before them stood our colors, their lovely folds gently swaying in a light breeze.
Not a guard was visible.
Not a musket showed above the rails.
With an exultant yell they dashed forward.
Never was there made a worse mistake than that yell; and it may truly be said that it sounded the death knell of more than one of those who gave it. But for that yell they could have jumped on my men before they were up. That yell startled our Union boys to a consciousness of their danger and gave them a few precious seconds of time in which to jump to their feet and cock their rifles.
The foe was so close that there was no need of taking aim. Every shot took effect.
The next instant the rifles were used as clubs, and quicker than it takes to relate, the foemen were all laid low, and the little band of Bucktails were speeding away with their colors to rejoin the regiment.
Three rifles against seven!
The bearers of the seven all struck down but one, and that one temporarily stretched on his back by Brehm
The owners of the three off without a scratch!
If it were not confirmed by the Confederate
report it might well tax the credulity of my auditors.
How do we account for it?
Those Mississippians—than whom there were no better fighters either North or South—had not anticipated any serious resistance.
Each of them was so eager to secure one of the coveted prizes that they forgot all danger, and threw caution to the winds.
Their hot reception took them completely by surprise, and, before they had time to recover from it, the clash was over.
The wounded comrade who witnessed the melee over the colors, saw but ‘three of the enemy stretched on the sod.’
It is presumed that the two victims of Spayd
's rifle lay west of the breastwork and could not be seen by him. Price
may have had only five comrades with him; but if he really had ‘half a dozen,’ as stated by Capt. Bond
, then there is one more man to be accounted for, and he too must have lain in a position where the aforementioned comrade could not see him.
, the leader, was evidently the man whom Brehm
clutched by the throat and hurled to the ground, and it is probably to this humiliating experience he owed his preservation from serious injury; otherwise he too might have received the blow of