The Keysville Guards.
The Keysville Brigade, of which I was a member, took part in about twenty-five engagements, the least of which would be reckoned as a battle.
I will proceed to give a few facts connected with our career as a company, and to make a few remarks on our experience during that time which ‘tried men's souls.’
We began our service in West Virginia
, June 15, 1861, under General Robert Selden Garnett
, who was killed at Carricks Ford, Cheat River
, on our retreat from Laurel Hill
Later we served under General H. R. Jackson
at Greenbriar River, in Pocahontas county
, thence to the Valley of Virginia
with the great ‘Stonewall
’ as our leader.
Beginning with Hancock
, we took part in all his strategic moves, and followed him through this entire campaign.
was our objective point at all times.
He was famous for carrying a good stock of provisions—a fact which we appreciated and enjoyed almost as much as his own men—for it was a joke commented on by the newspapers of the country at the time, both North and South, ‘that Banks
As well as I can recollect, the last work we did while in the Valley
was when we defeated him and Milroy
at Cross Keys
and took possession of some of their provision wagons, sending them back towards Winchester
wiser for their severe lesson in the art of war, and sadder for the loss of many men and a good part of their commissary train.
For our part, we continued our course to Port Republic
, where Jackson
fell upon Shields
with such force that his army was completely demoralized, and he forced to flee in confusion down the Valley
over the same ground he marched his men so confidently a few days before.
was now master of the situation in this part of the State
After giving us a few days rest at Weyer
's Cave, he brought us by forced marches face to face with McClellan
, who had just begun seriously to threaten Richmond
Then followed the fighting around Richmond
, that resulted in our turning McClellan
's right flank and forcing him back upon his gunboats.