Thursday, July 21, 2011

8:30 am: Alexander spots the flanking column

Wilcoxen Hill
Porter Alexander had spent the morning so far exchanging wig-wag messages with the other observation stations. He had handpicked each station’s location, so that from his he could see all of them, had trained each man in the use of using the flags to send messages, and written the codes they would be using to communicate what they could see. Given the activity at Stone Bridge, he was spending most of his time training his spyglass in that direction.
While looking at them…[at] 8:30 am suddenly a little flash of light in the same field of view, but far beyond them [the station] caught my eye. I was looking to the west and the sun was low in the east, & this flash was the reflection from the brass of a cannon… It was about 8 miles from me in an air line & was but a feint gleam, indescribably quick, but I had a fine glass & well trained eyes, & I knew at once what it was. And careful observation also detected the glitter of bayonets all along a road crossing a valley…
Alexander sent a signal to Evans via the Stone Bridge station and sent a runner off with a note to Beauregard.

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