As we had placed our colors in the rear of the line,--having dug a pit for Mike Scannell
and the other sergeant,--we trusted they were safe, but soon a rebel horseman rode by with them, and trotting in his rear we saw Mike.
“How came you to lose the colors, Mike?”
“I'll tell you,” said he. “We lay in the pit dug for us, and the first we knew the rebels came rushing over and said, ‘You damned Yankee, give me that flag.’
‘Well,’ I said, ‘it is twenty years since I came to this country, and you are the first man who ever called me a Yankee.
You can take the flag for the compliment.’
We could not understand how the rebels got in our rear, but from the best information we could obtain, learned that the 2d and 5th corps were ordered to advance their lines.
The 2d did as ordered.
By some mistake the 5th did not, and there was a large gap between the two corps.
The rebels had seen this, and keeping us hotly engaged in the front, had sent a division around our left flank, and the result was we were “gobbled.”
The officer who had charge of my squad was Lieut. Wm. D. McDonald
, Company C, 8th Alabama, Wilcox
's old brigade, Anderson
's division, A. N. V.
He was disposed to be kind to us, as he had formerly resided in New York and knew Yankees were human, but he was soon relieved and ordered back to the front.
The provost guard took charge, and we were marched to a field just outside the city of Petersburg
and camped for the night.
We were visited by squads of thieves, each reducing our baggage, which was none too large at first.
Some of our men had a few hard tack.
The officers had no rations.
The next morning we were ordered to a small island in the Appomattox River
As we marched over a little bridge