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[205] with the enemy. McRae, in his rage, swore back at him, and in the hearing of the man called on a man near him to shoot “that------------,” calling him a fearfully hard name. But the private's gun was not in working order, and the fellow escaped — for the time. Before he reached the woods, whither he was going to hurry up the “boys,” a Howitzer let fly at him, and at the shock of the bullet's stroke, he threw his arms up in the air and his horse bore him into the woods a corpse.

A little to the left, where the road crossed the creek, the crack of pistols and the “bang” of muskets was continuous. The enemy had surrounded the wagons and were mercilessly shooting down the unarmed and helpless drivers, some of whom, however, managed to cut the traces, mount and escape.

In order to escape from the right of the line, it was necessary to follow the road, which was along the foot of the hill, some distance to the left. The enemy seeing this, were pushing their men rapidly at a right oblique to gain the road and cut off retreat. Consequently, those who attempted escape in that direction had to run the gauntlet of a constant fusilade from a mass of troops near enough to select individuals, curse them and command them to throw down their arms or be shot.

Most of McRae's squad, in spite of the difficulties surrounding them, gained the creek, plunged in, and began a race for life up the long, open hillside of plowed ground, fired upon at every step by the swarm of men behind, and, before they reached the top, by a battery in close proximity, which poured down a shower of cannister.

The race to the top of the long hill was exceedingly trying to men already exhausted by continual marching, hunger, thirst and loss of sleep. They ran, panting for breath, like chased animals, fairly staggering as they went.

On the top of this long hill there was a skirmish line of cavalry posted with orders to stop all men with arms in their hands and form a new line; but the view down the hill to the creek and beyond revealed such a host of the enemy, and the men retiring before them were so few, that the order was disregarded and the fleeing band allowed to pass through.

The men's faces were black with powder. They had bitten cartridges until there was a deep black circle around their mouths. The burnt powder from the ramrods had blackened their hands, and in their efforts to remove the perspiration from their faces they

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