previous next

[217] by those who heard and endured it. Better, a thousand times better is the shock of battle — the charge — the cheer — the run forward, the short sharp struggle, and the flying foe — or your own men falling back to reform, than this terrible strain on the nerves in passive endurance. Lieutenant Shellman, Company A, was rolled over by a shot which tore up the ground beside him. Lieutenant Dorsey lifted up by one which passed under him. There was not a second during that whole afternoon that some one was not covered by the dirt or branches tossed there by the ploughing or cutting shot. Each one lay in his place, however, waiting the order to forward.

Toward night the stream of stragglers in the road thickened, and regiments and even brigades commenced coming back. Just then some scattered men came quickly by us. “Who are you?” was asked. “Seventh Louisiana,” was the reply. “Form with us.” “Who are you?” said they. “First Maryland.” “All right, Maryland!” and they formed steadily and marched to their regiment and brigade. The magnificent Louisiana brigade had made some mistake, some regiments charged without orders, had been driven back with great loss and were now forming with us. At last there seemed to be no one in front. The Louisiana brigade had been the only line before us and this had partly been driven back. The road was filled with a brigade which appeared to have no commander, and which hesitated, marched forward, then marched back, halted and then made a determined move towards the rear. It was necessary for some one to go forward to hold the ground, and to keep back the enemy if only to delay him with skirmishers.

There was no one to give orders, and no time to hunt for them. General Jackson who had been sitting on his horse reading right by us during an hour of the hottest fire had ridden off. General Ewell had left an hour before. So Colonel Johnson determined to move forward as far as possible, find out what the enemy was doing, and check him as much as we could with our small force. The night concealed our numbers and increased our chances. As we filed out, passing the column which was going toward the rear, Ewell's well-known voice was heard, “What troops are those?” “First Maryland,” sang out some one. “Thank heaven I you Marylanders are the only ones whose faces I find in the right direction.” We went down the road cautiously and found General Charles Winder, who, with only seventy men of his brigade, was attempting to hold the ground we had gained during the day. He ordered Colonel Johnson to go up the road and get possession of as much as possible of a small wood which is beyond the Littleton

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Louisiana (Louisiana, United States) (2)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)

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.
Bradley T. Johnson (2)
R. S. Ewell (2)
Charles Winder (1)
Shellman (1)
Stonewall Jackson (1)
Dorsey (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: