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[60] halt just here was an examination as to the route by which it would be best to go forward. In the dilemma, one of the couriers attached to our regiment suggested to our colonel that we might go through a little gate in sight, a short distance to our right. The courier's suggestion is taken, and we move to our right and file through this gate, meeting, as we pass, a poor fellow with a bullet hole through his neck and the pallor of death on his face, his friends, as they bear him past us, saying, ‘Look out for sharp-shooters’—another reminder, and not an agreeable one, either, of the presence of our armed adversaries.

We are now very close to the enemy. We are at the foot of the hill upon the table-ground of which stand the Crew house and other buildings and McClellan's army awaiting our assault-so close that we feel the vibrations of the earth at each discharge of the Federal guns. Not three hundred yards intervene between us and these guns, the slope of the hill, however, perfectly protecting us, we being now opposite to the extreme left of the Federal line of battle. To our right in a beautiful field (the meadow mentioned by General Wright), with its yellow shocks of recently-harvested wheat, are stationed the Federal sharp-shooters against whom we have been warned. Posted behind the shocks of wheat, they see us, but we cannot see them, whilst they pick off our men as they come up to take position in line of battle at the foot of the hill, preparatory to the intended charge. As each man files up he is ordered to lie down—an order most cheerfully obeyed, the recumbent position affording much protection from the fire of these sharpshooters, whose bullets are constantly hissing past us.

As I marched along to this position I looked over towards the woods on Turkey creek skirting this meadow. The prospect was beautiful, and as my eye took in the landscape, with everything in that direction so tranquil that clear summer afternoon, and in such striking contrast with the harsh notes of war every second reaching the ear from the hill in the front and to the left of us, I was reminded of a certain meadow in a neighboring county, which with its low grounds and fringe of dense woods, were delightfully familiar to me in the holiday seasons of my then recent boyhood. The wheat shocks, the low grounds, the woods in the distance, now before me, seemed to duplicate in every particular those elsewhere located, and now vividly recalled, over which, with gun and dog, I had so often hunted, and with which I associated nothing but happiness, and a crowd of memories rushed upon me. This would not be a truthful


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Turkey Creek (Virginia, United States) (1)

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Ambrose R. Wright (1)
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