Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/253

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The Twelfth Alabama Infantry. 249

Oct. ii. We waded across Robinson river, as it is called, and occupied an old camp of the 6th Yankee army corps. It was on a high, bleak hill, where the wind blew constantly and fiercely, and rendered our sleep very uncomfortable. Such cold winds eighteen months ago, would have caused colds, coughs and pneumonia, but now we are accustomed to rough weather and thin clothing.


October 12. At 2 P. M. we were aroused and started for the Rappahannock river. It was not a pleasure excursion. At 12 M. we came near the village of Jeffersonton, halted for a few minutes, and learned that a body of Yankee cavalry were in a church in the town, and General Battle was ordered to flank and capture the party if possible. The Third, Sixth and Twelfth Alabama regi- ments marched to the left, and the Fifth and Twenty-sixth Ala- bama to the right. After going about two miles we overtook some Yankee cavalry pickets, whom our sharpshooters, under Major Blackford, of the Fifth Alabama, quickly dispersed. We followed closely, and they evacuated Jeffersonton, falling back to the river, and crossing a bridge near Warrenton Springs. General Pendle- ton, chief of artillery, placed twelve pieces of cannon on a lofty hill immediately in front of my regiment and commenced a rapid and destructive fire across the river, driving the enemy some distance beyond. As soon as it was ascertained that they had left the banks of the Rappahannock, General Rodes ordered Battle's Alabama and Doles' Georgia brigades to push rapidly across, and it was promptly done amid a sharp fire from musketry and cannon. Bat- tle's brigade was moved down the Warrenton turnpike by the old burnt hotel. Right here gallant J. E. B. Stuart galloped by with the Twelfth Virginia cavalry and charged right royally upon the Yanks, strongly posted on a hill in front, but the Virginians were too few in number and were forced to retire. General Battle was ordered to send a regiment to dislodge the enemy, and he selected the Twelfth Alabama for the honorable though dangerous task. The other regiments supported us some distance in the rear. We moved under a heavy fire to and through the woods towards the hills occupied by the enemy. When within lorty yards the regi- ment fired a volley into them which seriously disconcerted them, and followed it by volley after volley until the enemy turned and fled. We followed with loud, rejoicing yells for some distance,