Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/140

This page needs to be proofread.

136 Southern Historical Society Papers.

and insisted upon my taking his horse. I declined to do so at first, but he remarked that I had better take him, because if I did not the Yankees certainly would. He had dismounted and tendered me the bridle. I took it, mounted; we shook hands and parted, he to return to his home, and I to follow and overtake my command. About i o'clock P. M. I overtook them, and we proceeded together with other commands, things being a good deal mixed.


Our objective point was, as I learned, Burkeville Junction. On the night of the 3d of April, we encamped about twelve or fifteen miles from Manchester. On the 4th we crossed the Appomattox on the railroad bridge at Mattoax Station. On the 5th we passed Ame- lia Courthouse.

Owing to some trouble in our front, we made very slow progress, and that night we marched, or tried to march, all night, but only progressed a short distance; frequently we would move a few yards and then halt for an hour or two. Just before day we were ordered into camp. Captain Herron and I spread our blankets together and fell asleep. We had not slept more than an hour, when the ominous long roll sounded through the camps. We immediately fell into line and marched on. Up to this time the command had received no rations. Seeing that my men were nearly exhausted for want of food I directed two of my most active men to push forward a little distance from the main road, and try to secure a mutton, and rejoin us on the march. On we proceeded, very slowly, owing to the constant dashes of Sheridan's cavalry on our wagon train. We had not gone more than two or three miles, when we came to the two men with a dressed mutton hanging up near the road. We stacked arms and were about to divide our plunder, when Sheridan's cavalry struck our wagon train a few hundred yards in advance of us.

We at once fell into ranks, moved on, and in the excitement of the moment forgot our mutton, except that your writer pulled off a kidney and put it in his haversack, which delicacy he broiled on a few coals during a temporary halt. About two o'clock P. M. we approached Sailor's creek. When about a mile from the creek, the main road bore to the right. We passed directly forward, through two gate posts (I presume along a private road). As we wound down the hill, we saw on our left a house flying the yellow flag. We crossed the creek on a few fence rails thrown in. The creek was shallow, but marshy. As we went up the hill, the road bearing to