All this time I was in the hospital tents, helping to dress the wounded; but I managed to run out once in a while to see the fight. The wounded came in pretty fast, and soon filled up the hospital, and then they were laid down on the ground outside. We were all hard at work, and only just begun at that, when the rout began. Everybody else was running off as fast as possible; but the surgeons resolved that they would not leave their wounded, and I was not going either when my services were most required. Most of the hospital attendants ran away, but some remained, and we continued our work of attending to the wounded, though the bullets began to come unpleasantly near and thick. One passed through the tent, and within three inches of my head, as I was dressing a wounded man, smashing a bottle of ammonia liniment that stood on a box beside me, and sending the fluid right into my face and eyes. Very soon the Rebels came pouring in on all sides. We, of course; made no resistance, and they did not fire upon us, though some levelled their guns at us, and we rather expected to be shot than otherwise. I know I expected every moment to get hit, for the balls were flying all around, though I do not think they were meant for the hospital or any of us there. The ground outside was covered with the wounded all around, and the yellow flag was over the tent. I did not know but what I should get frightened in the first battle; but I believe I did n't. I was too busy; and, if I had been ever so much scared, I don't think I could have run off and left our wounded crying for help. It was a pitiful sight, I can tell you. I hope never to see the like again. Such groans and cries for help, and especially for “Water! Water!” all the time. We could not attend to them half as fast as they needed, though we worked as hard as we could. Soon after the first appearance of the Rebels, General Hindman, of Arkansas, rode up, and placed a guard over us, and assured us we should not be molested, though we must consider ourselves prisoners. Two Rebel surgeons came up too, and established their hospitals right by ours, and made liberal use of our medicines and hospital stores. There we worked all day upon the Rebel wounded as well as our own, for there were a great number of them brought there. Towards night they commenced carrying the wounded away, and Dr. Kedgie and I were sent off with the first load that went of our men. During all the day we could hear the battle still going on between us and the river, which was about four miles off; and every
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Ode recited at the Harvard commemoration, July 21 , 1865 .
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