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[118] out, and said: ‘Sergeant, I want you with me to-night. I'm going to charge the enemy's camp.’ (He always addressed me as ‘Sergeant,’ as I was a sergeant in my company.) “Wait here and I will be ready directly to start.” He had notified all of the different commands to meet and form at a certain place. He very soon came out of his tent and mounted his horse, a very pretty gray or cream colored mare, which he prized very much. Some friend of his had made him a present of her.

I was riding a fine gray horse myself, which I had recently bought.

We started off and he went straight to where the command was already formed by fours. We took our positions at the head of it and he gave the command, ‘Forward,’ and off we started, all perfectly quiet, no one talking, as I suppose they had been ordered to keep quiet. Whether the men knew what the General's intentions were or not, I do not know.

We had one piece of artillery with us, and after going a short distance across a field, then into a piece of woods a little distance, he halted the command and told them to remain there until he returned. He then said: ‘Sergeant, we will ride on.’ After going a little ways, he said: ‘I want to find a position to place that gun’ (meaning that piece of artillery). We had not gone over three or four hundred yards before we were halted by a picket. It was dark or getting so, and we did not see them until we were halted in twenty feet of them or nearer.

I asked the General, in a very low tone, ‘If it was not our picket?’ We had come upon them so soon after starting. He said: ‘No, they are Yankees;’ and just as he replied, they fired a volley at us. Seven shots, we counted, successive shots, very close together, and we could see seven men.

Our horses wheeled to the right into some bushes. They were badly frightened. The General said: ‘Sergeant, are you hurt?’ I replied: ‘No, sir; are you?’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I am afraid my horse is.’ I said ‘my horse does not jump like he was hurt, and we had then turned and were going back the way we came.’ The General said: ‘Sergeant, that firing has just spoiled my fun.’ We made a miraculous escape. They were so close to us, I suppose they were asleep, and did not hear us until we got right on them. I suppose it was near 2 o'clock then. We went back to the command. The General said: ‘We will wait where we are until day begins to break, and I will fire from here into their camp.’

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