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[15] sun looked down gloomy red in the sky, while the dust raised by the mass of men floated to the clouds.

Listen! the fight has commenced down at Antietam bridge, where Toombs lies with his Georgians. The Yankees have commenced to shell their front, which, we all know, is but a prelude to the deadlier charge of infantry.

The shells begin to sail over us as we lay close behind the fence, shrieking its wild song, a canzonet of carnage and death. These missiles howled like demons, and made us cower in the smallest possible space, and wish we had each a little red cap in the fairy tale, which, by putting on our heads, would make us invisible. But what is that infernal noise that makes the bravest duck their heads? That is a ‘Hotchkiss’ shell. Thank goodness, it bursted far in the rear. It is no more destructive than some other projectile, but there is a great deal in mere sound to work on men's fears, and the moral effect of the Hotchkiss is powerful.

The tremendous scream of this shell is caused by a ragged edge of lead which is left on the missile as it leaves the gun. In favorable positions of light the phenomenon can sometimes be seen as you stand directly behind the gun of the clinging of the air to the ball. The missile seems to gather up the atmosphere and carry it along, as our globe carries its air through space. Men are frequently killed by the wind of a cannon ball. There is a law of Nature which causes the atmosphere to cling to the earth, or which presses upon it with a force on the surface of fifteen pounds to the square inch. Does the same law pertain to cannon balls in their flight?

The enemy are silent, but it is the calm that is but a prefix to a hurricane. It comes suddenly and the musketry at the bridge breaks out fiercely; it rises and swells into a full compass: there is sharp work going on. In about an hour Toombs's brigade came rushing back, its lines broken, but its spirit and morale all right. It retreated to the village and was reformed and held in reserve to us.

We made ready and expected to see the victorious Yankees following hard upon the heels of the retreating Rebels, but to our astonishment an hour or two of absolute inaction followed; no advance nor demonstrations were made in our front, but on the left the battle was raging as fiercely as ever. What could it mean, we asked each other, but none could solve the question.

At last towards evening their shelling was renewed. A battery supporting the first brigade replied to it. Soon came the singing of the minnies overhead. There is a peculiar tuneful pitch in the flight

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