136 Southern Historical Society Papers.
The men were cheered with the information that there was a pos- sibility of finding provisions at Matoaca (Chula?) Station, but on striking the Danville Railroad at that point, they met with disap- pointment.
However, an hour's halt was made in the middle of the day, as well for rest as to give those few who were so provident as to have saved a little meat or flour, an opportunity to cook.
So far we had been pursuing the road which crossed the Appo- mattox over Goode's bridge, but owing to the failure of " someone " to have the pontoons laid at that point, we were compelled to strike further to the north, and with other troops passed over on the rail- road bridge.
By 4 o'clock we were within one mile of this point, but as some repairs had to be made, and after that an immense train of artillery was to pass over before us, we halted and cooked a scanty supply of flour which one or two of our wagons had luckily brought us.
At dark we commenced to file by twos across the bridge, the men being cautioned to march in the very middle of the flooring between the rails, or otherwise it might turn over.
It was a long time before the rear guard had passed over, and tak- ing a circuitous route through the woods and fields to find a suitable camping ground, we finally came to a halt a little after midnight.
The men were exhausted from hunger and want of rest, and throwing themselves down under the nearest trees, were soon asleep.
A little before dawn (April 5th), we were aroused again, and speedily took the road, moving parallel with and near the railroad.
I was so fortunate as to get a slice of raw ham during the morn- ing, and presently not only got another, but found time to broil it.
After this I had nothing but hard corn, and a very insufficient supply of that.
Such particulars are here mentioned in illustration of the hardships of the retreat, for I suppose everybody fared about as well, or ill certainly all within my observation did.
When about two miles from Amelia Courthouse we were astonished to receive a report that the enemy's cavalry were on our right flank and destroying the wagon train, which had been moving on a parallel road a short distance in that direction.
We had been under the impression that after having placed the Appomattox in our rear we were perfectly secure from pursuit, but our eyes were now open to a real understanding of the situation.