previous next

Just before going in.

The battle opened, to me at least, most unexpectedly. I had slipped out of camp and was breakfasting with a young lady, when suddenly the ring of a field-piece clanged close by upon the air. Seizing musket and equipments I bolted out of doors sans ceremonie and made for the main street, visions of a court-martial floating before me. The sidewalks were full of infantry at double-quick, and artillery, staff officers, and couriers were coming down the roadway at a gallop. Some one told me Hill was on ahead, and, throwing away my blanket, I ran to the head of the column. The commanding officer could not tell me where my brigade was, and I kept on till I cleared the town. Here a group of staff officers were directing the troops, and in response to my query one of them pointed out a regiment just disappearing behind some pines on the further side of the main road. This road the Federals were shelling, and I began to realize that my little escapade had gotten me into a pretty serious predicament. If I crossed the road I ran the risk of being hit, and if I went back into town so as to work my way around, it was not likely I would find the regiment again, and it would be hard work to satisfactorily explain my absence. A little observation, however, showed that the enemy were firing slowly and would not move more than one or two guns in position, and I determined to try the short cut. Throwing off haversack and jacket, I slipped down the bank into the road and waited for the next discharge. As soon as the shell screamed by I started. There was a shout or cry of warning behind me, but I flew across like a deer, dashed full tilt against the opposite bank, climbed up and soon rejoined the regiment. The men gave me a cheer as I came up, and I felt as fine as a fiddle. We were young then, Horatio, and life was a frolic.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Ambrose P. Hill (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: