Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 18.djvu/98

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98 Southern Historical Society Papers.

and thinking "on my marcies" during the piping times of peace that have succeeded the late unpleasantness, I have learned to pro- perly appreciate my good fortune in being kept out of harm's way. The running away was not of our own choosing, for the boys of our battery would have had it otherwise, and we did not relish the pater- nal regard of the " powers that were," in our behalf. It did seem, however, that the authorities studiously avoided exposing us to danger, and kept the battery continuously on the move, so as to shield it from the enemy's bullets. Around Richmond, from April to November, 1862, either in camp of instruction or manning some of the heavy redoubts that encircled that city, we took no active part in the bloody scenes that were enacted at Seven Pines, Median - icsville, Games' Mill, Cold Harbor, Savage's Station and Malvern Hill, though within sound, and, at times, in sight of bursting of shell and rattling of musketry upon those fields of carnage. From Novem- ber, 1862, to June, 1863, we helped to guard the line of the Blackwater under Pryor, and assisted in the investment of Suffolk under Long- street. During the remainder of 1863, with the exception of a few weeks at Chaffin's Bluff, we remained around Petersburg, our principle duty being to stand guard over Fort Clifton. The first five months of 1864 found us on the coast below Wilmington, N. C., about six miles above Fort Fisher. From there we were sent in June, 1864, to Weldon, N. C., where we remained until the close of the war.

When approached, several weeks ago, with the request that, at some future meeting, I favor the camp with some of my war expe- riences, the same feeling took possession of me that doubtless came over that good woman when about to cast all she had two mites into the treasury of the Lord. I was oppressed with the conscious- ness that what I might be able to contribute would fail to entertain scarred veterans who had "stood like a stonewall " with Jackson, or marched and fought with A. P. Hill's " Light Division." As it was not my privilege to witness or participate in any of the many glorious victories won by that imcomparable body of men, the Army of Northern Virginia, the din and shout of fierce battle are not within my experience. It can never be my pleasure to relate with bated breath and glowing cheek to my children and children's children, as one of the actors therein, those mighty passages of arms that made for Lee's ragged veterans a name as great as, if not greater than, that of any armed host whose achievements are recorded in the annals of history. "In all the tide of time" the brilliant deeds of that array of "bright muskets and tattered uniforms" will live and