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[31] and barking furiously at the shell. Buck's hand dropped from the trigger. He dashed it across his eyes to dispel the mist and make sure he hadn't passed over the river and wasn't seeing his own baby-girl in a vision. No, there is the baby, amid the hell of shot and shell, and here come the Yankees. A moment, and he has grounded his gun, dashed out into the storm, swept his great right arm around the baby, gained cover again, and, baby clasped to his breast and musket trailed in his left hand, is trotting after the boys up to Marye's heights.

And there, behind that historic stone wall and in the lines hard by, all those hours and days of terror, was that baby kept; her fierce nurses taking turns patting her, while the storm of battle raged and shrieked—and, at night, wrestling with each other for the boon and benediction of her quiet breathing under their blankets. Never was baby so tended and cared for. They scoured the country side for milk, and conjured up their best skill to prepare dainty viands for her little ladyship.

When the struggle was over and the enemy had withdrawn to his strongholds across the river and Barksdale was ordered to reoccupy the town, the Twenty-first Mississippi, having held the post of danger in the rear, was given the place of honor in the van and led the column. There was a long halt, the brigade and regimental staff hurrying to and fro. The regimental colors could not be found.

Denman stood about the middle of the regiment, baby in arms. Suddenly he sprang to the front. Swinging her aloft above his head, her little garments fluttering like the folds of a banner, he shouted, ‘Forward Twenty-first, here are your colors’—and, without further order, off started the brigade toward the town, yelling as only Barksdale's men could yell. They were passing through a street fearfully shattered by the enemy's fire, and were shouting their very souls out; but-let Buck himself describe the last scene in the drama:

I was holding the baby high, Adjutant, with both arms, when, above all the racket, I heard a woman's scream. The next thing I knew I was covered with calico, and she fainted on my breast. I caught her before she fell, and laying her down gently, put her baby on her bosom. She was most the prettiest thing I ever looked at, and her eyes were shut,—and—and—I hope God'll forgive me, but I kissed her just once.

And what shall we more say, for the time would fail us

to illustrate all the noble features of the soldier life. There is however one,

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W. P. Buck (2)
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