Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/28

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

you at Danville what they remember of the last charge of the 14th at Appomattox C. H.

The ever memorable day of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia by Gen. R. E. Lee, to Gen. U. S. Grant. Let us go back in the history of the regiment for a time. * * *

After a few days the retreat from Petersburg and Richmond was commenced, the battles of Butterwood Creek and Dinwiddie C. H. and Five Forks, and they were hot and we had it all the way to Appomattox C. H. – skirmish, picket, scout – with very little to eat and no forage for our horses, scarcely. It was an awful retreat. Yankees, by the thousand, after us, and on our flanks. The day and night before we reached Appomattox – we were covering the retreat of Lee's Army – about ten or eleven o'clock the bugle sounded "Mount your horses," and we passed the whole of our army to the front and formed into line of battle, were dismounted and ordered to stand and hold horses and keep awake. You were in command, having joined the regiment a few days before from Camp Chose, Ohio, where you went the previous July from Morefield, without your own consent. You never will forget Morefield, will you? I won't.

Just as the daylight was dawning a shell from our front shrieked over our heads, and to mount was sounded by our bugler. At the same time Col. W. T. Poague's regiment of artillery just to our left opened (he told me afterwards) sixteen guns on the woods in our front and the shells passed over our heads, as we went by fours down the little slope towards the hill from where the shell had come that started us. As I now remember we went slow at first, then at a trot and as Poague's guns ceased firing we charged the woods and captured the battery, four brass howitzers, and horses and men. The battery belonged at Philadelphia, and was a light battery with a cavalry brigade that had reached our front. We captured a lot of prisoners in the charge and brought them out. I was ordered to guard them fellows, and when I got rid of them, the regiment had gone somewhere, I did not know where. But I did know I was left with some yankees. and could only see the dust you all were making to my right and to die Yankee's left. General W. H. F. Lee came along my way as I stood with the prisoners, and I asked him where the command was. He answered me: "It has gone;