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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/295

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History of Crenshaw Battery. 287

they took place. The Crenshaw Battery, as Colonel Richardson afterwards said, was reserved for the last fight, because it was of the "Fighting Battalion" of the Army of Northern Virginia. Just before sundown the Crenshaw Battery moved to the front on the fighting line and took position on an elevation overlooking a large open field, at the further end of which the Federals had formed a line of battle supporting three Federal batteries; this was opposed by General Heth's Division in line of battle extending across the field on the line of a white house, about 400 to 500 yards from the main road. From the house to the main road, a straight white sandy road ran, declining gradually until it was covered from the line of fire by the elevation on which the white house stood. The Crenshaw Battery, as soon as it took position on the elevation on the main road, commenced firing on the Federal line, which was re- plied to by the three Federal batteries just as it was getting quite warm an order came from General Heth for the Crenshaw Battery to come and take position on the line of battle occupied by his troops, which would necessitate a passage over that white sandy road. As soon as the order was received, a request was sent back immediately to Colonel Richardson for the whole of his battalion. While the Crenshaw Battery was limbering up preparatory to carry- ing out the order, General Early rode up, and said :

" Captain, what are you going to do ? "

General Heth's order was repeated to him, when he said:

' ' If you attempt to carry your battery there it will be knocked all to pieces."

The captain then asked him what he should do, to which he re- plied:

"Hold on a while."

He then rode out on the elevation and examined carefully with his field-glasses, and riding back, said to the captain:

" Go on, sir."

The battery was then limbered up, and Lieutenant Hollis was ordered to take the battery on the main road, on which there was a hedge thick enough to conceal it, and move down the road until it got to the gate leading into the white sandy road, and there wait. The captain rode out over the field to General Heth's line of battle, to get special instructions and to inspect the ground over which the battery had to go. On his return to the battery at the gate the can- noneers were mounted on the guns and strict orders given to each driver to put whip to his horses as soon as he turned into the road,