Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/288

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

statement of facts is to be accepted without hesitation, it is not by any means certain that he is right in his opinion that the wounding of General Jackson was due to the failure to leave a line of skirmishers in front, as the troops who commenced the firing were probably not aware of the fact. Captain R. H. T. Adams, the officer mentioned as having caused two of the advancing Federal skirmishers to surrender, is of opinion that the firing from the right (the first in point of time) was at a small detached party of mounted men or cavalry belonging to the enemy, which came in front of our line on the south side of the road, where it was thrown forward, making an obtuse angle with the other part of it, and that the fire was not at General Jackson's party, though it reached the latter. That firing, however it occurred, was undoubtedly the cause of the other, for when General Jackson's party came crashing through the brushwood in the dark towards the infantry in line of battle expecting soon to encounter the enemy, a fire upon it was inevitable. In the current accounts of the affair it is generally represented that a number of officers were shot at the same time the General was shot, in such a manner as to produce the impression that they were with him; but the fact is, that the only officer with General Jackson at the time was Captain Wilbourn, the rest of the party being composed of couriers and signal-men. The firing, however, as usual in case of false alarms, passed along the line, and some officers with the party of General Hill in the road were shot; Captain Boswell and Lieutenant Morrison were with this party, or were going forward to join General Jackson.[1] General Hill and some others were subsequently struck by the enemy's fire. The spirit given to General Jackson by General Hill was not whiskey, but was brandy furnished by Captain Adams from a flask given him by a Federal officer captured in the engagement. This mistake was a very natural one under the circumstances. When Captain Adams advanced to the front and forced the two Federal soldiers to surrender, he was not on horseback, but was on foot, having just before escaped the fire by which some of General Hill's, party were shot by spurring his horse to the rear through the line on the road; he had then dismounted and advanced to the front on foot. These facts are given on his information, as he resides in the

  1. did not preserve that equipoise of mind necessary to prevent mistakes and accidents under such circumstances. The disaster which befell the army in his own misfortune is a confirmation of the opinion above expressed.

  2. It is possible Captain Boswell was struck by the first volley, as he had been with General Hill and was riding to the front to overtake General Jackson.