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The fire at headquarters.

It was not, however, because they had little exposure that their losses were small. How we were nearly all driven away from headquarters Friday forenoon by the furious cannonade, has already been told; but my friend and companion on that morning, Mr. Samuel Wilkeson, of the New-York Times, has so vividly described the scene, that I must be allowed to reproduce it:

In the shadow cast by the tiny farm-house, sixteen by twenty, which General Meade had made his headquarters, lay wearied staff-officers and tired correspondents. There was not wanting to the peacefulness of the scene the singing of a bird, which had a nest in a peach tree within the tiny yard of the white-washed cottage. In the midst of its warbling, a shell screamed over the house, instantly followed by another and another, and in a moment the air was full of the most complete artillery prelude to an infantry battle that was ever exhibited. Every size and form of shell known to British and to American gunnery, shrieked, whirled, moaned, and whistled and wrathfully fluttered over our ground. As many as six in a second, constantly two in a second, bursting and screaming over and around the headquarters, made a very hell of fire that amazed the oldest officers. They burst in the yard — burst next to the fence on both sides, garnished as usual with the hitched horses of aids and orderlies. The fastened animals reared and plunged with terror. Then one fell, then another--sixteen lay dead and mangled before the fire ceased, still fastened by their halters, which gave the expression of being wickedly tied up to die painfully. These brute victims of a cruel war touched all hearts. Through the midst of the storm of screaming and exploding shells, an ambulance driven by its frenzied conductor at full speed, presented to all of us the marvellous spectacle of a horse going rapidly on three legs. A hinder one had been shot off at the hock. A shell tore up the little step at the headquarters cottage, and ripped bags of oats as with a knife. Another soon carried off one of its two pillars. Soon a spherical case burst opposite the open door — another ripped through the low garret. The remaining pillar went almost immediately to the howl of a fixed shot that Whitworth must have made. During this fire the horses at twenty and thirty feet distant were receiving their death, and soldiers in Federal blue were torn to pieces in the road, and died with the peculiar yells that blend the extorted cry of pain with horror and despair. Not an orderly — not an ambulance — not a straggler was to be seen upon the plain swept by this tempest of orchestral death, thirty minutes after it commenced. Were not one hundred and twenty pieces of artillery trying to cut from the field every battery we had in position to resist their purposed infantry attack, and to sweep away the slight defences behind which our infantry were waiting? Forty minutes--fifty minutes--counted watches that ran, oh! so languidly! Shells through the two lower rooms. A shell into the chimney, that daringly did not explode. Shells in the yard. The air thicker and fuller and more deafening with the howling and whirring of these infernal missiles. The Chief of Staff struck — Seth Williams — loved and respected through the army, separated from instant death by two inches of space vertically measured. An aid bored with a fragment of iron through the bone of the arm. And the time measured on the sluggish watches was one hour and forty minutes.

How the correspondents faced death.

To this vivid description, in justice to its author, let me add that Mr. Wilkeson staid at the house during this whole terrible cannonade. Mr. Frank Henry, also of the Times, likewise stood it out. Their accounts may well be said to have the smell of fire upon them.!

C. C. Coffin, of the Boston Journal, and L. L. Crounse, of the New-York Times as well as several other journalists of whom I knew less, were at different times under almost equally heavy fire. Mr. Crounse had his horse shot under him during Thursday's engagement. Such perils are they compelled to face who would be able to say something more of a battle than what those who are first out of it, can tell.

Once more on Cemetery Hill — departure.

We could linger no longer on the field. My companion for the last day or two, Mr. Coffin, and myself, resolved on reaching Baltimore that night. The Northern Central Railroad was still broken, and from Baltimore my shortest road west lay via Philadelphia. With such a circuitous route ahead, there was no. time to spare.

We rode up the Cemetery hill, for a last look at the field. It was ploughed and torn in every direction by the fierce cross-fires of artillery that had spent their force upon it. Dead men, decently laid out, were in the gate-keeper's lodge. Upturned, swollen horses lay among the tombs, where the sudden shot or shell had stricken them down. Batteries still frowned from the crest; away to the front the rebel line (a strong rearguard only now) could still be distinctly seen. Howard, Carl Schurz, Steinwehr, and two or three others of lesser rank, were watching the movements through their glasses, and discussing the probabilities.

There was a rush of letters to be mailed and telegraph messages to be sent. Among the number came Henry Ward Beecher's son, a bluff, hearty-looking youth. He had a despatch to Mrs. Stowe he wanted me to send, announcing that her son, too, was among the wounded, and would soon be sent home to her.

On an old grave, that a shell had rudely torn, while a round shot had battered down the iron railing about it, were still blooming the flowers affection's hand had planted in more peaceful times — not a petal shaken off by all this tempest that had swept and whirled and torn about them. Human blood watered the roots — patriot blood, that made them doubly sacred. I stooped and gathered them — roses and columbine, and modest, sweet-scented pinks, mingled with sprigs of

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