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[374] 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,

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