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[302] line of battle, between the infantry front and the skirmish line, they had an excellent view of the state of affairs, and were exposed sometimes to a heavy fire. ‘We met everywhere flying men and officers,’ said a member of the brigade. ‘We asked the officers why they went to the rear. “They had no command.” We asked the men. “They had no officers.” ’ ‘They moved past me, that splendid cavalry!’ wrote shortly after a distinguished general. ‘If they reached the pike, I felt secure. Lowell got by me before I could speak, but I looked after him for a long distance. Exquisitely mounted, the picture of a soldier,—erect, confident, defiant,—he moved at the head of the finest brigade of cavalry that at this day scorns the earth it treads.’

Striking the turnpike just north of Middletown, which was already occupied by the enemy,. Lowell at once established his position at the extreme left of the line; and he maintained it almost unchanged, against great superiority of numbers, till the final advance in which he received his mortal wound. He attended in person to the disposition of his men, riding backwards and forwards along the line of skirmishers, a conspicuous mark for the sharpshooters on the roofs of the village. His horse was shot under him early in the day. In a charge at one o'clock, he was himself struck in the side of the right breast by a spent ball, which, without breaking the skin, imbedded itself in the muscle and deprived him of voice and strength. ‘It is only my poor lung,’ he said faintly to the officers who urged him to go to the rear. ‘You would not have me leave the field without having shed blood!’ The force of the blow was sufficient to collapse the lung and cause internal hemorrhage, and it would probably have been fatal if he had had no other hurt.

For an hour and a half he lay on the ground under a temporary shelter. Presently an order came for a general advance along the line at three o'clock,—the advance which was destined to give us victory. ‘I feel well now,’ said he, though too weak to mount to his saddle without assistance. He sat his horse firm and erect as ever. The color had come back to

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Carlotta Russell Lowell (2)
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