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Sunday morning, 12th of July, the sun rose in a cloudless sky. It was a bright and beautiful day, and seemed more like a Sabbath, than any enjoyed for a long while. From the northeast a gentle breeze was blowing, but, save its whisperings, not a sound disturbed the stillness except an occasional picket shot, reverberating among the hills.

The men were sitting on some seats they had constructed along the parapet for their comfort, when not engaged, when suddenly they were aroused by a terrific fire from the enemy's artillery, which appeared to shake the very earth. For two hours the leaden storm raged, with increasing violence. The moment the attack opened, the men were called to action, and the fire was returned with corresponding earnestness and force. The cotton bales, which had been knocked off the parapet by the enemy's shot, were set on fire by the explosion of the shell, and had to be rolled back from the works to prevent the fire communicating with the ammunition.

Lieutenant Whitney, of the Missouri Artillery, who had been assigned to duty in Moore's battery a few days before, was wounded early in the engagement. Lieutenant Moore, who from a position on the right of Lieutenant Ritter's section was watching the effect of the shell, was struck by a cotton-bale, knocked from the parapet by a shot from the enemy, and seriously though not dangerously wounded. He called to Lieutenant Ritter, saying he was wounded and would go to the rear, and that Ritter should take command of the battery. Sergeant Daniel Toomey, of the Third Maryland, and several of his men, were wounded, as also a number of Moore's section. Lieutenant Ritter estimated the number of shell thrown at his battery during the engagement of two hours at one thousand eight hundred. He himself used one hundred and fifty rounds of ammunition. It will be seen, therefore, that the estimate of the ammunition used by the enemy falls far short in proportion to that of the Confederates.

Late the next morning Corporal L. McCurry, one of the gunners of Ritter's section, was killed by a minnie ball while sighting his gun. The ball passed through the brim of his brother's hat and struck him in the forehead, passed through the brain, killing him instantly. The survivor was greatly affected by his brother's death, but immediately took his place at the gun. A coffin was made, and, placing the body in it, the men carried it at night to a small stream a mile in the rear of the battery, and there buried it in the darkness, by the fitful and uncertain light of torches. The funeral services were performed by Mr. Brown, a friend of the deceased, and a candidate for the ministry, belonging to the same detachment. They returned with saddened

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W. L. Ritter (5)
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