, and as a social recognition, he told me the news of the Major
's death, how that he had crept between the opposing lines to relieve a wounded man, and there met his death.
The angel of charity certainly had not far to come to meet him and to offer him the hand of fellowship.
This fight was on the north side of Vicksburg
, and outside the works proper.
In company with a Lieutenant of engineers, I inspected the line of works to which I had been assigned, and was pleased with the strength of the natural position until I came to a depression in the line commanded by adjoining points.
I asked the officer if he thought we could hold that position.
he asked, and a smile irradiated his face.
Asking the question more strongly and more to his personal satisfaction, I told him that if there was any other line I would like to see it, and so we rode to what he designated as the Fort Hill
After a careful inspection, I decided that it was the strongest position, and though only provided with a stockade and three lunettes, yet it was better to build new works than to take the rain of bullets in rifle pits unfit to protect the troops.
Accordingly, and in consequence of the urgency of the case, I sent a dispatch to General Pemberton
direct, recommending the second line.
At midnight, the order to fall back was issued, and the troops fell into line of battle on the Fort Hill ridge
I rode along the line, staking out in a hurried manner the line of the rifle pits, telling the men we would rectify mistakes another time.
The gray dawn, and the morning odor of the spring verdure, brought peace and pleasant thoughts.
It tempted my mind to wandering in memory into the meadows and gardens of old Missouri
, where home, and home interests, had made life an enchantment.
War was forgotten, there was such contentment in the spring air, the winter had passed away, the plumes of the blue-green grass waved in the bright sunlight in harmonic swaying with the delighted nerves.
The toil of military service, the mind's review of foregone sieges with all their horrors and rigorous sufferings passed from the heart.
I was brought back to the present by an admonition from an officer that the yanks were going to open fire.
On casting my eye over the distant ridge, just abandoned, I could see the deploying Federal troops pursuing the advantage they supposed they had gained.
Soon, firing commenced on the fatigue details sent out over our line to secure some tools which had been brought from Snyder's Bluff.
By night the artillery was placed in position, and the rifle pits were dug to the right depth, and on proper lines to suit