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[227] made an attack at that time. Then I was in the swamp and water, with the Federals in front of me, and the 25th regiment in rear of me. There was no alternative except to obey the old Confederate injunction, ‘to grab a root.’ I managed to get between two tussocks, and under water as much as I could. The balls passed over me from both sides, so I was unhurt, but I felt very uncomfortable all night in my wet and muddy clothing.

The next morning was the 18th June. Then Mr. Alley says, Lincoln's pets, 1,950 strong, the Maine battery, charged us, and went back with 250. I can realize that this was so, for, except at Cold Harbor, I never saw such slaughter.

At early daylight the Federals commenced shelling us. It was then, as it is now, my habit to take hot coffee as soon after daylight as practicable. Of course I had to make it myself. That morning I made a double portion, for Major Rion and myself. I knew he needed it. He brought his tin cup to me, and then went off across the esplanade of the fort, and called to me to bring him his coffee. To do so I would have to expose myself to the shells of the Federals, which were flying around us. I did it. The Major said: ‘I wanted to see if you could do it without spilling a drop. I believe you did it.’

The Major gave the right fort to my charge; but, such a charge! ‘Take your place in the fort, when the line crosses the railroad, and extend my orders. Remember, I hold you responsible at the mouth of my pistol, if a shot is fired from that fort before my order to fire.’ I was dazed; for it is almost impossible to restrain men from firing when under fire, and while being charged, and I knew the Major was a strict disciplinarian and would do as he said. So I asked him: ‘How can I help it?’ ‘Go to Captain Jones (I. L., of Liberty Hill), and say to him what I said to you, and that I say you can only relieve yourself of responsibility from my pistol by your opening fire on him upon the first premature shot he permits to come from that fort.’ I so did; crossing the railroad among the shells to see Captain Jones. That discipline was the secret of that slaughter.

The battle was continuously fought under the strictest tactics of the manual of arms. The Major would stand in the open, so he could see our breastworks, and the balance of us would be ‘grabbing a root, close up to the breastworks.’ The enemy would come by brigades, two companies deep, and march steadily across the open field towards us, while the air over our heads was seething with shells and minie-balls. At my post, behind the breastwork, near the

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