In December, 1861, we went into winter quarters at Davis' ford
, some six miles from Manassas
, on the Occoquan river
, in Prince William county, Va.
, and there whiled away the time drilling and doing picket duty until the middle of March, 1862.
It was there we celebrated the anniversary of the secession of Mississippi
, on the 9th of January.
It was there that we first endured the hardships of a Virginia winter and learned to skate on the ice of the frozen Occoquan
From Davis' ford
, in March, 1862, we began our retreat.
We recall the speech delivered by Colonel Hughes
on that bleak March morning, just before our departure.
Said he, straightening himself up on his queer-looking war steed: ‘Soldiers, the enemy is trying to flank us; we are going to march to meet them.
If you are cowards, stragglers, pilferers and plunderers, I will have you shot; but if you are hightoned, honorable Mississippi
gentlemen, as I have always known you to be, I'll love you. Forward by the right flank; route step, march!’
On the retreat from Davis' ford
we passed through the wealthy counties of Fauquier
, tarrying several days at Rappahannock station, finally reaching Orange county, Virginia
, where we camped some fifteen days, and departed thence for the peninsula to join the forces of the gallant General John B. Magruder
Our brigade (Rhodes
') was camped near Yorktown
, and a small number of our command were here first engaged in an insignificant skirmish with the enemy.
While at Yorktown
our term of service expired, and the regiment was reorganized by the election of W. H. Taylor
, colonel; M. B. Harris
, and W. H. Lilly
J. H. Capers
was appointed adjutant, and E. H. McCaleb
Joseph E. Johnston
, with his heroic army, after delaying McClellan
many weeks around Yorktown
, began to retreat up the peninsula to Richmond
The Federals overtook us at Williamsburg
, and there an important engagement was fought between Hooker
's Division of Heintzleman
's Corps and the Confederate
rear guard, commanded by General Longstreet
, on the 5th of May, 1862.
Although our regiment was under heavy fire, it cannot be said to have been actually engaged in the battle of Williamsburg
After this important engagement, resulting in a great victory for the Confederate
arms, we continued our march unmolested, and subsequently encamped on the banks of the Chickahominy
, near Richmond
Here we remained until the morning of the 30th of May, 1862, when the long