previous next

[309] of distinguished usefulness, he died, beloved and respected in his adopted as well as his native State.

The last incident shows the spirit of the boys. But the old men on that day were boys also. Mr. Mike O'Connell was over eighty years of age. He went out with the Silver Grays. His company was placed on the inner line, but with his long rifle he marched out to the skirmish line and kept up a constant fire on the enemy all day, though himself under a heavy fire.

The writer of this sketch was, he regrets to say, in another part of the Army of Northern Virginia at this time, and therefore can give nothing from his own experience. He was, however, in constant correspondence with his wife, who wrote him very full accounts of all that happened. Unfortunately all her letters on this subject, but one, have been lost; one extract from that may be worth inserting. It is dated Tuesday, June 21, 1864:

I received three letters from you, for all of which you must accept my thanks. It was amusing to me in reading those of the 17th and 19th to see how little idea you had of the stirring times through which we were passing at Lvnchburg.

On Monday, the 13th, we begun to fear that Hunter would make Lynchburg his point of attack, but it was not a definite fear until we heard of his being in Lexington, and that he was turning this way. On Thursday, the 16th, we heard of his being at Liberty, marching in this direction, and then all was excitement and apprehension.

General Breckinridge, with some troops, got here on Wednesday night, and as we saw them passing out West street, it was a most reassuring sight, and never were a lot of bronzed and dirty looking veterans, many of them barefooted, more heartily welcomed. The streets were lined with women, waving their handkerchiefs and cheering them on as they moved out to a line on the hills west of the city. We were made more hopeful, also, by the knowledge that General Early, with several brigades, was at Charlottesville, en route to reinforce the small command of Breckinridge. He arrived with some of his troops on the evening of Friday, the 17th, but could do little more than get what he had into position. On Saturday, the 18th, more of Early's men came, and it was a delightful sound to hear their cheers as they passed out to the lines. Eugene was among them, and seemed to delight in the chance of making a fight right at home.

Saturday, the 18th, was a day we will not soon forget. There

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Lynchburg (Virginia, United States) (1)
Charlottesville (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. A. Early (2)
John C. Breckinridge (2)
Mike O'Connell (1)
David Hunter (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
18th (2)
June 21st, 1864 AD (1)
17th (1)
16th (1)
13th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: