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[152] between the guns of our right section, evidently to superintend placing them in a different position. Seeing a man dodging a ball, he said: ‘Pooh! they can't hit an elephant at this distance.’ These were the last words he ever uttered on earth.1 He fell between the guns of the right section of the First Massachusetts Battery. His body was borne from the field in an ambulance.

Soon after, Gen. Meade was seen to approach Gen. Wright, commander of our First Division, having a paper in his hand, which doubtless contained instructions to the corps commander, for Gen. Wright succeeded Gen. Sedgwick. There was rapid firing from this part of our line, and continuous reply through the major part of the day.

The position of the artillery remained unchanged. The brigade commanded by Gen. Upton, of the Sixth Corps, consisting among others of the One Hundred and Twenty-first New York Volunteers, drove in a large detachment of Confederates under the cover of our guns. The night of the 9th was passed in the same position as that which we occupied on the previous night. On the 10th, our place in the line was farther to the left, the position of the corps having been changed. The action on this part of the line this morning opened with a brisk artillery fire. There was a fearful loss of life upon the Federal side, and doubtless a similar decimation of the Confederate ranks directly opposed to the Sixth. It was on this day that Lieut. Federhen of our company fell, as we supposed, mortally wounded, but careful nursing so far restored him that, though his wound was but partially healed, he was again with us before the Valley campaign in the fall. Comrade John Burnham was wounded in the head. The situation on the 11th was relatively the same as upon the previous day, a bloody conflict, without being decisive.

The name of Laurel Hill, which is borne upon the banners of many regiments, has been applied to the series of manoeuvres and fights on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of May. On the last of these days, as the battle raged in the afternoon, heaven's artillery thundered above the contending hosts, the lightning vividly flashed, sharply reflected by the steel and brass of arms and equipments, and the rain poured in a torrent.

The morning of the 12th found the branches of the Mattapony

1 Our commander had remonstrated with the general for thus exposing his life.

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Horatio G. Wright (2)
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