the sand bags.
Another one, more reckless, however, placed himself in the open embrasure of a low earthwork for a moment, and shouted “Fire I” In an instant he lay stretched dead in the embrasure.
An effort was made by his comrades to pull away his body, but shots were constantly fired into the opening at every one daring to show himself for an instant.
They tried to pull the body away with poles, but in vain; the firing increased almost to the dignity of an action, and finally a battery Joined in the conflict over the poor corpse which, darkness hiding the combatants, they were at last able to secure.
I have thought since then, owing to the risks run on his behalf, that the poor man was possibly not dead after all, but sadly wounded, and lying there under the hot sun dying — with help so near and yet so powerless to save.
But incidents though as dangerous, touching the ludicrous, also occurred.
I recall how a young Federal sergeant foolishly insisted on exposing himself to the fire of the enemy by creeping over the earthwork and surveying the lines with an opera-glass
, borrowed during his raids from some planter's house.
The captain had repeatedly and vainly warned him against his recklessness, till one sunny morning, while engaged in his usual observations with glass to eye, a bullet fired from an unlooked — for quarter smashed the glass in his hand.
Our boys, seeing he was not killed, but rejoicing at the warning, gave cheers for the rebel who fired the shot.
It was a close shave, but our sergeant was cured of reckless curiosity.
Another incident, not less ludicrous, occurred the morning on which we assaulted the works of Vicksburg
I had been detailed to bring cartridges to my regiment, which had advanced out of the hollow in which it lay and over the brow of the hill under a heavy fire.
The firing was still going on, but the regiment lay down unharmed, when cartridges were called for. I went back, but found the boxes of a 1,000 “58s” too heavy to carry, and so strapped two of them over the back of a strong mule, and started to the front.
I walked and led the mule, while a companion followed, administering a wagon-whip from behind.
On emerging from the breastworks it was necessary to hurry over a little rise in full.
view of the enemy.
It was but a dozen rods to a spot of safety in the hollow.
We took a good start at a run, and emerged into full view of the forts, not a hundred rods away, when the beast, true to his instincts, took it into his head at this particular crisis to stop stock-still.
Persuasion, pulling, whooping, separate or combined, helped nothing.
There he stood, fixed as the general of the army himself, and apparently ten times as cool.
What could be done I Bullets were whizzing about our heads and