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 Botetourt, then, through the May weather, they went marching down the mountain. On the sixteenth the Mountain Rifles reported at Camp Davis, in Lynchburg, and were mustered in as Company H, 28th Virginia Infantry, Cocke's Brigade. A fortnight's drill, and they marched into Camp Pickens, near Manassas Station. There was battle in the air. The Federal troops were on Virginia soil, possessors of Arlington Heights and Alexandria. Ten thousand Confederates were massing to meet and drive them back. Johnston and Beauregard took command, and Lee came for several days to look things over. Day and night the men were at work, throwing up breastworks. There was poor water, and there was disease, but every soldier was in spirits, and anxious for the fight. They had what they wanted. McDowell came to Bull Run. Johnston and Beauregard waited for him there, and in the first battle of Manassas, Company H, 28th Virginia, had its baptism of blood and fire. It bivouacked in the wood before Ball's Ford on the 17th of July, and it remained, uncovered, in position until after the battle, on Sunday, July 21st. Its part was to hold this ford, and also the approaches to the Island Ford, and it did its part. ‘The courage, energy and obedience of the Twenty-eighth,’ say the reports. All day the battle raged, and it was a battle of two to one. But Jackson stood like a stone wall, and Lee's men listened to their leader, and the 2nd and 11th Mississippi did gallantly, and all the troops as well, and victory was to the South, and Manassas her first trophy of war. Manassas was won. For the balance of the summer Company H, 28th Virginia, rested on its laurels, observed the enemy, drilled unremittingly, and did heavy picket duty at Munson's and Mason's Hill. In May it had volunteered for the very short time necessary to drive the North from the South; in the autumn it volunteered anew, ‘for the war.’ About this time also, it fell in love with the artillery. Upon recommendations of the generals in command, Captain Anderson obtained an order from the War Department, authorizing him to change his arm of the service from infantry to artillery. The Mountain Rifles, now Anderson's Battery, went home on furlough for Christmas. In January, 1862, Captain Anderson and one hundred and fifty men—the old Mountain Rifles and a number of recruits
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