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[13] came into the recess, and certainly one and possibly two other Confederates.1

Ready now to give the enemy a shot, I looked around the corner towards the place near the intersection of the ditch with the trench where I saw the fellow who pointed his gun and grinned at me, but he was not to be seen. All I could see in this direction were the ends of rifles and bayonets held by men in the trench concealed from my view by the angle of the trench and small ditch. Whilst I was making this observation, a Federal soldier in the trench near this angle fired his gun, and its muzzle was close enough to the dry earthen angle to make the dust rise in the air as the wind of the exploding rifle-charge knocked away a part of the sharp corner of the trench and ditch at this angle.

Finding in this direction nothing at which to shoot, although only a wall of some five feet intervened between the place where I stood and a ditch full of men in blue, I stood tip-toe and looked eastward towards the ground beyond our breastworks. Here I saw numbers of the enemy crowding behind the outer or eastward part of our works, apparently three or four deep, the tops of their caps only being visible, and there were at the same time others of the enemy retreating across the open field between our works and theirs, and at these I fired this, my second shot, and again reloaded.

About this time a conference took place between Comrade Turner and myself as to the propriety of remaining in the place where we then stood. The suggestion was made that we fall back to our line, I mean that part of it represented by the Petersburg Riflemen, all or the greater part of whom, we believed, were standing or lying at or near the ends of the ditches leading out from the trench. We agreed, however, that whilst we were in a very dangerous position,

1 My impression has always been that Sergeant W. W. Tayleure (of whom hereafter) was one of the other Confederates. Since this paragraph was written, Sergeant Tayleure (now a resident of Brooklyn, N. Y.) has visited Petersburg and informed me that my impression was correct, as he distinctly recollects the old negroe's vigorous fanning of the wounded Confederate as the latter would say to him: ‘Damn you, fan me fast;’ and the old fellow would reply, ‘Yes, sir—yes, sir;’ from the use of which language by the wounded Confederate we may safely infer that he was not as near death's door as for over twenty-five years I believed him to have been, but it is to be hoped that he is to-day somewhere in this world alive and in sound health. Strange to say, Sergeant Tayleure has no recollection of seeing either Comrade Turner or myself in this recess, nor does Comrade Turner recollect seeing Sergeant Tayleure, the wounded Confederate or the old negro.

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