were engaged, as I presume was the case. After a while it became more animated, and a volley could occasionally be heard, though generally it seemed to be independent and at will. Ultimately artillery opened and was continued with great animation. I thought that the artillery was fired at Colonel Pegram's fort and from his fort. I had no reason to believe that he had removed any of his artillery outside of his intrenchments. In short, from the firing of the artillery, I thought that the enemy had attacked his camp; but was that any reason why I should, in disobedience of General Garnett's orders, quit my position and go to the firing? I thought not. For if the enemy were working their was around Colonel Pegram's right flank, as he thought it almost certain they were doing, to get into his rear by the county road which I was ordered to guard, I thought it very natural they should make an attack on his camp, either a bona fide attack or a feigned attack, to attract his (Colonel Pegrams') attention, and cover up their design of getting to his rear by the county road aforesaid. I therefore looked for the enemy by that road as eagerly after the firing commenced as I did before.
Again, I reflected if I should leave my position, and the enemy in my absence should come along that road and go to Beverly and destroy our quartermaster and commissary stores, &c., there, or should go up the mountain and attack Colonel Pegram in his rear, and I should be arraigned before a court-martial for disobedience of orders, what defense could I make? I would say I thought a fight was going on at the camp and that my presence was necessary. But the judge-advocate would reply: Did not Colonel Pegram inform you in his letter that he was almost certain the enemy were working their way around his right flank to come into the turnpike at the point at which you were posted? Did not General Garnett order you to take position at that point and defend it to the east if you should be attacked? Did he give you any discretion whatever in regard to leaving your position? On the contrary, did he not order that if there was any movement if the enemy of which you were positive, you were to inform him of it by a mounted express, and of course wait for orders? Did not Colonel Pegram inform you in his letter he had cavalry scouting between his camp and your position, and ought you not to have known that he would have sent for you if he had wanted you? To these interrogations I could only have replied in the affirmative. I repeat, if I had left my position and the enemy had come along that way, as Colonel Pegram thought it almost certain they would do, I would have been, and would deserved to have been, cashiered for disobedience of orders.
Again, it occurred to me if I should go up the mountain and before getting to Colonel Pegram's camp find men fighting in the woods-and it was nearly all woods between my position and his camp-upon which party should I direct my men to fire? There was no badge by which friends could be distinguished from enemies, and even if there had been, it would have been of no use in the woods. I should as likely have fired on friend as foe. Should our friends have fired on me by mistake I should have returned the fire, and thus the most disastrous consequences would have ensued. In such case both the public and a court-martial would have condemned me for disobeying orders by leaving my position. I have since ascertained I was right on this point. Our men engaged in the fight on Rich Mountain knew nothing of my position nor of my presence in their immediate neighborhood, and many of them have since told me that had I gone up they certainly would have fired upon me. Lieutenant Statham, of Lynchburg, who commanded our piece of artillery in the fight after Captain De Lagnel was wounded, had informed