they became quiet and all save the guards were soon lost in sleep.
About midnight a fearful storm came up, the rain fell in torrents and the wind blew down the tents.
The darkness was very dense, and the Mississippians, so delightfully situated an hour before, were struggling to gain their freedom from beneath the canvas.
The storm continued for two hours or more, and the earth and everything on it in that neighborhood was drenched.
The situation was not pleasant.
The men needed rest and sleep to fit them to meet and endure the hardships ahead.
But that faithful and characteristic side of the Confederate
soldier, which enabled him to laugh in the face of misfortune and disaster, was never displayed to better advantage than on that dark and stormy night.
Men would call out for one another, and kept up a merry exchange of pleasantries.
Some would crow, others bark, until finally the entire camp began yelling, which was continued during the storm.
At dawn we began the march to Warrenton
, where we crossed the river two days later, on a pontoon bridge, and found evidence of war on every hand.
While continuing the march to Manassas Junction
, we passed through the battlefield for five or six miles, on which the Federal
dead lay along the road, in the fields and woods.
Ambulance corps, litter bearers, and burying parties, from the Federal
army, under flags of truce, were busy digging ditches and interring those ghastly relics.
The weather was intensely hot, causing decomposition to set in and making the stench horrible.
The bodies were badly swollen.
The surroundings were calculated to strike the stoutestheart with awe. As Barksdale
's Mississippians marched among the dead there could be heard expressions of sorrow and sympathy on every hand.
They were ready to grapple with the enemy whenever called on, but as they moved among so many dead their hearts were full of pity.
After crossing the railroad the road changed direction to the left, and passing along the side of a hill, which extended into a woods, we saw a long line of fancifully dressed men lying dead on the field.
We learned that during the battle Gregg
's Texas Brigade lay in the sedge grass about two-thirds the way up the hill, and behind them was posted a battery which annoyed the enemy so greatly that the Pennsylvania Bucktail Zouaves
were sent to capture it. The Federal regiment advanced, about 800 strong, in perfect order towards the battery, and when almost within talking distance, the Texans
, with deliberate aim, fired.
It looked to us as if this entire regiment had fallen dead in line.
Some were pierced with two and three