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[562] once went to the Fifty-sixth Virginia regiment, joined another Louisa company, was wounded twice at Fort Donaldson, but refused to leave the field until he was at last shot through the heart while acting with most conspicuous gallantry. At Gaines's Mill two others of the brothers were instantly killed and fell side by side. Another had been sent to the rear with some prisoners whom he had captured on the advance skirmish line, but he turned over his prisoners to some one else more willing to remain in the rear, and he himself hurried to the front. Failing to find his own regiment, and seeing the Fifty-sixth Virginia about to go into the charge, he asked permission to take the place of his brother who fell at Donaldson, and went with them into the thickest of the fight where he was wounded five times and refused to leave the field until he fell insensible. This brave fellow afterwards recovered so far that, although he lost one of his eyes and was so severely wounded in the leg that he could not march on foot, he joined a cavalry company and did valiant service to the close of the war. It was a touching scene to see the fifth brother, himself severely wounded, ministering to his brother who was supposed to be mortally hurt, and preparing the bodies of his two dead brothers to send home to his widowed mother.

And I remember five other brothers in the Orange C. H. Company, two of whom were killed and one wounded in this battle, and all of whom were killed before the close of the war.

We were very illy provided with hospital stores, many of our surgeons were inexperienced, some of them utterly incompetent; and my heart bleeds afresh at the remembrance of the sufferings of our poor fellows, which might have been sooner alleviated with a better organization. And if the sufferings of our own men were greatthose of the large number of the wounded of the enemy who fell into our hands were necessarily greater. General Lee's orders were to “treat the whole field alike,” and to care for friend and foe without distinction, and we did the best we could, but with our limited number of surgeons, and scant supply of hospital stores and appliances, it was impossible to attend promptly to all, and it were too great a tax on human nature not to attend to our friends first. Yet, if I had not lost afterwards the diary kept at the time I could give the names of a number of Federal soldiers to whom I ministered, and who, if now living, would remember the “rebel chaplain” who dressed their wounds, shared with them his rations, and, while seeking to give them spiritual comfort, carefully avoided speaking any word which might offend “Union” ears.

But I must hurry on with my narrative. “The situation” on the morning of the 28th of June was peculiar and somewhat problematical.

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