This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 captain was Joseph Washington Anderson; its first lieutenant, Philip Peters; the senior second, John William Johnston; the junior second, Henry C. Douthatt, and the orderly-sergeant, William H. Norgrove. All were young men, all were friends, all were to face a baptism of fire and blood. Behind them were four score of their neighbors, friends and kindred, bound for the same baptism. Will you look at these village streets, in the month of May, in the year 1861? Virginia has seceded. We are going to the front, Recruits are hastening in; new companies are forming; all the country is aroused. We drill. We camp. Uniforms and arms are on the way to us from Richmond. In the meantime we wear linsey shirts, and big black hats, tucked up on one side with a rosette of green ribbon. The muskets come. The companies are constantly under arms. We have no parties now; we are all Virginians, we will fight in defense of our mother, and side by side with our brethren of the South! Sermons are preached to the soldiers. The preachers pronounce our cause a just one, and encourage us on to victory or to death. Our people are a unit, our cause is that of liberty, we cannot be overcome. We hear many rumors. The Lexington companies are ordered off. A town meeting is convening. Everything is excitement. Our business is war, and we are attending to it. The ladies give us our flag—it is made of the wedding gown of the captain's wife. Hourly we expect the order to march. There is little sleeping. Our knapsacks are made of oilcloth, and in them are the needle cases that our sweethearts made, and the small New Testaments that mother gave. The fifteenth of May is here, soft, warm and bright. The locust trees are all in bloom; the air is heavy with them. We parade in our new uniforms, and the people weep and cheer. That night we spend in serenading. The spring dawn finds us singing before the old Exchange Hotel, in Main Street. We are singing Annie Laurie. Suddenly, through the morning air, rings out the cry, ‘Fall in men!’ The Mountain Rifles marched away. The flag blew free in the morning wind. The band played ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me.’ When they reached the summit of the Blue Ridge the men turned their heads and looked back to the green hills of old
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.