Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/538
526 Southern Historical Society Papers.
Chester Gap to Winchester, where he will be instructed by what route to proceed. I wish to have every man that can be spared, and desire that Cooke's brigade may be sent forward by the same route, if it is not needed at Richmond. I think there will be no necessity for keeping a large number of troops at that place, especially if the plan of assem- bling an army at Culpeper Court-house, under General JBeauregard, be adopted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE, General.
[NoTE. We have certified copies of the above letters from Colonel R. N. Scott, of the War Records Office, Washington. The "plan of assembling an army at Cul- peper Court-house, under General Beauregard," raises questions of curious inter- est. Had General Lee suggested such a plan in a previous letter, which failed to reach Richmond ? or did he put in that last sentence in the expectation that the let- ter would be captured, and the enemy thus deceived f We would be glad to hear from any one who can throw light on the subject.]
A Reminiscence of Sharpslmrg.
By REV. J. S. JOHNSTON, Mobile, Ala.
The following incident, which came under the observation of the writer, who was a courier on the staff of Colonel Law, of the Fourth Alabama regiment, commanding the third (Bee's) brigade of Hood's division, Army Northern Virginia, has never, to his knowledge, been published, and is recorded here at the suggestion of a friend as an in- teresting reminiscence of the late war between the States, and as illus- trative of the character of the beloved chieftain, the least incident of whose grand life is cherished by those brave men who for three years followed him on fields of glory, but to final'defeat:
In the early morning of September 17, 1862, McClellan opened the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) by an attack in force on our centre, just at the junction of Jackson and Longstreet's corps. Hood's divis- ion was the left of Longstreet's corps ; the commander of Jackson's right is not known to the writer. At 11 o'clock on the previous night Hood, who had covered the retreat from South Mountain, was relieved by a brigade which had just joined the army and had seen but little real service. The attack was so heavy that these troops soon began to waver, and couriers were sent in quick succession to Hood, who was a few hundred yards in the rear resting his weary and hungry men, to hold himself in readiness to move to the front to the support of the heavily pressed lines. Soon the order to " fall in " was given, and the