The dove of the regiment: an incident of the battle of Ohickamauga.“And the dove came into him in the evening, and lo! in her mouth was an olive leaf!” --Bible. It will be remembered that, during the battle of Chickamauga, stragglers from our army spread extravagant reports of disaster and defeat, and that the enemy, supposing the destruction of our army complete, exultingly announced that the road was clear to Nashville. After the retreat, while placing Chattanooga in a state of defence, General Rosecrans ordered groves levelled and houses burned, when so situated as to afford shelter to the enemy, or interfere with the range of the artillery. A dove escaped from a burning building, and took shelter in the tent of an officer of the Forty-first Ohio regiment. It remained with its protector during the siege, which terminated in the rout of Bragg's army at Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge. When the regiment marched with Granger's corps to the relief of the beleaguered army,at Knoxville, it accompanied it, and when the Fortyfirst reenlisted, this “dove of the regiment” came with it to Cleveland. The Sabbath day — toward Welden bridge slow stoops the autumn sun;
As when by prophet's mandate stayed, he paused on Gideon.
Above the crest of Mission Ridge the shifting cloud we see
Is not the fleeting morning mist that shrouds the Ten-nessee.
A hundred thousand freemen pale struggle beneath its shade;
While, from old Lookout's rugged front, echoes the cannonade.
“Now glory the stars and bars, what may not valor do?
Our foe, in Georgia's dread defiles, has met his Waterloo!
Here, on the soil long consecrate to Indian hardihood,
We have met the rude invader, and spilled his richest blood.
While nations celebrate their birth, or venerate their slain,
Shall live the heights of Mission Ridge and Chickamauga's plain.
Now let the hated Yankee seek again his native sod,
And feel, in this last fearful stroke, the hand of Israel's God;
Let him tame his flowing rivers, let him quell the restless lake,
Whose billows on his northland in sullen grandeur break,
But never let him think to bind, and fetter at his will,
The Southern mind, while Southern hands can wield the sabre still.”
So spake a haughty Southern lord, with stern and flashing eye,
Gazing upon a recent throng that slowly straggled by.
Cease, babbling fool, your soul to soothe with this delusive strain;
Though stragglers flee the field of death, the soldiers yet remain.
When storms assail the rugged oak, its giant form may rock,
But withered leaves and worthless boughs alone yield to the shock.
The fight is done, and from the field, the rebels on their track,
A weary host, our scattered bands come marching slowly back.
“Now fire the dwellings, fell the groves, these sylvan bowers lay low,
That o'er the plain our guns may speak a welcome to the foe!
Though driven from the bloody field we almost won, and lost,
Back from this mountain citadel we'll hurl the rebel host;
As, after Cannee's fatal day, the Roman armies bore
Their standards from Tiber's banks to Afric's hated shore;
As when the northern bear waned weak, in Borodino's fight,
Napoleon's host recoiled before the vengeful Muscovite ;
So yet from Chattanooga's walls we'll spring, the foe to meet--
The army of the Cumberland shall never know defeat!”
As from doomed Sodom's sin-cursed town to Zoar Lot trembling crossed,
So from the tumult flees a dove, and cowers amid our host;
A message to that war-worn band it bears upon its wing,
Though not the olive-leaf of Peace, Hope's grateful offering.
“Be firm,” its language seems to be, “though right may yield to wrong,
Hope's brightest omens cheer the souls that suffer and are strong.”
Responsive to the Tennessee its songs no longer break,
But mingled with the hoarser roar of Erie's sleepless lake.
Hayfield, O., April 7, 1864.