Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/229

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before, in May, at the battles of Walthall Junction, and of Swift Creek. Their gratitude was an inspiration to every man in the regi- ment.

Out we marched on the Charles City road, until we came just south of Hare's Race Course. There we were marched into a de- pression among the hills, where General Hoke had his headquarters, and were rationed. About dusk we were marched to the north of the race course, and into an open field nearly aligned on Colquitt's salient, and we commenced immediately to throw up breastworks with bayonets, swords, tin plates, etc. Three times during the night. we were drawn up in line of battle to charge, and the order was countermanded. At last, towards morYung, our pickets were put out in front, and we went to sleep on our arms.

Just at daybreak the adjutant was directed to relieve the pickets, and draw them in nearer if necessary. We knew the enemy were facing us across the field, When the Adjutant came to the picket line in the gray of the morning, there could be seen Federal pickets approaching two of Wise's abandoned forts in our front, as if to take possession of them. The forts were as near to us as they were to the Federals. The old picket combined with the relief and made a dash for the forts; they got there before the Federals, and the Federals lost several men. The Federals fled. I reported to Major Rion, who sent me to General Hoke. He ordered Major Rion to advance his whole battalion into the forts, and to hold them if he could.

By the time I rejoined the regiment Major Rion had his line of battle ready, and we moved away from Colquitt's left, across the gap to the forts. The Federals began to comprehend the situation. They commenced shelling us and sending forward their infantry to attack the forts. This was kept up all that day.

Early in the day General Hagood came to us, and made his head- quarters on the left of the left fort, next to the dirt road. Across the road, along a marshy slope, were the 25th and other regiments of his brigade, extending down to the Appomattox river.

Between our dirt road and the 25th regiment was a deep drain, and it became necessary to bridge this drain in order that there might be access along our lines. General Hagood' s staff was scat- tered, and I can recall none who were with him except Lieutenant Dwight Stoney, a glorious little soldier then, and now in the Charles- ton express office. The General made use of me, and among other things, he intimated he wanted that bridge built. I informed