reckless of life or limb.
Soon the regiment reached its old camping ground, but instead of filing to the left, it filed to the right and having formed line of battle in front of a battery posted there, charged across a field at double-quick to support the Fifteenth Massachusetts.
The progress of the regiment was checked at one point by a battery which was coming out of the cross-roads, and by that means it became separated from its brigade.
While waiting for the battery to pass, the men who had retained their knapsacks received orders to throw them away.
By this time they contained many priceless treasures,—letters from home, pictures of loved ones or relics of previous conflicts and camps, but orders were orders and they were thrown into a pile.
Some of the officers threw away their own treasures as an example.
The bullets and shells flew thick and fast, and, having recovered their breath and from the confusion which had resulted from going so far on the double-quick, the regiment left the road and entered another field where nothing could be seen in front.
Lying down behind a knoll, the men sheltered themselves somewhat.
The brigade lines were then formed as usual, the Nineteenth Massachusetts regiment being in the third line.
After the two in front had entered the woods, this regiment advanced almost to their edge and the men lay down.
Soon General Grover
, who for some reason commanded that part of the line at that time, ordered the regiment to enter the woods.
‘Be sure and not fire on your own men’ were his last words before they entered.
After advancing some 150 yards, the command halted and dressed.
‘Don't fire on your friends’ shouted a number of voices in the bushes in front and suddenly a body of the enemy hidden by the foliage but not fifteen feet distant, opened a terrific fire upon the men of the Nineteenth.
The powder flashed in their faces and they staggered back, but remained in position and returned the fire.
Then the regiment was ordered back a few yards to the open field with diminished numbers.
Entering with more than 300, it had but 150 men left.
As Colonel Hinks
walked along the regimental front, he turned to George Mace
, of Company C, who was the humorist