the younger was as tender as a mother's. The little fellow was a strange, sad, prematurely old child, who seldom talked and never smiled.
He used to wear a red zouave fez that ill-befitted that peculiar, sallow, pallid complexion of the piney-woods Georgian; but he was a perfect hero in a fight.
'Twas at Cold Harbor in 1864.
We had been all day shelling a working party of the enemy, and about sunset, as adjutant of the battalion, I was visiting the batteries to arrange the guns for night-firing.
As I approached C——'s position, the sharpshooting had almost ceased, and down the line I could see the figures of the cannoneers standing out boldly against the sky. Moore
was at the trail, adjusting his piece for the night's work.
His gunnery had been superb during the evening, and his blood was up. I descended into a little valley and lost sight of the group, but heard C——'s stern voice: “Sit down, Moore
, your gun is well enough; the sharpshooting isn't over yet. Get down.”
I rode to the hill.
“One moment, captain.
My trail's a hair's-breadth too much to the right;” and the gunner bent eagerly over the handspike.
A sharp report—that unmistakable crash of the bullet against the skull, and all was over.
'Twas the last rifleshot on the lines that night.
The rushing together of the detachment obstructed my view; but as I came up, the sergeant stepped aside and said, “Look there, adjutant.”
had fallen over on the trail, the blood gushing from his wound all over his face.
His little brother was at his side instantly.
No wildness, no tumult of grief.
He knelt on the earth, and lifting Moore's head
onto his knees, wiped the blood from his forehead with the cuff of his own tattered shirt-sleeve, and kissed the pale face again and again, but very quietly.
was evidently dead, and none of us cared to disturb the child.
Presently he rose—quiet still, tearless still—gazed down on his dead brother, then around at us, and, breathing the saddest sigh I ever heard, said just these words: “Well, I am alone in the world.”
The preacher-captain instantly sprang forward, and placing his hand on the poor boy's shoulder, said solemnly, but cheerfully: “No, my child, you are not alone, for the Bible
says, ‘When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord
will take me up,’ and Allan
was both father and mother to you: besides, I'm going to take you up, too; you shall sleep under my blanket tonight.”
There was not a dry eye in the group; and when, months afterwards, the whole battalion gathered on a quiet Sabbath ’