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When the General was in quest of guerrillas in Western Virginia, he captured a young woman named Sallie Dusky, two brothers of whom were Captains in the rebel army. The General, feeling confident that the girl knew the hiding-places of the guerrillas, had a private conversation with her, and during the interview, having failed to get much satisfaction, he told her, if she would make a clean breast of it, he would give her the chances for a husband of all the young officers in his staff. This failed to bring the information, and Sallie was taken away in charge of Captain Baggs. As she moved away from the General’s presence, she asked the Captain if the General was really in earnest in making the last proposition. Baggs assured her that the General was sincere, and that he would have lived up to his promise. The girl assumed a kind of thoughtful manner, and after a short time replied: “Well, I believe I’d about as lief have the old man (meaning the General himself) as any of ’em.”

Originally posted 2008-04-28 15:06:27.

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An eye-witness gives the following pictures of the battle-field of Shiloh:

“On that peaceful Sunday morning of April 6, 1862, the sun was rising with splendor. I had walked out to enjoy the fresh air, and, returning by my friend Lieut. D’s tent, I called upon him. Said he, ’H., take a cup of coffee; I have found some milk.’ ’Don’t care if I do,’ said I. ’I always write home on Sunday morning, and like to do it over a good cup of coffee.’ ’Yes, I mean to write to my little wife,’ said D. ’I expect to resign soon. Don’t you want a pair of new shoulder-straps, H., and bran new pair of gauntlets?’ I told D. I would take them; and in a moment left his tent, after making him promise to take tea with me.

“But how were things at tea time? D. was mangled and dead, lying by the roadside, at the hospital by the Landing, with hundreds of others, and I had passed the most momentous day of my life–had participated (I am since told creditably) in one of the greatest battles, exceeding in fury, courage, waste, stupendousness, and gallantry, the wildest dreams of my youth. Should your happy city, on some bright Sunday morning, be sunk, with all its life, by an earthquake, and the cold waves rolling over it in eternal solitude before night, the change could be no more unexpected, nor could it come upon you with more bewildering and stunning suddenness and awfulness. On the evening of the 5th, the 18th Wisconsin infantry arrived, and were assigned to General Prentiss’s division, on the front. Said Colonel——-, who had preceded them, looking for the General’s quarters, ’Here they come–the bully boys–they weigh just 166 pounds apiece. Just left home six days ago.’ The 18th Wisconsin cooked their first suppers in the field that night at nine o’clock, and wrapped themselves in their blankets, to be awakened by the roar of battle, and receive, thus early, their bloody baptism. Before they had been on the field one day, their magnificent corps was decimated, most of the officers killed–the proud and exultant Colonel among the dead.

“I saw an intelligent looking man with his whole diaphragm torn off. He was holding to nearly all of his viscera with both hands and arms. His face expressed a longing for assistance and an apprehension of fatality.

“On going to the field the second day, cuz regiment strode on in line over wounded, dying, and dead. My office detaching me from the lines, I had an opportunity to notice incidents about the field. The regiment halted amidst a, a gory, ghastly scene. I heard a voice calling, ’Ho, friend! ho! for God’s sake, come here.’ I went to a gory pile of dead human forms in every kind of stiff contortion; I saw one arm raised, beckoning me. I found there a rebel, covered with clotted blood, pillowing his head on the dead body of a comrade. Both were red from head to foot. The dead man’s brains had gushed out in a reddish and grayish mass over his face. The live one had lain across him all that horrible, long night in the storm. The first thing he said to me was, ’Give me some water. Send me a surgeon–won’t you! O God! What made you come down here to fight us? We never would have come up there.’ And then he affectionately put one arm over the form, and laid his bloody face against the cold, clammy, bloody face of his dead friend. I filled his canteen nearly–reserving some for myself–knowing I might be in the same sad condition. I told him we had no surgeon in our regiment, and that we would have to suffer, if wounded, the same as he; that other regiments were coming, and to call on them for a surgeon; that they were humane. ’Forward!’ shouted the Colonel; and ’Forward!’ was repeated by the officers. I left him.

“The above recalls to mind one of the hardest principles in warfare–where your sympathy and humanity are appealed to, and from sense of expediency you are forbidden to exercise it. After our regiment had been nearly annihilated, and were compelled to retreat under a galling fire, a boy was supporting his dying brother on one arm, and trying to drag him from the field and the advancing foe. He looked at me imploringly, and said: ’Captain, help him–won’t you? Do, Captain; he’ll live.’ I said: ’He’s shot through the head; don’t you see? and can’t live–he’s dying now.’ ’O, no, he ain’t, Captain. Don’t leave me.’ I was forced to reply: ’The rebels won’t hurt him. Lay him down and come, or both you and I will be lost.’ The rush of bullets and the yells of the approaching demons hurried me away–leaving the young soldier over his dying brother.

“Nearly every rebel’s face turned black immediately after death. Union men’s faces retained the natural pallor two or three days.

“I ate my dinner on Monday within six paces of a rebel in four pieces. Both legs were blown off. His pelvis was the third piece, and his head and chest were the fourth piece. Those four pieces occupied a space of twelve feet square. I saw five dead rebels n a row, with their heads knocked off by a round shot. Myself and other amateur anatomists, when the regiment was resting temporarily on arms, would leave to examine the internal structure of man. We would examine brains, heart, stomach, layers of muscles, structure of bones, &c., for there was every form of mutilation. At home I used to wince at the sight of a wound or of a corpse; but here, in one day, I learned to be among the scenes I am describing without emotion–as perfectly cool as I am now. My friend, Adjutant—-, and myself, on the second night, looking in the dark for a place to lie down, he said, ’Let’s lie down here. Here’s some fellows sleeping.’ We slept in quiet until dawn revealed that we had passed a night among sprawling, stiffened, ghastly corpses.

“I saw one of our dead soldiers with his mouth crammed full of cartridges until his cheeks were bulged out. Several protruded from his mouth. This was done by the rebels.

“On the third day most of our time was employed in burying the dead. Shallow pits were dug, which would soon fill with water. Into these we threw our comrades with a heavy splash, or a dump against solid bottom. Many a hopeful, promising youth thus indecently ended his career.

“Some of our boys were disposed to kick the secesh into these pits. One fell in with a heavy dump on his face. The more humane proposed to turn him over. ’O, that’ll do,’ said a Union Missourian, ’for when he scratches, he’ll scratch nearer hell.’ This is a hard story, I know, but I want you to see real war.

“I stood in one place in the woods near the spot of the engagement of the 57th Illinois, and counted eighty-one dead rebels. There I saw one tree, seven inches in diameter, with thirty-one bullet holes. Such had been death’s storm. Near the scenes of the last of the fighting, where the rebels precipitately retreated, I saw one grave containing one hundred and thirty-seven dead rebels, and one side of it another grave containing forty-one dead Federals. Several other trenches were in view from that spot.

“One dead and uniformed officer lay covered with a little housing of rails. On it was a fly-leaf of a memorandum-book with the pencil-writing: ’Federals, respect my father’s corpse.’ Many of our boys wanted to cut off his buttons and gold cord; but our Colonel had the body religiously guarded.

“Many of our regiments were paid off just previously to the battle, and our dead comrades were robbed of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The rebels were surprised and abashed at the apparent wealth of our army. They attired themselves in our uniforms, and rifled from officers’ trunks tens of thousands of dollars worth of fine clothing, toilet articles, and interesting souvenirs of every man’s trunk. They made themselves stupid and drunk over our fine victuals and wines. They seem to have gone mad with the lust of plunder.

“To show how complete and successful was the advance of the enemy, their advance guard lay in the woods on the 5th, witnessing our parades and reviews. One of our returned paroled prisoners, a mule-driver, who was captured two days before the battle, has told me that he was taken through their whole army, which was camped three miles from ours, the night before the attack.

“A resident here told me that on the retreat of the rebel army from Shiloh, it was utterly routed and demoralized.

“After the battle was over, we, formerly citizens who had never seen of heard the hiss of bullet, gathered the margled corpses of those we had known at home and joked with the day before–friends who were as full of life, hope, and ambition as ourselves–and buried them in blankets, or sent them home in boxes, with as little concern as possible, and went immediately to joking and preparing to fight again. What spirit or principle was it that in one day gave us all the indifference and stoicism of veterans?

“Two women, laundresses in the 16th Wisconsin, running to the rear when the attack was commenced, were killed.

“My poor friend Carson,–the scout,–after having fought, and worked, and slaved from the beginning of the war, unrequited, comparatively, and after having passed hundreds of hair-breadth escapes, and through this wild battle, was killed by almost the last shot. A round shot took off his whole face and fore part of his head. Poor Carson! We all remember your patriotism, your courage, your devotion. We will cheer all we can, the bereaved and dear ones you have left.

“Surgeons on the field would halt officers and order them to strip off their white shirts for bandages. Many an officer, halted on the field, tore off his accoutrements and uniform to provide the necessary bandages.”

Originally posted 2008-04-28 00:16:14.

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PETER APPLE, of Oakland, Marion County, Indiana,was recruited for the Eleventh regiment of that State, and took part in the attempt to storm one of the Vicksburg batteries. The rebel fire was so destructive, that the Union forces recoiled. Apple, the “raw recruit,” “didn’t see” the backward movement, and kept going ahead, until he came right up to one of the rebel guns, caught a gunner by the collar, and brought him within our lines, saying: “Boys, why didn’t you come on? Every fellow might have got one.”

Originally posted 2008-04-26 12:14:51.

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The following incident is told concerning the independent and successful stand taken by a woman in New Orleans, on behalf of the Union. She and her husband–a Mississippi steamboat captain–occupied the middle front room of the lowest range of sleeping apartments in the St. Charles Hotel, at the time when the city was to be illuminated in honor of secession. She refused to allow the illuminating candles to be fixed in the windows of her room, and the proprietors remonstrated in vain–she finally ordering them to leave the room, of which she claimed, while its occupant, to have entire control. The rest of the story is thus told:

“Determined not to be outdone in a matter of such grave importance, the captain, who was not in the room during the above proceedings, was next found and appealed to. He heard their case; said his wife had reported him correctly on the Union question; nevertheless, he would go with them to the room and see if the matter could be amicably arranged. The captain’s disposition to yield was not to be seconded by his better half. The proprietors next proposed to vacate the best chamber in her favor, in some other part of the house, if that would be satisfactory; but the lady’s ’No!’ was still as peremptory as ever. Her point was gained, and the St. Charles was doomed to have a dark front chamber. Pleased with this triumph, Mrs.—-devised the following manoeuvre to make the most of her victory. Summoning a servant, she sent him out to procure for her an American flag, which, at dusk, she suspended from the window. When evening came, the streets, animated by a merry throng, were illuminated; but alas! the St. Charles was disfigured by its sombre chamber, when suddenly a succession of lamps suspended on both sides of the flag, revealing the Stars and Stripes, were lit up, and the ensign of the Union waved from the centre of a hotel illuminated in honor of its overthrow! The effect was, to give the impression that the whole house was thus paying homage to the American flag; and what is more significant, is the fact that the latter was greeted by the passing crowd with voniferous applause. So much for the firmness of a true Union woman.”

Originally posted 2008-04-25 19:51:24.

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