Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/92

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86 Southern Historical Society Papers.

nel Whiting then rode to the front with a paper in his hand, and when he arrived at the head of the troops he read aloud, with marked emphasis, in substance as follows : That General Johnston had heard with regret and surprise that, on the eve of an action, both men and officers had refused to obey the orders of their com- mander. He could only say that it was the imperative duty of all soldiers to obey orders ; that their grievances would be redressed in time, but such an example would and should not go unpunished. He therefore expected of them instant obedience of their colonel's orders; that Colonel Jackson, with five regiments, was there to en- force, if needed, his commands. Their own colonel then put them through their evolutions for so many minutes, and they were ordered back to their tents, and all was quiet. It seems hardly necessary to state that those were the last orders ever given by that colonel, as he was removed from command.

All of General Johnston's army were then encamped around Win- chester, when, on the i8th of July, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, again the long roll was sounded. From the number of mounted offi- cers and men galloping furiously off to every encampment, it was evident that there was important news. General Patterson was known to be at Charlestown, twenty miles to the east, but nearer to the passes of the Blue Ridge than we were. General Beauregard was known to be at Manassas station, far to the east, eighty miles by direct line, with the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah river running between him and us. Soon the news came it was not an order, but simply a message from General Johnston to each brigade, regiment and individual soldier, that General Beauregard had just notified him from Manassas, on that morning at daybreak, he had been attacked by an overwhelming force of the enemy from Centerville. He was holding his own, but needed help. General Johnston had started, and would go day and night to his relief; and he expected every man who wanted to fight the enemy would up and follow. There is no man living of all that army to-day who can ever forget the thrill of " Berseeker rage " which took possession of us all when the news was understood, and General Johnston's inspiring message was repeated along the line. We were to help General Beauregard drive the enemy back; then, returning to the Valley, would hurl General Patterson across the Potomac and end the war. For had not Secre- tary Seward proclaimed that in sixty days it would be over. Every man sprang to his place, and in an incredibly short time we were rapidly moving through the dusty streets of old Winchester, there only to be