first gun. He was in the act of wiping his mouth with his handkerchief when the second shot struck him on the left side, just below the shoulder, passing through his body and bearing him to the ground, literally torn to pieces.
He was a man very much liked and respected.
He had ‘won his spurs’ in the ranks and was wearing his reward of merit on his shoulders in the badge of his hard earned commission, just acquired.
The report from the second gun had not died away before another shot came over the ridge, striking among the gun stacks of the Nineteenth Massachusetts, and then every rebel gun on Seminary Ridge
opened in one grand salvo, with concentric fire on Gibbon
From this time on, for an hour and thirty minutes, the roaring of cannon and the bursting of shells from both sides was so incessant that the ear could not distinguish individual explosions.
It was one grand raging clash of ceaseless sound,—the most terrific cannonading of the war. The woods in front seemed lined with flame and smoke.
Pandemonium broken loose was zephyr to a cyclone in comparison.
Each man fell prostrate upon the level summit of the flat, low ridge.
Just in front of the Nineteenth's line, the summit swelled perhaps two feet above their backs.
From the ridge on which they lay, a hundred guns joined their clamor to the awful din. Their diverging fire had little power against that terrible concentric storm of crashing, whirring, bursting shell.
From right, from left and from the front poured the iron shower, above, around, among the men of the Second Corps.
's battery was in a position in front of the regiment.
Five horses and the drivers of the leading gun fell among the prostrate infantry men. Soon the third gun rolled helpless from its wheels.
With but two guns left, heroic Rorty
continued to fire.
Then a caisson burst.
Immediately his left piece was struck and shattered, and with one gun he continued.
In half an hour, of sixty men, he had but four remaining and still the hero plied that single gun. Another shot, and casting off sword and coat the officer grasped the rammer.
The heated gun would scarce receive the charge, and he called for water to cool his piece.
To the little spring in the rear of his line it was full four