is gone — has run!
What shall I do?”
“Here's the place,” I said, “pitch in!”
and pitch in he did. He was of metal, that boy, and kept his place with the bravest veteran in the line.
Hotter and hotter grew the fight, and soon this same boy cried: “Look-look behind us,” and, sure enough, the regiment to our left had disappeared, and we were flanked.
“ Stop! halt! surrender!”
cried a hundred rebels, whose voices seem to ring in my ears to this very day. But there was no stopping, and no surrender.
We ran, and ran manfully.
It was terribly hot, a hot afternoon under a Mississippi sun, and an enemy on flank and rear, shouting and firing.
The grass, the stones, the bushes, seemed melting under the shower of bullets that was following us to the rear.
We tried to halt, and tried to form.
It was no use. Again we ran, and harder, and farther, and faster.
We passed over the very spot where, half an hour before, we left Grant
leaning on his bay mare and smoking his cigar.
he was gone.
The dead were still there, and the wounded called pitiably to us to halt and help them as we ran headlong to the rear.
Like ten thousand starving and howling wolves the enemy pursued, closer and closer, and we scarcely dared look back to face the fate that seemed certain.
had seen it all, and in less time than I can tell it a line of cannon had been thrown across our path, which, as soon as we had passed, belched grape-shot and canister into the faces of our pursuers.
They stopped, they turned, and they, too, ran, and left their dead side by side with our own. Our lines, protected by the batteries, rallied and followed, and Champion hills was won, and with it was won the door to Vicksburg
Three army corps had taken part in the fight-Sherman's, McClernand
's, and McPherson
's. One division of the enemy passed us and got to our rear, thus escaping being captured with the thirty thousand who surrendered on that birthday of the nation in 1863.
passed along the lines, after the fight, as we stood in the narrow roads, waiting to pursue the enemy to their works at Vicksburg
Every hat was in the air, and the men cheered till they were hoarse; but, speechless, and almost without a bow, he pushed on past, like an embarrassed man hurrying to get away from some defeat.
Once he stopped, near the colors, and, without addressing himself to any one in particular, said: “Well done!”
It was midnight before we halted for the night; and then, before lying down we called the roll, and found how many comrades were left coldly sleeping under the magnolias of Champion hills.
My best friend was killed, and our mess had three that night instead of the six who had shared our rations in the morning at reveille.
In a few weeks