Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/272

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268 Southern Historical Society Papers.

on the mountain top. Next day we left our picket post and waded across the Shenandoah. The water rose to our waists and was quite swift, and as the bed of the river was rocky and uneven we had a good deal of fun. Some practical jokes were indulged in, which all seemed to enjoy. Rodes' division was hurriedly ordered out to meet the enemy, who had crossed the Shenandoah under General Crook, and in an incredibly short time we were hotly engaged in battle. The fight lasted over two hours, and was quite warmly contested. The Yankee force was three times greater than ours. Private Eber- hart of my company was instantly killed. We had driven the ene- my to the bank and in the river, and, having halted on a little emi- nence were peppering them with bullets as they rushed into and attemped to cross the river. They replied as best they could, but under great disadvantange. A large number remained concealed near the river, at the foot of the hill, and did some execution, firing at our men, as they exposed. themselves. They escaped under cover of darkness. When Eberhart was killed, private Tom Kimbrough called me earnestly to him, and, through a heavy shower of bullets, I went to him and* inquired what he wanted. "Nothing," here- plied, "just thought you would like to see Eberhart after he was dead." A rather poor reason, I thought, for causing- a man to unnecessarily expose himself to death-dealing missiles, I took care of his pocket book, his wife's ambrotype and Bible, and will send them to her. Eberhart was a brave, uncomplaining, good soldier, sent to my company as a conscript. Private G. P. Ware, was severely wounded in the leg. Lieutenant Majors, ol Company E, and two others of the regiment, were killed, and ten or fifteen wounded. Lieutenant Majors and I were running near each other in quick pursuit of the enemy, when he exclaimed that he was shot, but continued to run for some distance and then fell. I stopped by his side and offered him some water from' canteen, which he hastily drank, and then sank down and instantly expired. A minie ball had cut an artery in his leg, but such was his determined courage, and eagerness in following the fleeing foe, that he ran on, his life- blood all the time gushing from his wound, and stopped only when sheer exhaustion and faintness from such great and rapid loss of blood compelled him, and the grim monster death claimed him for his own.

Majors had been but recently promoted, and was an officer of de- cided promise. In this action Col. Pickens commanded our bri-