(utterly reckless of personal danger in his eagerness for a joke) mounted the parapet, the target of many sharpshooters, and pointing to a shell that was flying over, exclaimed: “A little further to the right.
B (the name of a worthy quartermaster) is down yonder under the hill.”
Upon another occasion, I saw a good-natured fellow frying some meat on the side of the trench, while the Minnie
balls of the sharpshooters whistled all around him. At last, one struck in his fire, and threw ashes in his frying-pan, when he quietly moved to the other side of the fire, as if to avoid smoke, and went on with his culinary operations, coolly remarking: “Plague on those fellows; I expect they will spoil all my grease yet, before they quit their foolishness.”
I have frequently seen men of that army display a fortitude under severe suffering, a calm resignation or ecstatic triumph in the hour of death, such as history rarely records.
A noble fellow, who fell at Gaines' Mill
, on the 27th of June, 1862, said to comrades who offered to bear him from the field: “No!
I die. Tell my parents I die happy.
On! on to victory!
Jesus is with me, and can render all the help I need.”
Another, who fell mortally wounded at second Manassas
, said to me, in reply to my question as to what message I should send home for him: “Tell father that it would be very hard to die here on the roadside without seeing him, or any of the loved ones at home; but I have fallen at the post of duty, and, as I have with me the ‘friend that sticketh closer than a brother,’ he maketh it all peace and joy.”
A Georgia soldier, who was shot through the mouth, during the battle of the Wilderness
, and unable to speak, wrote in my note-book this sentence: “I am suffering very much; but I trust in Christ
, and am perfectly resigned to His will.
I am ready still to serve Him on earth, or to go up higher, just as He may see fit to direct.”
Another, who was mortally wounded in the “bloody angle” at Spottsylvania Court-House, said to me, with a radiant smile: “Well, my hours on earth are numbered.
But what care I for that?
Jesus says, ‘Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.’
Now I have gone to Him, and I am happy in the assurance that He will not falsify His word, but will be true to His promise.”
As the great cavalry chief, General J. E. B. Stuart
, was quietly and calmly breathing out his noble life, he said to President Davis
, who stood at his bedside: “I am ready and willing to die, if God and my country think that I have fulfilled my destiny and discharged my duty.”
Colonel Lewis Minor Coleman
, of the University