Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/258

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254 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Alabama relieved them. Completed our rude fortifications and are ready to welcome Meade and his cohorts to hospitable graves.

Nov. 24th. Expected President Davis to review the corps to-day but the rain prevented. Our great leader must be sorely tried these gloomy days, and is evidently the "right man in the right place."

At i o'clock A. M., Nov. 26th, we were suddenly aroused and hurried towards Jacob's Ford where Meade had crossed part of his



In afternoon near Locust Grove, we met the advance of the enemy, and our sharpshooters engaged them in a fierce skirmish until dark. While skirmishing, the brigade in the rear was busily employed throwing up breastworks of poles and earth, latter dug up with picks made of sharpened oak poles and bayonets, and thrown on the logs and brush with tin plates and cups and bare hands. It is marvelous with what rapidity a fortification sufficiently strong to resist minie balls can be thrown up. A sense of danger quickens a man's energies.


Before daylight our army fell back about two miles and we began constructing breastworks on a high hill west of Mine Run. The enemy soon appeared on the east side of Mine Run, and com- menced exchanging shots with our sharpshooters. A heavy rain fell and added to our discomfort. By night Battle's brigade had thrown up works almost strong enough to resist bomb shells and cannon balls.

Early on the 29th, the Yankees began a rapid and continuous shelling from their batteries, which caused us to seek protection behind our works. The wind blew fiercely and chilled us to the bone. In the afternoon we saw an adventurous Yankee regiment approach in line of battle, when Carter's battery opened on them, and the line broke and scattered in confusion. We could see sev- eral wounded men carried off on litters. We stayed in the trenches all night ready for a charge, a detail from each company remaining awake. The fierce, cold winds made sleep light and uncomfort- able.

December i, 1863. A remarkably quiet day. Not a cannon shot