cannoneers were ordered to shuck and shell the corn and ship it to Richmond. The writer remembers nothing further about the potatoes; but the battalion, like other commands, lived or rather starved, on rations furnished by the government. [The Narrows are some twenty-five or thirty miles from Dublin to the northwest.] Here begins the narrative proper of the last days as explained above.
On the 3d of April I was on guard duty, and Major McLaughlin instructed me to have reveille at 4:30 in the morning. But news was received that New River bridge was threatened by the enemy. There was most evidently some bad news connected with this, but we could not surmise what it could be. [Some one had seen McLaughlin shedding tears.] At any rate we marched at 11:30 P. M. in the direction of Dublin Depot. I took immediate charge of the rear guard. After passing Pearisburg about two miles, the command nearly all came to a halt without orders, and slept all night. I slept with them and next morning, April 4th, we moved on and found McLaughlin with some men at an old camping ground. By this time the news was circulated that Petersburg had fallen. At first it was not believed, but soon we were convinced that the report was correct. We continued the march until we arrived at ‘Camp Instruction,’ one mile west of Dublin. Here we encamped. Some clothing was drawn and we were preparing to issue it, when orders and news were received which again caused Major McLaughlin to weep. He ordered that the clothes be merely distributed among the men, and a general ‘grab’ ensued. The command marched immediately to the depot. We had orders not to shout or make any noise of any kind. When we arrived at the depot, thirty rifles [really Enfield rifles] were distributed among the battalion [volunteers to take small arms having been called for.] I was among those who volunteered to take these small arms [all there were on hand.] We then drew some ammunition and returned to Camp Instruction. On the next day, April 5th, we marched in the direction of the Narrows, Sergeant Davidson, who had no gun, being in charge of the armed part of the battalion. When we had gone about five miles we were ordered back to Dublin in great haste ‘to hold the place’ until Echols' army could relieve us. I was then placed in command of the armed men. Query; Why was not an officer placed in command, it being the armed portion