Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/266

This page needs to be proofread.

262 Southern Historical Society Papers.

thrown out as skirmishers to retard the enemy. A line of battle was formed and breastworks were thrown up at Southerland's farm, and when the enemy made an attack they were repulsed with heavy loss and several prisoners were captured. The enemy turned the flank at about 4 P. M., and the Southern troops were again compelled to retreat. Cook's, Scales' and McRae's North Carolina Brigades and McGowan's South Carolina Brigade, the troops on the right of the break in the line, formed the corps. The North Carolina Regiments, i3th, 22d, 27th and 4Oth, were thrown out to check the enemy while the other troops endeavored to cross, hoping to rejoin the main army from which the brigades had been separated. It was found impos- sible to cross, and the regiments thrown out were recalled, when the troops pursued their way up the river until about 2 o'clock at night when they rested.

The march was begun at sunrise the next morning, April 3d, and Deep Creek was reached about 9 A. M. A halt was made to let the wagon-train get ahead for safety, and an attempt was made to throw a temporary bridge across the creek in order to cross. The cavalry had been in the rear guard, and about 2 o'clock they came rushing up and reported that the enemy were pursuing. McGowan's brigade was enabled to cross the bridge, which was not yet com- pleted, but the other troops followed the wagons and crossed at a ford about three miles above the bridges. By this time the enemy were in sight, but no attack was made. The intention was to cross the Appomattox at Goode's bridge, but the waters were very high and it was impossible to get to the bridge on account of the over- flows, therefore the troops were marched up the river, and as night came on went into camp at the cross roads above the bridge. Couriers were sent to find a place to cross, in order to join General Lee's army, and about i o'clock the command was ordered to march. After crossing the river and marching through open fields and by- roads, Anderson's Georgia brigade was reached. This brigade was the leading brigade in Lee's army, and had crossed on a pontoon bridge when the whole army was then crossing. There was great rejoicing on the part of the soldiers at again meeting their comrades, from whom they had been separated three days. The regiment was halted about sunrise and breakfast was prepared, after which the march was continued to Amelia Courthouse, Va. , where the night was spent. The enemy next morning attacked and began burning the wagon-train, but were driven off. The retreat was continued, the rear guard having frequent fights with the enemy.