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Historic leaves, volume 4, April, 1905 - January, 1906, Personal Experience of a Union Veteran (search)
pinned to the tail of his coat. I didn't need a placard, but rather needle and thread and court-plaster. Our battalion was moved out about half a mile from the landing on the road to Hilton Head, to serve as picket guard. We pitched our tents in a cotton field; and here I had my first experience as a Southern field-hand, from which duty I was detailed to serve as sergeant of the guard. Soon the rumor spread through the camp that the rebels were in force between our position and the Savannah river, and I detected a nervousness on the part of some of the guard. Early in the afternoon the officer of the day said he was sick, and, as all the other officers were on duty at the landing, he would turn over the command of the guard to me. (A year later he acknowledged that he was scared, not sick.) As the officer of the day disappeared a staff officer dashed into our camp and inquired for Sergeant Hawes. Presenting myself, the officer said, The general's compliments, and he orders