day, was conspicuously gallant. Heroically urging them on to the attack, they fell very nearly at the same moment, (their wounds comparatively disabling them,) so far in the advance that some time elapsed before they were got off the field. Major Downie received two bullets through the arm before he turned over the command to Captain Messick. Color-Sergeant E. P. Perkins and two of the color-guard, successively bearing the flag, were wounded in Thursday's fight. On Friday Corporal Dehr, of Company A, the last of the color-guard, when close upon the enemy, was shot through the hand, and the flagstaff cut in two; Corporal Henry D. O'Brien, of Company D, instantly seized the flag by the remnant of the staff, and, waving it over his head, rushed right up to the muzzles of the enemy's muskets; nearly at the moment of victory, he too was wounded in the hand, but the flag was instantly grasped by Corporal W. N. Irvine, of Company D, who still carries its tattered remnants. Company L, Captain Berger, supported Kirby's battery throughout the battle, and did very effective service. Every man in the regiment did his whole duty. With great respect, I am, Your obedient servant,
John W. Plummer's account.
on the first of July, 1863, we started from Uniontown, Md., early in the morning, for Pennsylvania, via Tenalytown. We arrived after very slow marching at Tenalytown about noon, which is about seven miles from W----n, and thirteen from Gettysburg, and halted in a woods, cooked our dinners, and were given to understand that we were to remain during the rest of the day at least. So on the thought of that, one of my comrades and I went off and found a creek, and washed our shirts and socks, having had no opportunity of performing this needful operation of late; but we had scarcely got back when the order came to march, and we had the alternative of carrying our wet shirts or throwing them away, and trust to Providence to get some more; but we decided to carry them, heavy though they were. Hot was the day, and tired were we, with the prospect of a long and rapid march before we halted again. We spread them out on our knapsacks, so that in travelling along they were drying and continually lessening our load. When about three miles from Tenalytown, we began to hear the first rumors and reports we had heard of a battle then progressing at Gettysburg, and also plainly see the two lines of smoke of the two contending parties' fire. That accounted for our sudden orders to march. Rumors came thicker as we neared the field, from citizens, cavalrymen, and orderlies; but, as usual on such occasions, so contradictory we could make nothing definite or reliable out of them, though the weight of them seemed to satisfy us that at the close of the battle our forces were worsted, and had to fall back some distance, though we did not get near enough to the field that night to see many wounded men or skedaddlers, if there were many of the latter class. We halted about three miles from Gettysburg about nine o'clock that night, and had orders to build breastworks of the fence rails; but as we were pretty tired, and couldn't really see the necessity of work that far from the field, we boys did not build any, but lay down to sleep, which, as it afterwards proved, was just as well, as no fighting was done there. The country, after we crossed the Pennsylvania line, seemed very much like some of the poorer parts of Virginia, and the people like the Virginians, for they seemed perfectly indifferent to our army passing through, and the great conflict which was raging and still to rage so near their homes, and on the result of which depended the fate of the whole country. One group in particular, we saw, were, we believed, truly loyal, as one of them, a very intelligent looking woman, said to us while passing, with much feeling, “It gives us so much pleasure to see our good Union soldiers coming!” Many a fervent “God bless you!” and “Good for you!” were uttered by the tired and weary soldiers, and many, too, forgot their weariness and their loads, feeling that for such they could fight and endure any hardship without grumbling. One of our boys, poor fellow! he is now dead, (Russ Allen,) said, “Boys, who wouldn't fight for such as these?” Just that little expression, and the way it was expressed, seemed to put new life into all of us, and we resolved, if possible, to give them yet more pleasure by driving the invaders from their soil. The next morning we were called up about day-light, and before we had time to get coffee, had to march for the battle-field, where we arrived soon. Troops were moving around in every direction, getting in position for the coming battle. Our corps was marched to the centre; but before being placed in position on the line we were to occupy, we were closed in column to hear an order and an appeal to the troops by General Gibbons, our division commander. It was good, and we all felt better after hearing it. It told of the great issue at stake in the coming contest — appealing to all to do their duty and win the gratitude and esteem of our friends and of the nation, and ordered that every one found skulking away in time of action should suffer death. I have always thought it would do good to make these addresses to troops before going into action, to rouse their enthusiasm and make them fight much better. Napoleon used to, and the Southerners do; but it is practised but little in our army. One thing our armies lack is enthusiasm; and no efforts are made to create it, when, in many cases, it would accomplish more than real bravery or bull-dog courage; so I think, at least. Well, our corps and batteries got into position about nine o'clock, and occasionally a shot was fired from our guns, and some sharp skirmishing was carried on in front of our lines. Our brigade was not in front; so we went to making coffee and cooking, and filling up the inner man, preparatory to the coming struggle.