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[25] day were Longstreet, the former Methodist preacher, and Early, who led the brigade which was so decisively repulsed by Hancock.

The notorious Joe Johnston reached the field in the afternoon, but it does not appear that he assumed any important part in the conduct of affairs, and his retreat must have been hurried, for he left his personal baggage and papers in the city. Several of the shells from our rifle cannon entered the eastern end of the city, and the inhabitants were much scared throughout the day. Some ladies with whom I conversed had not yet recovered from their alarm, and were quite too nervous to talk with composure. They were disposed to treat our army with respect-refused to accept pay for such simple refreshments as they were able to provide, and opened their houses for our officers, but had nothing to say in favor of the old Government or the old flag. Only the negroes uttered sentiments of loyalty.

I found it quite impossible to correctly estimate the enemy's loss. Some five or six hundred, perhaps more, of his wounded were left at Williamsburgh, while it is reasonable to presume that many not so severely injured made good their escape. The dead found upon the field and in the hospitals will probably reach five hundred. We have several hundred prisoners. Our own loss, killed, wounded, and missing, will, I think, be less than a thousand, and principally from the regiments engaged on our left. Hancock lost in all but twenty-five or thirty killed and fifty wounded, a very small number in view of his position and success, while he took a number of prisoners. Our own loss in prisoners is light. All the wounded were left in Williamsburgh by the flying enemy, and of course fell into our hands, much to their joy.

Gen. McClellan and staff drove directly through the city to the college building, from the roof of which the Stars and Stripes caught the breeze, and our signal corps had already established a station communicating with the several divisions of the army. Entering the edifice, which is of brick and somewhat imposing, though less so than the structure burned some years since, a visit was made to the several rooms, in all of which were more or less of the rebel wounded, abandoned by their fleeing brethren. General McClellan had a kind word for each, and a smile which carried consolation to the pale sufferers, most of whom had not yet received the slightest surgical attention. To the various inquiries he replied so pleasantly, so promptly, and with so much apparent feeling, that we might have thought him an old and intimate friend and companion.

Few of the wounded recognised him, and when afterward told who had so generously cheered and comforted them, they were greatly surprised. It had not occurred to them that a victorious Major-General would stoop to tenderly inquire into their casualties and provide for their relief.

At noon a dozen confederate surgeons reached the city under a flag of truce, and were given permission to visit their wounded in the several hospitals. Our own surgeons had many of them already engaged in the humane work and were alleviating the distress as far as in their power. I went into several of the buildings — all the churches are hospitals — but only to find them as slovenly as the college. In conversation with the wounded I ascertained that they were from all the rebel States, the majority, I think, from the extreme South. The only Virginia regiment which seemed to have been much cut up was the Twenty-fourth.

I cannot forget my first observations in the hospitals. Such sights I never before witnessed, and pray I never may again. Hurried from the battle-field and thrown together in the most reckless manner, the sufferers were just as they had fallen. Neither washed nor dressed, with the blood of their ghastly wounds drying upon them; without refreshment or consolation, they presented a picture of woe rarely equalled. Here and there the stiff bodies of those who had died in the night were lying in utter neglect. In one room I counted a half-dozen such. The floors and cots were red with blood. Many of the sufferers were speechless, and some of the wounds worse than any I had seen on the battle-field. One poor fellow, whose skull was crushed, had slipped from his cot out on the floor, and was dying in dreadful agony. The clothes of all were wet from the drenching storm of Monday, and their plight was melancholy beyond relation. Those who were able to speak begged for surgical attendance and for food, and a hundred times I was asked to dress their wounds.

They acknowledged that our troops fought splendidly. Several said they had never known such fighting. One told me he thought General McClellan's army the best in the world. When I expressed my regret that they had been wounded in a bad cause, they usually made no reply, or said that they had been forced into the service. Many repudiated the idea of our success, and bore their pains with striking composure. A man with three ugly wounds smoked his pipe and appeared as happy as a lark. But not a few owned the desperation of their cause. One hand — some boy, covered with wounds, remarked that we would soon have the whole Southern army in our hands, and I thought rather liked the idea.

I observed that not a few of the wounded — and the same is true of the prisoners — were men advanced in years. There are more of such in the rebel army than in ours, doubtless the result of the inexorable system of drafting. I talked with several grey-haired men who were wounded and exceedingly forlorm. They were inclined to reticence, but intimated a thorough disgust with the fortunes of war. One of the number had been shot through the tongue, and presented a most revolting spectacle. The blood streamed from his mouth, while from some cause or other his cheeks and eyes were swollen in an extraordinary manner, and the latter were blackened as though he had been in a prize-fight. His nearest friends would have difficulty in recognising him, and I am sure that he will never again enter the army, even though he should quite recover from his frightful wound.

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