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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Attack on Fort Gilmer, September 29th, 1864. (search)
Attack on Fort Gilmer, September 29th, 1864. By Charles Johnston. [The following letter to the President of the Southern Historical Society was endorsed by him as follows: The young gentleman who furnishes this narrative — a private soldier in Huff's, afterwards Griffin's battery, I believe — is a gentleman by birth and education, being connected with highly respectable families, and there is no reason to doubt the, accuracy of his statements. J. A. Early.] Salem, Roanoke county, Virginia. General J. A. Early: As the Southern Historical Society has lately called upon all soldiers and officers of the Confederate army for any incidents of the late war that would be of general interest, I have presumed upon the fact of having been for four years a private soldier in that army, and upon the interest that I know you take in everything connected with the cause which you so earnestly, so honestly and so bravely defended, to call your attention to some facts connected with t
umbered with baggage or other impediments to a rapid march through the mountains, save a sufficient quantity of spare ammunition and the necessary guns. Passing through the delightful region of Mount Washington, he pushed forward rapidly towards Salem, and turning the head of his column, proceeded eastward parallel with the Manassas Gap Railroad, until he reached the village of Gainesville. All this section of country was minutely known to every soldier in his command, and when the head of the column was filed to the right at Salem, no one doubted but that the true object of the expedition was to get in the rear of Pope's army, and destroy his communications and stores. Yet it must be confessed that many complained of the supposed imprudence, if not madness, of the adventure. Look facts fully in the face, said one; here we are marching in the rear of an enemy more powerful than ourselves, far from all supports, liable to be broken up by superior numbers from Washington on the on
; another, Colonel Humphrey, was wounded, and is in hospital; another, Lieutenant-Colonel Shanklin, was captured, and is absent; but I gathered up hastily what facts I could obtain as to the casualties in the several regiments, and wrote my report in the few minutes which remained for me to do so, and sent it in. I have not had an opportunity to do justice either to my brigade or myself. January, 13 Move in the direction of Columbia, on a reconnoitering expedition. My brigade stops at Salem, and the cavalry pushes on. January, 14 Have been exposed to a drenching rain for thirty hours. The men are cold, hungry, and mutinous. January, 15 Ordered back to Murfreesboro, and march thither in a storm of snow and sleet. It is decidedly the coldest day we have experienced since last winter. I find two numbers of Harper's Weekly on my return. They abound in war stories. The two heroes, of whom I read to-night, received saber cuts on the face and head, obtained leave of
d them better accommodations. The news from Vicksburg is. somewhat encouraging, but certainly very indefinite, and far from satisfactory. March, 19 Reviews are the order of the hour. All the brigades of our division, except mine, were reviewed by General Rosecrans this afternoon. It was a fine display, but hard on the soldiers; they were kept so long standing. At Middletown, sixteen miles away, the rebels are four thousand strong, and within a day or two they have ventured to Salem, five miles distant. March, 20 Loomis, who has just returned from home, called this evening, and we drank a bottle of wine over the promotion. He is in trouble about his commission as colonel of artillery. Two months ago the Governor of Michigan gave him the commission, and since that time he has been wearing a colonel's uniform; but General Rosecrans has expressed doubts about his right to assume the rank. Loomis is all right, doubtless, and to-morrow, when the matter is talked ov
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Incidents of the first Bull Run. (search)
of Johnston's army into one column, and, as senior artillery captain, to march them by country roads that were unobstructed by infantry or trains as rapidly as possible to Manassas Junction, and to report my arrival, at any hour, day or night, to General Bee, who was going forward by rail with his brigade. Having assembled the batteries in the night, I began the march at dawn of Saturday, July 20th, the day before the battle. About 8 in the morning we reached a village in Fauquier county--Salem, I think it was. The whole population turned out to greet us. Men, women, and children brought us baskets, trays, and plates loaded with their own family breakfasts. With the improvidence of raw campaigners, we had finished the night before our three days cooked rations; so I ordered a halt for thirty minutes to enjoy the feast. The Staunton Artillery, It numbered 140 officers and men. Six were col-lege graduates, and several had left college to enter the army. The majority were young
ingham's Ford. heavy artillery. fight between the Hazel and Rappahannock rivers. passage of the latter, and march to Warrenton and Catlett's Station. artillery engagement. recrossing of the Rappahannock. fights at Waterloo Bridge. march to Salem and Bristow Station. capture of the large Federal supply-depots. fight at Manassas plains. fights Preliminary to the second battle of Manassas. second great battle of Manassas, or battle of Groveton. from the second battle of Manassas to theloo Bridge, and proceeded with great caution all day through the extensive forests of the county of Faughire, taking by-paths in the woods, where we were often compelled to ride in single file. Passing near the little town of Orleans, we reached Salem late in the afternoon, where at last we overtook Jackson's corps, but where we did not tarry, pushing forward in advance to Gainesville, at which place we arrived after night-fall. Here a squadron was left behind on picket, and here I received o
ians call this edible. When General Stuart had emptied his coffee-cup — which always put the stout cavalier in a gay humour --he laughed, mounted his horse, and said to me: By the by, suppose you stay here until Hi-ampton comes along; I am going on with Fitz Lee. Tell Hampton to move on steadily on the road to Dover, and show him the way. With these words, the General rode away on the track of General Fitz Lee, and the present writer was left solus, to hold the position alone at Salem. This position, it speedily appeared, was not wholly desirable. The advance division under Lee had pushed on several miles ahead — there was not a single cavalryman beside myself in Salem-and Hampton was several miles behind. To add to the charms of the situation, there were a number of extremely cut-throat looking individuals of the other faction lounging about the porch, eyeing the lonely Confederate askance, and calculating apparently the chance of suppressing him without danger-and th
hard trial. I had already ridden him nearly fifty miles within the last twenty-four hours, and was about to pass over the very same ground almost without allowing him any rest. I galloped on toward Thoroughfare. My bay moved splendidly, and did not seem at all fatigued. He was moving with head up, and pulling at the rein. Good! My gallant bay! I said; if you go on at that rate we'll soon be there! I had not counted on the heat of the July weather, however; and when I got near Salem my bay began to flag a little. I pushed him with the spur, and hurried on. Near Paris he began to wheeze; but I pushed on, using the spur freely, and drove him up the mountain road, and along the gap to the river. This we forded, and in the midst of the terrible heat I hurried on over the turnpike. My bay had begun to pant and stagger at times; but there was no time to think of his condition. I had undertaken to deliver General Beauregard's message; and I must do so, on horseback or
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Fire, sword, and the halter. (search)
rook's command and three brigades under my command, at a place called the Quaker Meeting-House, he ascertained that General Early was in town with Stonewall Jackson's old corps. This was enough for him. That night he began a rapid retreat toward Salem, leaving his cavalry to make demonstrations on Early's lines long enough to give him a good day's start. He thus made his escape with little loss-the heaviest of it consisting of some ten or twelve field-guns that fell into our hands near Salem.Salem. He escaped through the mountains into West Virginia, and reached the Ohio by way of the Kanawha Valley. If he had been attacked the evening of the affair at the Quaker Meeting-House, or had been vigorously pursued early next morning, I think the probabilities are that his entire army would have been captured. They were weary from long marching, and, from all accounts, greatly demoralized after the retreat began. Indeed, it was currently reported, and generally believed on our side, that H
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Morgan's Indiana and Ohio raid. (search)
o rather abrupt hills, had erected a long barricade of timber, from which they opened a brisk fire upon the head of the column. The advance guard charged this work on horseback, and as it was too high for the horses to leap, and too strong to be broken down by their rush, some sixteen or eighteen men were unnecessarily lost. A demonstration up]on the flank, however, quickly dislodged the party, and we entered the town without further molestation. On the following day, before we reached Salem, we found parties of militia thick along the road, and at that place several hundred were collected, while squads were rapidly coming in from all directions. To attack instantly was the only policy proper with these fellows, for although they were raw and imperfectly armed, they would fight, and if we had hesitated in the least, might have become dangerous. The Second Regiment, dashing at full speed into the town, dispersed this body with trifling loss on either side. I have seen the
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