Wanted a Division.
In the forgetfulness of forty years I cannot say how far I marched, but I do not think more than a fourth of a mile, when I met General Ransom
and reported to him, giving my name and rank.
‘What command have you, colonel?’
I replied, ‘The largest and best regiment in the army.’
His reply was, ‘I want a division,’ and then said, ‘You march here,’ pointing immediately to our rear, ‘and strike him wherever you find him, if possible hold him until I join you.’
On my march I encountered my old schoolmate, Will Early
, commanding a section of artillery.
He told me they were driving us, but that he had a good position and would give him grape and canister as soon as he got in sight.
(Dear, gallant Early
died there.) I moved rapidly through the dense pines and soon caught glimpses of the enemy's colors.
They were marching rapidly by the flank.
I immediately sent, at short intervals, three couriers (one of whom was Captain Ro. Mitchell
), with orders to report to General Ransom
or Colonel Mayo
or General Steuart
, and tell them a large body of the enemy was in our immediate rear.
I would engage him at once and they could direct their march by my guns.
They were between us and our wagon and ammunition trains, and I advised that the division be faced about, and cut our way through and save the trains.
I never heard anything from any of my couriers.
Just here I met a Captain Hubbard
, a gallant fellow; I forget his command.
We agreed to close on each other and attack at once.
We advanced and opened fire, and, although I saw his colors fall several times, so intent was he upon his move that he continued his march by the flank.
I determined to stop him and did so, but I found to my sorrow I had stopped a monster.
and myself were being enveloped, so I undoubled my ranks so as to present as
long a front as possible, and, expecting every moment the whole of Pickett
's Division to my relief.