Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 32.djvu/91

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The Second Battle of Mnnassas. 70

this reason the guard was placed over them. The enemy were now making such demonstations that he knew he could not hold the place, so the houses were thrown open and the men told to help them- selves. Now ensued a scene around those storehouses never wit- nessed before, and cannot be described. You recollect that many of our men were hurried off on the march on the morning of the 25th, with nothing to eat. It is now the 2yth. We have marched in that time about sixty miles and the men who had prepared some rations did not have enough for two days, much less three, after dividing with such comrades as had none; everything had been eaten. Now here were vast storehouses filled with all the delicacies, potted ham, lobster, tongue, candy, cakes, nuts, oranges, lemons, pickle, catsup, mustard, &c. It makes an old soldier's mouth water now just to think of the good things got there. Well, what do you think they did ? Go to eating ? Oh, no. They had to discuss what they should eat, and what they should take with them, as orders had been issued for us to take four days' rations with us. Some filled their haversacks with cakes, some with candy, others with oranges, lemons, canned goods, &c. I know one that took nothing but French mustard; filled his haversack and was so greedy that he put one more bottle in his pocket. This was all his four days' rations. It turned out to be the best thing taken, as he traded it for meat and bread, it lasting him until reaching Frederick City.

All good times have an end, and as night approaches, prepara- tions were made to burn everything that we could not carry; not long after sundown they were fired, our division marching as soon as the fire got under way, the other two divisions taking each a dif- ferent road. This march by three different roads is what mystified Pope so much, and caused his delay in his pursuit of Jackson. Jackson's old division marched several hours when the 2d Brigade was ordered on a road to the left of the one we were marching on, and put on picket duty; when it becomes day we find we are on the Warrenton and Alexandria pike and near Groveton.

There was only one field officer in our brigade at that time, a major commanding the ist Battalion; the 48th Virginia was commanded by a lieutenant; the 42nd Virginia by a captain, and the 2ist Virginia by a captain. General Jackson assigned Colonel Bradley T. John- son temporarily to command it. The 2nd Brigade (ours) remained about Groveton until late in the evening. Colonel Johnson had or- ders to demonstrate and make the biggest show he could, so as to