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[351] the boys were killed in trying to get through. I had to wrap my flag around the staff while crawling through this abattis.

My flag was riddled in this battle, having been pierced with ten bullet holes through its folds, while a splinter was torn out of the staff about six inches above my head, I came out, though, without a ‘scratch,’ and was ready for duty the next day. In this engagement some of the boys were shot down by my side—comrades that I dearly loved. Two of them, Murphy and Lambert, were killed.

When the firing ceased, our lines fell back a short distance, in a thick woods, and huddled around, talking over the various incidents of the battle. I soon went to sleep and knew nothing more until morning. I awoke much refreshed, and felt very thankful that I had escaped unhurt, while so many of my comrades were lying cold in death, and many others badly wounded. Early that morning the enemy shelled the woods we were in furiously, cutting the branches of the trees off over our heads. We could do nothing but stand and take it. They kept up this terrific cannonade about one hour. The piece of woodland was full of troops. To our surprise the cause of all this cannonading was to protect their retreat to the next line of fortifications at Gaines' Mill. About 9 o'clock we moved out after them, goving over a considerable portion of the battlefield. I well remember passing over that part of the field, near Meadow bridge, where it was said General Lee led a charge in person. I saw many of the soldiers near this famous bridge stuck in the bog up to their knees and dead.

Pursued them to Gaines' Mill.

We passed over the bridge and pursued the enemy on to Gaines' Mill. Here we found them strongly protected behind triple lines of heavy earthworks, with headlogs to protect them. It looked like foolishness to undertake to move them, but they had to be moved. Our brigade crossed the bridge that spans the bridge near Gaines' Mill, and we were soon in a deep-cut road. We followed this road about four hundred yards, when we halted and formed a line of battle and moved off in the direction of an old apple-orchard, which was on the top of a little knoll about two hundred yards in front. At the foot of this knoll our line halted and we were ordered to lie down. This order was obeyed quickly. The little knoll afforded very little protection, but we used it for all it was worth. We got down to our knitting, you bet. We buried ourselves in the ground for an hour

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