Our ears were deadened with the continuous roar of the battle, and our eyes were dimmed with the smoke.
Ah! we too needed rest.
The rest Schurz
's men were having yonder, over the hill in their rear.
It mattered not to him that we were tired, and that our ammunition was gone.
On, on he came, pouring into us his deadly volleys, and then the rush.
Our men fell fast around us. The Thirteenth and the First after having held our position all day, at last were pushed back.
The enemy pressed on, crossed the cut, and slowly but steadily compelled us, step by step, to yield the long coveted position—the position, on the extreme left, a little in advance of Hill
's line, with which, early in the morning, our brigade had been entrusted, and which we had maintained all day. But we would not give it up without a desperate struggle.
Now again the same hand to hand fight we had with Grover
, we renewed with Kearney
—we were not, however, entirely without help.
came to our assistance with one of his regiments, and, literally, with coat off, personally took part in the affray.
With his aid we made a stand on the top of the knoll, and there, over the bodies of our dead and wounded comrades, we struggled on. On our left, too, the Rifles were still contending for the cornfield, and there that gallant soldier, Colonel J. Foster Marshall
, and his Lieutenant-Colonel
, D. A. Leadbetter
, were both killed, with many other good men of that devoted regiment, but the enemy attacking them was again repulsed, and those who had pressed the rest of us back to the top of the hill, now hesitated and commenced to yield.
We pressed them in our turn.
They broke and fell back in disorder.
I recollect that as they did so, they left a mule which, notwithstanding all the turmoil, was quietly cropping a green blade, here and there, in the blood-stained grass around him. His singular appearance attracted our attention even in that terrible moment, and I was looking at him, wondering, when some one exclaimed, ‘Why, he has a mountain howitzer behind him!’
Sure enough, there it was. Amidst the roar of musketry and the din of arms we had not noticed this instrument of destruction which, in a few yards of us, had been mowing down our men with canister.
Probably it was one of the same that Sigel
had sent to Krzyzanowski
and which Gordon
tells us were ‘happily placed’ in his skirmish line in the first attack in the morning.
, who was supporting Kearney
, was on hand to make one more last effort of the day. We heard the cheers of his men as he ordered them in—telling us that our work was not yet done.