Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/264

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

260 Southern Historical Society Papers.

We remained in camp until evening, when we removed to a more pleasant locality. The enemy has disappeared from our left and left centre, and gone towards our right, and Early 's command en- joys a respite from the heavy and exhaustive duties of the past month.

Sergeant Gus P. Reid of my company, was appointed acting second lieutenant by Colonel Pickens, and assigned to command of Company D. The day was again marked by unusual quiet; can- non and musketry were seldom heard. I seized a moment to write a letter expressing sympathy to Mrs. Hendree, of Tuskegee, at the untimely death of her excellent and gallant son, Edward, who was killed May 5th at the Wilderness while commanding sharpshooters. The first twelve months of the war we were mess-mates and intimate friends. He was afterwards made first lieutenant in the Sixty-first Alabama. He was the only son of a widowed mother, and of ex- ceeding great promise.

Remained in our bivouac until near 6 o'clock, when we were ordered to "pack up" and "fall in." Rev. Dr. William Brown preached to us. After his sermon .we marched two miles towards the right of our line, and halted in an old field near an old Yankee camp, occupied by some of McClellan's troops before his memorable "change of base" in 1862. There we slept till near 3 o'clock next morning, when we were hurriedly aroused, but as we soon found out, needlessly.

There are rumors that Grant is mining towards our fortifications, and attempting his old Vicksburg manoeuvers. But he will find he has Lee and Beauregard to deal with now. Mortars are said to be mounted, and actively used by both sides, on the right of our line. Appearances go to show Grant's inclination to besiege rather than charge Gen. Lee in the future. The fearful butchery of his drunken soldiers his European hirelings at Spotsylvania C. H., it seems, has taught him some caution. His recklessness in sacri- ficing his hired soldiery is heartless and cruel in the extreme. He looks upon his soldiers as mere machines, not human beings, and treats them accordingly.

Three years ago to-day, June 12, 1861, my company "The Macon (County, Ala.) Confederates" were enlisted as soldiers in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, and I became a "sworn in" volunteer. I remember well the day the company took the prescribed oath to serve faithfully in the armies of the Confede-