previous next

[349] sugar. We camped just outside of the town, and rations were issued with instructions to cook at once. It was then about dark. We marched until about 10 o'clock, and then filed off into an open field to rest for the night, as I thought. Most of us lay on the ground to sleep and rest, but many, as usual, went off foraging for something good to eat. At about 12 o'clock, I reckon, we were awakened by that very unwelcome, everlasting long roll, and our colonel, mounted on his old sorrel, riding about the men, saying, ‘Hurry up, men! Hurry! Everything depends on being at the ford by daybreak.’ That word, ‘Hurry!’ and ‘Steady, men! steady!’ were his favorite commands (brave and true soldier he was; he ought to have been a general). It looked then as if we were going back to Maryland. About that time Leonard Taylor, of Company C, said, ‘Boys, we are going to catch thunder to-day, for I have, been dreaming that we were in the hardest battle yet.’ His dream came too true, for before sunset on that day, the 17th of September, our regiment, the 32nd Virginia, had lost in killed and wounded 45 per cent. (The poor boy was afterwards killed at Second Cold Harbor.) After a hard march we reached the ford (Boteler's, just below Shepherdstown) at daybreak and crossed the Potomac, and marched up the river opposite Shepherdstown, halted, and two men from each company detailed to fill our canteens. At that time General Jackson rode up and directed General McLaws to strike McClellan about Dunkards' Church and drive him back. Kershaw's Brigade rested near the church. Barksdale's next, Semmes' next, Cobb's Legion next, I think, and Fitz Lee's Cavalry next on the river. I think that was about the formation of the line about where we went in the battle. I will sayjust here that Captain R. L. Henley (afterward judge of James City County), as we were on the way to the field procured a musket, and, as was his custom, went in the fight with his old company, C. He was at that time commissary of the regiment. He was wounded three times before leaving the field. We went on at quick time until halted and ordered to unsling knapsacks and all baggage (except ‘war-bags,’ haversacks, and canteens); and then on to the field at a double-quick through fields, woods, creeks, fences and most everything. I thought as we came out of a piece of woods to the field I saw

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)
James City (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Leonard Taylor (1)
Semmes (1)
McLaws (1)
McClellan (1)
Fitz Lee (1)
Kershaw (1)
T. J. Jackson (1)
R. L. Henley (1)
Cobb (1)
Boteler (1)
William Barksdale (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
September 17th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: