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[88]

In a short time the firing ceased, the enemy having had enough, and they drew back to wait for a more favorable opportunity. At about three o'clock the artillery limbered up, pickets were withdrawn and the troops started again on a doublequick march down the railroad, the baggage train having got a considerable distance away. The heat was intense and many men fell out and were taken by the enemy. The track was hemmed in on both sides by steep, gravelly banks and thick woods and infantry and artillery scampered over the sleepers, the horses bumping the pieces and caissons first over one rail and then over the other, each turn of the wheel threatening to throw everything topsy turvy. Lieutenant Prime of Company C, who had long been ill, succumbed to the tremendous strain and was obliged to let the Company march away from him. He kept moving on, but gradually lost ground. He and Lieutenant Bachelder had become fast friends,—like brothers,— and tears stood in the latter's eyes as he turned to see his comrade being left behind. (Lieutenant Prime rejoined the regiment at Harrison's Landing.) Lieutenant Hume was also compelled to drop out and was left behind, being captured by the pursuing enemy.

The rays of the sun fell full upon the men as they marched down the railroad track, with not a breath of air stirring. The sick and wounded had been brought along with much difficulty. Many knapsacks and overcoats,—even haversacks containing their rations,—were thrown away as constituting too heavy a load. Capt. Ansel D. Wass was affected by the great heat and some of the officers and men were exhausted and forced to lie down by the side of the track.

After marching for some hours in this manner, the regiment halted in an open space in front of Savage's Station, and the order to rest was given. It was an agreeable order and the men, breaking ranks, looked about for shade and water.

When the snow white tents of the field hospital were pitched they looked very picturesque and inviting, with their new camp cots regularly placed, but ever present was the thought that they were only intended for the reception of the wounded from

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Samuel S. Prime (2)
Ansel D. Wass (1)
Lysander J. Hume (1)
George W. Bachelder (1)
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