Chapter 9: the evacuation of Yorktown.
Lieut. Jeff Hazard
, of the Rhode Island battery, assigned to the Third Brigade, was a skilled workman with his pieces.
The enemy's batteries, about a mile away, were distinctly visible from his position.
As an officer was watching him sight the pieces one afternoon, Lieutenant Hazard
turned to him and said: ‘Want to see me put a shot into that roof over there?’
selecting one for his purpose.
‘You watch,’ he added, and, sighting the piece, ordered the men to fire.
In a second or two his shell had struck the roof of the rebel barracks and the shingles and lumber were seen to spatter in all directions.
In another instant the men manning the little battery were hastily getting out of the way of the enemy's leaden answer.
The manner in which the rebels erected a sand bag battery was watched with interest.
They would run out of their entrenchments with an empty bag. One would hold the bag and two others would dump sand into it with a shovel, working as fast as they could until they saw the flash of Hazard
Then they would scoot back under cover again.
Shot after shot would strike the ground near where they had been at work.
As soon as the shell struck, they would dash out again, grab a bag, if filled, and drag it under cover, keeping up their labors in this way between the flashes of the Union
It was always interesting to notice the men of the army whenever a Rebel shell came their way. It was impossible to resist the inclination to ‘dodge’ it, and the men could do this with better precision than drill,—all dodging together.
They did not think at such times that the sound followed the missile, and if they were to be hit at all, it would be before they could have the opportunity of hearing it.