon reached Leesburg, in Loudoun county, a pretty village a short distance from the Potomac, where we were welcomed by the ladies in their most happy way. After bivouacking for the night we took up the line of march, and soon reached the Potomac, which we forded in our own peculiar way, each man for himself. (It is an amusing sight to see an army ford a river. Some would strip, holding their clothes over head to prevent wetting them, when suddenly they would step in a hole, and then down would go the clothes, the party falling striking out in the over-hand fashion way, &c.) We soon planted the Confederate banner on the shores of
whose citizens did not receive us with the enthusiasm we were led to believe they would. But of course I do not mean to say by this that we had not friends here. Oh, no! No better troops graced our ranks than the Marylanders, and no braver man was there in our army than Bradley Johnson, of the 1st Maryland, leader of the Maryland line, who as a soldier had no superior. After staying on the Maryland side of the Potomac for three days, the first being  spent in the river washing our clothes, as already alluded to, we moved on to Frederick City. And right here, before going farther let me give you, as I saw it, the position of this famous city, made so by Whittier's poem,
no such scene as this poem is founded upon ever having occurred; General Jackson never seeing or hearing of such a character, and the troops in our army not being given to insulting females, the school boys' declamation to the contrary notwithstanding. It is situated in a valley reaching from the Potomac to the Pennsylvania line, and is bounded on the east and west by the blue billows of the Catocton mountains, already famous in the war, and the Linganore hills. It is said that General Braddock stopped here on his fatal westward way to Fort Duquesne, but its chief glory lies in the fact that here was born
Francis Scott key,
who gave us our great national anthem, ‘The Star Spangled Banner,’ and whose remains rest here. But let us proceed on our march. After blowing up the Monocacy bridge we filed through the town and soon struck the Boonesborough pike. Here it was that our pace was quickened, no one being allowed to leave the road to forage. What a contrast was our conduct co that of the opposing army, whose boast it was to live off the noncombatants, and especially is this true of
who said that ‘a crow would have to carry his rations in his journey across the Valley of Virginia,’ such had been the wanton destruction of the growing crops, barns, &c. But soon it leaked out that we were bound for
at which point some 11,000 men under command of General White were stationed. So after fording the Potomac again and reaching Virginia we pushed on, gaining the heights overlooking this historic town made famous by the
John Brown raid
of Oct. 19, 1859, and witnessed the surrender of White's command, with 11,000 prisoners, seventy-three pieces of artillery, and all of his  arms and equipments, the captured troops marching up in regular Cornwallis style. The whole battalion was engaged on the Heights. But there! Stop! Soon we see a courier coming. Something is up! What's the matter? The ‘assembly’ call is blown. Marching orders are received and soon we are on our way to
where we were to meet that gentlemanly soldier, General George B. McClellan, who was again in command of the Federal army, the high-sounding, blatant Pope, who came, who saw, and who had been disastrously defeated, having been recalled, and subsequently, we believe, sent out West to win fresh laurels by amusing the Red man on the plains, and then to lapse into that beautiful obscurity, in which he was destined ever to have a prominent place. McClellan had by some means come into possession of General Lee's plans, possibly by capturing the courier who was sent to General D. H. Hill when at Boonesborough. Anyhow, such was the impression at that time, and my diary so records it. We soon arrived at the position assigned us and engaged in a severe struggle, in which it was our misfortune to lose another of our brave boys, Charles Pemberton, whose remains we buried near the Potomac after the fight. This it has been said was a drawn battle, but of course, I am not a judge. I do know this—that we returned in good order after the fight across the river, where we remained some twenty-four hours, before we started to fall back, reaching Martinsburg, the home of Belle Boyd, the famous Confederate spy. This was a strong Union city, but there were some patriotic citizens here who welcomed our troops as they passed through. From there we pushed on to Bunker Hill, a point famous in the war of the Revolutionary period, and which seems to have been a stopping place for both armies in their movements up the Valley, and there remained a short time, when we again struck out for Winchester where lived Ned Hollis and Tom Emmett, members of our battery. Emmett, poor fellow, brave as the bravest, lost his life in attestation of his loyalty to the cause he loved. We remained at Winchester several days before we took up the march, nothing occurring out of the ordinary routine of the soldier's life until we were brought up in front of Fredericksburg, where, General McClellan having been relieved, we were to meet General Burnside, who, having reorganized the Federal army, was to seize us by the collar and run over us to Richmond. But it had not been so decreed. The game was one at which two sides could play. So we were not surprised  when, after being delayed in crossing the Rappahannock on pontoons by the excellent marksmanship of
we next met the troops of General Meagher—the Irish brigade—as they advanced, followed by other troops, which after a stubborn fight, gave way, and retreated across the Rappahannock. And here again were we to suffer another heavy loss—this time our gallant first lieutenant, James Ellett, that noble, chivalrous soldier, then in command of the battery. His death cast a gloom over the whole battalion. His bravery and self-possession, combined with the polished manners of the gentleman, were such as to endear him to his company, as well as to a large circle of acquaintances. And here too, fell Johnny Paine, another one of our Richmond boys, whose example in all those virtues that tend to develop the character of the Christian gentleman was such as to gain the love and esteem of his comrades. The battery suffered severely in this fight in wounded, and I regret I have not their names to record here. But such calamities are incident to war, and the soldier boy has now become somewhat enured to such scenes. It was here, too, we were to meet that useful organization known as the
composed of some of our oldest and most respected citizens, whose deeds of kindness will ever be remembered by the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia. The battle of Fredericksburg having been fought and the Federal army having been again defeated and sent bleeding back across the Rappahannock, the star of Burnside, which had reached its zenith, was under a cloud, and he had evidence of the unstableness of the plaudits of men, for soon he was to be relegated to privacy, there to ponder over the what-might — have been. Surely that army had good cause to be discouraged. There evidently was a dire want of cohesion, as was illustrated in the rapid cutting off of the heads of the commanding officers. At this period of the war the Federal army had had no less than four commanders—McDowell, McClellan, Pope, and Burnside—and the latter was now to give way to another general, Joe Hooker, known also by the euphonious title of ‘Fighting Joe.’ We will follow him later on.  After leaving the battle-field of Fredericksburg, the Crenshaw Battery moved down near Hamilton's Crossing, where we camped, snow then being on the ground, and soon we received orders to break camp and start for winter quarters, the spot selected being about one mile south of Bowling Green, Caroline county. Here we went to work to build quarters, the whole battalion doing likewise; and here it was we were to have guard-mounting, policing camp, &c.; and here, too, we commenced doing pickett duty, for once a week a detachment might be seen leaving camp, marching through the village of Bowling Green and on to the Rappahannock, where we would report to the officer in command, go to the position assigned us,? and remain there six days watching the sluggish river, to see that it did not overflow its banks, for that is about all we had to do, the Yankees, although in full view, having no more desire to kick up a fuss than we had, the roads being simply impassable. The location of our camp, or winter quarters, was about as desirable as could be expected; and I shall always recur to it with pleasant recollections. It was here, too, that the boys ran the blockade to Richmond, and many an amusing adventure they had eluding the guard on the train after having fooled the officer in command of the company by various devices, among them asking for twenty-four hours leave to forage, and then, with that liberty, starting for Richmond. But who could blame them? There was no danger of a fight; the roads were so bad that the enemy could not move, and we were glad of it. We had a pretty good time here, all the members of the battalion seeming to enjoy themselves. It was here that we perpetrated the joke of having a bogus election, and electing one of the men to a lieutenancy (the officers all seeming to enjoy the fun as much as the men), the poor fellow actually believing that he had been elevated to that position, to the great amusement of the whole company. Here it was that one of our company, who was formerly an actor in the Richmond Theatre, who, by the way, had an elegant voice, amused the boys with his recital of ‘Bingen on the Rhine,’ in his pathetic way, besides repeating to us in a masterly manner, many of Shakespeare's most instructive pieces. And then, too, the boys listened with much pleasure to that witty Irishman, Martin Delaney, of the Letcher Battery singing in his own inimitable way, ‘The Moon Behind the Hill,’ and other songs, in which he seemed to take a delight and which would always command the attention of a large number of the command. After spending a very pleasant winter here, barring the picket duty,  as we were bountifully supplied with rations, we were 10th to leave this camp to enter upon the spring campaign, but General Joseph Hooker, having relieved Burnside, had thoroughly reorganized the Army of the Potomac, as it was then known, and having started Avarill on a raid as a preliminary step to his onward march to Richmond, we were ordered hurriedly to leave our quarters and start again to the front to meet the same old enemy. The April sun had dried the roads and we soon found ourselves once more in front of Fredericksburg, Hooker opposing us with an army about four times the size of ours, Longstreet being then on the Blackwater near Suffolk, having spent the winter there. And soon was to come another struggle and with it another exhibition of military strategy, in which the ever fertile mind of General Jackson was called into play. MajorGen-eral Sedgwick had crossed the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg to hold Lee in check, and Jackson had drawn up his corps there to meet him. It was soon apparent that this was only a ruse of the enemy to deceive our commander, and Jackson was ordered to leave one division behind and with the rest of his troops to move rapidly towards
Chancellorsville. Jackson moved at midnight and soon reached the Tabernacle church, where he was joined by a division and two brigades under General R. H. Anderson. Here he formed a line of battle across the plank road leading through the
and steadily advanced to assail the enemy. Hooker's position was almost impregnable. Such were the labors of his men that earthworks confronted us on all sides and the heavy undergrowth of this weird and wild looking country made it almost impossible for Jackson to go forward. Hooker was in his stronghold, and Jackson, after making an ineffectual effort to drive him out, withdrew to await the arrival of Lee. Here these two master minds in the art of war were to hold their last converse. What was said, or how it was said, we know not; but never since time began has there been such a meeting. I cannot picture the scene, but I can imagine possibly something that passed. It was perhaps here that Jackson suggested a swift and secret march by the right flank and an attack in the front at the same time. This  march is indelibly impressed upon my mind. The troops of Jackson consisted of A. P. Hill's, Colston's and Rodes' Divisions. ‘None better! No none!’ We reached the open ground in front of the
about six in the evening—Rodes in front, followed by Colston, and Hill with the artillery in reserve. But there was to be no reserve. When the troops of Rodes struck the corps of Howard (this corps I believe was the one we struck first), their camp fires were burning brightly, and they were preparing their evening meal. Rodes' men went in with a yell, and so sudden and unexpected was the attack that Howard's Corps broke and ran in the wildest disorder, strewing the road with knapsacks. There was every evidence of a panic-stricken army. General Jackson then ordered a
of the whole corps—the artillery—the whole of our battalion pouring upon the fleeing enemy a deadly fire, which did not cease until we passed the Chancellor House. That night we spent on the picket line. Our guns were unlimbered in an open space, and the men ordered to lie down beside them. It was in this night attack that Jackson received his mortal wound. We remained all night on picket, and early next morning advanced slowly through the dense undergrowth to cut a position for the guns —the enemy firing on us as we passed—feeling, as it were, for us when we had the misfortune to have one of our men, Thomas Burroughs, shot, three shrapnel entering his side. We afterwards moved out into the open space, followed by the Purcell and Letcher Batteries, where we had a desperate fight, in which our artillery not only succeeded in driving the enemy from his guns, but also his support, thereby proving our superiority as artillerists. Here several caissons were blown up, first our own and then that of the enemy. And here it was that Horace Holland fell, shot through the head. Poor Holland! How it saddens me when I recall how joyous he was a moment before he met his death. Another one gone to his rest to be added to our long list. Here, too, it was that Greenlee Davidson, captain of the Letcher Battery, fell, giving his life for a cause which he early espoused. Our whole battalion suffered much in this battle. Another stride is here made in the promotion of officers, and soon we see
with another star on his shoulder-strap, which means lieutenantcol-onel's commission, much to the gratification of his men, who have recognized his inestimable worth and rejoice in his advancement. But the battle is over; we soon march to Guinea Station, on the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, camp, and there, in common with the whole army, lament (as only those can who appreciate the gravity of the occasion), and weep tears of sorrow at what we believed to have been a great misfortune. The mighty Jackson has fallen, the silver chord is loosed, the golden bowl is broken. He whose very presence presaged victory, has given his last order. Slowly the curtain begins to fall. No more shall he hear the welcome huzza of the troops as he passed with hat uplifted until the head of the column was reached. Oh, cruel war! Other souls of fire and courage were left, but alas! the finger of fate pointed with no uncertainty to our utter and complete overthrow. Chancellorsville will ever be remembered as marking the advent of ill luck to the fortunes of the Confederacy. But this belongs to the historian. There has always been and ever will be a diversity of opinion as to how General Jackson was wounded, some contending that he was killed by the enemy, he having advanced beyond our skirmish line, while others say that he was killed by our own men, being mistaken for the enemy. But be that as it may, his death caused universal sorrow in our Southern country. After a lapse of some ten days we are again moving, this time towards Fredericksburg, or rather the valley below Marye's Heights, where we remained some three or four weeks, during which time the Army of Northern Virginia underwent a thorough reorganization, and the result was that the army was formed into three corps. General Longstreet commanded the first (he having been recalled from the south side of the James, near the Blackwater); General Ewell, the second corps, and A. P. Hill the third, with a full complement of artillery and cavalry. The spring was now far advanced, the roads were dry, and General Lee conceived the idea of a bold advance into the enemy's territory in order to relieve our impoverished country from the feet of an almost countless enemy, as well as to let him have a taste, at least, of the presence of an armed foe. Then, too, Richmond was always safe as long as we had the enemy  on the north side of the capital, and a victory on their soil, with its attending advantages, might be the means of terminating this terrible and unequal struggle, and bring peace to our then unhappy country, whose people were already suffering untold misery. The army was accordingly soon preparing to make another invasion of the enemy's territory, there to again contend for those principles which will ever remain dear to our Southern people. The Army of Northern Virginia consisted of three corps, as stated above, when we left our camp and started from the green and now peaceful hills in front of Fredericksburg. Our soldiers were in the best of spirits, and the implicit confidence reposed in our officers and the justness of the cause combined to make heroes of even the most timid. And this confidence was fully shared in by the Confederate government, as was proven by the withdrawal of nearly all the troops around Richmond, and Lee's march far away into the enemy's territory.
On the March.After cooking three days rations, the Crenshaw Battery moved out in the main road leading to Hamilton's Crossing, where we were joined by the other companies of Pegram's Battalion, and our march was then begun in earnest. We first crossed the river at Kelly's Ford, which place had already become famous on account of the numerous cavalry fights which had in part been settled there, prominent among which was the battle of the 17th of March, 1863, in which the gallant and much lamented young artillerist, Major Pelham, received his death wound, after having arisen to the proud position of chief of artillery of ‘Jeb’ Stuart's cavalry corps. This chivalrous young officer was known throughout the whole army and enjoyed the reputation of being a bold and courageous officer, whose example had the telling effect of making heroes of his very gallant command. Kelley's Ford was one of the first points seized by General Grant in his campaign against Richmond. And here looms up before me in quick succession Germania, Raccoon, and Ely's Fords. What soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia will ever forget these names? What stirring scenes have been enacted upon their now peaceful shores. No more will the waters of the Rappahannock, Rapidan, Robinson, Shenandoah, and Potomac become turbid by the feet of the soldiers of the lost cause. No more will the sound of the ‘foot cavalry,’ as was its wont, be heard in the now happy  valley whose hospitable and noble people had always a warm greeting for them. But let us move on. Our order of march was thus: One battery would take the advance one day, then it would fall to the rear, changing thereby the advance company each day. Our trip up the Valley, on the whole, was very pleasant. General Ewell, who had preceded us, had swept the Valley of the enemy driving Milroy from Winchester, capturing many prisoners, arms, &c., and forcing that General to beat a hasty retreat into Harper's Ferry. After passing through Front Royal, Smithfield and Sheperdstown, we again forded the Potomac, reaching the Maryland shore late in the evening, passing on rapidly until we reached
where we had the pleasure of seeing numerous Confederate flags displayed, which the boys greeted with loud bursts of applause. After camping awhile near the town, we broke camp and soon struck the Little Antietam stream, crossed it, and were soon in the land of milk and applebutter—Pennyslvania. What a sight greeted our eyes! This is a beautiful country, and we reached it at a season of the year when the whole earth was wrapped in nature's best attire—the velvet green. The roads were fine. We pushed on and soon struck the village of Waynesboro, where United States flags were displayed in great numbers, which, of course, we greeted pleasantly. Another day's journey brought us to the foot of Cash Mountain, where we had several men captured. Owing to the long and continuous marching of the battalion, the stock of horse flesh had been considerably reduced, and in order that the currency of the Confederacy might have a more extended and healthful circulation—that the miniature portrait of our beloved President might have more admirers —a party was made up headed by Lieutenant John Hampden Chamberlayne of our battery, with Sergeants Smith, Newman and Mallory, besides several others of the battalion, and started out in the mountains to purchase horses. The party soon came upon the picketpost of the Jessie Scouts, of the Federal army, when Ham Chamberlayne picked out about half a dozen of the men who were armed with revolvers, put himself at the head of them and led a charge. The picket-guard fell back on the regiment, and the whole party were captured and sent to prison. We remained here two days, waiting presumably for our army to close up (it seems that our cavalry was  in a distant part of the country) when we were ordered forward, and soon reached the vicinity of
came up with the enemy, and went immediately into position, the Fredericksburg Artillery and Crenshaw's Battery opening fire almost simultaneously, and firing the first shots that were fired in the battle at Gettysburg. The infantry under General Heth soon engaged the enemy's advance under General Reynolds, and afterwards General Hancock, Reynolds having been killed early in the fight. Here it was that General Archer, commanding the Tennessee Brigade, was captured with most of two regiments. We had a good view here of Gettysburg. By night we had captured more prisoners it seemed to me, than we had men engaged. And how jubilant were the boys! Oh, for Longstreet to come up! what a pity we did not seize those heights which we had to battle for so unsuccessfully afterward. How we missed Jackson here! Even the obscure private appreciated this unfortunate circumstance. As soon as the firing commenced, the order, ‘Canonneers, mount,’ was given, and down we sped over the hard, smooth road, the horses in a gallop, and just before we reached the field (the enemy being already in position and firing upon us), a wheel of one of the guns rolled off right in the main road. This was an unfortunate time for an accident, but no one was hurt, and off we bounded into the field where the other guns were at work, meeting at the same time some of the wounded, among them Charles P. Young, and others. That night (this was July 1st) we moved around to the right, followed by the other companies of the battalion, and took a position on the line of what was once a stone wall, which ran for some distance on a hill which gave us a view of the valley beyond, above which the enemy were hard at work fortifying, which subsequently became famous as
little round top.
We here engaged the enemy in one of the most terrific artillery fights of modern times, the whole of our battalion, as well as of the army, joining in the unhealthy chorus. This mode of warfare continued far into the succeeding day, when it seemed to me that the whole earth was trembling under the heavy and murderous fire of the two armies. And now the order to cease firing is heard. I walked up to the front of the guns, as did other members  of the battery, where I saw in my front the formation of the troops —the eye, as far as it could distinguish the glistening bayonets of
who are now marching up in good order, many of whom, alas, will never return. Presently the signal gun is heard on our right. The charge is on! Oh, what a scene! The troops have gained the heights. Little Round Top is in our possession! But stop! The enemy is strengthened from another point. Our ranks, already thinned by the heavy fire of the enemy, begin to waver. Then, oh then, for a Jackson with his noble band. But I must stop here. These are only my impressions as I witnessed the falling back of this Spartan band. How many sad hearts! How many broken hearts! But, courage! Soon after the fight the rain came as a blessing to the noble fellows suffering upon the field, and it seemed as though a ministering angel had sent it to soothe the thirsty and parched tongue and give relief to our now sorely distressed troops. The battalion upon the whole got off with only a slight list of killed and wounded. The army had been repulsed, but not discouraged—we still hoped on. After remaining here until the night of the 4th (July 4th), we silently withdrew from the heights and turned our faces towards Virginia. And now we find that the once imperious Hooker, too, has played his part and retired to more inviting pastures, and that Meade, another officer of the Federal army, was in command. It rained hard the night of the 4th of July as we started on our march, and everything looked terribly dark, but the troops were in good spirits, and though the Federal army had achieved their first victory, they had not the nerve to attempt to follow it up by an onward movement. They knew too well the troops they were opposing, and that Lee had taught them too often the necessity of prudence, which they were not slow in acknowledging at this time as was illustrated in the quietude enjoyed by the Federal army, succeeding this great battle, as they never attempted to follow us until the next day, and then only with the cavalry, under Kilpatrick, who came up with our wagon train, attacked it, and was beaten off by Stuart. We moved on over the roads, which were in a horrible condition, the men discussing the battle and its effect, occasionally being interrupted by the report that the Federal army was marching to intercept us and cut us off from the main force, which was moving on another road.  We reached Hagerstown after a long and toilsome march, where we halted and awaited the approach of the enemy. The Potomac was swollen to a considerable height, occasioned by the heavy rains, which prevented our crossing. It was while we were here that the news came—how, I know not —that the Confederacy had been recognized by France, and that other European powers were ready to do the same—that our ports were to be opened to the world and our independence was soon to be an assured fact. How joyous was this news, with what delight and pleasure was it told and retold by the men! Meade's whole army was now gathering thick and fast, flushed with victory, and just in our front were the angry, surging waters of the Potomac, leaping high in their endeavor to get over their banks—all nature seeming to conspire in our overthrow. Such, indeed, was the situation of our army at that time. But it soon became noised about that this unexpected joy was like the morning dew, to be dissipated by the first rays of the sun, and we soon learned that the report was untrue, which had, of course, the effect of causing the men to express their opinion on this very important subject in no uncertain way. How we needed help! Fighting the whole world—that was just about the size of it! Was there ever such a destruction of life—the very flower of the southern country—by such an unprincipled enemy as made up to a great extent the Federal army, many of whom could not speak a word of the English language, and were soldiers only for the thirteen dollars per month, and the bounty which at that time the United States goverment was dispensing with lavish hands! We expected here to have another tilt with the enemy, and were hastening our troops through Williamsport on the march to Falling Waters, the point selected for our crossing. But General Meade was too much in fear of Lee's troops to attack, and he only made an effort when he found our troops crossing the Potomac, where a sharp fight occurred, in which General Pettigrew, a gallant brigade general of Hill's corps, was killed before we succeeded in driving him back where he was glad to be out of our reach. It was said a council of war was called by General Meade while we lay near Hagerstown to discuss the situation, and it was decided not to hazard an attack. There were numerous cavalry skirmishes on our trip back to Virginia, but no general engagement by the army. Although our troops were still sanguine of the ultimate success of our arms, it was a dark hour for the Confederacy, for about that time came news of Grant's  capture of Vicksburg, and of Morgan's defeat in Ohio, besides the successes attending the naval forces of the enemy. In looking over the results of this great struggle, I am struck with the fact that Lee's army, although it received its first check here, after beating its opponent in every previous battle, was ready again to meet the enemy, which it did in subsequent battles, and proved itself more than a match for them, thereby evidencing their entire confidence in General Lee, which they ever continued to have. But we were soon in Virginia again, having crossed the Potomac for the last time, that is, our battalion never saw the Potomac again as an organization, and soon we were in the great Valley of Virginia, and after reaching Bunker Hill, and resting some three or four days, our march was resumed, and pushing on, we passed through Winchester, nothing occurring worthy of mention. As the fall of the year was now at hand, it was soon apparent that we would spend the winter somewhere near the Rapidan. But we are suddenly interrupted by the report that the enemy were tearing up the railroad near Brandy Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and we were hurried forward to meet them, and a battle ensued in which we had several men badly wounded, among them Jack Moyers, who lost a leg. We succeeded in driving them back. As winter was now approaching we were ordered to the south side of the Rapidan, and soon we were preparing for winter quarters, the selected spot being in the celebrated Green Spring neighborhood, of Louisa county, where we remained during the winter. It was here we went through the form of enlisting for the war. Our time was spent here very quietly—this being our second winter in the army. Thus ended the campaign of 1863. In the meantime General Grant had been made commander of the United States forces, and was to take personal command of the Army of the Potomac, General Meade taking a back seat, or rather a subordinate position. Everything pointed to an early spring campaign and everything possible that was honorable was resorted to to strengthen our army, and we had a complete overhauling of our guns, repairing of harness, &c. Longstreet having been recalled from the South, where he had been sent by General Lee to assist that army, our troops were soon ready to again take the field. The winter was over, the grass again covered the ground and the air was redolent with the perfume of wild flowers with which this section of our State abounds, the buds were bursting from their long pent-up homes-everything conspired to cause one to exclaim with the  prophet of old: ‘The earth is the Lord's—he makes it to blossom and bring forth the harvest,’ and yet amidst these scenes so delightful to the senses, not far from us lay our cool, calculating enemy with whom in a short time we would meet in a death struggle, for at this time the roads were being filled up with troops as they hurriedly marched to Spotsylvania Courthouse, where Grant, after crossing the Rapidan, Warren in advance, would meet our troops with gallant A. P. Hill in the lead, General Lee having anticipated this movement, and there commenced a series of battles which lasted for days. General Grant had consolidated the numerous divisions into three corps—Hancock, a brilliant soldier, whom we met so often, commanding the Second Corps; Warren, who tried to run over us at Five Forks, with Sheridan's Cavalry, commanding the Fifth, and Sedgwick, a popular officer, whose fame was eclipsed at Fredericksburg, just previous to the battle of Chancellorsville, commanding the Sixth, with General Phil. Sheridan to manage the cavalry, and to do all the destroying of growing crops that he and his troopers could in the short space of time he was to remain in the Valley. It is said that Grant's army would fill any road in the State for more than a hundred miles with its soldiers, trains of wagons, &c. This was something like the force that the Confederate commander was to meet in the jungles of Spotsylvania in the early part of the month of May—about the 3d or 4th—and the Federal army, after occupying the whole night of the 3d in crossing the Rapidan at Kelly's, Ely's and Germanna Fords, was to seize our little army and strangle it and pass on to Richmond. But the ever watchful eye of Lee had arranged things differently, and the advance of Warren's Corps was met and repulsed by the troops of A. P. Hill. The Crenshaw Battery reached Spotsylvania Courthouse late in the evening and went into position just to the left and rear of that building for the night, when early next morning one section of the battery was ordered to move off to the right, Mahone at that time having gained a signal advantage over the enemy by a quick movement to the right, pierchis right center—capturing a number of prisoners. Here we had the limber-chests of one of the caissons blown up and had one man badly burned. After the return of this section to the line (for we had thrown up here a temporary line of breastworks) we remained in full view of the enemy until the quietness was suddenly broken by the wounding of William Ellis Jones by a sharpshooter, when again we commenced the same old unfortunate artillery duelling, in which we again were to suffer by the shells of the enemy, striking  the front of one of our pieces, bursting and wounding three men-Sergeant Jeff. Thomas, who was shot in the face and painfully wounded; Alonzo Phillips, also shot in the face and dangerously wounded, and Richard Seeley, whose face was so badly cut that he never returned to the battery. It now became apparent to General Grant, who had been butting up against our earthworks, that his famous declaration of ‘fighting it out on that line if it took all the summer,’ was not to be fulfilled. After several brilliant charges on the part of both armies, notably the one of the Second Corps (Hancock commanding), in which our General Edward Johnson was captured, with a large number of his men, which gave to the enemy only a temporary advantage, as our works were speedily retaken, the Man of Destiny started on another flank movement, and soon both armies were manoeuuring for position, this time to halt near Hanover Junction, where Grant attempted to cross the North Anna river, the outcome of which was the battle of Jericho Ford, where our company lost two more men—George Young, heretofore mentioned as the genial, whole-souled companion, whose chief delight was in making others happy, being mortally wounded, and ‘big’ Caldwell killed. Poor Caldwell! you, too, have proven your loyalty to the cause which resulted in the unholy sacrifice of so many noble and fearless men. This battle was fought in rather a different way from any other this company ever participated in, or, rather, we went into this fight in a different manner. Our company, as also the
which was on our right, formed under the brow of a hill overlooking the North-Anna, the enemy being strongly posted on the opposite side, when, after allowing so much space for each gun to be properly worked, at a given signal, started up and soon unlimbered and went to work and succeeded in driving Warren's troops back and quieting the batteries of the enemy, but not until they had caused a severe loss to our battery. After this battle General Grant, with a determination which savored of butchery, both armies having taken up the line of march, attempted to storm our works, and we had as a result the second battle of Cold Harbor, in which, to say the least, the loss of the enemy was greater than the whole number of men engaged on our side and which had the effect of creating great dissatisfaction in their army, which culminated in the men refusing to obey orders for a forward movement.  Observe here the conduct of Grant in contrast with that of Lee as exhibited in the memorable struggle in the Wilderness. When it became necessary to recapture a certain line which had been seized by Hancock, General Lee, with that promptness, characteristic of the great soldier, started forward to lead the troops, which of course our soldiers, officers as well as privates, would not permit. Whereas Grant, after butchering his men here at Cold Harbor, and they being unwilling again to face our works, never showed any disposition to lead them himself, but remained quietly behind his own works. But that was one thing the Confederacy could with very great satisfaction boast of. Her army was certainly well officered with bold, intelligent, and courageous men, always ready to lead. The world never saw their superiors. We were now on nearly the same ground on which the seven days battles were fought, the Federal army at that time being in command of General George B. McClellan. But oh, what changes! Then our uniforms were bright and everything pointed, as I then thought, to certain victory; but now the thin, emaciated form of the Confederate soldier told in language too plain the sufferings he was then undergoing for the want of proper sustenance. And now let me say that Grant had certainly played the last card known in the art of warfare, attrition, for all it was worth. For he confessed to a loss before reaching the south side of the James of more than the Army of Northern Virginia had in the field. After pontooning the James the army of Grant was now where it might have been at any time without the loss of a single man. But here he is near Bermuda Hundred and is soon to lay siege to Petersburg, it having been proven to his satisfaction that the ‘Cockade City’ could not be captured by an attack in front, and that our southern connections were safe at least for the present. The summer and fall of 1864 will ever be remembered by the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia as one of unusual activity on the part of this army, as also one of great privations on the part of the Confederate soldiers, whose rations at this time were not sufficient in quantity or very elegant in quality—namely, corn meal of almost all colors, with Nassau pork, which was indeed the most unpalatable meat that one ever ate, with occasionally a few peas—red peas. And then the condition of those peas—well, I will not attempt to describe it. Think of cooking three days rations of this yellow meal and carrying it in your haversack with the pork, and you can imagine our condition. The meal would of course become sour, and  the meat—well, it would soon be running out of the haversack, for mind you, this was in the months of July and August. This campaign, too, more than any other, perhaps, brought out more fully the wonderful genius and capabilities of our commander, who was to thwart every movement of his opponent, and prove his superiority by the skilful and rapid manipulation of his troops, meeting and beating him in every battle, thereby causing General Grant to be more prudent in the management of his forces and to settle down to a siege. But let us resume the march. After it became known that Grant had crossed the larger part of his army to the south side of the James the Crenshaw Battery received orders to move, as did the whole of Pegram's battalion, and we were soon on the road again. After crossing the James near Drewry's Bluff on pontoons, we continued the march until we came to within two or three miles of Petersburg, where we occupied a part of the works, which extended from the Howlett House far to the south of Petersburg. And now as the theatre of war was for the most part transferred to the southside of the James, let us look at that city, as I then saw it. It is some eighteen miles south of Richmond, as the crow would fly, and situated on the south side of the Appomatriver, which empties in the James some twelve miles below. It had a population then of some 15,000 souls, and was noted for its wealth as well as for the intelligence of its people. It is intersected by three railroads—the Norfolk and Petersburg, the first one to be seized by the enemy, and which it is said was surveyed by General Mahone, who certainly gained quite a reputation for the skilful and rapid handling of his troops in and around this smitten city; the Petersburg and Weldon and the Petersburg and Southside, which had its outlet by way of Burkeville to Lynchburg, with connections here at Burkeville with the Richmond and Danville for the South. With these roads in Grant's possession our hope of success must vanish. And for the task of defending the extreme right, General Lee with that foresight which he ever seemed to possess, selected A. P. Hill, the commander of the Third Corps, who had already gained a reputation second to none. How well he carried out the plans, and how he met the approbation of Lee in this important duty, history will tell you. Suffice it to say that he gave his life for the cause. It was here that we fought the enemy, although not seeing him at the time. It was in this way: The position assigned us on the line had been carefully examined, and our instructions were to elevate the guns to a certain height from which our shots would have the desired effect,  and then, too our whole front was obscured by a heavy growth of trees, which aided by the fact that this firing usually occurred early in the morning (before light), causing you to leave your ‘fly-tent,’ was anything but pleasant. It was here, in company with W. D. S., a member of the battery, that we had a narrow escape. Immediately in rear of our guns was a spring, which we had just reached, and were in the act of sousing down the bucket when suddenly a shell—from a mortar-thrown by the enemy dropped into the aforesaid spring, to the great consternation of my friend as well as myself. That certainly was a villainous mode of warfare. It was amusing, though, to hear the boys sing out: ‘Hereshe comes;’ ‘lie down;’ ‘grab a root,’ etc., and such a commotion it would cause. No one appeared to be safe. Several men were killed while lying in their tents. I never want to see such instruments of death at work again. And, now, I have to chronicle the death of Thomas Emmett, who was killed here. It occurred early in the morning just after daybreak. Emmett was a gallant soldier, as well as a quiet and intelligent, modest man. He was killed instantly by a piece of shell while serving in his usual position at the gun—No. 3. We buried him a short distance in rear of the works. His body was subsequently, I believe, taken up and carried to Winchester, his home, and reinterred. After remaining here on the north side of the Appomattox some ten days more, we were hurriedly moved across the river and through Petersburg to meet General Hancock, of the Federal army, commanding the Second Corps, who was endeavoring to cut the Southside railroad, and thus cut off our communications with the southern country. We met the enemy, after a forced march, near the Davis House, as it was then called, some twelve miles or more south of Petersburg, and after a sharp fight drove him back upon his main line. We soon received orders to return to the lines, which then extended nearly to Burgess' Mill, and were on the way when we were ordered to redouble our pace, as the enemy were to spring the mine on the Petersburg line in which they had labored for so long a time. We have here another illustration of the truth of the poet, Burns, ‘The best laid schemes of men and mice,’ &c., for it seems that more than one Federal general was disgruntled, and that there was some strong language used by the officers one to another, and the report of the congressional committee on the conduct of the war  was anything but complimentary. But the mine has been sprung and all its attendant horrors have been depicted in the details of the war. Yet Petersburg—the proud city—still held up her head, and her Sabbath bells still rang her yet noble people to worship as of yore. Hour after hour was the sorely distressed city bombarded. Shells dropped in almost every part of the city. We soon arrived at Butterworth's bridge, at the head of Halifax street, and remained there until the battle of the Crater was fought, after which we were sent farther to the right and camped for some ten days in the vicinity of what was afterwards known as Fort Gregg. General Grant now saw the futility of an attack in front and therefore made another attempt to cut our communications. This time he sent a large force of cavalry, artillery, and mounted infantry, commanded by Generals Kautz and Spear. Marching rapidly, crossing the Jerusalem plank road they struck the Weldon railroad near Reams' station, after which they pushed on to the Southside road, destroying a good deal of property. Here they met our cavalry under W. H. F. Lee, who followed them close until they reached a point on the Weldon railroad where the infantry of A. P. Hill's Corps, with the artillery, engaged them for some time, after which they attempted to reach their lines, not, however, before they had lost their entire train of wagons and all of their artillery with several thousand prisoners. The Purcell Battery, of our battalion, did most excellent work in this battle. It was a laughable sight to see the prisoners captured here. They had in many instances robbed the private houses, and many dresses and other things which go to make up a lady's wardrobe, might have been seen scattered along the road as they attempted to regain their lines, besides many negroes following in their wake. And now to show you how far these men—not all, but a great many-would go in this pillaging, robbing the innocent and inoffensive male and female alike, a gentleman told me who was doing guard duty at Libby prison during the war, that on one occasion he had been instructed to search a batch of prisoners who had just arrived from the front, when to his astonishment he found the deeds to a great portion of Fairfax county, which had evidently been stolen from the court-house of that county, showing conclusively that they were thieves. We returned after this engagement to within a short distance of Petersburg, and camped, but we were not destined to remain quiet long, as General Grant was constantly endeavoring to find a weak  point in our lines, which extended now for more than thirty miles, and consequently we were always on the go, although the Pegram Battalion was engaged the whole summer in one place or another in aiding the infantry and cavalry in repelling the numerous attacks, which were made generally by Hancock's Corps. The only one recorded in my diary as of much importance in which the Crenshaw Battery took part, following the Reams' station affair, was the attempt of General Grant to gain possession of the roads leading out of Petersburg to the South, and thereby forcing our army to retreat or surrender, in which he sent out a large force and which resulted in the
battle of Burgess' Mill. I shall never forget some things about this battle. Our company, which was then camped some three miles south of Petersburg, received its orders to march, and only one section of the battery started. After gaining the road we came upon the infantry of Mahone, who were then moving very rapidly. Soon we received orders to quicken our pace, which we did, passing the troops of Mahone, and arrived under the brow of a hill overlooking the mill, where we were met by an officer of the cavalry (I never knew his name), but who was very much excited, and who told Lieutenant Hollis, in an animated way, with his hat off, to hurry up; that the enemy had crossed the road and had driven the cavalry from the front! We soon reached the top of the hill, the enemy at the time firing upon us, unlimbered, and got to work upon as pretty a line of battle in our front as I ever saw. We fought here some time, losing several wounded, among them a Mr. Davis, of Lynchburg, who lost his leg. After driving the enemy back upon his main line we returned to our camp, near
Fort Gregg. And now while I write these lines my mind wanders back to the scenes that were enacted at this place. Here it was that Robert Ellett—Sergeant Ellett—as he was known in our command, but who had now been promoted to a lieutenancy and assigned to another company, was killed. Poor Bob! A true knight! Gone to join that long list of brave souls. To have lived through so many hard fought battles and then at the closing hours of the Confederacy to be cut off from those who never ceased to mourn you. Such is war.  And now that the winter was approaching, the Pegram Battalion having received orders to march, were again moving in the direction of Burgess' Mill, where, as before mentioned, we had a severe fight, and were now to spend the winter, the selection being a remarkably fine one, as it abounded in good water, with plenty of wood, which at that time was very scarce with many of the troops nearer to Petersburg. This was our third winter in the army. This was, indeed, a severe winter on both horses and men, and the suffering caused by the scarcity of food cannot be expressed. Our commissary was only issuing one pint of corn meal and an eighth of a pound of pork to the man per day, and occasionally, on account of the condition of the roads and the company being such a long distance from the department's quarters, we would not receive anything! Yet the boys kept up and were always ready to crack a joke, sing songs. &c. It seems to me I can hear some of them now as they would break forth in what was at that time a very popular song:
I am lonely in my shanty,Time and again have I known the men to go down to the ponds and break a hole in the ice and fish, staying sometimes all night on its banks, only to be rewarded by the catching of a catfish, which would occasion great joy among their messmates. I don't know what the men would have done had it not been for that very delightful fruit, which seemed to flourish in this section of the country—the Dinwiddie persimmon. It was amusing to see the men as they crowded around the commissary wagon and hear them discant upon the possibilities of having their hunger appeased once more.  Although this was winter, and the men therefore expected to be quiet, doing only the camp duty, yet General Grant, drawing the net closer around the thin, long lines of General Lee, would not have it so, and we are accordingly hurried out of our quarters to meet the industrious enemy and find ourselves in the road and pushing on to Belfield; and what a trip it was! Talk about straggling; well, there was some done that night. But who could help it? It rained, hailed, snowed, and did everything else that was ever done before. Cold! Yes, I tell you it was. Remember this was in the month of January. And then it was all for nothing. The weather had effected the enemy about the same way, and after marching all night we were halted near the Boydton plank road and parked our guns, the wind blowing so hard that it was almost impossible to raise a tent. What a night! I believe the men suffered more on this trip than they ever did before. Here it was we met the
And rations are scanty,
And thieving is the order of the day;
The watch-dog is howling,
A hungry Reb is prowling,
Around the house the hens to steal away.
Chorus.Come, come, come, rain, come,
Float over the tops of my boots;
Come and I'll thank ye
To drive away the Yankee
Until our ranks are filled up with recruits.
another Richmond company, which it seems had been sent out on this trip, and which had a rough experience. The next morning we received orders to march, and soon took the road, glad enough to reach our shanties. And now, after arriving at our quarters and settling down to the performance of camp duties, we naturally discussed the possible outcome of this very unequal struggle in which might was to overthrow what we believed was right. Our lines at that time had been extended to such length that it was almost impossible to keep close connection—the men being so far apart. As the winter wore on our ranks—once full—are now thin, the dreaded disease, pneumonia, had done its work well, and the future presented anything but an encouraging outlook. It was while we lay here that our former commander, for whom the battery was named—Captain W. G. Crenshaw—sent each man a pair of boots. They were very acceptable at that time, and showed that although he was absent in person, yet he was with us in spirit—not forgetting us. What would be the next move? We were never at ease. Being on the extreme right we were kept in an unsettled condition all the time. But now the year 1864 was a thing of the past and February, 1865, found us on the march, this time to meet the enemy at
Hatchers Run. The Crenshaw Battery arrived in an open field just off from the  Boydton plank-road, where the infantry under the immediate command of General John Pegram was hotly engaged. The battery here engaged the infantry, losing some of our best soldiers, among them Benjamin Pleasants, who lost a leg; Hix, and others whose names I do not now recall. General John Pegram, who was killed here, was a brother to Colonel William J. Pegram, who commanded the Pegram Battalion. After the battle was over, in company with Charles P. Young, another member of the company, I went out to survey the field from which we had driven the enemy, and as it was now night, we soon found that we had passed beyond our pickets, and were in the lines of the Yankees, as we heard them calling out ‘any one here belonging to the Fifth New Jersey,’ and other regiments, the light of their torches revealing them in too close a position to be comfortable. We turned around and started for our lines when suddenly a heavy fire was opened upon us, which caused us to drop to the ground at once. We remained there hugging mother earth until the firing ceased, when glad enough were we to get back to our lines. Here, as at other times, was the Confederate soldier to prove his devotion to the cause, as it required great moral courage to undergo the privation that was prevailing in the army at that time, and then to battle, too with the elements, for, mark you, the weather was of a freezing kind—raining and freezing. Then, too, the soldiers were so poorly clad. However, we managed to get through this battle with the loss before stated, and again returned to our shanties. It was now the middle of February, 1865, and although the snow covered the ground, yet it was apparent even to the ‘Private’ that something of an unusual character was going on which was soon to burst forth in all its fulness, as there could be noticed the traces of uneasiness and disquietude depicted on the faces of the officers as well as the men. How much longer was this strife to continue? What would be the final outcome? Were the sufferings endured by the Confederate soldier to go for naught? These and kindred other subjects were meditated upon by the boys as we lay here in our quarters, which were soon left by us to return no more, for at that time the
Army of the Potomac
was gathering in all its strength, having fared sumptuously during the winter, with all the necessary clothing, &c., and soon the booming of cannon was again calling us to the field, there to contend  against an almost countless foe. Such was the condition of things when we received orders to march, and we soon found ourselves in the road hastening towards Petersburg, which we could not understand, as we passed troops hurrying, as it seemed to us, to the point, or rather in the direction from which we came. However, we pushed on and soon reached a position on the lines which had formerly been occupied by the
the two sections of the battery being separated by some two or three hundred yards or more. The section to which I was attached was placed up on a parapet with just sufficient space to work the two guns, and not space enough to work them advantageously or with safety, as we came near losing the No. I at our gun, owing to the nearness of the guns to each other, our No. 1 stepping in to sponge, as he thought the gun had been fired (the smoke from the other causing him to be misled), which was not the case, the No. 4 at that time being in the act of pulling the lanyard, and he would certainly have done so had not the No. 3, who was then a small boy, and who had remained upon the parapet when the gun was fired (not being able to get up and down in time), stepped over the trail of the gun and caught hold of the lanyard. We had a good view here of the Yankees, who were some distance from us. After remaining here about twenty-four hours the enemy opened upon us with their heavy guns, they having calculated the distance with accuracy, and soon dismounted one of our pieces and exploded several rounds of ammunition, which the men had accumulated near the guns to prevent having to run to the limberchest under fire every time the guns were fired. This was done in violation of positive orders to the contrary, but the men paid dearly for it, as two of them—Hardgrove and Coleman—lost their lives. The sufferings of these two men were terrible, and the explosion of the shells caused all of us to lie very low, which called forth loud cheering from the enemy, who could see the effect of their shots. But we were not destined to remain here long. After repairing the axle tree and remounting the gun, we received orders to march, and were soon hurrying towards Dinwiddie Courthouse. After marching all day and night we found ourselves on the Squirrel Level road, where, after passing the infantry, which proved to be General Pickett's troops—the old
 first Virginia Regiment
among them-and shaking hands with Theodore Martin and other Richmond boys, we pushed on and came up with the cavalry, where I saw these troopers make a dashing charge across a creek, driving Sheridan's troops before them. The Crenshaw Battery followed close behind the cavalry, crossed the stream, on and up to the top of a hill and unlimbered in an open space. We did not remain in this position long before we were ordered back, and moved on to
Five Forks. The battery took a position behind a fence, or rather we pulled the fence down, the guns being separated by a space of some one hundred yards or more. In our front was an open field. Look with me, my comrades, as I attempt to picture to you this beautiful field, the foliage of which was now bursting out in all its glory, all nature bearing testimony to the goodness of Him that causeth the earth to praise Him, as the April sun, now in all its resplendent glory, is attuned in attestation of its loveliness, now so peaceful yet soon to be the seat of carnage. Standing in line the eye is first attracted by a neat frame-house, situated in the right corner of the field, whose inmates are seen hastily leaving, making for the woods to the right—the field itself, covering an area of some 500 feet or more in length by about the same in breadth, skirted on either side by a dense growth of trees. In our front, for about 500 yards, the surface was even, after which it partook of a slight inclination until it receded into a valley below, the ground upon which the enemy were then massing for the desperate work of the evening. General Corse commanded the infantry that supported us. The skirmishers in our front in the field were commanded by Captain Allen Lyon, of the ‘Virginia Life Guard,’ Company B, 15th Virginia Infantry. After remaining in this position from early morn until evening, the enemy in the mean time making assaults all along the line to our left, we heard the sound of a bugle and presently our skirmishers were seen coming into our lines to be quickly followed by a charging column of Federal horsemen. What a sight! On they come, firing, shouting—the earth almost trembling with the heavy weight—the field being filled as they approached  nearer our lines with the dead and wounded, the horses running in all directions, some with riders and others without. Our men could be restrained no longer, and suddenly the word fire rang out along the line. Almost instantly the guns are fired, the infantry pouring upon the horsemen a terrible volley, the guns of the artillery doubly shotted and firing. But on they come, such was the power behind them, not being able to turn around, and running through the guns but only to be prisoners. The destruction of life here was great, long lanes being opened in their ranks as they attempted to break through our lines. I had witnessed a good many exciting scenes in the army, but this surpassed them all. I really thought that we would never stop them. Such was the first attempt to break through our lines. While this assault was being made in our front, Sheridan massed his infantry in three or four lines of battle, and charged and broke through our lines on the left of the battery, swept up the works and succeeded in capturing the left gun of the company, which was in position on the spot from which this battle takes its name, though not without a desperate resistance on the part of the cannoneers who fought the guns until the enemy were upon them. Even then one of them knocked down a Federal soldier with a sponge staff. Lieutenant Hollis and most of the gun crew were captured. The other three guns got off in safety. It was at this gun that Col. William R. Johnson Pegram was killed —the Christian warrior, the modest young soldier, who had lived long enough to win the plaudits of the whole army. ‘Specs,’ as the boys used affectionately to call him, was always ready to lead. Noble Willie Pegram! Alas! the war had claimed another patriot as a victim. He was buried temporarily at Ford's Station, on the Southside Railroad, while the troops were on the retreat, and his remains were afterwards taken up and reinterred in Hollywood. As the evening shadows begin to gather around our yet gallant band, the order to limber up is heard, and the troops start on the retreat. Immediately after the order to limber up, consequent upon the battle of Five Forks, which occurred about sundown on Saturday, April 1, 1865, the Crenshaw Battery, with its three guns (one gun and most of its gallant crew, under the immediate command of Lieutenant Hollis, having been captured by the troops of Warren, commanding the Fifth Corps), moved off through the woods. About this time
 General Pickett,
coming from the direction of the Forks, rode by the guns of the battery, and in answer to Captain Ellett's query as to where he wanted his guns, ordered him to straighten them out in the road, saying that lie would swing General Corse's Brigade around to meet the charge of the Federals crossing from the left, and that our guns must be ready to open at any time that might be necessary. Just at that moment the ambulance containing Colonel William R. J. Pegram, who had been mortally wounded at the Forks, under the charge of Captain W. G. McCabe, came up and immediately two of the battery's horses that had escaped capture at the Forks, were put in front of the ambulance and they continued on to the rear. The night was spent on the march through a country unknown, the men using very little light, expecting to be run into at any moment. What a night! Will it ever be forgotten? Can it be? And many were the speculations of the men as they trudged along the road without food. Morning came, only to bear testimony to what now seemed a forlorn hope, the day being spent on the road. Night coming on, the battery sought rest near the roadside. The next morning broke and with it no news to cheer the now desponding Confederate, but, on the contrary, he learns of the disaster all along the line, that Petersburg had been evacuated, and that the
Confederate Capital was on fire. This was a crushing blow to the Richmond boys whose parents—yea, whose all-lay encircled in the City of Seven Hills. How he wished to know their fate! Sad indeed was this news. The roads over which the retreating army were now moving were anything but good, and it soon became evident that we must throw away the ammunition then in the caissons and a little later on run them in the woods and cut them down. Taking the horses and doubling them on the guns in order, if possible, to save them, we reached that night a station on the Norfolk and Western railroad called Sutherlands, I believe, and went into camp. We hitched up early next morning and moved on in a westerly direction until we came up with General Anderson's Division. The halting and miring of the teams was almost an hourly occurrence, which, supplemented by the news that the Yankees were surrounding us, was not calculated to inspire courage in our troops.  Still amidst all this suffering there was mingled a degree of jollity that would occasionally break forth in loud laughter, to be followed by the singing of a song. Many a joke was cracked, and many were the devices resorted to to secure food, which at this time was a scarce commodity, and which often defied the ingenuity of the most skilful forager. And now, after the second day's march, we learn of the death of
A. P. Hill,
at one time the commander of the famous Light Division, composed of the very flower of the army, and until now the brilliant commander of the Third Corps. He was a perfect picture in the saddle and the most graceful rider I ever saw. He had long, curly hair, and was the noblest Roman of them all. His career had been one of unparalleled success, and the confidence reposed in him by Generals Lee and Jackson found expression in their last days, and has gone into and become part of history. But let us continue the retreat. Another morning dawns to find the troops somewhat in an uproar. The bold cavaliers of Custer, of Indian fame, had attempted to cut a way into our line, and the result was a skirmish in which the enemy was beaten off only to acquire new strength with which to attack our worn-out and hungry troops, this time with more success. We soon arrived in the vicinity of
Amelia Courthouse. Our three guns were here turned over to one of the artillery battalions, which was there reorganized to move with the army, and we were given three Napoleon guns to move with and protect the wagon trains along a parallel road. We continued the retreat night and day until Saturday evening, April 8th, when we were attacked on all sides by a large cavalry force while we were parked in an open field with only the Otey Battery,
armed with muskets,
for a support. We dropped our trails where our guns stood and opened fireall around and drove off all of the attacking force. Here again the boldness of Sheridan's attack proved unavailing, as the boys met him with that Spartan courage which had always been characteristic of the Pegram Battalion,  We then hitched up and moved out on a by-road in the woods, where we camped. Next morning, Sunday, April 9th, we hi ched up ready to move when Colonel McGraw, who by sheer force of character and almost unequalled bravery had now risen to the exalted position of commander of this invincible battalion, in company with General R. Lindsay Walker, went to General Lee's headquarters to see what was to be done, leaving the battalion in charge of Captain Thomas Ellett, who ordered it to move out in the road. After several pieces had gained the road word came to repark the guns and await further orders. After waiting a short time an order came to spike and cut down the guns, destroy the limber chests, wagons and all other property possible, and for the officers and men to scatter, taking to the woods, and endeavor to make their way to General Joseph E. Johnston, in North Carolina. This order was carried out with a great deal of sorrow, many of the officers and men crying like children. The scenes connected with the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse have gone down to history and are there recorded, and the Private now, as he closes up a very imperfect work, calls up before him in all its pristine glory the Crenshaw Battery, as with proud step it made its way to Camp Lee in the spring of ‘62, there to be instructed in the art of war, the guns then bright and shining, as were also the new uniforms, with full ranks and the proud flag of Dixie waving untattered over as happy a set as ever knew joy, and unknown entirely to the sufferings incident to war. But it is a dream. The sun has set forever upon the cause for which we contended, and the cannon which once boomed out so sullenly, which had to the cannoneer a music—peculiar though it may be—is hushed forever, and the once happy, familiar faces, then jubilant and gay, which, indeed, made the soldier's life, to some extent at least, lose some of its bitterness, are gone, and the private is to listen no more to rollcall, as the sergeant would step out and commence what was once a long roll, but which has now become only a meagre one, death in all its forms known to the soldier having claimed a large number. Hush! I can now hear the order, ‘Commence firing!’ The loud huzzas are yet ringing in my head. I see again the troops all in battle array! I hear the well-known voice of the incomparable Lieutenant James Ellett, and the mellow and pleasant voice of Hollis, as the boys are now sending forth the messengers of death, and I hear our gallant Captain Thomas Ellett, as he cheers the boys on to victory in his modest and gentlemanly  way, with a host of once familiar faces that are to be seen no more on this earth, but who, we trust, have reached the eternal shore, where there shall be no sorrow, and where they shall have ‘beaten their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks.’ I append as a fitting conclusion to these imperfect reminiscences, the beautiful and tender poem of Percy Greg, the English historian, which needs only to be read to be appreciated.