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[170] while doing so, the mule, taking matters into its own hands, kicked up its heels and broke through the line, strewing the path with pots, kettles, and pans, tipped out of the overturned baskets. This caused great merriment; and ‘Let the mule go!’ became a saying in the regiment.

From the general field hospital, established behind a small stream, Seymour made his final retirement. Some forty men severely wounded were left in charge of Assistant-Surgeon Devendorf, Forty-eighth New York, there; and at Sanderson some twenty-three more remained. Moving toward Sanderson, the narrow road was choked with a flowing torrent of soldiers on foot, wounded and unwounded, vehicles of every description laden with wrecks of men, while amid the throng rode others, many of whom roughly forced their jaded animals through the crowd. In this throng generous and self-sacrificing men were seen helping along disabled comrades, and some shaking forms with bandaged heads or limbs, still carrying their trusty muskets. About the sides of the road exhausted or bleeding men were lying, unable to proceed, resigned, or thoughtless of inevitable captivity.

While our advance presented these deplorable scenes, the rear-guard was still full of courage and obedient to command. Notable among these organizations were the Seventh Connecticut, the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, and Henry's brigade. When Sanderson was reached, the troops halted until the place was cleared of wounded and vehicles, when fires were set to stores previously spared, and it was abandoned. With the Seventh Connecticut deployed in rear of the infantry, and Henry's mounted men covering all, the army retired to Barber's, destroying bridges and the railroad as they proceeded.

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