Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/286

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282 Southern Historical Society Papers.

was transferred, and its place supplied by the Third and Twenty- sixth Alabama. He was wounded at Seven Pines and Sharpsburg. At Chancellorsville, in command of D. H. Hill's old division, he led the advance and swept everything before him. His clarion voice shouting, "forward men, over friend or foe," electrified his troops, and they were irresistible. They pushed on, under his gal- lant leadership, and completely routed the panic-stricken soldiers of "Fighting Joe" Hooker. After Generals Jackson and A. P. Hill were wounded, General Rodes was in supreme command, but he modestly and patriotically yielded to General J. E. B. Stuart, who had been sent for by General Pendleton of the artillery. After this battle he was promoted to full major general, and put in charge o. Battle's, Ramseur's (now Cox's), Doles' (now Cook's), and Dan- iel's (now Lewis'") brigades. General Rodes was a precise and somewhat stern military man, of resolute expression and soldiery bearing, and enjoyed the implicit confidence of his superior officers, as well as his troops. A fragment of shell struck him behind the ear, and in a few hours this brave, skillful and trusted officer yielded up his heroic life as a holocaust to his country's cause. He mar- ried the accomplished Miss Virginia Hortense Woodruff, of Tusca- loosa, Ala., who survives with a son, his namesake, and a younger daughter, Bell Yancey. The young and gallant Colonel S. B. Pickens, of the Twelfth Alabama, took command of the brigade as senior colonel. He has commanded it nearly the entire time since we left Richmond. He was wounded during the engagement. The enemy had Crook's full, fresh corps and all his heavy force of cav- alry as a reserve, and they came to the rescue of the defeated and routed Sixth and Nineteenth corps. Our ranks were very thin indeed, and our lines stretched out far too much. The enemy overlapped us for hundreds, I might say, thousands of yards, and we had no fresh troops in our rear to come to our aid. Sheridan must have had six to our one, yet our weakened forces held their ground, obstinately and proudly, until late in the afternoon, when Crook's fresh division drove back our small cavalry force under Fitz Lee. General Breckinridge, with Wharton's attenuated divis- ion, repulsed them, but the troops soon became impressed with the horrible, unendurable idea that they were flanked, and began to retreat in confusion. Just before this idea became prevalent, pri- vate John Attaway, of my company, was shot through the breast by a minie ball, and called me, as he fell, to go to him, saying he was