In the thickest of the contest, a secession Colonel of cavalry was knocked out of his saddle by a ball from one of our riflemen. “There goes old Baker, of the Georgia First!” shouted one of our boys, in hearing of his chaplain. “Who?” queried the parson. “Col. Baker, of the rebel ranks, has just gone to his long home.” “Ah, well,” replied the chaplain, quietly, “the longer I live, the less cause I have to find fault with the inscrutable acts of Divine Providence.” An unlucky private in one of the New York regiments was wounded in this fight, and his father arrived at the hospital just as the surgeon was removing the ball from the back of his shoulder. The boy lay with his face downwards on the pallet. “Ah, my poor son,” said the father, mournfully, “I’m very sorry for you. But it’s a bad place to be hit in–thus, in the back.” The sufferer turned over, bared his breast, and pointing to the opening above the armpit, exclaimed, “Father, here’s where the ball went in!”
One of the Zouaves was struck by a cannon shot, which tore through his thigh, close to his body, nearly severing the limb from the trunk. As he fell, he drew his photograph from hid breast, and said to his nearest comrade, “Take this to my wife. Tell her I died like a soldier, faithful to my country’s cause, and the good old flag. Good by!” and he died where he fell.
An artillery-man lay on the ground, nearly exhausted from loss of blood, and too weak to get out of the way of the tramping troops and horses that flitted about him. A mounted horseman came towards him, when he raised the bleeding stumps of both his arms, and cried out, “Don’t tread on me, Cap’n! See! both hands are gone.” The trooper leaped over him, a shell broke near by, and the crashing fragments put the sufferer quickly out of his misery.
A rebel–one of the Georgia regiments–lay with a fearful shot-wound in his side, which tore out several of his ribs. The life-blood of the poor fellow was fast oozing out, when one of our troops came dashing forward, from out of the melee, and fell, sharply wounded, close beside him. The Georgian recognized his uniform, though he was fatally hurt, and feebly held out his hand. “We came into this battle,” he said, “enemies. Let us die friends. Farewell.” He spoke no more, but his companion in disaster took the extended hand, and escaped to relate this touching fact.
One of our riflemen had his piece carried away by a ball, which struck it out of his hands just as his company was in the act of advancing to storm one of the smaller rebel batteries. Unharmed, he sprang forward, and threw himself down on his face, under the enemy’s guns. A Zouave lay there, wounded and bleeding, out of the way of the murderous fire. “Lay close–lay close, old boy,” said the latter to the ner comer; “the boys’ll take this old furnace’n a minute, and then we’ll git up an’ give the rebels fits ag’in.” Three minutes afterwards the battery was carried, and the two soldiers were in the thickest of the fight again.
A member of the Second Connecticut regiment wrote as follows:
While at a halt it was my lot to witness a very painful scene. I captured a prisoner, (a German,) belonging to the Eighth South Carolina regiment, and took him to Major Colburn for instructions as to how to dispose of him. The prisoner requested one privilege as his last, which the Major very humanely granted. He said his brother lay a short distance off, in a dying condition, and he wished to see him. I bade him lead the way, and I followed.
He took me to an old log hut but a few rods from where our regiment was halted. On the north side, in the shade, we found the wounded man. The prisoner spoke to him–he opened his eyes–the film of death had already overspread them, and the tide of life was fast ebbing. He was covered with blood, and the swarms of flies and mosquitoes, which were fattening upon his life’s blood, indicated that he had lain there for some time. They clasped hands together, muttered a few words in the German language, supplicating the Throne of Grace for their families at home, kissed, and bade each other a final adieu; the prisoner remarking, as I took him by the arm to lead him away, for the column was moving, “Brother, you are dying, and I am a prisoner.” The man was shot with a musket ball in the back, just over the hip; from which fact I inferred that he was on the retreat when the deadly ball overtook him.
Originally posted 2008-08-02 21:29:50.