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[335] capturing over 700 prisoners and covering the earth in every direction with killed and wounded. Generals Lee and Anderson were present at this daring exploit, and expressed their admiration for the death-defying courage of the Mississippians. Our brigade was also engaged Monday evening, May 4, near Fredericksburg, and there added another gem to its glittering diadem of victorious achievements.

About 350 gallant men, killed and wounded in the battles of the Wilderness, bear ample testimony to the part our brigade bore in the series of brilliant achievements which covered the Army of Northern Virginia with everlasting honor and renown. But, notwithstanding our undisputed successes, we all felt that we had sustained a loss almost irreparable. Stonewall Jackson, the great and good, had been mortally wounded. There was a witchery in his name which carried confidence to friend and terror to foe. That bright star, which had hitherto eclipsed all others in brilliancy, had suddenly sunk to rise no more. On the receipt of the sad intelligence of his death there was scarce a dry eye in the whole Army of Northern Virginia, and we all felt that a heavy stone of sorrow had been rolled on our hearts.

Among the many amusing anecdotes related of that distinguished chieftain, it is said that upon a fatiguing, forced march during his celebrated campaign in the valley of the Shenandoah, a verdant Mississippi recruit of the 16th Regiment lay prostrated by the wayside as General Jackson rode up, and, observing his commander, the undisciplined soldier addressed him thus: ‘General, what do you design by marching us so far? Come, now, and explain your plans to me.’ Whereupon the hero fixed his eyes upon the private and quizzingly asked: ‘Can you keep a secret?’ ‘Yes, that I can,’ was the reply, his eyes sparkling, expecting to hear something wonderful. ‘Ah, so can I,’ General Jackson laconically answered, and galloping off, left the soldier as unsatisfied as ever.

We were along with the army during the invasion of Pennsylvania. On the night of the 2d of July, while doing picket duty at Gettysburg, Posey's Brigade, then temporarily under command of Colonel W. H. Taylor, captured sixty Federal pickets without firing a gun. After the disasterous engagement at Gettysburg we began our retreat southward, wading the Potomac up to our armpits, and carrying our cartridge boxes on top of our shoulders to prevent them from getting wet.

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