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[232] militia duty in South Carolina, and a little ivory-handled pistol, the property of my wife.

The firing was rapid, the balls striking in the road before and about us, and humming over our heads with a sound by no means pleasant. But the soldiers soon coming up Brent deployed them as skirmishers, under cover of some low apple bushes, and they returned the fire, when the fellows at the end of the lane soon retired, firing random shots as they climbed the side of the mountain. We thought the affair over and congratulated ourselves upon our narrow escape. But at this moment about a hundred men of the same regiment who, hearing the firing, came running down the lane were fired upon from the field to our right and a little to the rear, and the assailants sprang from their hiding places and ran for the creek. One was killed and three wounded, and, the cavalry coming up, twenty-seven captured. Even now the affair was not completely ended, for before we reached Boston, almost in the edge of the village, three men fired upon the cavalry from the shelter of an old house by the roadside and, running out, attempted to escape through the fields to the mountains beyond. We came up in time to see the chase, which was a little exciting. Throwing their guns away, with coats and hats off and hair streaming in the wind, the men ran, as they believed, for life, while fifty cavalrymen in close pursuit made the air ring with their “wild halloo.”

A curious, but at the time, not amusing illustration was given in this little affair of the ignorance of some of our volunteer officers, when first engaged in actual warfare.

This Georgia regiment, which had helped us out of our difficulties, was a magnificent body of men, but had been mustered into service within a few weeks only, and were now on their first campaign. Their colonel, a brave man, who afterwards made an excellent officer, was a county lawyer and politician, and had been elected far more on account of his personal popularity than for any acquaintance with the art of war. When his men came running down the lane, as thick and disorderly as a drove of cattle, confined within the fences, but keen for the fray, Brent, a veteran who had seen much service, said to him, “Colonel, form your men in line of battle, throw out skirmishes and skirmish that piece of woods, we do not know what is concealed there, this may be a serious movement on the part of the enemy.” “No, no, sir, I will not risk my men in that way,” the Colonel answered. “Why,” said Brent, “that is the way to save your men, if the enemy have a field piece they will rake you fore and aft down this lane.” But the Colonel would not “risk” his men, while a discharge of grape

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