forms and cherished faces will soon be lying in forgotten graves.
Anxious mothers in Kentucky
to day, yearning countrymen at home waiting to hear from the promising lad, it will be some time before you hear the news, and ere that time it will have gone out all over the South
, echoed and re-echoed, that the gallant sons you have given to their service have struck a blow that will resound through time, and pierced far beyond the already boasted name of Kentuckians.
The comtemplation of that morning fires one's soul with a never-ceasing poem.
If the Fourth regiment had never advanced a hundred yards after crushing the two lines of troops in front of it, its name would still have been immortal.
It was about 9 o'clock, when by slow manoeuvering (for we were in the reserve corps), we passed through a field in a small valley in which Morgan
's squadron was drawn up in line.
Capt. John Churchill
and his men sang “Cheer, boys, cheer,” and our boys responded by affectionate salutation or pleasant repartee.
Then and there we begot for ourselves a love that lasts as long as our lives.
We were Kentuckians far away from home.
They had just distinguished themselves, and we felt sure we would soon be flushed with victory.
We then filed down the valley into a woody swamp, where we faced toward the enemy, and threw out skirmishers.
The First platoon of Company A and the Second platoon of Company D (being from the right and left of regiment) skirmishers advance, the regiment follows, through the camp from which the enemy were driven early in the morning, and then meeting a regiment of Southerners in full retreat, perfectly demoralized, their Colonel
trying to rally them.
They would sooner die than turn toward the front.
In vain our officers and men pleaded with them and threatened to shoot them.
Leaving them, and the skirmishers being recalled, we were moved by the left flank into a dense wood, halted and faced to the front.
In a short time the Federals
are discovered by Captain
, forming on our left, a little in front.
To conform to their line, we had to change front obliquely to the rear on first company, which we did barely in time to receive a volley from the enemy.
We were armed with new Enfield rifles, and used greased cartridges.
In a much shorter time than I am reading this the ground in front of us was heaped up with dead men. Our people were also falling fast.
But the regiment in our front gave way and was quickly succeeded by another, which was immediately charged, so that when we reached the edge of a field in front of us, only a few of the enemy were discernible, flying “helter-skelter” toward the river.
I should have said that we