From this time, during the balance of the day, every thing is comparatively quiet.
When night came on we are made to fall in line and move up the trench towards our right.
In the trench that led around and to the rear of the Crater, dead men lie so thick that to walk along without stepping upon their bodies or limbs was very difficult.
Our movement to the right is ended when we have been so shifted as to bring the Riflemen immediately in the rear of the Crater.
Here we are halted, and a detail of two or more men from each company is called for. Of this detail it falls to my lot to be one.
What is to be done?
The dead are to be buried!
And this detail is to do the work!
My horror can be better imagined than described.
Before work commenced, somebody—who I do not know, but some one whose authority and orders in the premises, legal or illegal, I was prompt to recognize and obey—came along and put me in charge of a burying squad.
I congratulated myself that I had no nearer connection with this disagreeable work.
In a big grave, not a hundred feet in rear of the Crater, a large number of the bodies were placed.
The work was done by a squad of negro prisoners.
In the gray light of morning I went into the Crater, and there I saw the burying parties in this place still at work.
This gloomy night's work had at least one humorous incident.
Our worthy commander, Comrade Hugh R. Smith
, then adjutant of the Twelfth, I am glad to know, lives to-day to vouch for the correctness of what I am about to narrate:
had selected for his night's rest a grassy spot near the men in the trench, all of whom, except those on guard or special duty, were fast asleep, and like them was wrapt in the arms of Morpheus
He had the advantage of his sleeping comrades, in that he had a soft and cool bed of grass upon which to rest; but he was in close vicinity to the pile of dead men then being buried.
Things, however, were fairly evened up, when, some time during the small hours of the night, one of the negro prisoners, looking out for a corpse to bury, seized our gallant adjutant by the ankle and was hurrying him to the grave, when the adjutant, not then ready to be buried, awoke, to the great consternation of the poor prisoner, who thought he was handling a genuine corpse.
It is Sunday morning, and breakfast time.
Are we to eat in this horrible place, the air filled with offensive odors from the presence of hundred of bodies still unburied, many of them within a radius of a