Eighth Virginia's part in second Manassas.Colonel N. B. Tells how his regiment shared in honors of memorable victory over John Pope.
On August 27, 1862, we filed into one of Robert Beverly's bluegrass fields, just west of the Thoroughfare Gap, to await the detour of General Wilcox by the Hopewell Pass to flank the enemy from the eastern end of the gap. This he did so thoroughly that when we passed through a little later there was not one of them to be seen, and it was well for them it was so, for the Eighth Virginia was just then in the temper to whip anything in sight. We had been fighting bumble bees all the morning, and bumble bees are very inspiring. It was really marvelous the number of bees we found in that field, or rather the number that found us. There being no enemy around, we went into bivouac west of the Chinn House, and presently were ordered to prepare for a night attack. Soon after dark we were in line north of the turnpike, near Groveton. We had just started to move forward when the right encountered a pond. It might be ten feet deep for aught we knew. I had just given the order to double quick by the left flank to pass the obstacle, when a little fellow dashed up, exclaiming: ‘Your men are running, sir! Your men are running!’ “Yes,” I replied, ‘and by my order. What have you got to do with it?’ We had quite a spat about it, but an order for our return coming just then, every one was soon in good humor. I do believe that Jim Dearing and a few more I could name really enjoyed a fight when the weather was bright, but fighting in the dark—well, ‘that is another story.’