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[39]

Light artillery “in reserve” --waiting orders It is no parade-ground upon which this splendid battery is drawn up, as the untrodaen daisies plainly show. Thus the waving fields of Gettysburg smiled on those July days of 1863--until the hoofs and wheels had trampled all green things to the earth, where they lay crushed beneath the prostrate forms of many a brave soldier of the North and South fighting for what each thought the right. This battery is standing in reserve. At any moment the notes of the bugle may ring out which will send it dashing forward across field and ditch to deal out death and face it from the bullets of the foe. The battery was evidently serving with infantry, as the cannoneers have no mounts. They are standing beside the gun-carriages, upon which they will leap when the battery moves forward. It was no easy matter for them to retain their seats as the heavy wheels cut through the grass and flowers and rebounded from hummocks and tilted sharply over stones. At any moment a horse might fall crippled, and it was their duty to rush forward and cut the traces, and jump aboard again as the gun drove around, or, if necessary, over the wounded animal. The latter was harder for an artilleryman who loved his horses than facing the screaming shells and whistling bullets at the front.

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