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[261] the march, only sixteen men and one lieutenant went into the battle at Sharpsburg. Other companies, of course, suffered similar diminution.

The river at Shepherdstown is over half a mile wide and very shoal. A gallant little Irishman belonging to Company C, 18th regiment, Tom Brennan by name, never played out, therefore was one of the seventeen men who crossed the river. Tom was small in stature, but brave as Forrest. In wading across he held his gun, shoes and cartridge box on his head, to prevent them from getting wet, and when within about twenty yards of the shore he halloed out: ‘Boys, I am over, dry shod;’ but as he made the announcement he stepped into a deep hole and went under, head and ears, gun and all. When he arose, as if finishing the remark, he said: ‘When I get on some dry Yankee shoes.’

We soon arrived at Sharpsburg. The battle was raging. We halted in the roadway of the little town for a moment's rest, but it was a very short time. General Kershaw, who was in command of the division, came galloping back to hurry us forward. He had preceded our arrival to ascertain what he was expected to do. We double-quicked about a mile and halted in the edge of a beautiful wood. Owing to so many men having fallen out, Barksdale's Brigade was not over 800 strong, which was about the avergage for the other brigades also.

General Barksdale rode in front of the line and addressed the men in stirring words. He said: ‘The enemy is driving back our center. We must check them. Stonewall Jackson and General Lee expect you to do so. I have promised that you will, and I want every man to do three men's duty. If there is a man before me who cannot, let him step out. I will excuse him.’ Not a man moved. It was a trying ordeal, but the endurance that stood the men so well on the march from Harper's Ferry upheld them now. Shells were flying about us, chipping limbs and often striking the ground and ricocheting, throwing up heaps of earth.

General Barksdale then said: ‘Leave everything, except guns and cartridge boxes, under that tree.’ There were not over 100 blankets in the brigade.

About that moment, General D. H. Hill galloped to a point about fifty yards in advance of us and halted. Quickly adjusting his field glasses, he let go his bridle reins and watched the Federal line. Soon he was joined by his adjutant-general, Major Ratchford. They had not occupied the position exceeding a minute when a

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