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[48] leisurely survey of the beautiful landscape, spread out before us in all the loveliness and grandeur of nature, and listening with watchful intent to the booming of the heavy cannon on our right, and anxiously examining the locations where the guns of the enemy on the opposite hills were plainly to be seen with the naked eye, and the heavy clouds of dust rising above the woods in front and on either side, indicating the direction in which the heavy columns of the enemy were marching, we each sought the shade of a tree, where we drew forth our memorandum books and pencils, to note down for the information of the thousands, who looked to us for a description of the day's occurrences, the various shiftings of the scene which henceforth forms an era in the history of our young Confederacy, and grandly inaugurates the march of glory on which she has entered.

An interesting meeting took place between our party and the venerable Edmund Ruffin, who had against the walls of Fort Sumter fired the first defiant gun. He had come to this conflict with his eighty odd years weighing upon him, and his flowing white locks, to take part in this fight, encouraging our young men by his presence and example. Agile as a youth of sixteen, with rifle on his shoulder, his eyes glistening with excitement as he burned to engage the Yankee invader. Shortly afterwards Generals Beauregard, Johnston, and Bonham, accompanied by their aids, came galloping up the hill, and dismounted on the summit. The generals held an earnest conversation for a few minutes, while taking a survey of the field, and watching the excessive challenges from the enemy's batteries, directed against our right and among the woods near Mitchell's Ford, where a hospital was stationed and the yellow flag flying. This was also the point where their fire of Thursday was directed, and where the mark of a cannon ball is to be seen in the kitchen and stable of a house in which Gen. Beauregard dined on that day at the time the ball struck the building. Whether the enemy thought it was again his Headquarters, or whether the fire was playing toward that point to draw out a response from us, is not known. It is more likely, however, it was a mere feint — an impotent attempt to deceive our skilful and able commander as to the point where the enemy was most in force, for so our wise general considered it, as he was seen to direct Gen. Johnston's attention particularly with his hand towards our extreme left, as if he knew the struggle was to be made there.

I should here remark that it had been Gen. Beauregard's purpose to make the attack, instead of waiting to receive it; but from some cause unknown to me, he preferred at last to let the enemy take the initiative; perhaps for the reason that Gen. Johnston's division had been detained on the railroad. As I have said, Gen. Beauregard was not deceived, for the immense clouds of dust appearing above the woods indicated beyond a doubt the Federal columns were moving in solid masses in another direction, and one which was unmistakable. Just at this time, by the aid of our glass, we could see their guns brought to bear on the hill where we stood, for in a few moments the smoke was discovered issuing from their batteries of rifled cannon, and before scarcely a word could be said, the peculiar whiz and hizzing of the balls notified us that their aim had been well taken. Several balls fell in a field immediately behind us, and not a hundred yards from the spot where the generals stood. An officer of Gen. Beauregard's staff requested us to leave the hill, and as we moved away a shell burst not twenty feet off. Col. Bonner calculated with his watch the time taken by the balls to pass us, and made the distance 1 miles from the enemy's battery. The enemy no doubt discovered the horses of the generals, and thought it a good opportunity to display their marksmanship, and credit is due to them for the accuracy of their aim. Providence, however, who governs all things, covered the heads of our generals as with a shield, and preserved them for the hazardous service in which they were in a short hour or two to be engaged.

It was now about eleven o'clock, and the enemy having opened with rifled cannon and shell on their right, which they had continued for more than three hours without response, we heard away to the left, about three miles distant, the heavy booming of cannon, followed immediately by the rattling crack of musketry — the discharges being repeated and continuous — which notified us the engagement had commenced in earnest at that point, where the battle was to be fought and won.

Proceeding towards the scene of action about two miles, we came to a creek in the hollow where one of the hospitals for the day had been stationed, and the first wounded, some 29 or 30, had been brought. Dr. Gaston, of South Carolina, formerly a surgeon in Col. Gregg's regiment, but now attached to Gen. Beauregard's Headquarters, was assiduously attending to the wants of the wounded. At this point Generals Beauregard and Johnston, accompanied by a staff of some ten or twelve officers, passed at full gallop, riding towards their Headquarters for the day, which were on a hill immediately overlooking the ground where our brave soldiers were manfully and persistently struggling for the victory. A large force of cavalry were here stationed, and as the generals passed, they called for three cheers for Beauregard, which were immediately given with right good will, and which the general gracefully acknowledged by lifting his hat from his head and bowing his thanks.

Both of our generals were plainly dressed. No large epaulettes, no gilt, nor any fuss and feathers; you could only distinguish them at a distance to be officers by their swords, but on

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