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Francis K. Nelson; the 22d, William M. Brown; 27th, Daniel Blain; and on 3d June, William F. Singleton, all of whom joined it at Harper's Ferry. On the 14th June, at Winchester, Va., John M. Goul; on the 15th, Michael J. Emmet; on 17th, Nicholas H. Lewis, and 19th, Dudley S. Pendleton joined the company. On the 21st June, on the march between Winchester and Martinsburg, C. D. Fishburne, and on the 27th, David R. Barton and Lyt. S. Macon, after it arrived at Camp Stevens, where, also, on the 28th June, E. Holmes Boyd joined it.
The "history" of the company, recorded on the muster-roll, which was made out as of June 30, 1861, has the following which may be of interest: "The plain grey cloth uniforms and outfit of blankets, knapsacks, cooking utensils, &c., furnished mainly by Rockbridge county, have been as well preserved as could be expected. The uniform is, however, in many cases, considerably
"Discipline and drill both excellent. Public property in possession of the company consists of three six-pounder brass field pieces, and one twelve-pounder brass Howitzer, with equipments and ammunition; four wagons, prepared as caisons, with horses and harness for same (of which two teams are 'impressed'), one forge, in parts, and three wagons and teams for forage, ammunition, and baggage, and ten other horses. In moral and material condition the company is exemplary."
The "plain grey cloth uniforms were made up by the ladies of Lexington, who used to assemble for this work in the old Masonic Hall, where, no doubt, many maidens took their first lessons in constructing men's garments.
The old fellows who read this may observe what is said about the caissons, and remember that there were bought or "impressed" at Winchester, the running parts of four farm-wagons, and on these were put some rough boxes (or caissons), made under the supervision of our captain by carpenters of that town. The tops were covered with tin and the boxes were painted, but altogether, whilst they served a good purpose for carrying ammunition dry, they must have been, to the experienced eyes of army officers, a ludicrous substitute for the neat, compact caissons with which "Uncle Sam usually supplied his own artillery, and with which he afterwards, for so many years, kept our battery supplied. The height of the boxes on the hind axles was a serious objection to them. A man of ordinary stature could not, from the ground, get out the ammunition,
but had to climb up and sit on the edge of the boxes in order to get at their contents. In time of battle this inconvenience was emphasized in the mind of the caisson corporal, who "felt" that it was more dangerous to be perched up so high than to be standing on the ground with the whole box in front of him. The increase in the danger of the lofty position may not have been real, but imaginary dangers oftentimes give as much discomfort as real ones.
The three six-pounder brass field-pieces consisted of one sixpounder of the weight used in the old army (sent from Richmond) and two pieces, similar in calibre, but much lighter guns, being two of the guns which were furnished by the State of Virginia for the use of the cadets at the Virginia Military Institute. Their efficiency within a certain range was probably equal to that of the regulation six-pounder used at that time and before the war by the United States army, but on account of their lightness the "recoil" was very great, and the labor of the men at the piece was increased.
We were at Camp Stevens about ten days. The weather was dry and warm. The men had no tents. The officers had some small tent-flies, which were stretched across poles and made a sort of shelWe did no end, as it seemed to us then, of drilling. First at the guns an hour, beginning about sun-rise. Then came breakfast, for which we had some appetite. About 10 o'clock came two hours' of battery drill, in which we were forbidden to take short cuts across the field in order to fall in with our detachment at the point where we supposed it would soon be. No hypothenuses were allowed to be described by the men on foot, while the mounted officers and horses were describing two sides of a right-angled triangle. After our dinners we had scant time in which to have siestas, for we were again called on to drill with the horses, or at the guns, and earn more appetite for supper and for sleep. These ten days were days of work which was very hard to many of us, but on the whole there was little to fret about and nothing to regret now. The greatest discomfort grew out of our inexperience as cooks, and our fear of getting bugs in our ears! We had the best flour the Valley afforded, good beef and some vegetables, plenty of good coffee, too, and sugar.
The pay of the men was only $13 per month, but the money was sufficient to supply us with extra rations when we wanted a variety, as our money had not depreciated-taking gold as a standard—and we could buy eggs at about "nine pence" (121⁄2 cents) per dozen, and butter at not much higher price per pound, and milk and buttermilk were also cheap.
When we were obliged to make bread for ourselves there was inconvenience in getting good water at that camp. The only spring was far off and not good, but, had the water been abundant and of the best quality, we could make very poor bread with it. At nearly every "mess, some inventive fellow would devise some way of his own for mixing his ingredients (flour, water, salt, and soda), but the result of each experiment seemed to be identical. The men like mountains groaned, the result was always a ridiculous mass, which, when baked, resulted in what was familiarly known then and long afterwards as a "flap-jack." flap-jack." At each camp we left nailed to trees, or laid up among the boughs, some specimens of our bread, hoping that "our friends, the enemy," might come along hungry and eat, and die of indigestion to save us the pain of killing them. Before many weeks we got over our dread of the ear-bugs, and discarded our bunches of cotton with which we at first stopped our ears at bedtime.
At this camp we were brought nearer than we had been to the enemy, except when the battery was at Harper's Ferry. We had the First Virginia cavalry, under Colonel (afterwards General) J. E. B. Stuart, not far off in our front, guarding the fords of the Potomac and watching the enemy under General Patterson; and we had frequent communication with Augusta and Rockbridge companies which were in this regiment.
We had now and then alarms sounded in the evening and morning 'devotions," conducted by our clerical captain. Many a fellow went from prayers to his leafy bed with a vague uncertainty whether or not he would wake up a dead man, like the Assyrians of old.
At last, on July 2, 1861 (Tuesday), the alarm was materialized, so to speak, and we were ordered to take up the line of march towards the enemy. The cavalry reported Patterson on the south of the Potomac, and moving southward towards us, and not so far off as we wished him to be. Our baggage-wagons were sent to the rear, and we were supposed to have three days' rations in our haversacks. The infantry had defiled from their camps, and taken up their line of march northward several hours before the order was given for us to set out. We followed the pike about two miles when we were halted, and the heavy six-pounder brass gun was ordered forward. The rest waited more or less impatiently, on rising ground, in full hearing of brisk skirmishing with small arms in front of us, but out of sight of the combatants. No one person could describe the sensations of either those who were chosen to go, or of
The captain ac
The firing in
those who were bidden to wait for further orders. companied the detachment which went to the front. our front seemed to be drawing nearer to us as our boys got out of sight beyond a piece of woods, and we waited in breathless uncertainty to learn what was next to be done. Pretty soon the musketryfiring indicated to us inexperienced soldiers that a fierce conflict was going on between the infantry forces of the two armies; and presently the artillery was heard. We could conjecture only that it was our gun, and we exulted in the hope that our boys would get glory, but I suspect that the uppermost hope with most of us was that they would not be hurt. Our hopes were realized, as the gun did good service and none of the men who served it were hurt. It turned out that only one regiment (the Fifth, Colonel Harpers, lost any men, and that regiment and part of another were all of Jackson's brigade who were engaged that day, besides the one detachment of our company.
On the return of this detachment to the company, the boys reported that our captain mixed his commands and his prayers somewhat thus: "Aim low, corporal, and the Lord have mercy on their souls."
This was the battle or skirmish of "Hainesville," or "Falling Waters, on the east side of the horse-shoe made by the Potomac river, the toe of the shoe being at Williamsport. Company E of Stuart's cavalry captured at this skirmish about forty prisoners, and lost one man, Zack Johnson, mortally wounded.
As a part of the history of the battery, it ought to have been mentioned that soon after the 18th June, the First brigade in the Army of the Shenandoah was formed by General J. E. Johnston, and that Brigadier-General Jackson was placed in command of it. The first regiments composing it were the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Twentyseventh Virginia infantry, and afterwards the Thirty-third, and the Rockbridge Artillery was a part of that brigade. At this time one battery was usually assigned as a part of each brigade.
The detachment, with the heavy six-pounder, rejoined the rest of the company, and we fell back before the advancing enemy, occasionally leaving the turnpike and taking a position as if awaiting an attack. These movements were probably designed to retard General Patterson's advance-at any rate his advance was slow and cautious. The rest of the brigade and cavarly fell back in like manner, the cavalry occasionally skirmishing with the cavalry of the Federals till we passed Martinsburg some two or three miles, when
we went into camp for the night near a large spring, and around our camp-fires discussed the events of the day. The next day, the 3d of July, we fell back several miles southward to Darkesville, where we first saw, many of us, our general-in-chief, Joseph E. Johnston, the gamest-looking soldier we had ever seen. If we had had more experience than we then had in the ways of Confederate soldiers, we would have made the welkin ring with shouts at seeing this typical soldier who "witched us" all with his "noble horsemanship.
This Darkesville" was not a village—only a farm-house near a fine spring. In front of the house, on the east side of the turnpike, stretched a beautiful meadow, and in this meadow we encamped. The infantry was east and west of us, and their camp-fires were beautiful at night. The weather was ciear, and besides the light of all the visible stars, we enjoyed one of the most brilliant comets which had appeared for many years. It appeared about midnight to be just above us, and many hearts were half-way cheered by interpretations which were put on its appearance. The tail extended northward, or southward, I don't remember which, but it meant that we were to be victorious in the battle which we then thought was imminent. For four days we were drawn up in line of battle and awaited the enemy's attack, which never came. We one day were marched to a quartermaster's wagon and were provided with strips of white cotton cloth, to be tied around the arms of the men to distinguish us from the Federals, for at that time many of the uniforms worn by our men were of the same color with that worn by the enemy. We had not worn out the old garments used by the volunteer militia, many of which were of dark blue. The Confederate Government had probably adopted the grey as the proper color for our troops, but it had not furnished the material for our use.
At this camp, too, Captain Pendleton and the lieutenants drilled the men, or the gunners, in estimating distances. We knew the point blank ranges of our guns, but we had had no opportunity to practice with them, and would have been at a disadvantage in firing them. The success of our corporals in aiming the guns at the very beginning of the first action (First Manassas) in which we were engaged, was probably due to some extent to the lessons learned by us there.
After three or four days we took up the line of march towards Winchester with the rest of the army. It was a hot, dry march over that macadamized road, and never was a fine country so devoid of water as that part of the Valley. There was an occasional fine