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[304] afraid, that he had been very reluctant to come, and felt sure he would run the first fight he got into, and disgrace himself forever.

It was pitiful to witness his dread of the future and hear him talk. Instead of deriding and scoffing at what seemed to be his craven nature, the man's evident sincerity and distress excited our compassion, and we tried to comfort him, telling him it was like taking a plunge in a cold bath. After the first shock he would not mind it (which by the way was a sort of pious fraud).

He never seemed to be reconciled or to put any faith in himself, but the very first battle he got into he fought like a veteran, and died on the field like the hero he was, though all unconscious of it himself. This was truly pathetic, and I shall always be slow to judge a man's courage till he is tried.

Latham did not need a second invitation to make it warm for our foes, as had been suggested to him, but swept around us with his two guns and caissons at a gallop, and unlimbered on the hill in front in time to give the demoralized foe a few parting shots. We were then ordered up to the front, and reached our line of battle just in time to see the enemy on the opposite hill retiring in confusion into the woods. They had lost all semblance of organization, and reminded me of nothing so much as a swarm of bees shaken down on the ground before a hive and making all possible speed to get into it, with much humming and buzzing, climbing over each other in their haste to get inside. They had just given us pretty good evidence of their power to sting, but then they seemed to have lost all inclination in that direction. Our regiment, being comparatively fresh, was ordered to pursue the retreating enemy, and away we went. We picked up, as we passed, a New York Zouave, standing nonchalantly on the hillside in great baggy, red trousers, and one leg crossed over the other. He seemed to have made up his mind to do no more marching or fighting, and was just waiting for us to take him prisoner. On that hill I came close to the first dead man I ever saw on a battle-field, and his features are even now as distinctly visible to me in memory as they were to my eyes that day. In after years I witnessed many more horrible sights on other battlefields, and I scarcely ever think of them. This dead soldier impressed me greatly. He was a young Federal cannoneer, and lay on his back with arms wide extended, one hand clutching a tuft of grass, and powder stains upon his handsome young face.

We saw no more of the enemy; but such wreck and devastation I never saw. The earth was strewn for miles with muskets, knapsacks,

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