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a heavy rain. Whilst in bivouac opposite West Point, General Whiting informed me that a large body of the enemy had disembarked at Eltham's Landing; that our cavalry was on picket upon the high ground overlooking the valley of York river, and instructed me to move my brigade in that direction, and drive the enemy back if he attempted to advance from under cover of his gunboats. Pursuant to imperative orders, the men had not been allowed to march with loaded arms during the retreat. On the 7th, at the head of my command, I proceeded in the direction of Eltham's, with the intention to halt and load the muskets upon our arrival at the cavalry outpost. I soon reached the rear of a small cabin upon the crest of the hill, where I found one of our cavalrymen half asleep. The head of the column, marching by the right flank, with the Fourth Texas in the front, was not more than twenty or thirty paces in my rear, when, simultaneously With my arrival at the station of this cavalry picket,
he dry plains without water or the sight of game, so frequently in view the previous day, and without even the chirp of a bird to cheer us on our journey, we knew not exactly whither. At early dawn the following morning the march was resumed; we passed during the day a water-hole utterly unfit for use, and went into bivouac that night with the same surroundings, fully fifty miles further out in the desert. Our canteens were now empty, and the outlook was somewhat dismal. At daybreak on the 19th, to horse was sounded and the journey continued. About noon a deer was seen bounding over the prairie, and with the sight went forth a shout of joy from the men, who then felt confident that fresh water was not very far distant. The trail had moreover become much more distinct; this encouragement, together with the hope of quenching their thirst, reinspirited the soldiers. A few hours later another pool was reached, but not of that purity which was desirable. The odor of the water was suc
y regiment to Indianola, where I bid my comrades a reluctant farewell. Kentucky being the land of my nativity, I deemed it right I should first tender my services for her defence. Accordingly I went to Louisville in the early Spring of 1861, and subsequently to Frankfort. I met the Governor, Mr. Breckinridge and other prominent men of that Commonwealth; but after long debate and considerable delay, I became convinced that no decided action would be taken. I repaired at the latter part of April to Montgomery, Alabama, offered my services to the Confederate Government, was appointed First Lieutenant in the Army and ordered to Richmond to report to Colonel R. E. Lee, who had very recently assumed command of all the troops in Virginia by authority of the Governor of that State. During my long service in Texas I had had occasion to visit almost ever portion of that extensive and beautiful territory, and was able to form an idea of the future prosperity of that State. So deeply impr
April 17th (search for this): chapter 1
I was appointed Major General, and he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier. Moreover, some years later, when I assumed the direction of the Army of Tennessee, he applied for orders to report to me for duty. He was not only a fine soldier, but a man of sterling qualities, and whose nobility of character was unsurpassed. I had been stationed a few weeks in the vicinity of Fredericksburg, when orders were received to march to Yorktown, at which place we arrived a few days prior to the 17th of April, the date of General Johnston's assumption of the command of all the forces on the Peninsula. I was here placed in reserve with my brigade, which consisted of the First, Fourth, Fifth Texas, and Eighteenth Georgia Regiments, and continued the system of instruction and training already indicated. I had so effectually aroused the pride of this splendid body of men, as to entertain little fear in regard to their action on the field of battle. The 3d of May, on information that the Fede
ved a few days prior to the 17th of April, the date of General Johnston's assumption of the command of all the forces on the Peninsula. I was here placed in reserve with my brigade, which consisted of the First, Fourth, Fifth Texas, and Eighteenth Georgia Regiments, and continued the system of instruction and training already indicated. I had so effectually aroused the pride of this splendid body of men, as to entertain little fear in regard to their action on the field of battle. The 3d of May, on information that the Federal batteries would be ready for service in a day or two, the Commanding General ordered the Army to retreat. Accordingly, I marched with my brigade, which formed part of Major General G. W. Smith's Division, upon the Yorktown road, in the direction of Williamsburg. At daybreak of the 5th the retreat was continued from Williamsburg towards Richmond, through deep mud, and in a heavy rain. Whilst in bivouac opposite West Point, General Whiting informed me that
s I had had occasion to visit almost ever portion of that extensive and beautiful territory, and was able to form an idea of the future prosperity of that State. So deeply impressed had I become with its vast and undeveloped resources that I had, just prior to the war determined to resign and make it my home for life. Therefore when Kentucky failed to act, I entered the Confederate service from the State of Texas, which thenceforth became my adopted land. I arrived in Richmond about the 5th of May, sent my luggage to the hotel, and proceeded without delay to the office of Colonel Lee who had, I was informed, been recently promoted to the rank of Major General. He extended me a most cordial greeting, and, taking me by the hand, said: I am glad to see you. I want you to help me. I replied that I came to Richmond with that object, and inquired what duties he desired me to perform. He answered: I wish you to go to Yorktown and report to Colonel Magruder. I naturally asked at what ti
inity we bivouacked about five days; thence we retreated to a point near Richmond. About this juncture it was rumored that the Commanding General contemplated the abandonment of the Capital of the Confederacy. General McClellan, however, soon threw across the Chickahominy, to the south bank, about one-fourth of his forces, and the Confederate Army was ordered to make ready to assail this detachment. Major General G. W. Smith massed his division on the Nine Miles road the morning of the 31st of May. Longstreet and Hill assembled on the right, lower down on the Chickahominy; they attacked and were driving the enemy handsomely, when about 3 p. m. General Smith ordered General Whiting to advance through the swamp. The object was to assault, on his right flank, the enemy engaged against Longstreet. Law's brigade came in contact with the Federals as my troops would soon have done, had not General Johnston, in person, unfortunately changed my direction by ordering me to move off by the
through the woods. However, we killed several of their number, and captured some ten or fifteen prisoners whom we sent to Yorktown, where the infantry climbed to the house and tree tops to see the first boys in blue I presume many of them had ever beheld. Through orders from Richmond, these cavalry companies were then organized into a regiment. Colonel Robert Johnson was placed in command, and I was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In this position I served until, I think, in July, when I was summoned to Richmond, appointed Colonel, and directed to organize the Fourth Texas Infantry Regiment from the detached companies which had recently arrived from that State, and were at the time in camp near that city. I remained there drilling this splendid body of young men and educating them in the duties of soldiers till September, when we were ordered to join the rightof General Joseph E. Johnston's Army at Dumfries. Honorable L. I. Wigfall had been appointed Brigadier Gener
July 17th (search for this): chapter 1
and all eager for a chase as well as a fray. It was soon apparent that we would be forced to pass over a portion of the staked plains or desert lying between the Concha rivers and Mexico; that in order to overtake the Indians we would most likely have great fatigue and privation to endure, as we could expect to find but little water during the pursuit. However, in the conviction that we could live for a short time wherever Indians could subsist, we began the chase on the morning of the 17th of July, marched about forty miles, and camped that night upon the dry plains without water or the sight of game, so frequently in view the previous day, and without even the chirp of a bird to cheer us on our journey, we knew not exactly whither. At early dawn the following morning the march was resumed; we passed during the day a water-hole utterly unfit for use, and went into bivouac that night with the same surroundings, fully fifty miles further out in the desert. Our canteens were now emp
evidence that our shots proved most destructive, and that the Indians labored under an intense excitement which caused them generally to miss their mark. The fact that we were mounted and above their level seems to have rendered their aim very imperfect, as shown by the circumstance that one of my wounded men whose horse had been killed, was pierced in the back with three additional arrows (one of which passed through his lung), as he was making his way to the rear of the line. Early in August I returned to Fort Mason, where not long afterwards I was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant, assigned to Company K, and placed on duty at Camp Colorado, on the upper waters of the river of that name. In 1858 I re-established Camp Wood, on the Nueces river, about forty miles distant from its source, and at this post my company continued in the performance of the ordinary duties of soldiers upon the frontier till the declaration of war in 1861. In November, 1860, I was granted a lea
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