Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/277

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267
Wounding of Stonewall Jackson.


orders to move forward as soon as possible, and he rode slowly along the pike towards the enemy. I rode at his left side, two of my signal-men being just behind us, followed by couriers, etc. General Jackson thought, while awaiting General Hill's movements, he would ride to the front as far as the skirmish line or pickets, and ascertain what could be seen or heard of the enemy and his movements, supposing there was certainly a line of skirmishers in front, as his orders were always very imperative to keep a skirmish line in front of the line of battle. When we had ridden only a few rods, and had reached a point nearly opposite an old dismantled house in the woods near the road to our right, and while I was giving him General Hill's reply to the order I had just returned from delivering a few moments before, to our great surprise our little party was fired upon by about a battalion, or perhaps less, of our troops, a little to our right and to the right of the pike—the balls passing diagonally across the pike, and being apparently aimed at us. There seemed to be first one musket discharged, which was followed almost instantly by a volley. The single musket may have been discharged accidentally, but seems to have been taken by the troops as a signal to announce the approach of the enemy. I hardly think the troops saw us, though they could hear the sound of our horses' feet on the pike, and probably fired at random in the supposed direction of the enemy. However, the origin of this firing is mere conjecture, but the fact is that it came as above stated, and many of the escort and their horses were shot down.

At this firing our horses wheeled suddenly to the left, and General Jackson (at whose side I kept), followed by the few who were not dismounted by this first fire, galloped into the woods to get out of range of the bullets, and approached our line a little obliquely; but we had not gone over twenty paces from the edge of the pike, in the thicket, ere the brigade just to the left of the pike (to our right as we approached from the direction of the enemy), drawn up within thirty yards of us, fired a volley also, kneeling on the right knee (as shown by the flash of their muskets) as though prepared to guard against cavalry. By this fire General Jackson was wounded. These troops evidently mistook us for a party of the enemy's cavalry. We could distinctly hear General Hill calling at the top of his voice to his troops to cease firing. He knew we had just passed in front of him, as did the troops immediately in the pike, and I don't think that they fired.

From this point you can adopt the parts which I have marked and included in brackets in the enclosed account, taken from a Richmond paper. All that I have so marked is correct. The account to that extent is nearly literally as I furnished it to J. E. Cooke, by whom it was evidently written. It was sent to me from Richmond, cut from a paper, by Cooke I suppose, or possibly by some friend of mine there. By my sending this you get a correct account, and it saves my writing so much over again. The account as marked is mine, with the language slightly changed; the rest was furnished by Lieutenant Smith and Major Leigh.