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or them whatever comforts our rough hospitality could afford. After about an hour's ride we reached Lee's Hill, where we found Captain Phillips again, whom I invited to join me in a little tour to Marye's Heights and the field in front of them, the horrors of which had been depicted in the most vivid colours by all who had visited the dreadful spot. As the Federal batteries on the opposite side of the river were firing on every horseman who showed himself, I took Pelham's mulatto servant, Newton, who happened to be there, along with us, and, leaving our horses out of sight in his charge, we descended on foot to the plain. Here we met General Ransom, who had commanded one of the brigades on Marye's Heights which had sustained the principal shock of the assault; and the General's polite offer to show us the battle-field, and give us a description of the fight, was gratefully accepted. The sight was indeed a fearful one, and the dead bodies lay thicker than I had ever seen before
servant, Newton, who happened to be there, along with us, and, leaving our horses out of sight in his charge, we descended on foot to the plain. Here we met General Ransom, who had commanded one of the brigades on Marye's Heights which had sustained the principal shock of the assault; and the General's polite offer to show us thfly the case in front of the stone wall which skirts the sunken road at the foot of Marye's Heights. The dead were here piled up in heaps six or eight deep. General Ransom told us that our men were ordered not to commence firing until the enemy had approached within a distance of eighty yards; but that from the moment they advanring grew so heavy, and the missiles struck and exploded in such increasing proximity to us, that we decided on getting out of range. So, shaking hands with General Ransom and thanking him much for his kindness, we returned to the place where we had left our horses; but mulatto and chargers had disappeared together; and after a
Stonewall Jackson (search for this): chapter 18
passed slowly away, the anxious silence maintained being broken only but the firing from time to time of the heavy batteries; and many of our leaders, Stuart and Jackson foremost, began to give up any hope of a renewal of the attack. The latter general was still in favour of a night attack, and proposed that our men should be strk two mounted officers, followed by a small squad of cavalry, bearing a white flag, suddenly appeared riding towards us from the enemy's lines, and soon after General Jackson received a report that a flag of truce had arrived, with a request on the part of the Federal generals to be allowed to bury their dead and look after the woutely opposite Jackson's Hill, and many hundred dead and wounded lay there intermingled. We had considerable difficulty in discovering the body of the Federal General Jackson, and it was at last found in a small ravine. Beside him lay his adjutant, a very fine-looking young man, who, riding a grey horse during the action, had attr
, and a wellaimed volley, which brought down several of the fugitives. Hour after hour passed away in anxious expectation of the combat; but though the skirmishing at times grew hotter, and the fire of the artillery more rapid, long intervals of silence again succeeded. As usual, the hostile batteries were not chary of their ammunition; and whenever a group of officers showed itself plainly within range, it was at once greeted with a couple of shells or solid shot. Having to ride over to Fitz Lee, who, with the greater part of his brigade, was in reserve, I met Dr J., whose acquaintance I had made during one of our raids. He was just driving up to the General in his buggy, which, besides its hospitable inmate, contained an excellent cold dinner and a bottle of whisky for our solace. We had scarcely, however, begun to unpack the chickens and biscuits, and the cork was still on its way through the neck of the whisky bottle, when, instead of the cluck announcing its complete extra
s, had opened the way to serious misunderstandings. Accordingly the Federal officers retired to obtain the signature of Burnside, and did not return until after a delay of nearly two hours, when the permission which humanity dictated being applied fd the candid acknowledgment of the heavy losses and severe defeat they had sustained. These gentlemen asserted that General Burnside was perfectly incapable of commanding a large army; that his splendid troops had been sacrificed and slaughtered useappeared from our side of the river. The heavy rains and storm which raged all night favoured their enterprise. General Burnside had managed to remove his whole army over the three pontoon-bridges to the Stafford side; and his retreat was effectched us in safety, though much exhausted, and was received with loud cheering in our midst. During the afternoon General Burnside renewed his request for the burial of the dead, which was at once granted; and the Federal troops destined to this d
John Pelham (search for this): chapter 18
post. As on the previous day, our cavalry was briskly engaged with the hostile sharpshooters, and again the firing sounded loudest in the neighbourhood of the straw stacks already mentioned. That these should no longer offer a shelter, some of Pelham's well-directed shells soon set the dry material in a blaze, and the squad of forty or fifty Yankees who had sought the protection of the stacks, finding the place too hot to hold, scampered off in a body, accompanied by a loud cheer from our menield in front of them, the horrors of which had been depicted in the most vivid colours by all who had visited the dreadful spot. As the Federal batteries on the opposite side of the river were firing on every horseman who showed himself, I took Pelham's mulatto servant, Newton, who happened to be there, along with us, and, leaving our horses out of sight in his charge, we descended on foot to the plain. Here we met General Ransom, who had commanded one of the brigades on Marye's Heights which
Hardeman Stuart (search for this): chapter 18
to our short night's rest at headquarters. Things looked very little changed when, on the cold, clear morning of the 15th, we rode up to Jackson's Hill; and General Stuart deciding to remain until serious fighting should commence, we had an opportunity of having a good look at the devastations caused by the tremendous artilleryfThe morning passed slowly away, the anxious silence maintained being broken only but the firing from time to time of the heavy batteries; and many of our leaders, Stuart and Jackson foremost, began to give up any hope of a renewal of the attack. The latter general was still in favour of a night attack, and proposed that our men she approaching night brought with it a heavy storm and rain, and we were wet to the skin and shivering with cold when at a late hour we returned to headquarters. Stuart was in a very bad humour, and entertained no hope of a renewal of the fight the following day. These Yankees, he said, have always some underhand trick when they
Lindsay Walker (search for this): chapter 18
forest was literally torn to pieces-trees more than a foot in diameter were snapped in two, large branches were shattered to splinters, and scarcely a small twig but showed marks of some kind of missile. In many places the ground was ploughed up by the cannon-balls, which together with pieces of shell, canister, and grape-shot, lay strewn in every direction. Most of our dead had already been buried, but the carcasses of the animals were still lying about in large numbers; the batteries of Walker's artillery on Jackson's Hill having lost not less than ninety horses during the first two hours of the terrific bombardment. The morning passed slowly away, the anxious silence maintained being broken only but the firing from time to time of the heavy batteries; and many of our leaders, Stuart and Jackson foremost, began to give up any hope of a renewal of the attack. The latter general was still in favour of a night attack, and proposed that our men should be stripped naked to the wai
December 14th (search for this): chapter 18
Chapter 17: The events of the 14th, 15th, and 16th December. The events of December 14-16. Darkness still prevailed when we mounted our horses and again hastened to Jackson's Hill, the summit of which we reached just in time to see the sun rising, and unveiling, as it dispersed the hazy fogs of the damp, frosty winter's night, the long lines of the Federal army, which once more stood in full line of battle about half-way between our own position and the river. I could not withhold my admiration as I looked down upon the well-disciplined lines of our antagonist, astonished that these troops now offering so bold a front to our victorious army should be the same whom not many hours since I had seen in complete flight and disorder. The skirmishers of the two armies were not much more than a hundred yards apart, concealed from each other's view by the high grass in which they were lying, and above which, from time to time, rose a small cloud of blue smoke, telling that
etely screened from the keen eyes of the Yankees, who, as we completed our meal, came in for a fire of maledictions for their want of common courtesy and consideration. Thus did the day wear on to its close without any event of importance; and it becoming evident as the evening advanced that the attack would not be renewed on the 14th, we returned after nightfall once more to our short night's rest at headquarters. Things looked very little changed when, on the cold, clear morning of the 15th, we rode up to Jackson's Hill; and General Stuart deciding to remain until serious fighting should commence, we had an opportunity of having a good look at the devastations caused by the tremendous artilleryfire of the 3th. The forest was literally torn to pieces-trees more than a foot in diameter were snapped in two, large branches were shattered to splinters, and scarcely a small twig but showed marks of some kind of missile. In many places the ground was ploughed up by the cannon-balls,
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