Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/19
Last Months in the Army of Northern Virginia. 7
I told him that this would be a difficult and disagreeable task, as these arms had been captured by the men in battle in most cases and were, consequently, valued and their exchange would be objected to.
Colonel Baldwin replied that he recognized that, but that it must be done and that the assistance of their officers could be called for.
This illustrates one great difficulty in our service, especially in the cavalry. Too many calibres to furnish. Modern service has developed that one calibre for all small arms is the best.
So I got my orders, and the next morning early started out. I was afraid to ride my own fine little mare down amongst the cavalry and I took an old white horse which was used in the train. Before leaving, Colonel Baldwin had given me the map used at headquarters, and which was issued only to corps com- manders and heads of departments. I made some demur to taking it, for fear of capture and consequent blame, but Colonel B. said that I had better have it, as it would be necessary in finding my way. I went down the Boydton Plank Road and joined a couple of cavalrymen who were en route to their com- mands. At Burgess' Mill, on Hatcher's Run, we passed through our lines and into the debatable ground beyond. We heard a report that the enemy were on the plank road beyond us and at the junction of the Quaker or Military Road (a mile from Bur- gess' Mill) ; we turned into it, hoping to flank them. We had passed Gravelly Run, two miles down, and had come within sight of the Vaughn Road, when we suddenly saw, in front of us, men with knapsacks on, running across the road. As our men did not carry knapsacks, we knew them to be the enerav. We had ridden right into the flank of Warren's Corps, march- ing on the Vaughn Road, having crossed Hatcher's Run at Monk's Neck Bridge, some distance below. We turned at once, but not before several shots had been fired at us and an energetic voice had been heard calling out, "God damn you, halt." Then commenced a race in which I experienced the feeling of the fox in the hunt, I suppose, for there were more of them; they were better mounted and armed, whilst I had a poor old horse and not even a penknife.