and I will adopt it at once, trusting you to act for me as commissary and quartermaster for the time being.’
He sent Sergeant Amos Slaymaker
, Private Hansbrough
and four others whose names have escaped my memory, to my house with orders to keep a strict watch night and day, and to report to him at once so soon as any Federal advance was seen.
This order was well obeyed, as the sequel will show.
One thing not exactly germaine to the point, I cannot refrain from mentioning.
It showed Colonel Hunton
's regard for his men. He said:
“Have you got anything in the way of cooked rations you can send my men about nightfall?
They have been marching all day long without anything but an early breakfast.”
I replied ‘that I had not, but said I would go home, have four or five lambs killed and cooked, and all the bread we could cook, and send it to his camp by dark.’
The servant I sent the provisions by delivered all safely, and in doing so had to run the gauntlet of the Tiger
These fellows claimed to be Colonel Hunton
's men, but some of the 8th being on the lookout, came to his rescue, and saved the lambs in short order.
Now, to the point.
Who saved the Confederates
from a disastrous surprise on July 21, 1861?
I will endeavor to prove that General Hunton
was the man.
The people in the vicinity of the battlefield were in possession of information that a battle was imminent, and were on the lookout.
On Saturday evening, July 20th, Captain J. D. Debell
, of Centreville
, who had been in our vicinity for several days, came to Sudley
and remained that night.
He believed with me that the advance would be made through the route referred to, and Bull Run
passed at Sudley Ford.
He had a field-glass, small, but a fairly good one.
Exactly at sunset he, Sergeant Slaymaker
and myself discovered by the use of the glass eighteen or twenty blue-coat infantry inside of an open field, and not over thirty yards from the woods road we expected the enemy to follow.
We were on this road, in a direct line, a mile and a half distant from them.
sent information to the Colonel
at once, and he (Colonel Hunton
) sent word to General Beauregard
by the same messenger.
held his post until the advance of Tyler
's division drove him from it. I remained at home until the infantry advanced to within three hundred yards of me, and retreated to the battlefield.
I saw the firing of infantry, and the mad rush of the Federals
down the Henry Hill