Now they fire in battle.
--An army correspondent says:
You wonder whether the regiments fire regularly or whether each man loads and fires as can. That depends upon circumstances; , except when the enemy is near at hand, the regiments fire only at the command of their officers.
You hear a drop, drop, drop, as a few of the skirmish fire, followed by a rattle and roll, which sounds like the falling of a building, just as some of you have heard the brick walls tumble at a great fire.
Sometimes when a body of the enemy's cavalry are sweeping down upon a regiment to cut it to pieces the men form into a square, with the officers and musicians in the nature.
The front rank stands with bayonet charged, while the rear rank fires as fast as it can. Sometimes they form is four ranks deep — the two front ones kneeling with bayonet charged, so that if the enemy should come upon them they would run against a picket-fence of bayonets.
When they form in this way the other two ranks load and fire as fast as they can. Then the roar is terrific, and many a horse and his rider goes down before the terrible storm of bullets.