previous next

[283] swarm as grew the wonder at delay. Nor was the cause of hindrance easy to ascertain; for should it prove that the fuze was still alight, burning but slowly, to enter the mine was certain death. Thus time dragged slowly on, telegram upon telegram of inquiry meanwhile pouring in from Meade, who, unmindful of the dictum of Napoleon, that “in assaults a general should be with his troops,” had fixed his headquarters full a mile away.1 But these were all unheeded, for Burnside knew not what to answer.

Then it was that two brave men, whose names should be mentioned with respect wherever courage is honored, Lieutenant Jacob Douty and Sergeant Henry Rees, both of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania, volunteered for the perilous service and entered the mine. Crawling on their hands and knees, groping in utter darkness, they found that the fuze had gone out about fifty feet from the mouth of the main gallery, relighted it, and retired. “In eleven minutes now the mine will explode,” Pleasants reports to Burnside at thirty-three minutes past four, and a small group of officers of the Forty-eighth, standing upon the slope of the main parapets, anxiously await the result.

“It lacks a minute yet,” says Pleasants, looking at his watch.

“Not a second,” cries Douty,2

1 Meade's own statement--Report on the Conduct of the War (1865), vol. i, p. 72. Cf. also General Warren's statement--Ib., p. 169.

2 Grant and His Campaigns, p. 369.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry Pleasants (2)
George G. Meade (2)
Jacob Douty (2)
A. E. Burnside (2)
Warren (1)
Henry Rees (1)
Napoleon (1)
U. S. Grant (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1865 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: