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[307] would come in sight and make the 200 yard's run—such a dash as he had never made before. As soon as the lead mules would get in sight the Yankee guns would begin, but they shot slowly and with poor effect. The Sergeant and I sat for some time watching the fun, when he said: ‘Look at the guns coming out of the woods.’ I raised up eyes from the road and the demoralized drivers to a point a mile or so from where we were, back from the road probably a quarter of a mile was a body of woods with a bare hill sloping to a hollow, a point probably a little over half way between the timber and the road. Out from this timber was coming a section of Pelham's Battery at a full gallop, down the hill, over the branch, where we lost sight of them, and then coming in sight again just to the right of the point where the road was hidden by the hill.

An infantry charge reminds you of a moving wall that cannot be resisted; a charge of cavalry stirs the blood; but I have never known excitement to equal that of a battery of artillery going into action on a full run under fire. Over the top of the hill came these two guns, a cloud of dust almost hiding them, the horses straining every muscle, the men hanging to the horses or any part of the gun on which they could hold, those of the men that were mounted riding at full speed. When the top of the hill was reached there seemed to be no stop. The men threw themselves from their horses or fell from the guns and gathered in little squads; the guns were brought into action, and in half the time I am telling you this there was a little puff of smoke, a hoarse, shrieking sound, the sound of the explosion of the gun, and the fall of No. 1 at the sixth gun, whose leg was severed from his body. The sergeant and I both broke into a simultaneous cheer, for, though an enemy, he was a first-class soldier and recognized the gallant fight the two little guns were going to put up. They looked little from our distance, but, like little men, they spoke loud, and with that sort of a sound that made one think you hear me. The second shot was almost as quick as that from the first gun and fell just in front of the battery, then a shell from the first burst over the third section, a fourth, fifth and sixth following in close succession, that, had we known then of quick-firing guns, we would have thought these rebels across the river had two six-pound quick-firing guns, and that the ‘men behind the gulls’ knew how to use them. The Yankee battery was taken so much by surprise at the audacity of two little guns daring to break up their fire on the wagons that they did not recover their balance until Pelham's guns had fired five or six rounds; then they began to

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John Pelham (2)
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