previous next

[223] or engineer of the train, did not reach the field until the battle was over. For weeks and months after, near Fairfax, Va., Lieutenant Keeling and his brother officers employed themselves drilling, disciplining and training their command for the duties and realities of war, and the company was conceded to be the best equipped, the best instructed and the promptest and most intelligent in the regiment. Lieutenant Keeling's previous experience in the army proved of great advantage to his men, and his excellent advice and instruction was often afterwards found to be of great benefit. He was tall and commanding in figure, with a lofty brow and piercing eyes. These, together with talents, energy and intense devotion to the success of the Confederate cause, promised a brilliant career as a soldier. In April, 1862, the 12th Alabama was reorganized, and Lieutenant Keeling was unanimously elected captain of his company. During the trying Yorktown campaign, and in the arduous retreat to Richmond, before McClellan's advancing hosts, he cheered and inspired his men by his self-sacrificing example. On the night of the 30th of May the 12th Alabama was on outpost duty in the vicinity of Seven Pines. It had been raining incessantly during the day and increased in violence towards night. The writer of this shared with Captain Keeling his couch, consisting of blankets spread on rails, under a blanket stretched over us, for protection from the torrent of descending rain. Never shall I forget that night, nor the conversation I held with my departed friend. He gave me a retrospect of his life, replete with many interesting incidents, and full of instruction and wholesome advice. But I noticed that a certain degress of sadness marked his discourse, different from his usual genial and happy manner. He spoke of the certainty of a great and decisive battle between the opposing armies, and of the probability of his being killed or severely wounded, and all my efforts to banish the impression from his mind were unavailing. This feeling was but the harbinger of the approaching end. In our comfortless situation it was impossible to sleep, and early the next morning we arose ready for the daily routine of duties.

About ten o'clock an officer from Gen. Rodes' headquarters brought orders to Col. Jones to have white badges placed upon the arms of his men that they might distinguish each other in battle, and to prepare for immediate action. With alacrity each man donned his badge, inspected his cartridges, and carefully loaded his

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Yorktown (Virginia, United States) (1)
Fairfax, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry Keeling (4)
R. E. Rodes (1)
George B. McClellan (1)
George Jones (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April, 1862 AD (1)
May 30th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: