Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/237

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Ihe Twelfth Alabama Infantry.. 233

burg, and Spotsylsvania, near Chancellorsville, and on the third the great battle by that name was fought, and, the idol of the army, General Lee's right arm, Stonewall Jackson, was killed by mistake by a detachment from a North Carolina regiment. % This battle was, without doubt, one of the grandest strategic movements that the world has ever known. This was the only battle of importance that I missed, up to my capture at Winchester, except the battle of Sharpsburg, in which my company and regiment were engaged.

The quarter-masters, with their teamsters and wagons, were located near Hamilton's Crossing, and information was received from General Stuart that we might expect to be attacked by the en- emy's cavalry. The men were all assembled, and, by order of the division quarter-master, Major Harmon, I was placed in command of the little group, composed of quartermasters, wagon masters, cooks and stragglers, all of whom I armed from the ordnance stores, and had them to load their guns, and gave them directions how to meet the cavalry when they approached. I had the wagons parked in a square, with the horses and men within the square, and the guns were stacked and ready for use, one man being on guard to each wagon and on the lookout. Fortunately, the cavalry did not attack us, as it was very probable my entire crowd, composed of about ninety men, would have fled without delay, upon hearing the first gun. This great battle was the cause of the death of many brave and promising offices and men in my regiment. Captain McNeely, my most intimate friend and mess-mate for the past two years, had the calf of his leg penetrated by a grape shot, and was disabled for the rest of the service. He spent the remainder of the the war at Talladega, drilling conscripts.

Private P. W. Chappell, of Company F, was shot entirely through the body by a minie ball, but, in less then sixty days, reported again for duty.

An immense number of prisoners were crowded into the cars and shipped from Hamilton's and Guinea's to Richmond. Some of these prisoners were rude; boisterous and violent. Many of them were foreigners whose language we did not understand. All seemed to know how to use oaths, and to indulge in profanity profusely.

In the various battles, which we have fought to this time, we have had with us Carter's famous Virginia Battery of artillery, commanded first by Captain, now Colonel Thomas H. Carter, and lastly by his brother, Captain William Page Carter, now of Boyce, Virginia.