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[460] come in sight. The sharpshooting was active, however, on both sides, and the Confederates made particularly good use of the upper stories of Marye's house, which gave a view of many little nooks in which the Federal pickets and reserves sought shelter.1 During his assaults of the previous day hundreds of the enemy's bravest men had fallen wounded so far in the front and under such a terrible fire that their friends were unable to remove them. During the night the litter-bearers carried off all within their picket-lines, but a great number were still alive and lying where they fell during the whole Sabbath. They were in full view of both lines, being scarcely a hundred yards distant from each other, and their piteous groans and cries for water were plainly audible to the Confederates, and certainly moved many a heart with pity. General Burnside must have been fully aware of this state of affairs, for it is a consequence of every unsuccessful charge, and it is difficult to conceive why he made no effort to relieve the wretched sufferers. A flag of truce would have at once procured their delivery on his picket line, or the privilege of sending his litter-bearers and surgeons for them, but it was never sent — perhaps because the fact of his having to resort to this means of getting his wounded would have implied less success than he was disposed to claim.

One noble act of humanity to the abandoned and dying, however, was performed by a brave South Carolina Sergeant, whose name I regret not to be able to record, and who was afterwards killed at Chickamauga, for it is more worthy of commemoration than the bravest deed in the heat of action. Touched by their sad cries, the Sergeant begged permission from General Kershaw to show a white handkerchief and go out on the field with some canteens of water and at least relieve the thirst of a few. This, General Kershaw was compelled to refuse, lest it should be interpreted as a flag of truce. The Sergeant then begged so earnestly for permission to go without showing any signal and run the risk of being shot, that, honoring his noble motives, General Kershaw at length consented, though fully expecting to see him killed as soon as he showed himself in front of the wall, for the sharpshooters were so prompt and accurate in their fire that there was great danger that he would be shot before the enemy

1 Lieutenant Doby, of General Kershaw's staff, directed this firing, which was kept up by detachments from the different regiments near. The enemy's artillery frequently fired into the house, but could not dislodge the marksmen. Federal accounts stated that Sykes's Division, which held the opposite front, lost 150 men during the day.

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