previous next

Forgot he was old.

My heart beats strong. I forget that I am an old man now. I glide along, I hardly know how, over the same ground. Presently the rattle of the skirmisher's fire is heard in front. The soldiers cheer and go faster. Here is the field where the enemy left their supper cooking. In imagination I see the soldiers again dipping real coffee from the boilers, and blowing and drinking it as they moved along. Some have junks of beef on their bayonets, while their comrades cut slices. Others are stuffing hardtack in their haversacks as they go; for no one can stop; all must keep dressed now. On we go through the woods, dressing our lines as we pass through the fields and openings.

How proudly the men march! How enthuastic they are! How beautifully the emblems of constitutional liberty wave in the breeze! Jackson's corps is sweeping the field! What a grand panorama!

Our gallant brigadier is on foot in front of us. He turns and salutes his brigade with his sword—a compliment which we intend to prove that we deserve ere we stop.

And here is where we were when the enemy attempted to made a stand to check us. A volley from a line of battle is poured into our line to the right of us; but only one. We make no stop. The volley is returned, and we go still faster, while the rebel yell rolls from one end of our lines to the other, and back again. We are moving too fast. The officers storm at the men for not moving slower, when they are only keeping up with the officers. And now the artillery [207] is booming, shells are shrieking and bursting, rifles are rattling, and occasionally a volley is fired. The rebel yell is now almost continuous. Still, on we sweep.

There is the place, near those thick bushes, where the gallant Lieutenant Roane received a scrapnel shot in his abdomen, when one of his men, whom he had just given the flat of his sword for showing the white feather, said: ‘I'm mighty sorry for Lieutenant Roane, but he oughn't to beat me like he did.’

We are halted. There is a lull in the fire and uproar. The Light Division has been ordered to take the lead. It is beginning to get dark. We move again, and just ahead is where we came out into the plank road (I could not understand before why we came out of the fields and woods into the road, but it is all plain now—we went straight, but the road makes a turn). It is there where we saw the deserted artillery, and the dead and wounded horses. All looks now just as it did then. I do not think the trees have grown a bit; even the bushes seem to be the same.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Jackson County (West Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Roane (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: