hours, but there was sharp skirmishing and artillery firing the whole day. The Rebels threw canister in large quantities, doing much damage. . . . In the afternoon came Wright and Hancock, with their Staff officers, to consult with General Meade. They looked as pleasant as if they had been out to dine, instead of standing ail day with shells, bullets and canister coming about them; for we now have a set of corps commanders who, in action, go, as they say, where they “can see” ; which means sitting calmly in places where many people would be so scared they wouldn't know the left wing from the right. Which reminds me of a ludicrous circumstance — there always is something of the ludicrous mixed in every tragedy. Three or four vulgar and very able-bodied civilians had got down to the army, in some way or other, and were at our standpoint for a little while. Having come from the White House and hearing little musketry, they concluded it would be quite safe to go further to the front. “Come,” said one, in a flippant way, “let's go forward and see the fun.” So off they trotted down the Gaines's Mill road. One of Wright's aides said they came pretty soon, as far as where they were standing. All was quiet, but these braves had hardly dismounted when the Rebel guns again opened and the shells came with fearful precision over the spot! One gentleman, a fat man, rushed wildly to his horse, convulsively clutched the mane and tumbled on the saddle, galloping hotly off. But it so happened that two successive shells, passing with their hideous scream, burst just behind his horse, giving him the wings of panic! The other cit, quite paralyzed, lay down flat behind a ridge; in a few minutes he looked up at a Staff officer and, with the cold sweat rolling off him, exclaimed: “Oh! ”
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Table of Contents:
I. First months
IV . Cold Harbor
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