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[264]

I hope you have heard that he fell behind the column, coming out of Winchester, by helping and encouraging along a wounded soldier.

In his journal he tells the story as follows:—

As we went down the hill, a few of our men would turn and fire up the hill, reloading as they went on. I delayed a little to applaud their spunk. We passed down into the edge of the town. As I came along, a young soldier of Company C was wounded in the leg. I gave him my arm, but finding that he was too much wounded to go on, I took him into a house and went on. The regiment was forming in line when I reached it. Before I had time to go to the left, where Colonel Andrews was, the regiment moved off again. I followed. Just as I was near the edge of the town, one of our soldiers called out to me, “Major, I'm shot.” I turned to him, took him along a few steps, and then took him into a house and told the people they must take care of him. I laid him down on a bed, and opened his shirt. I then turned to go out, but the butternut soldiery was all around the house, and I quietly sat down; “Under which king,” &c. A soldier came in and took me prisoner. I made friendly acquaintance with him. He went with me to get a surgeon for my wounded soldier, and to pick up my overcoat, which I had thrown off in the heat. . . . . In the afternoon I went upon the field with some of the prisoners from our regiment, and buried our dead. I read a portion of Scripture over their grave.

Later in the week he writes:—

I have furnished bread and some vegetables to our prisoners at the Court-House every morning. On Wednesday I attended the funeral of Sergeant Williams, Company F. General Jackson gave permission to eight of the Second Massachusetts prisoners to go out with me, as an escort for the burial of their companion.

Thus was he occupied during the week when he was reported ‘missing’ and mourned as dead.

The Hon. Richard H. Dana, Jr., in illustrating his talent for success, says:—

When he was made a prisoner at Winchester, and the Rebels were taking all their prisoners to Richmond, he determined not to go to Richmond, and he did not go, but was paroled. Some of us know the sagacity and perseverance by which he gained his point.

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Robert Williams (1)
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