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Action of Graham's Battery.

While we were thus on our way to prison the most stirring events were taking place in the town. The result of the fight was quickly known, coupled with the tidings of those citizens who had fallen, and the news of the approach of the enemy. Intense feeling prevailed. The great heart of Petersburg was stirred as it never was before. The cry passed from lip to lip: ‘The militia have been cut to pieces. The Yankees will be here directly.’ Those who had kept up with the events of the day fully expected the streets to be swarming in a few moments with the bluecoated squadrons of the enemy, bent on their mission of havoc and destruction.

But deliverance was at hand. Captain Edward Graham commanded [13] a battery stationed on the line of the railroad between Richmond and Petersburg. He was the son of a British army officer and his martial instinct was an inheritance. He had been a Lieutenant in the old Petersburg Artillery and went into the war at its commencement with his company. He was a brave, energetic and faithful officer and a strict disciplinarian. He had been attached to several commands and had seen much service at various points in eastern North Carolina and southern Virginia. At this time he was attached to the forces in front of General Butler, north of the Appomattox. He was noted especially for the admirable condition in which he kept his battery, attracting the attention of the great Commander-in-chief, who had an eye for everything from the spoke of a wagon wheel up. He sent for him and complimented him on its prime condition and praise from him was certainly a compliment.

Receiving orders early on the morning of the 9th to move his battery to the east of the city on the City Point Road, he proceeded to carry out his instructions with his accustomed promptitude. Crossing the river he turned down Bolling brook Street, but was halted more than once by contradictory orders. Finally the imperative order reached him to turn back and move to the south of the town.

Retracing his steps he moved rapidly up Sycamore Street, but as yet not fully appraised of the imminence of the danger. As he had reached nearly half way a courier dashed down towards him with an urgent message. The Captain turns swiftly in his saddle and gives command. The men jump from the guns and whip up the horses—and now commences a race for the heights, which for rapid movement of guns has rarely been equalled. The horses are strained to their utmost, but there is need of haste for the enemy this moment is standing on the inner threshold of the city. He has stopped to water his horses at Lieutenant Run and to reconnoitre. On with the guns! They move so swiftly that the caissons may explode any moment, but what of that, every chance must be taken. A lady attempts to cross in front of the flying battery. The wrathful Captain roars out an anathema on womankind in general: ‘If they don't get out of the way, ride over them,’ is his command.

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