previous next

[97] from there as quickly as possible. As one of the caissons passed I seized the fifth wheel, mounted to the top of the caisson, and changed my mind about as quickly as I got up. The air above me seemed to be so full of shrieking shells and whistling minie balls that I thought the closer I could get to the ground the better, So I tumbled off the caisson and began running along the ground again. Just as I reached the ground two men of the battery climbed, as I had done, to the top of the caisson, and as they reached the seat a shell burst immediately over the caisson, killing two horses, the driver and these two men; whereas I, running immediately by the side of the caisson, was not injured in the least.

As we reached the road coming out we met Longstreet's Division, with Pickett's Brigade in front, George and Charley Pickett and Dorsey Cullen leading the advance with the men fresh from Richmond, coming up at a double quick. These leaders I had known from boyhood, and as I clasped the hands of these gallant men one at a time, tears of excitement forced themselves from my eyes, and I remarked: ‘Unless you break that line we are badly whipped.’ Wheeling to the right Longstreet pushed his division across the creek and up the hill, and it was only then that the Federal line broke and the yells of our men rang through the gathering darkness shouts of victory, the firing evidently showing that at last General Porter's gallant men had been forced from their position, and the battle of Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill of the seven days bloody battle around Richmond had been won.

In writing this article I have been led by a desire to state as a fact for future history that Branch's Brigade, Duke Johnson's Battery, and, I think, the Hanover Troop, were the instruments used by General Lee to bring on the great battle he proposed to fight in order to drive McClellan from the gates of Richmond.

In thinking over the stirring events of the day it seems to me that I would give all I have on earth to feel the good little mare under me, doing her best to keep up with Lieutenant Haskell, the blood flowing hot through my veins, the shouts of the men, the rattle of the guns, the dust, noise, thunder of cannon and rattle of musketry, that indeed was excitement, and now that I am old I long for the tingle of the nerves and the mingled feeling of fear and hope that will never come again. I often think that the man who gave up life in those days when the soldier's life was the only true living, can alone be called blessed.

J. B. M.

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.
Wheeling, W. Va. (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Gaines Mill (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.
Charley Pickett (2)
Fitz John Porter (1)
George B. McClellan (1)
Longstreet (1)
R. E. Lee (1)
Marmaduke Johnson (1)
A. C. Haskell (1)
Dorsey Cullen (1)
L. O'B. Branch (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: