Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 35.djvu/381

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From Manassas to Frazier's Farm

sympathy occasioned by our awkward appearance, sent there to be out of harm's way, rather than as an outpost. We had just received our guns since our arrival at Manassas, and were without cartridge boxes or bayonet scabbards, and had to carry the cartridges in the men's pockets, with the bayonets fixed on the end of the guns. I have often thought what a ludicrous appearance we would have made to the New York Zouaves (the red breeches fellows), who had been drilled and equipped to perfection, and were Uncle Sam's, or Abe's, especial pets; but, fortunately for us, they did not wait to observe us long at that Henry House hill when we charged into them and took Rickett's Battery, which they were supporting, or rather, the Stonewall Brigade, took the battery, and we paid our respects to the Zouaves; and a great many of them stayed with us in killed and wounded. We went into the fight with only two other companies of what afterwards became the 49th Virginia Regiment, to-wit: Captain Ward's, afterward Randolph's, from Warren-ton, Va., and Captain Charles B. Christian's, from Amherst County, Va., and temporarily brigaded with Brigadier-General Philip S't. George Cooke. We were formed, when the crisis of the battle had come, on the left of the 39th Virginia Regiment, which was the left wing of the Stonewall Brigade. We lost four men killed and eighteen wounded out of our company that day. This was my first battle, and I wish I could describe my feelings on that occasion; but I can only say that it was a terrific change from a peaceful, quiet and happy home, the home of my youth, where we worshipped on the Sabbath day, and none dared to molest us or make us afraid.


And here I wish to mention that it was a singular coincidence that our company and regiment were thrown into the balance when the crisis had come at the first battle of Manassas, as already described, and also on the ever-memorable I2th of May, 1864, at Spotsylvania Courthouse, when General Lee offered to lead us to retake the works just after General Edward Johnson's Division was captured, of which the writer and many others have minutely described in the columns of The Times-Dispatch, for it seems that no other incident of the war has