Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 28.djvu/351
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since been proven he did do in this campaign, in which those high in command in our army had indisputable proof. But, of course, some one had to be the scapegoat. We remained in Centreville only one night and moved next morniug down the Warrenton pike, where we were soon to be engaged with the enemy.
After leaving Centreville, we fell back on the Warrenton pike some six or more miles, where we remained a short time, expecting to be ordered forward to battle at any minute, not being allowed to leave our guns. The army of Pope was then falling back, pushed by Generals Lee and Longstreet, and it seemed to me Jackson delayed giving battle as long as possible. However, this inaction was not to continue, for soon a courier with orders was seen coming, and we were moved forward and reached a position not far from the railroad cut, where the fighting of the infantry was, I believe, the severest of the war, and where, certainly, the heaviest musketry firing of the war occurred. It was here, when our battery was firing double charges of canister, that the gallant A. P. Hill rode into our battery and said to our captain that the Louisiana brigade, being out of am- munition, was holding the enemy in check with rocks.
We fought here until late in the night, driving the enemy, after a stubborn fight, into the fortifications at Centreville; and now being anxious to see the railroad cut and the result of the battle at that point, in company with John Gray, a member of our battery, who has since died, we started early next morning for this point, where, to my sorrow, I saw stretched out in death, as I entered the woods, the body of Edwin G. Rawlings, a lieutenant in old Company F, which at one time was the pet company of Richmond. But we pushed on and soon arrived at the cut, where I saw the wounded enemy and heard from their lips the confirmation of General Hill's statement. I believe this was one of the most desperately fought battles of the war, the field near the railroad cut being almost cov- ered with the dead and wounded of both armies. Terrible as was this battle, it was not without amusing incidents, one of which I shall never forget. During the firing and before Longstreet came up, while Jackson was fighting Pope's whole army with his corps alone, one of our company, a tall country boy who had not been long with the battery, was heard to exclaim: "Longstreet! Longstreet! why don't you come on! I don't believe there is any such a man as Longstreet! " And right glad were we when we heard his firing on our right, and saw his approach, which soon had the effect of start- ing the enemy on the run.