Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/105

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without an entren. lunent. But the 8,000 Confederates were veter aii-1 were commanded \>y Stonewall Jackson. That night 2O.OOO

ami wounded men lay on the field of Sharpsburg.

About one o'clock that day I rode forward to sec the General. I found him a little to the left of the Dunkard church. I remember that I had my saddle pockets filled with peaches to take to him knowing how much he enjoyed fruit and was eating a peach when I approached him. The first tiling he asked me was if I had any more. I told him yes, that I had brought him some. After he got them he began to cat them ravenously, so much so, that he apolo- gixed and told me that he had had nothing to eat that day. I told him why I had come. That our lines were so thin and the enemy so strong, that I was afraid that at some point our line might be broken and in the rush, the hospital captured. He was perfectly cool and quiet, although he had withstood three separate attacks of vastly superior numbers. He thought the enemy had clone their worst and made me the reply I have already quoted, but he agreed that I should establish the hospital in Shepherdstown. Before returning to my post, I rode forward with him to see the old Stonewall Division. They had been reduced to a very small body of men and were com- manded by Colonel Grigsby. In some places lieutenants commanded brigades; sergeants, regiments. Nearly all of his Generals had fallen, but he had two left who were hosts in themselves, the unconquerable D. H. Hill, and that grand old soldier, Jubal Early.

While talking to Grigsby I saw off at a distance in a field, men lying down, and supposed it was a line of battle. I asked Colonel Grigsby why he did not move that line of battle to make it conform to his own, when he said: "Those men you see lying over there, which you suppose to be a line of battle, are all dead men. They are Georgia soldiers." It was a stern struggle, but Jackson always ex- pected to hold his lines. I heard him once say: "We sometimes fail to drive the enemy from his position. He always fails to drive us." But he was never content with the defensive, however suc- cessful or however exhausting. In this most destructive battle he was looking all of that day for a chance to make the counter-stroke. He urged General McLaws, who had been sent to his assistance, to move forward and attack the enemy's right flank, but General McLaws was so hotly engaged with those directly in front, that he never had an opportunity to do what General Jackson desired.