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[200] slaughter around Collins' guns was awful. General officers and aides helped to work the pieces. Finally the horses were all shot down, and the line was compelled to retreat under the withering fire. Shelby, reeling in his saddle from the loss of blood through an artery severed at the wrist called for volunteers to save Collins' guns. At the cry, “The battery is in danger,” hundreds of the troopers turned back. Shelby said: “Fifty, only fifty! Bring the battery back or remain yourselves.” Collins and his lieutenants were still fighting bravely but hopelessly. The dead horses were cut away, ropes attached, and the guns dragged back safely to the lines. Fifteen only of those fifty volunteers got out unscathed and twenty remained where they fell.

Since that day at Helena I tell the boys I would rather buck against a hoodoo than try to down Old Glory on the Fourth of July.

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