DAILY CONSTITUTIONALIST [
AUGUSTA, GA], April 15, 1864, p. 3, c. 2
A Snow Fight on a Large Scale.—A young officer in Gen. Lee’s army, writing to his father in the city, gives the following account of the passtime [sic] of the gallant boys of the army of Virginia:
Camp of the 1st Virginia Battalion,}
April 8th, 1864.}
Since the date of my last we have had two severe snow storms, which have put the roads in a horrible condition. The soldiers seem to enjoy the snow exceedingly; for, as soon as it covers the earth, they commence snow-balling—first a company, then a regiment, and, finally, an entire brigade. During the last deep snow I had the pleasure of witnessing one of these sham-battles; it came off between Gens. Johnson’s and Rhodes’ divisions, and it was really amusing to see how they would fight for their ground. They were led on by their officers. Gen. Johnson commanded his division and Brig. Gen. ------- that of Rhodes. The snow-balls fell like hail; for a time the surrounding scenery and the combatants were completely obscured. Rhodes’ men had nearly driven Johnson’s force into the woods, when the Louisianabrigade was ordered to the rescue. Down they came with a terrific yell, led on to the charge by their gallant Brigadier, who rode in front of his line, crying out, “Boys, charge the tar heels!” He had scarcely got the words out of his mouth, when a snow ball, as large as a 36-pound ball, struck him directly in the mouth with such force that he came near vacating his saddle. Then came a yell which could be heard for miles, and the General was carried off the field hors du combat. Seeing this, Rhodes’ men rallied and made a desperate charge upon their foes, and again Johnson’s men had to “skedaddle” to the woods, with Rhodesat their heels. There was only one bridge over the creek which the pursuing party would have to cross if they continued their pursuit of Johnson’s boys, who still retreated. The command was given then to charge over the bridge, which they did; but they soon regretted it; for, as the last regiment passed over the bridge, a brigade of Mississippians and Texans came up, and where they came from nobody knew, for they swarmed from the woods like bees from a hive, every man with his hat or cap full of snow-balls. Rhodes’ men were in a bad fix now—between two fires.—As soon as Johnson’s men saw that their allies had arrived, they turned round and ran Rhodes back to the bridge, which, however, the Mississippians had barricaded, and he had to surrender just when he thought his victory was complete.—Gen. Rhodes acknowledged that Johnson had completely out-generaled him.
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