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[327] of horse-flesh that I ever witnessed occurred on the 25th of August, 1864, at Ream's Station on the Weldon Railroad. In this battle the fifty-seven or eight horses belonging to my company stood out in bold relief, a sightly target for the bullets of Rebel sharpshooters, who, from a woods and cornfield in our front, improved their opportunity to the full. Their object was to kill off our horses, and then, by charg ing, take the guns, if possible.

It was painfully interesting to note the manner in which our brave limber-horses-those which drew the gunssuccumbed to the bullets of the enemy. They stood harnessed in teams of six. A peculiar dull thud indicated that the bullet had penetated some fleshy part of the animal, sounding much as a pebble does when thrown into the mud. The result of such wounds was to make the horse start for a moment or so, but finally he would settle down as if it was something to be endured without making a fuss, and thus he would remain until struck again. I remember having had my eye on one horse at the very moment when a bullet entered his neck, but the wound had no other effect upon him than to make him shake his head as if pestered by a fly. Some of the horses would go down when hit by the first bullet and after lying quiet awhile would struggle to their feet again only to receive additional wounds. Just before the close of this battle, while our gallant General Hancock was riding along endeavoring by his own personal fearlessness to rally his retreating troops, his horse received a bullet in the neck, from the effects of which he fell forward, dismounting the general, and appearing as if dead. Believing such to be the case, Hancock mounted another horse; but within five minutes the fallen brute arose, shook himself, was at once remounted by the general, and survived the war many years.

When a bullet struck the bone of a horse's leg in the lower part, it made a hollow snapping sound and took him off his feet. I saw one pole-horse shot thus, fracturing the

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Winfield S. Hancock (2)
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August 25th, 1864 AD (1)
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