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[16] island, meeting wounded and half-naked men who swam the river. On arriving at the other side we found there was work for us to do. The only transportation from the island to the Virginia shore was one scow. By this a load could be sent over, then marched up a steep bank called Ball's Bluff. The rebels, being strongly intrenched at the top, could kill or capture our men before another load could land. At last a retreat was ordered as our men were stampeded. They rushed down the hill and into the boat. The little craft being overloaded was soon swamped, men were swimming the river to escape, and many a poor fellow, not able to swim, went down before our eyes; others were shot by the rebels when almost within our lines. At night those not required at the landing were deployed to the right and left. A drenching rain set in and without overcoats or blankets we remained shivering until morning. Lieutenant Dodge and twelve men, under a flag of truce, were sent over to bury the dead. Alex. Short was the volunteer from Company A, and he received injuries from which he never fully recovered. While the flag of truce was out a rebel horseman was seen pursuing a Union soldier who was running to the river. A man in Company H on the island fired and the horseman fell. Immediately the rebels closed in on the burial party and held them as prisoners. It required all the energy and courage that Colonel Hincks possessed to have them released. The next day we picketed the island, cared for the men we had rescued, and on the morning of the 23d recrossed to the Maryland side, wet, cold and disheartened. A few shots from our batteries told that Ball's Bluff battle was over.

For the number of men engaged this was the most disastrous battle of the war. No man in his right mind would have

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