It is my purpose to record some recollections of the Civil War, and incidentally to furnish some historical notices of the brigade to which I was attached. Here and there I have expressed, also, some opinions concerning the great events of that dreadful period, some criticisms of the conduct of battles and retreats, and some estimates of the abilities of prominent generals.
As the National army advanced, the Confederates fell back toward Richmond. Our regiment was not in the engagement that took place near Williamsburg on the 5th of May, but I saw then for the first time some wounded men and prisoners. The retreat was conducted somewhat rapidly, but in an orderly and skilful manner. I do not remember that we marched in darkness but once, and then we trudged all night long through shoe-deep mud. At times when the men in front encountered an unusually bad place those who were behind were compelled to come to a temporary halt. If I did not sleep while walking along I came as near to it as weary mortal ever did, and I am sure that I dozed while standing still.
General Johnston posted his army between Richmond and the Chickahominy river, the 47th regiment being on the left, not far from Meadow bridge, and in the pestilential low-grounds of that sluggish stream. Swarms of mosquitoes attacked us at night and with their hypodermic proboscides injected poi