to pick which required some wandering. . . . . At two o'clock I was ordered to prepare to advance, come what might, to a point within good musket-shot of the works. This time I found that uneasy might be the shoulder that wears a strap, for I should think I had a mighty good chance of being shot; for my passage across the field was greeted with particular attention, that I was willing to excuse for the future. I must have been in full sight, and was the only person mounted on the field. Then the former order was so far modified as to rescind the lying down part of it. Now the order stood, “Go on, and if you reach the works go into them.” Charging more than three fourths of a mile of earthworks, with four thousand men at least, and eight pieces of artillery, with a line of skirmishers, let me tell you, is not a thing very often done; indeed, I do not think it was ever attempted. It looked like a forlorn hope at the start. My officers appreciated the nature of the attempt, and so did many of my men, —but no one thought of hesitating. I was, at twenty minutes past two, ordered to advance, and at the word “Forward!” my men went off as if on skirmish drill. It was elegant! First my skirmishers, then my reserves. So handsome was the advance, that Colonel Currie, of the One Hundred and Thirty-third New York, who was in the thickest of the fight, on the other side of the bayou, and his men, gave three cheers. I heard the cheers, and thought it was some success over there. I had found, in my movement during the last quarter of an hour, that I was a spotted man. I was the only person mounted, and every now and then the bullets whistled round me thick, and I thought more of my gallant horse than I did of myself. I don't quite understand it now, but I did not feel afraid of being hit at all. I every now and then stopped to think about it, generally eating a few blackberries in a ditch, while cogitating upon the matter. The fact is, I don't think anybody was afraid, or if any, not more than one officer and a few men. . . . . Tuesday, April 14.—At the dawn of day the Fifty-third moved into the works and planted “old glory” on the parapet, just about the time that Weitzel crowned the works on the other side. At seven o'clock we were ordered to go and do likewise, and our now baptized flag was placed on the lunette .... At Franklin all went into a field to bivouac, very tired, but in high spirits. We learned that we have taken twelve hundred prisoners, and that the Diana was blown up by the Rebs themselves, while the Queen of the West was destroyed by the Arizona. We began to think ourselves becoming
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Ode recited at the Harvard commemoration, July 21 , 1865 .
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