328 Southern Historical Society Papers.
a mere matter of shooting down unarmed cannoneers and driving them from their guns. Why such a rush was not made and every- thing captured on the spot, has often been the wonder of old How- itzers.
Their wonder will grow to amazement when they learn from the reports of this volume that at least two divisions of cavalry were at hand and engaged in that attack. But luckily there was no such charge, and in a moment quick orders sent cannoneers flying to their posts. Never were guns more quickly unlimbered, loaded and brought into action, nor in any battle of the war did the company perform a neater or more expeditious piece of work than on that field, under circumstances that might well have demoralized and stampeded them. In an incredibly short time the confusion of a surprised camp was suppressed and every gun was pouring canister into the ranks of the enemy, who had advanced to the edge of the woods, less than two hundred yards distant. It is remembered that three successive advances were repulsed before the guns could be withdrawn from their perilous position. The only thing to do was to get away as quickly as possible before the enemy could surround the position and block the road the only means of escape. It looked like a desperate chance, but every gun of the battery was gotten away, and the last memory of that field is, just about dusk, of a thin line of artillerymen armed with muskets and a few dis- mounted cavalry, whose firing kept back the enemy while the last gun to leave the field could be tugged out of a ditch in which it had stalled. It is not claimed nor meant that these assaults were repelled by this battery alone, for there were other batteries along that road, of whose experience and fate we know not. It is believed that nearly all of them got away, and that few, if any, guns were cap- tured in that fight. Some were doubtless abandoned from inability to bring them off.
As to the Otey and Dickenson batteries, under Major D. N. Walker, acting as infantry, and the few dismounted cavalrymen who came to their support, it is perhaps enough to say that the enemy's report magnifies them into two divisions of infantry, which is a pretty large estimate and testimonial to the conduct of a handful of men. Old soldiers will be interested in the following extracts from official reports. General Pendleton, Lee's chief of artillery, says: ' ' The evening of the 8th I pushed on in person to communicate with General Walker, and found him with his command parked about two miles beyond the courthouse on the road to Appomattox