to keep cool, aim low, fire straight, etc., etc., I found myself, with rifle, in line with my men, firing away and liking it better than walking about and exhorting men who were nobly doing all they could do.
In a hot place; on a stretcher; and in a Hay stack.
I shot away the ammunition left in one dead man's cartridge-box, and walked a few yards to pick up another.
I was about to fire the third shot from this box, when something happened; for a minute or so surely I must have lost consciousness, else I would not have allowed the ambulance corps to attempt to take me off the hotly contested field, which we still held.
They started with me, in but a moment, it seems to me, four of us were on the ground in a pile almost.
As I lay on the stretcher, I saw the ball strike poor Charlie Watkins
in the head, scattering his brains.
He fell with a thud and never breathed again.
(William H. Briggs
) had his thigh broken and second and third finger cut off, and another man, name unknown, wounded.
I tell you, it was a hot place, and getting hotter each moment.
Others offered to take up the stretcher, but I commanded them not to do this, but go back to the firing-line.
At this time our line charged, and the enemy ran. I crawled and walked to a hay-stack, full of wounded.
I was as bloody as I could be, and it is a fact, I could feel and hear the blood in my boots.
Among the wounded in that hay-stack was Lieutenant John Fussell
, struck on the breast by something that had raised a great blue place as big as a child's first.
It must have been a pitiful and pathetic sight seeing good old John cut off the sleeve of my coat looking for a wound in the arm, when it was more serious, through the brachial plexus of the right breast.
Someone called out that the stack was on fire, and it was horrible to see the poor wounded fellows getting away from it. I lay in the corner of a fence—how long, I know not. I do believe, without better information, we were the extreme regiment on the left of our whole army, for the first unemployed men and doctors we met with were cavalry, among them my friend, Captain John Lamb
, member of Congress, who, I knew, was instrumental in having me taken from the field—how I do not exactly remember; it seems in a blanket tied to poles.
If this meets his eye, will he please let me know exactly how it was.