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art gave orders that General Robertson should move his regiments at a trot upon Middleburg, and drive the enemy from the town without delay. As I had a better knowledge of the country than Robertson I was ordered to accompany the General, who was an old friend, and gladly consulted me as to the best mode of attack. It was already dark by the time we came up with our advanced pickets, about half a mile from Middleburg, and we found them supported by their reserve, under the command of Captain Woolridge of the 4th Virginia, engaged in a lively skirmish with the hostile sharpshooters. We were informed by this brave officer that the Federals held the town in considerable force, and had erected a barricade at its entrance, which he begged as a favour to be allowed to storm. This was of course granted; and with a cheer forward went the gallant little band, driving the tirailleurs rapidly before them, and taking the barricade after a short but sanguinary struggle. At the same moment our
sent my courier out into the street, but the report was always, Nothing heard of the General yet. The battle seemed raging in the immediate vicinity, and the shells bursting right over the village, when, to my great joy, my Prussian friend Captain Scheibert entered my room. At the first news of my misfortune, he had hastened from the distant headquarters of our army, bringing along with him General Longstreet's private ambulance, which the latter had placed at my disposal, sending me at the sthe battle-field and our men everywhere in rapid retreat; the Federals, in hot pursuit, being not more than 500 yards from us, and their bullets frequently whizzing round our ears. The ambulance-driver did his best to get out of the way, while Scheibert and my servant Henry, who was leading my horses, in trying to keep up with us, presented a scene in which over-anxiety assumed a comical aspect. The Captain with the flat of his sword was thrashing the mule Kitt, who was kicking and plunging i
eneral an I remained another hour with our lady friends, who, with their accustomed devotedness, were busy nursing the wounded, large numbers of whom were collected in several of the residences. It was late in the night by the time we reached Mr Rector's plantation, about two miles to the rear, when our troops encamped. This spot is situated on a formidable hill, and being the crossing point of several of the principal roads, was a point of considerable strategical importance. Early the iotic little place. The fighting was kept up till midnight, when, finding the enemy showed no intention of pushing their advantage any further for the present, our troops, with the exception of a strong cordon of pickets, were withdrawn towards Rector's cross-roads, where we all encamped. The morning of the 19th dawned with all the bright beauty of the month of June, but the rising of the sun was also the signal for the recommencement of hostilities, and before we had had time to breakfast
Jefferson Davis (search for this): chapter 25
orning the General felt comparatively easy, and the physician entertained great hope that the wound might not prove fatal. Towards noon, however, a change took place for the worse, and our fears began to be greatly excited. About this time President Davis visited the prostrate hero; taking his hand, the President said, General, how do you feel? He replied, Easy, but willing to die if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty. As evening approached mortification sGovernment duty, but which, till then, I had always refused, hoping soon to be able to go into active campaigning — was renewed. There being very little chance of active service during the cold weather, and General Hampton, General Lee, and President Davis, urging me to go on a mission for the Government to England, I at last yielded to their wishes, hoping to be back for the spring campaign. My commanding officer had in the mean time urgently requested that my rank should be raised to that o
d frequent tidings from General Stuart and my comrades, and received from them letters full of friendship and affection. In one of these the general said:--My dear Von, my camp seems dull and deserted to me since you left. On the battle-field I do not know how to do without you, and I feel as if my right arm had been taken away fm I found in a small room of the Doctor's house, surrounded by most of the members of his Staff. He received me with a smile, saying, I'm glad you've come, my dear Von; you see they've got me at last, but don't feel uneasy. I don't think I'm so badly wounded as you were, and I hope I shall get over it as you did. He then recounthich he ate in great abundance, and which was applied to his burning hot wounds to cool them. Drawing me towards him, and grasping my hand firmly, he said, My dear Von, I am sinking fast now, but before I die I want you to know that I never loved a man as much as yourself. I pray your life may be long and happy; look after my fam
fallen her and her children. I myself mourned my chief as deeply as if I had lost a beloved brother; and so many of my friends being soon after called away, I really felt possessed with a longing that I might die myself. On the evening of the 3th, in the midst of the roaring of the enemy's cannon, which reached us from Drewry's Bluff, we carried Stuart's remains to the beautiful cemetery at Hollywood, near Richmond, where he lies in a simple grave by the side of his beloved little daughter Flora. Of a calm summer evening I frequently rode out to this quiet spot, sitting for hours on my leader's grave, recalling his excellent qualities, and musing over the many glorious battles through which we had fought side by side. General Lee announced the death of General Stuart in the following order:-- Headquarters of the Army of Northern Virginia, May 20, 1864. The Commanding General announces to the army with heartfelt sorrow the death of Major-General J. E. B. Stuart, late Comman
ouse, the blood began to stream from my mouth, and I was carried, half fainting, to my temporary domicile at Mr. P.‘s, where I was immediately put to bed. After a long and refreshing sleep, I was awakened suddenly about daybreak by the voice of Dr Brewer, Stuart's brotherin-law, who informed me that my General had been wounded severely, and carried during the night to his place, where he was anxious to see me. Forgetting my own condition at these sad tidings, I dressed myself in a few minutes aurging her instant return to Richmond; and in the intervals of relief from pain and delirium, the General frequently inquired if she had not yet come, beginning now to doubt the possibility of his recovery. About five o'clock the General asked Dr Brewer, his brother-in-law, how long he thought it possible he could live, and whether he could survive through the night; and being told that death was rapidly approaching, he nodded, and said, I am resigned, if it be God's will; but I should like to
Heros Von Borcke (search for this): chapter 25
f his comrades, as well as of his Commanding General, all of whom deeply sympathise with him in his present sufferings from wounds received in battle, therefore-Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, that the thanks of Congress are due, and the same hereby tendered to Major Heros Von Borcke for his self-sacrificing devotion to our Confederacy, and for his distinguished services in support of our cause. Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to Major Von Borcke by the President of the Confederate States. This document I received with a very flattering autograph letter from the President, which was followed by hundreds of congratulatory epistles from my comrades in the army, and from friends in all parts of the country. My health was progressing but slowly, although I daily gained strength, and I was gradually recovering the use of my left arm, the revivification of which, however, was attended with severe nervous pain. The winter in Richm
le, where our cavalry separated into several commands, with instructions to move by different roads towards the Potomac. Stuart, taking with him Robertson's and Fitz Lee's commands, the latter of which turned off towards Aldie, proceeded in the direction of Middleburg, which place he and his Staff, galloping ahead of the troops, crossing point of several of the principal roads, was a point of considerable strategical importance. Early the following morning a report was received from Fitz Lee announcing an encounter with a strong body of Federal cavalry near Aldie, which had ended in the repulse of the enemy and the capture of 60 prisoners, among whomonth of February 1865. There I was saved the grief of being an eyewitness of the rapid collapse of the Confederacy, and the downfall of a just and noble cause. Lee's glorious army is no longer in existence: the brave men who formed it have, after innumerable sufferings and privations, bowed to the enemy's power and numbers, a
s put a stop to by the fire of our pickets, whom I reached completely exhausted, and thoroughly surprised at my narrow escape. It was sufficiently evident, by the sound of the firing, that Stuart was hardly pressed, and I hastened at once to General Bragg, commanding our infantry, which, from a succession of reinforcements, was now of considerable strength, begging him at once to advance several brigades to the assistance of Stuart. The cautiousness characteristic of that general, however, ion't feel uneasy. I don't think I'm so badly wounded as you were, and I hope I shall get over it as you did. He then recounted to me all the incidents of the combat, and the manner in which he had been wounded. Hoping every hour to hear of General Bragg's attack, which in all probability would have resulted in the annihilation of the whole force of the enemy, he had successfully resisted their efforts to break through his lines, and for more than six hours had fought with eleven hundred men
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