Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/163

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The Keysville Guards.

By this move the siege of Richmond was raised, McClellan was disposed of, and we were ordered to Culpeper county to meet General Pope, who had just found a new way to Richmond.

At Cedar Mountain, Pope lost his way, his enthusiasm for Richmond, and ultimately his command in consequence of an unfavorable meeting with Jackson's army at this point. Much might be said of this vain Federal officer and his behavior on the occasion of this battle, but as he is not here to defend himself, and has passed to the other side of the river where all of us good soldiers must assemble ere long, I pass by in silence what would not be complimentary to relate.

Second Battle of Manassas, Gaines's Mill, Harper Ferry and Sharpsburg came along in a few days of each other, all resulting favorably to our side, except Sharpsburg, which is conceded by both sides to have been a drawn battle.

Next comes Fredericksburg, with Jackson on the right driving his adversary General Franklin, back over the river to Stafford Heights. This was about December 13, 1862, and the winter practically put an end to further operations in Virginia for this year. We went into winter quarters at Skinker's Neck, and remained here inactive till late in April, 1863.

The next battle in which we were engaged was the one which in my mind, was the greatest of all the battles fought in the Civil War—the battle of Chancellorsville, May 2, 1863.

Here Jackson, by one of his rapid, unobserved movements like the tiger's in springing upon his prey, fell suddenly upon General Howard's German troops, throwing them into such confusion that the battle was lost to "Fighting Joe," and he, too, had to come out of the wilderness and fall back across the Rappahannock River. This move has been discussed a great deal, and just where the credit for the success of it belongs I do not know, but it is generally conceded to Jackson. To say the least of it, it was a grand idea marvelously carried out, and many of the old "foot cavalry" who are alive to-day are proud to say they took part in a movement which was such a grand success against much great odds. But alas, it was a dear victory, for it was here that Jackson lost his life and the Confederacy one of its most substantial pillars. Our leader was taken from us to the