previous next
[311] there in place. It was nearly morning. Darkness was struggling with dawn for mastery. The battle had ceased. The Confederate moaned and talked to ‘mother,’ and ‘father,’ and ‘little sister,’ and ‘dear old mammy.’

In his delirium he repeated the line of Horace: ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.’ ‘When did you read Horace?’ asked the Federal. Rising to a sitting posture, he answered: ‘When I was first a Phi Gam.’ ‘I am a Phi Gam,’ said the Federal, with choking voice. Reaching his trembling hand up to the face of the Federal, the dying soldier tenderly stroked it for a moment, and then fell back, while his soul went up to God. The rays of the early morning sun of September 2, 1862, caressing the manful, white face of that dead Confederate, clothed it with beauty not easy to describe. Wrapping the dead soldier in the gum-blanket, which had protected him, the Federal scooped out a grave, kissed the forehead and the hair of his brother Phi Gam, lowered his body into the grave, and tenderly covered it with the soil of Virginia.

On November 24, 1863, as Hooker's men charged and captured Lookout Mountain, with its beetling crags, the right of the changing line passed over many wounded men lying on the rocky mountain side. One of these, a fair-haired, blue-eyed Confederate, looking up into the face of a Federal officer charging by him, said: ‘Please, sir, my left leg is shot and broken, and I need some water. I am so thirsty, sir; can you give me some water?’ The Federal tore his canteen from his side, handed it to the Confederate, said to him, ‘Drink, Johnnie, drink,’ at the same time putting a knapsack beneath the Confederate's head, and moved on with his men.

Immediately after the mountain had been captured, the Federal went back to the wounded Confederate, found him sleeping, gently wakened him and gave him another canteen of water, which he eagerly and quickly drank, lifted him in his arms, bore him down the side of the mountain, and laid him on the bank of Lookout creek, at the foot of the mountain. Calling his brigade surgeon to him, he earnestly requested him to care for, and immediately treat the wounded Confederate. This the surgeon did. He frankly told the Confederate that his leg must come off. Looking up into the Federal officer's face, he said, with tears running down his cheeks, ‘Must I lose my leg, sir? It is hard; very hard, to lose my leg.’ The Federal, with choked utterance, could only say, ‘Yes.’ The surgeon's lantern (it was evening and somewhat dark) was just then

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.
Lookout Mountain, Tenn. (Tennessee, 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.
Phi Gam (3)
Joe Hooker (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 24th, 1863 AD (1)
September 2nd, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: