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Battle of Warrenton Springs.

October 12. At 2 P. M. we were aroused and started for the Rappahannock river. It was not a pleasure excursion. At 12 M. we came near the village of Jeffersonton, halted for a few minutes, and learned that a body of Yankee cavalry were in a church in the town, and General Battle was ordered to flank and capture the party if possible. The Third, Sixth and Twelfth Alabama regiments marched to the left, and the Fifth and Twenty-sixth Alabama to the right. After going about two miles we overtook some Yankee cavalry pickets, whom our sharpshooters, under Major Blackford, of the Fifth Alabama, quickly dispersed. We followed closely, and they evacuated Jeffersonton, falling back to the river, and crossing a bridge near Warrenton Springs. General Pendleton, chief of artillery, placed twelve pieces of cannon on a lofty hill immediately in front of my regiment and commenced a rapid and destructive fire across the river, driving the enemy some distance beyond. As soon as it was ascertained that they had left the banks of the Rappahannock, General Rodes ordered Battle's Alabama and Doles' Georgia brigades to push rapidly across, and it was promptly done amid a sharp fire from musketry and cannon. Battle's brigade was moved down the Warrenton turnpike by the old burnt hotel. Right here gallant J. E. B. Stuart galloped by with the Twelfth Virginia cavalry and charged right royally upon the Yanks, strongly posted on a hill in front, but the Virginians were too few in number and were forced to retire. General Battle was ordered to send a regiment to dislodge the enemy, and he selected the Twelfth Alabama for the honorable though dangerous task. The other regiments supported us some distance in the rear. We moved under a heavy fire to and through the woods towards the hills occupied by the enemy. When within forty yards the regiment fired a volley into them which seriously disconcerted them, and followed it by volley after volley until the enemy turned and fled. We followed with loud, rejoicing yells for some distance, [250] until General Stuart halted us. I picked up a splendid Sharp's rifle in the commencement of the fight, procured some cartridges and fired three well aimed shots at the cavalrymen as they halted and fired at us. Some saddles were emptied. The Twelfth Alabama lost only two men killed and several wounded. The enemy, being on horseback, fired too high and overshot us. We killed and wounded many of them and captured a goodly number, with their fine horses and equipment. General Stuart highly complimented the conduct of the regiment, saying it was a very creditable and successful affair, of which the regiment and country had cause to feel proud. We slept on the battle-field, and were so tired as to need no better beds than the bare ground.

October 13. Marched to Warrenton by 12 o'clock. Sergeant Clower and I dined at Mrs. Cox's, and her pretty daughter, Miss Nannie, gave us some late Northern papers. They interested and amused us. Their boastings and misstatements of war movements are absurd.

Rose early, and while in line at ‘order arms,’ General Battle delivered an inspiring speech to each regiment. No one commands a braver, more reliable brigade than he. They never falter.

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C. A. Battle (5)
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