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[16] of these little leaden balls; a musical ear can study the different tones as they skim through the space. A comrade lying next to me, an ameteur musician of no mean merit, spoke of this. Said he, ‘I caught the pitch of that minnie that just passed. It was a swell from E flat to F, and as it retrograded in the distance receded to D—a very pretty change.’

It was now getting late in the afternoon, and the men were becoming cramped from lying in their constrained position; some were moving up and down, some stretching themselves, for there was a cessation of firing in our front—an interval of quiet. It was but a short time, for the guarded, stern, nervous voice of our officer, calling, ‘Quick, men, back to your posts!’ sent every soldier into line. And then, as we waited, each man looked along the line — the slight, thin, frail line—stretched out behind that crest to withstand the onset of solid ranks of blue, and felt his heart sink within him. Yet who could not but feel pride at such soldiers as these; they were the fleur de mille of the army. They had kept up in this campaign solely by an unquenchable pride and indomitable will. As dirty, as gaunt, as tattered as they looked, they were ‘gentlemen.’ One could say of them, as Marshal Villars had cried out with uncontrollable enthusiasm, as he witnessed the Scotch gentry fighting in the ranks under the Chevalier St. George at the battle of Malplaquet: ‘Pardi! un gentilhomme est toujours gentilhomme.’

Yes, that thin string of tattered men, lying there with their bright rifles clasped tight in their hands, had marched onward, and onward, though their gaunt frames seemed as if they would sink at every step, they had followed their colors on the hot, dusty march, with fatigue relaxing their muscles, closing their eyes and deadening their wills, they had dragged themselves along to the battle-field with stone-bruised feet; they had fought and won battles on empty stomachs; they had kept steadily on making their allotted march, famishing and nearly naked, covered with dust, half devoured by vermin; they marched onward, still onward, through all the smoke of battle, through the torrid heat of a summer's sun; they had followed their flags through all of this with cheers like the songs of gods.

There was a grand patriotism, an abnegation of self, a sublime devotion to the cause they had espoused, displayed by these wearied, dust-stained, ragged men, that will make the pages of American history shine with splendid lustre.

Our brigade was a mere outline of its former strength, not a sixth remaining. Our regiment, the Seventeenth, that once carried into

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