Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/39
GW-al .1. /'. //<// .]/,/ ///> /'//<. 31
old camp, "General, what troops are those?" He quickly replied, "The enemy's." Proceeding still further, and General Hill making no further remark, I became so impressi-d with the great risk he running that I made bold to say, " Please excuse me, General, but where are you going?" He answered, "Sergeant, I must go to the right as quickly as possible." Then pointing southwest, he said, " We will go up this side of the branch to the woods, which will cover us until reaching the field in rear of General Heth's quarters. I hope to find the road clear at General Heth's."
From that time on I kept slightly ahead of the General. I had kept a Colt's army pistol drawn since the affair of the 'Federal stragglers. We then made the branch, becoming obscured from the enemy, and crossing the Boydton plank road, soon made the woods, which were kept for about a mile, in which distance we did not see a single person, and emerged into the field opposite General Heth's at a point two miles due southwest from General Lee's headquarters, at the Turnbull House, and at right angles with the Boydton plank road, at the Harman House, which was distant half a mile. When going through the woods, the only words between General Hill and myself, except a few relating to the route, were by himself. He called my attention, and said, "Sergeant, should anything happen to me, you must go back to General Lee and report it."
We came into the field near its corner, at the foot of a small de- clivity, rising which I could plainly see that the wood was full of troops of some kind. The General, raising his field-glass, said, "They are there." I understood perfectly that he meant the enemy, and asked, "Which way, now, General?" He pointed to that side of the woods parallel to the Boydton plank road, about one hundred yards down the hill from where our horses stood, saying, "We must keep on to the right." I spurred ahead, and we had made two-thirds of the distance, and coming to a walk, looked in- tently into the woods, at the immediate edge of which were several large trees. I saw what appeared to be six or eight Federals, two of whom, being some distance in advance of the rest, who halted some forty or fifty yards from the field, ran quickly forward to the cover of one of the large trees, and, one above the other, on the same side, leveled their guns. I looked around to General Hill. He said, " We must take them," at the same time drawing, for the first time that day, his Colt's navy pistol. I said, " Stay there, I will take them." By this time we were within twenty yards of the two behind the tree, and getting closer every moment. I shouted,