Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/37

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Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade at Fredericksburg.

brigade of Georgians, took position in the sunken road, or cut, at the foot of Marye's Hill, in front of the city.

When the Mississippians who had thus far stood the brunt of the attack, marched over the ridge to rest, carrying their guns at a right shoulder, cheer after cheer rang out from along the line. Little hope was entertained that any of them would escape that dreadful bombardment, and when they held their ground after the bombardment had ceased, driving back line after line of the enemy, the other troops were struck with amazement and wonder, and felt a pride in their comrades which they could not conceal.

When daylight dawned on the 12th, the city and valley were again veiled in fog. It was so dense no object could be distinguished 50 yards distant, and this condition lasted until nearly midday. During the afternoon a heavy skirmishing was kept up, but nothing of a serious nature occurred.

Saturday the 13th, the earth was again enveloped by a fog, which did not clear away before 10 o'clock. The whole country was covered with sleet and snow, and the men stood to their places without fires, and with very scant clothing.

McLaw's division was posted from the foot of Marye's Hill, where Cobb occupied the cut, extending" towards the south, with Kershaw on his right, and Barksdale on the right of Kershaw, while Paul J. Semmes was held in reserve. The Washington Artillery was posted on Marye's Hill, just in the rear of Cobb, and behind Kershaw and Barksdale were two batteries of the Richmond Howitzers and the Rockbridge Battery of rifled guns.

Soon after the fog had cleared away Federal officers rode boldly out and examined the ground between the two armies. They rode within a hundred yards of our fine, but were not fired on. No one seemed disposed to kill such bold, brave fellows.

Not long after they had retired, a strong line moved towards the right of Barksdale's Brigade, but were surprised and driven back by the fire of the batteries just behind us.

Line after line of infantry stood along the valley, and we could distinctly see immense columns of troops on the opposite side of the river waiting" to cross on the bridges. We were in