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William Reid, an old sailor and man-of-war's man, who was on board the Owasco, was one of the heroes of the fight at Galveston. During the hottest moments of the battle between the Owasco and the rebel batteries, this man, who is forty-eight years of age, received a severe wound while in the act of loading his rifle. His two forefingers on his left hand were shot away, and the surgeon ordered him below, but he refused to go, and tying his pocket-handkerchief around his fingers, he remained on deck and did good execution with his rifle. Not more than thirty minutes after, another shot struck him in his right shoulder, and the blood spirted out through his shirt. Master's Mate Arbana then ordered him to go below, and have the surgeon dress his wounds. The brave old fellow said: “No, sir, as long as there is any fighting to be done, I will stay on deck!”

After the engagement was over the noble-hearted sailor had his wounds dressed and properly attended to. He is now on board the Owasco, and whenever they beat to general quarters you will see William Reid standing at his post ready for orders. He was told one day by the Captain to go below, as he was on the sick-list, and his place was in the hospital; he was displeased with this remark and replied: “No, Captain, my eyes are good and I can pull a lockstring as well as any on'em!” The lockstring is a lanyard connected with the cap that fires the gun.

Master's Mate Arbana of the Owasco had a very narrow escape from death at the battle of Galveston, three shots having struck him in different places. One of the bullets passed completely through the crown of his cap, another penetrated his pantaloons just below the right knee, taking the piece of cloth with it. The third shot struck his sword just as he raised it in the air, and ordered his men to give a rousing cheer for “Yankee Doodle.”


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