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[103] our right. It was a small regiment when it went into the fight; and as it stood there on the hill, every shot from the enemy seemed to visibly reduce it, till at last it was a mere handful of men, clustered around their flag, with no reference to company or regimental lines, fighting to the last. The color-bearer fell, but before the flag reached the ground some one else seized and put it up again. No sooner was that done than the flag fell again, and was as soon planted again; and so this little cluster of Irishmen fought on till Caldwell's brigade came up to relieve us. They came up with a cheer and a shout, Colonel Barlow leading the way with his regiment, and took their stand some way ahead of our brigade. We then fell back a short distance, but soon came up again. We were at it, in the infantry fight, about an hour and a half.

Right here I must speak of Colonel Barlow. Noble fellow! he is dead now, and his name is in everybody's mouth. When our brigade passed Caldwell's brigade, to which Barlow belonged, just at the ford, he was sitting on his horse at the head of his regiment, waiting to go into the fight. He had on an old linen coat and an old hat. We exchanged pleasant greetings with each other (my last with him); and when he came up leading the way to our relief, it seemed as if a fairy had transformed him. He was on foot. Instead of the linen coat, he had a splendid uniform on, which seemed to shine with newness,—pants inside high-topped boots, an army hat, and yellow regulation gloves. It seemed as if a new suit must have dropped on him from the skies. And then he rushed up the hill at the head of his little regiment, looking so handsome, facing his men to cheer them, moving with such grace and elasticity, that it seemed as if he were dancing with delight. I have seen brave men and brave officers; I saw that day colonels coolly and bravely lead on their regiments; but I never saw such a sight as Barlow's advance, and never expect to again. It was a picture,—it was poetry. The whole regiment gazed with admiration on him. I wish I could do justice to the brave fellow. His praise is now in every man's mouth. He chased the enemy from the ground, and drove them almost a mile,—he and two other regiments following him,—and then died as a soldier should. His loss affected me more than anything else that has happened here. I admired him, and enjoyed his society.

We soon returned to the battle-field, and the rest of Wednesday and until late Friday, P. M., lay there supporting batteries.— sometimes being covered with grape and shell, so that escape

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Francis Channing Barlow (4)
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