of the colonel's tent, wet to his skin.
came out and Mike said, “Colonel
, will you allow me to speak a word with you?”
“What is it?”
said the colonel.
“Well, colonel, I wish you believed as you did before the war. Then you believed in putting none but Americans
on guard and here I am, an Irishman, wet to the skin, having been on guard all night.”
The colonel laughed and retired. (Colonel Hincks
had edited a Know-Nothing paper whose motto was, “Put none but Americans
on guard.” )
Early in October we were ordered to the river and picketed it from Edward's Ferry to a point above Harrison's Island
By visits of general and field officers we could see that a movement against the enemy was intended.
On the 20th, ten of the best shots of the regiment were selected for some important service.
With our officers they crossed to Harrison's Island
Early the next morning the regiments began to arrive.
Two small scows were brought to a point opposite the island and Company A was detailed to ferry the troops across.
At first we pushed the boats over with long poles, but the current being very strong they drifted down the river and it was hard to land.
After one or two trips a rope was obtained from a passing canal boat and stretched across the river, making transportation much easier.
In a short time we heard musketry on the other side and knew that the battle had begun.
The 19th regiment was the last to cross.
As we landed on the island the sound of the minie balls greeted us for the first time.
We met four men bearing a stretcher, on which was the lifeless form of Colonel Baker
of the 1st California.
He was the first man we had seen killed in battle.
We were marched across the