Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 23.djvu/317

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

/'/>/ mi'/ Lust l),ii/s ,,('(! \\'nr.

ribing what was done on this day, April yth, General Fitz- hugh Lee, at |>a.u<- 3 S ^> >f his "(inn-nil !.<<," says: " The once great Army of Northern Virginia was now composed of two small corps of infantry and tin- cavalry corps, and resumed the march to- \\.ird Lynchburg, but after going four miles stopped, and was fonm-d into line of battle in a well-chosen position to give the trains time t<> get ahead. It was attacked by two divisions of Humphreys' Second Corps, which had been long hanging on its rear, but repulsed them, Mahone handling Miles very roughly. Humphreys lost five hun- dred and seventy-one men killed, wounded, and missing. Preced- ing this attack, Crook's cavalry division crossed the river above Farmville, and was immediately charged by the Southern cavalry and driven back. The Federal General Gregg and a large number of prisoners were taken. General Lee was talking to the com- mander of his cavalry when Cook appeared, saw the combat, and expressed great pleasure at the result. ' '


On we went to Appomattox, and I never again saw General Lee, but his image abides in my memory and heart. After dark we saw Longstreet's camp-fires twinkling on the hills on either side of the road as we passed, and these were the last camp-fires of the Army of Northern Virginia. The old boys of R. E. Lee Camp, of Rich- mond, occasionally hold one to keep us in mind of those real ones till all cross over the river and " on fame's eternal camping-ground their silent tents are spread."

Just as the dawn was breaking the next morning we moved through Appomattox Court House, greeted by shot and shell from the ene- my's batteries as our column slowly advanced through the early morning mists. Finding the enemy in great force in our front, we moved off after sunrise to the right and passed around their flank, fighting as we went. I think I see General Munford now riding along that ridge, crested with the smoke of the skirmish line, as our main body passed. Soon we reached the rear of the enemy, be- tween him and Lynchburg, and there we fired the last guns of Appo- mattox, and the last man that died on the field was a cavalryman. They carried him to the rear on a blanket just as the news of the flag of truce and the impending surrender reached us. Then sadly and slowly we moved on to Lynchburg, intending, no doubt, to join Johnston in the Carolinas. We heard the salutes by the enemy