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[192] so I went on the hunt for General Cheatham. By and by relief was sent to the front. This done, nature gave way. My shoulder was black with bruises from firing, and it seemed that no moisture was left in my system. Utterly exhausted, I sank upon the ground and tried to sleep. The battle was over, and I could do no more; but animated still with concern for the fate of comrades, I returned to the awful spectacle in search of some who, year after year, had been at my side. Ah, the loyalty of faithful comrades in such a struggle!

These personal recollections are all that I can give, as the greater part of the battle was fought after nightfall, and once in the midst of it, with but the light of the flashing guns, I could see only what passed directly under my own eyes. True, the moon was shining, but the dense smoke and dust so filled the air as to weaken its benefits, like a heavy fog before the rising sun, only there was no promise of the fog disappearing. Our spirits were crushed. It was indeed the Valley of Death.

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