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[93] it to be put into action. Here occurred one of the first of the Providential protections that had been before alluded to. Five times I rode the little mare to the top of the hill in order to get over to where General Branch had established his field headquarters, but failed each time to force her against the shells bursting along the whole line to the right of McIntosh's battery. I then tied her under the hill and proceeded on foot. After some little difficulty I reached General Branch and reported. Just as I was about to receive his instructions a courier on horseback rode up, and at the same time a shell burst immediately over our heads, killing the courier and wounding several other men. Had I been on horseback I would probably have met the same fate as the courier.

Our battery was put into action, and the firing continued until late in the night, probably until 10 o'clock. The only guide we had to the location of the Yankee battery was the flash of their guns, but after the time mentioned the firing gradually grew less and we turned in to strengthen our position by throwing up earth-works in front of the guns.

As soon as it was light the next morning we resumed the duel, and for probably two hours a hot artillery fight was kept up; finally, however, the Federals withdrew. Again I had evidence of the interference of Providence. McIntosh's Battery had taken the reverse of an earth-work thrown up by General McClellan, but as it was on the south bank of the creek it had not been used until McIntosh found it an excellent place for his guns. Our battery crowded in close to McIntosh's, and as much room as possible was made for the protection of our men. Just before the firing ceased on the morning of the second of the seven days a sergeant of McIntosh's Battery and the writer were standing side by side watching the effect of the firing of our guns. Through the smoke and a very short distance off I noticed a peculiar looking object coming towards us, and in the twinkling of an eye I recognized it as a 3-inch rifle or 10-pound Parrot shell that had lost its balance and was turning end for end, coming quickly towards us. There was hardly time to say ‘drop,’ but I dropped as close to the ground as possible; my comrade endeavored to do the same thing, but just as his back bent the shot struck him between the shoulders and tore out about twelve inches of backbone. This, as I said, seemed another direct interposition of Providence. ‘Two shall be standing in the field—the one shall be taken and the other left.’

Shortly afterwards we were ordered to cease firing, limber up and


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