7 he Twelfth Alabama Infantry. 295
a night of unrest, of misery, of horror. The standing men would occasionally hear a comrade utter an exclamation as a stray bullet from the enemy pierced some part of his body and placed him hors du combat. And it was well that the men were kept standing, as I saw many of them walking first by the right flank and then by the left flank, and in profound sleep, wholly unconscious of what they were doing. These were hours that tried men's souls.
The next day Grant's forces had disappeared from our front, and we were told that they were marching towards Hanover C. H. in an effort to flank Gen . Lee and get between him and Richmond. I walked over the famous salient, so much discussed by critics and histori- ans, where General Edward Johnson and some of his troops were captured, and I saw the stump of a hickory tree, probably six inches in diameter, which is now in the museum of the Smithsonian Institute at Washington. The stump had been literally cut in two by the myriads of bullets that had pierced it, and the top of the tree was lying prone beside the stump. What chance would there have been for soldiers lying in front or in rear of this tree? Limbs, leaves, arid bodies of small trees were lying thick in this part of the battle- field. One gallant fellow remarked, that, in all his experience dur- ing the war, he believed that this was the "hottest place" that he had ever seen.
It was during these fights that General Lee, anxious to restore order and to drive the enemy from a certain position, rode on Traveler to the head of a regiment and called to the men to follow him in a charge upon the enemy. General Gordon was not far dis- tant, and riding up to General Lee, urged him to retire, that his life was too precious to be placed in such jeopardy, and that he himself would lead the men. Two soldiers took the reins of Traveler, and despite General Lee's remonstrances, but amid the earnest excla- mations of approval, led the horse and General Lee to the rear, while General Gordon led his men gallantly forward and drove the enemy before him, relieving the situation.
After the I3th for several days the two great leaders manoeu- vered for advantage, Grant continuing his flank movement while Lee kept in front of him, offering daily battle. These movements continued until the two armies reached Richmond, and soon there- after General Early was detached and sent on his famous campaign through the Valley and to Washington, which has been described elsewhere in this sketch.