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[14] effect was ludicrous. We did not stop on the order of going, but went at once. Every man jumped, hopped, ran, or rolled from that harmless-looking little black ball, and did not stop until they were at a respectable distance, when, lying flat down, they awaited the explosion. It soon came, and shattered a whole panel of fence by the force of its discharge. How thankful we were that the fuse was so long. Going back, we picked as best we could the fallen fruit which we forgot to carry when that shell came along. We lost our grapes, though.

The Yankees were preparing for their battle. On the heights, some two thousand yards away, fresh batteries would take their position and open; ours would reply, and so, as the hours of the forenoon wore on, the war clamor grew greater, and soon on our left the splashes of musketry, and then the steady, rattling discharges showed the battle was fairly joined.

The old cry soon came to us, ‘Fall in!’ and, soon in line, we advanced and took our place and waited with clenched teeth and fearless front for the attack.

Our position was directly in front of the village of Sharpsburg, on a high hill, behind a new post and rail fence; the topography of the country and the configuration of the ground was peculiar, consisting of a succession of undulating hills and corresponding valleys. The elevation that we were on sunk rather abruptly to a deep bottom, and then rose suddenly, forming another hill, the crest of which was about sixty yards from the top of the eminence where we rested. Any attacking force would be invisible until they arrived on the top of the crest opposite, and in pistol-shot distance, or what we call point blank musketry range.

On our front about a mile away was Antietam creek, spanned by a bridge. This was guarded by Toombs's Georgia brigade, which was only a skeleton command, being about one-fifth of its full ranks.

Our army surrounded Sharpsburg in a semi-circle, and we could lie there and hear and see the raging frenzied battle on our left. The reports of the cannon were incessant and deafening: at times it seemed as if a hundred guns would explode simultaneously, and then run off at intervals into splendid file firing. No language can describe its awful grandeur. The thousand continuous volleys of musketry mingle in a grand roar of a great cataract, and together merging, seemed as if the earth was being destroyed by violence, the canopy of the battle's fume, from this vast burning of gunpowder, rising above the battle-field in such thick clouds, that the


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