Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/357

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advanced towards Antirtam. and lively skirmishing ensued. We frll back, fighting constantly. At 5 o'clock in the evening we were reinforced l>y a regiment of infantry, and our assailants were repelled. These bloody engagements, surely, are but preludes of battle. A report is current that Major-General D. H. Hill is bringing on two divisions from Virginia. Captain Moorman reported for duty, and took command of our company. During night we camped near the day's position.

July nth. At daybreak we again advanced about half a mile, to protect the infantry, throwing up a long line of zigzag rifle ditches and abattis. At noon we fell back to the rear of the infantry, and were ordered to the right flank of our line of battle, which, I am told, is to be commanded by General Longstreet. Passing the double row of rifle-ditches, we saw several batteries of artillery bringing up their guns. The right flank of our army occupies a range of hilly woodland, and I think it is a strong position. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon Jenkins' Brigade is drawn up in line of parade, and first an order of General Robert E. Lee was read, com- plimenting us on our good services before and during the battle of Gettysburg, and expressing his confidence that we will render similar good service in the impending battle. This was followed by the reading of a circular of General Stuart, stating that the cavalry, after having successfully checked the advance of the enemy, would be posted at the flanks of the army to take very active action in the coming battle. Any task entrusted to his men they are expected to fulfil, and officers and men must impress upon jheir minds that no wavering or giving way can possibly take place during the coming struggle. These very serious communications were received by the men with that firmness and cheerfulness characteristic of Southern soldiers. All of us were aware of the dangers surrounding us the Potomac swelled by the heavy rains of the last few days, impeding our retreat, and the enemy's forces much larger than our decimated and almost exhausted regiments. During the afternoon silence pre- vailed along the entire line, but about 7* o'clock in the evening the enemy advanced to reconnoitre our position. Our artillery kept strictly silent.


July 1 2th. The day was full of alarm and excitement. The news of the surrender of Vicksburg had reached us, and a report was cir- culated that a strong Federal army was concentrating at Winchester,