unrefreshing sleep, they could actually wring the moisture from their garments.
Yet in spite of the weariness and the danger, the buoyant spirit and courage of the regiment was magnificent, endless instances of presence of mind and cool resolution might be enumerated to prove this, but I will only mention one or two that recur to my memory just now.
Lieutenant George Dargan
was standing on the “terre-plain” of Battery Gregg, supervising the firing of the guns under his command, and wore a cap with a double facing, a shell burst near him and a fragment of it cut the front facing clear off. Without moving, except to raise his hand and reverse the cap so that his eyes might be protected by the other facing from the fierce glare of the sun, he coolly nodded his head towards the Federals
and remarked, “I bet you could not do that again.”
Five men were sitting in the hollow space besides a large cannon at Battery Wagner, and were about to eat their breakfast, when a gently smoking shell dropped right in between them; had it exploded, they would all have probably been killed in that narrow enclosure, but; before the tardily burning fuse could reach the powder, that it was intended to ignite, Sergeant
------with astonishing promptitude and courageous self-possession picked up the adjacent coffee pot
and poured the contents into the vent of the shell, thus instantly extinguishing the fire by this simple expedient, without rising from his seat.
Had he belonged to the English
army he would certainly have received the Victoria
cross, as a reward for his cool bravery, and for having in all human likelihood saved the lives of his comrades.
Lieutenant James S. Heyward
was writing a letter to his mother, at Fort Sumter
; he left his seat, crossed over to the mantle-piece to get his tobacco and refill his pipe, but before he could do so, down came a shell which smashed both chair and table to pieces.
He picked up his letter from among the “debris,” and added this postcript.
“A 300 pound shell has torn off the last page of my letter, so you will have to imagine what I wrote, as I have not time to re-write it.”
Lieutenant John Middleton
, had been on fatigue duty all night.
When “relieved” in the morning, he threw himself upon his bed, and was soon sound asleep.
He had placed his watch and several other things upon a chair besides him; suddenly an immense shell came crashing in, shattering the chair, bed, and every thing, and dashing him violently across the room.
As soon as he awoke to conciousness and discovered the state of affairs in his apartment he picked up his watch, put it to his ear to ascertain if the jar had stopped the works,