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    Chapter 40

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    Chapter 41
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    Naturally, we had a consuming hunger for news of what was being
    accomplished by our armies toward crushing the Rebellion. Now, more than
    ever, had we reason to ardently wish for the destruction of the Rebel
    power. Before capture we had love of country and a natural desire for
    the triumph of her flag to animate us. Now we had a hatred of the Rebels
    that passed expression, and a fierce longing to see those who daily
    tortured and insulted us trampled down in the dust of humiliation.

    The daily arrival of prisoners kept us tolerably well informed as to the
    general progress of the campaign, and we added to the information thus
    obtained by getting--almost daily--in some manner or another--a copy of a
    Rebel paper. Most frequently these were Atlanta papers, or an issue of
    the "Memphis-Corinth-Jackson-Grenada-Chattanooga-Resacca-Marietta-Atlanta
    Appeal," as they used to facetiously term a Memphis paper that left that
    City when it was taken in 1862, and for two years fell back from place to
    place, as Sherman's Army advanced, until at last it gave up the struggle
    in September, 1864, in a little Town south of Atlanta, after about two
    thousand miles of weary retreat from an indefatigable pursuer. The
    papers were brought in by "fresh fish," purchased from the guards at from
    fifty cents to one dollar apiece, or occasionally thrown in to us when
    they had some specially disagreeable intelligence, like the defeat of
    Banks, or Sturgis, or Bunter, to exult over. I was particularly
    fortunate in getting hold of these. Becoming installed as general reader
    for a neighborhood of several thousand men, everything of this kind was
    immediately brought to me, to be read aloud for the benefit of everybody.
    All the older prisoners knew me by the nick-name of "Illinoy"
    --a designation arising from my wearing on my cap, when I entered prison,
    a neat little white metal badge of "ILLS." When any reading matter was
    brought into our neighborhood, there would be a general cry of:

    "Take it up to 'Illinoy,'" and then hundreds would mass around my
    quarters to bear the news read.

    The Rebel papers usually had very meager reports of the operations of the
    armies, and these were greatly distorted, but they were still very
    interesting, and as we always started in to read with the expectation
    that the whole statement was a mass of perversions and lies, where truth
    was an infrequent accident, we were not likely to be much impressed with

    There was a marled difference in the tone of the reports brought in from
    the different armies. Sherman's men were always sanguine. They had no
    doubt that they were pushing the enemy straight to the wall, and that
    every day brought the Southern Confederacy much nearer its downfall.
    Those from the Army of the Potomac were never so hopeful. They would
    admit that Grant was pounding Lee terribly, but the shadow of the
    frequent defeats of the Army of the Potomac seemed to hang depressingly
    over them.

    There came a day, however, when our sanguine hopes as to Sherman were
    checked by a possibility that he had failed; that his long campaign
    towards Atlanta had culminated in such a reverse under the very walls of
    the City as would compel an abandonment of the enterprise, and possibly a
    humiliating retreat. We knew that Jeff. Davis and his Government were
    strongly dissatisfied with the Fabian policy of Joe Johnston. The papers
    had told us of the Rebel President's visit to Atlanta, of his bitter
    comments on Johnston's tactics; of his going so far as to sneer about the
    necessity of providing pontoons at Key West, so that Johnston might
    continue his retreat even to Cuba. Then came the news of Johnston's
    Supersession by Hood, and the papers were full of the exulting
    predictions of what would now be accomplished "when that gallant young
    soldier is once fairly in the saddle."

    All this meant one supreme effort to arrest the onward course of Sherman.
    It indicated a resolve to stake the fate of Atlanta, and the fortunes of
    the Confederacy in the West, upon the hazard of one desperate fight.
    We watched the summoning up of every Rebel energy for the blow with
    apprehension. We dreaded another Chickamauga.

    The blow fell on the 22d of July. It was well planned. The Army of the
    Tennessee, the left of Sherman's forces, was the part struck. On the
    night of the 21st Hood marched a heavy force around its left flank and
    gained its rear. On the 22d this force fell on the rear with the
    impetuous violence of a cyclone, while the Rebels in the works
    immediately around Atlanta attacked furiously in front.

    It was an ordeal that no other army ever passed through successfully.
    The steadiest troops in Europe would think it foolhardiness to attempt to
    withstand an assault in force in front and rear at the same time.
    The finest legions that follow any flag to-day must almost inevitably
    succumb to such a mode of attack. But the seasoned veterans of the Army
    of the Tennessee encountered the shock with an obstinacy which showed
    that the finest material for soldiery this planet holds was that in which
    undaunted hearts beat beneath blue blouses. Springing over the front of
    their breastworks, they drove back with a withering fire the force
    assailing them in the rear. This beaten off, they jumped back to their
    proper places, and repulsed the assault in front. This was the way the
    battle was waged until night compelled a cessation of operations. Our
    boys were alternately behind the breastworks firing at Rebels advancing
    upon the front, and in front of the works firing upon those coming up in
    the rear. Sometimes part of our line would be on one side of the works,
    and part on the other.

    In the prison we were greatly excited over the result of the engagement,
    of which we were uncertain for many days. A host of new prisoners
    perhaps two thousand--was brought in from there, but as they were
    captured during the progress of the fight, they could not speak
    definitely as to its issue. The Rebel papers exulted without stint over
    what they termed "a glorious victory." They were particularly jubilant
    over the death of McPherson, who, they claimed, was the brain and guiding
    hand of Sherman's army. One paper likened him to the pilot-fish, which
    guides the shark to his prey. Now that he was gone, said the paper,
    Sherman's army becomes a great lumbering hulk, with no one in it capable
    of directing it, and it must soon fall to utter ruin under the skilfully
    delivered strokes of the gallant Hood.

    We also knew that great numbers of wounded had been brought to the prison
    hospital, and this seemed to confirm the Rebel claim of a victory, as it
    showed they retained possession of the battle field.

    About the 1st of August a large squad of Sherman's men, captured in one
    of the engagements subsequent to the 22d, came in. We gathered around
    them eagerly. Among them I noticed a bright, curly-haired, blue-eyed
    infantryman--or boy, rather, as he was yet beardless. His cap was marked
    "68th O. Y. Y. L," his sleeves were garnished with re-enlistment stripes,
    and on the breast of his blouse was a silver arrow. To the eye of the
    soldier this said that he was a veteran member of the Sixty-Eighth
    Regiment of Ohio Infantry (that is, having already served three years, he
    had re-enlisted for the war), and that he belonged to the Third Division
    of the Seventeenth Army Corps. He was so young and fresh looking that
    one could hardly believe him to be a veteran, but if his stripes had not
    said this, the soldierly arrangement of clothing and accouterments, and
    the graceful, self-possessed pose of limbs and body would have told the
    observer that he was one of those "Old Reliables" with whom Sherman and
    Grant had already subdued a third of the Confederacy. His blanket,
    which, for a wonder, the Rebels had neglected to take from him, was
    tightly rolled, its ends tied together, and thrown over his shoulder
    scarf-fashion. His pantaloons were tucked inside his stocking tops,
    that were pulled up as far as possible, and tied tightly around his ankle
    with a string. A none-too-clean haversack, containing the inevitable
    sooty quart cup, and even blacker half-canteen, waft slung easily from
    the shoulder opposite to that on which the blanket rested. Hand him his
    faithful Springfield rifle, put three days' rations in his haversack, and
    forty rounds in his cartridge bog, and he would be ready, without an
    instant's demur or question, to march to the ends of the earth, and fight
    anything that crossed his path. He was a type of the honest, honorable,
    self respecting American boy, who, as a soldier, the world has not
    equaled in the sixty centuries that war has been a profession.
    I suggested to him that he was rather a youngster to be wearing veteran
    chevrons. "Yes," said he, "I am not so old as some of the rest of the
    boys, but I have seen about as much service and been in the business
    about as long as any of them. They call me 'Old Dad,' I suppose because
    I was the youngest boy in the Regiment, when we first entered the
    service, though our whole Company, officers and all, were only a lot of
    boys, and the Regiment to day, what's left of 'em, are about as young a
    lot of officers and men as there are in the service. Why, our old
    Colonel ain't only twenty-four years old now, and he has been in command
    ever since we went into Vicksburg. I have heard it said by our boys that
    since we veteranized the whole Regiment, officers, and men, average less
    than twenty-four years old. But they are gray-hounds to march and
    stayers in a fight, you bet. Why, the rest of the troops over in West
    Tennessee used to call our Brigade 'Leggett's Cavalry,' for they always
    had us chasing Old Forrest, and we kept him skedaddling, too, pretty
    lively. But I tell you we did get into a red hot scrimmage on the 22d.
    It just laid over Champion Hills, or any of the big fights around
    Vicksburg, and they were lively enough to amuse any one."

    "So you were in the affair on the 22d, were you! We are awful anxious to
    hear all about it. Come over here to my quarters and tell us all you
    know. All we know is that there has been a big fight, with McPherson
    killed, and a heavy loss of life besides, and the Rebels claim a great

    "O, they be -----. It was the sickest victory they ever got. About one
    more victory of that kind would make their infernal old Confederacy ready
    for a coroner's inquest. Well, I can tell you pretty much all about that
    fight, for I reckon if the truth was known, our regiment fired about the
    first and last shot that opened and closed the fighting on that day.
    Well, you see the whole Army got across the river, and were closing in
    around the City of Atlanta. Our Corps, the Seventeenth, was the extreme
    left of the army, and were moving up toward the City from the East.
    The Fifteenth (Logan's) Corps joined us on the right, then the Army of
    the Cumberland further to the right. We run onto the Rebs about sundown
    the 21st. They had some breastworks on a ridge in front of us, and we
    had a pretty sharp fight before we drove them off. We went right to
    work, and kept at it all night in changing and strengthening the old
    Rebel barricades, fronting them towards Atlanta, and by morning had some
    good solid works along our whole line. During the night we fancied we
    could hear wagons or artillery moving away in front of us, apparently
    going South, or towards our left. About three or four o'clock in the
    morning, while I was shoveling dirt like a beaver out on the works, the
    Lieutenant came to me and said the Colonel wanted to see me, pointing to
    a large tree in the rear, where I could find him. I reported and found
    him with General Leggett, who commanded our Division, talking mighty
    serious, and Bob Wheeler, of F Company, standing there with his
    Springfield at a parade rest. As soon as I came up, the Colonel says:

    "Boys, the General wants two level-headed chaps to go out beyond the
    pickets to the front and toward the left. I have selected you for the
    duty. Go as quietly as possible and as fast as you can; keep your eyes
    and ears open; don't fire a shot if you can help it, and come back and
    tell us exactly what you have seen and heard, and not what you imagine or
    suspect. I have selected you for the duty.'

    "He gave us the countersign, and off we started over the breastworks and
    through the thick woods. We soon came to our skirmish or pickets, only a
    few rods in front of our works, and cautioned them not to fire on us in
    going or returning. We went out as much as half a mile or more, until we
    could plainly hear the sound of wagons and artillery. We then cautiously
    crept forward until we could see the main road leading south from the
    City filled with marching men, artillery and teams. We could hear the
    commands of the officers and see the flags and banners of regiment after
    regiment as they passed us. We got back quietly and quickly, passed
    through our picket line all right, and found the General and our Colonel
    sitting on a log where we had left them, waiting for us. We reported
    what we had seen and heard, and gave it as our opinion that the Johnnies
    were evacuating Atlanta. The General shook his head, and the Colonel
    says: 'You may re turn to your company.' Bob says to me:

    "'The old General shakes his head as though he thought them d---d Rebs
    ain't evacuating Atlanta so mighty sudden, but are up to some devilment
    again. I ain't sure but he's right. They ain't going to keep falling
    back and falling back to all eternity, but are just agoin' to give us a
    rip-roaring great big fight one o' these days--when they get a good
    ready. You hear me!'

    "Saying which we both went to our companies, and laid down to get a
    little sleep. It was about daylight then, and I must have snoozed away
    until near noon, when I heard the order 'fall in!' and found the regiment
    getting into line, and the boys all tallying about going right into
    Atlanta; that the Rebels had evacuated the City during the night, and
    that we were going to have a race with the Fifteenth Corps as to which
    would get into the City first. We could look away out across a large
    field in front of our works, and see the skirmish line advancing steadily
    towards the main works around the City. Not a shot was being, fired on
    either side.

    "To our surprise, instead of marching to the front and toward the City,
    we filed off into a small road cut through the woods and marched rapidly
    to the rear. We could not understand what it meant. We marched at quick
    time, feeling pretty mad that we had to go to the rear, when the rest of
    our Division were going into Atlanta.

    "We passed the Sixteenth Corps lying on their arms, back in some open
    fields, and the wagon trains of our Corps all comfortably corralled, and
    finally found ourselves out by the Seventeenth Corps headquarters. Two
    or three companies were sent out to picket several roads that seemed to
    cross at that point, as it was reported 'Rebel Cavalry' had been seen on
    these roads but a short time before, and this accounted for our being
    rushed out in such a great hurry.

    "We had just stacked arms and were going to take a little rest after our
    rapid march, when several Rebel prisoners were brought in by some of the
    boys who had straggled a little. They found the Rebels on the road we
    had just marched out on. Up to this time not a shot had been fired.
    All was quiet back at the main works we had just left, when suddenly we
    saw several staff officers come tearing up to the Colonel, who ordered us
    to 'fall in!' 'Take aims!' 'about, face!' The Lieutenant Colonel dashed
    down one of the roads where one of the companies had gone out on picket.
    The Major and Adjutant galloped down the others. We did not wait for
    them to come back, though, but moved right back on the road we had just
    come out, in line of battle, our colors in the road, and our flanks in
    open timber. We soon reached a fence enclosing a large field, and there
    could see a line of Rebels moving by the flank, and forming, facing
    toward Atlanta, but to the left and in the rear of the position occupied
    by our Corps. As soon as we reached the fence we fired a round or two
    into the backs of these gray coats, who broke into confusion.

    "Just then the other companies joined us, and we moved off on 'double
    quick by the right flank,' for you see we were completely cut off from
    the troops up at the front, and we had to get well over to the right to
    get around the flank of the Rebels. Just about the time we fired on the
    rebels the Sixteenth Corps opened up a hot fire of musketry and artillery
    on them, some of their shot coming over mighty close to where we were.
    We marched pretty fast, and finally turned in through some open fields to
    the left, and came out just in the rear of the Sixteenth Corps, who were
    fighting like devils along their whole line.

    "Just as we came out into the open field we saw General R. K. Scott,
    who used to be our Colonel, and who commanded our brigade, come tearing
    toward us with one or two aids or orderlies. He was on his big clay-bank
    horse, 'Old Hatchie,' as we called him, as we captured him on the
    battlefield at the battle of 'Matamora,' or 'Hell on the Hatchie,' as our
    boys always called it. He rode up to the Colonel, said something
    hastily, when all at once we heard the all-firedest crash of musketry and
    artillery way up at the front where we had built the works the night
    before and left the rest of our brigade and Division getting ready to
    prance into Atlanta when we were sent off to the rear. Scott put spurs
    to his old horse, who was one of the fastest runners in our Division,
    and away he went back towards the position where his brigade and the
    troops immediately to their left were now hotly engaged. He rode right
    along in rear of the Sixteenth Corps, paying no attention apparently to
    the shot and shell and bullets that were tearing up the earth and
    exploding and striking all around him. His aids and orderlies vainly
    tried to keep up with him. We could plainly see the Rebel lines as they
    came out of the woods into the open grounds to attack the Sixteenth
    Corps, which had hastily formed in the open field, without any signs of
    works, and were standing up like men, having a hand-to-hand fight.
    We were just far enough in the rear so that every blasted shot or shell
    that was fired too high to hit the ranks of the Sixteenth Corps came
    rattling over amongst us. All this time we were marching fast, following
    in the direction General Scott had taken, who evidently had ordered the
    Colonel to join his brigade up at the front. We were down under the
    crest of a little hill, following along the bank of a little creek,
    keeping under cover of the bank as much as possible to protect us from
    the shots of the enemy. We suddenly saw General Logan and one or two of
    his staff upon the right bank of the ravine riding rapidly toward us.
    As he neared the head of the regiment he shouted:

    "'Halt! What regiment is that, and where are you going?'" The Colonel,
    in a loud voice, that all could hear, told him: "The Sixty-Eighth Ohio;
    going to join our brigade of the Third Division--your old Division,
    General, of the Seventeenth Corps."

    "Logan says, 'you had better go right in here on the left of Dodge.
    The Third Division have hardly ground enough left now to bury their dead.
    God knows they need you. But try it on, if you think you can get to

    "Just at this moment a staff officer came riding up on the opposite side
    of the ravine from where Logan was and interrupted Logan, who was about
    telling the Colonel not to try to go to the position held by the Third
    Division by the road cut through the woods whence we had come out, but to
    keep off to the right towards the Fifteenth Corps, as the woods referred
    to were full of Rebels. The officer saluted Logan, and shouted across:

    "General Sherman directs me to inform you of the death of General
    McPherson, and orders you to take command of the Army of the Tennessee;
    have Dodge close well up to the Seventeenth Corps, and Sherman will
    reinforce you to the extent of the whole army.'

    "Logan, standing in his stirrups, on his beautiful black horse, formed a
    picture against the blue sky as we looked up the ravine at him, his black
    eyes fairly blazing and his long black hair waving in the wind.
    He replied in a ringing, clear tone that we all could hear:

    "Say to General Sherman I have heard of McPherson's death, and have
    assumed the command of the Army of the Tennessee, and have already
    anticipated his orders in regard to closing the gap between Dodge and the
    Seventeenth Corps.'

    "This, of course, all happened in one quarter of the time I have been
    telling you. Logan put spurs to his horse and rode in one direction,
    the staff officer of General Sherman in another, and we started on a
    rapid step toward the front. This was the first we had heard of
    McPherson's death, and it made us feel very bad. Some of the officers
    and men cried as though they had lost a brother; others pressed their
    lips, gritted their teeth, and swore to avenge his death. He was a great
    favorite with all his Army, particularly of our Corps, which he commanded
    for a long while. Our company, especially, knew him well, and loved him
    dearly, for we had been his Headquarters Guard for over a year. As we
    marched along, toward the front, we could see brigades, and regiments,
    and batteries of artillery; coming over from the right of the Army, and
    taking position in new lines in rear of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth
    Corps. Major Generals and their staffs, Brigadier Generals and their
    staffs, were mighty thick along the banks of the little ravine we were
    following; stragglers and wounded men by the hundred were pouring in to
    the safe shelter formed by the broken ground along which we were rapidly
    marching; stories were heard of divisions, brigades and regiments that
    these wounded or stragglers belonged, having been all cut to pieces;
    officers all killed; and the speaker, the only one of his command not
    killed, wounded or captured. But you boys have heard and seen the same
    cowardly sneaks, probably, in fights that you were in. The battle raged
    furiously all this time; part of the time the Sixteenth Corps seemed to
    be in the worst; then it would let up on them and the Seventeenth Corps
    would be hotly engaged along their whole front.

    "We had probably marched half an hour since leaving Logan, and were
    getting pretty near back to our main line of works, when the Colonel
    ordered a halt and knapsacks to be unslung and piled up. I tell you it
    was a relief to get them off, for it was a fearful hot day, and we had
    been marching almost double quick. We knew that this meant business
    though, and that we were stripping for the fight, which we would soon be
    in. Just at this moment we saw an ambulance, with the horses on a dead
    run, followed by two or three mounted officers and men, coming right
    towards us out of the very woods Logan had cautioned the Colonel to
    avoid. When the ambulance got to where we were it halted. It was pretty
    well out of danger from the bullets and shell of the enemy. They
    stopped, and we recognized Major Strong, of McPherson's Staff, whom the
    all knew, as he was the Chief Inspector of our Corps, and in the
    ambulance he had the body of General McPherson. Major Strong,
    it appears, during a slight lull in the fighting at that part of the
    line, having taken an ambulance and driven into the very jaws of death to
    recover the remains of his loved commander. It seems he found the body
    right by the side of the little road that we had gone out on when we went
    to the rear. He was dead when he found him, having been shot off his
    horse, the bullet striking him in the back, just below his heart,
    probably killing him instantly. There was a young fellow with him who
    was wounded also, when Strong found them. He belonged to our First
    Division, and recognized General McPherson, and stood by him until Major
    Strong came up. He was in the ambulance with the body of McPherson when
    they stopped by us.

    "It seems that when the fight opened away back in the rear where we had
    been, and at the left of the Sixteenth Corps which was almost directly in
    the rear of the Seventeenth Corps, McPherson sent his staff and orderlies
    with various orders to different parts of the line, and started himself
    to ride over from the Seventeenth Corps to the Sixteenth Corps, taking
    exactly the same course our Regiment had, perhaps an hour before, but the
    Rebels had discovered there was a gap between the Sixteenth and
    Seventeenth Corps, and meeting no opposition to their advances in this
    strip of woods, where they were hidden from view, they had marched right
    along down in the rear, and with their line at right angles with the line
    of works occupied by the left of the Seventeenth Corps; they were thus
    parallel and close to the little road McPherson had taken, and probably
    he rode right into them and was killed before he realized the true

    "Having piled our knapsacks, and left a couple of our older men, who were
    played out with the heat and most ready to drop with sunstroke, to guard
    them, we started on again. The ambulance with the corpse of Gen.
    McPherson moved off towards the right of the Army, which was the last we
    ever saw of that brave and handsome soldier.

    "We bore off a little to the right of a large open field on top of a high
    hill where one of our batteries was pounding away at a tremendous rate.
    We came up to the main line of works just about at the left of the
    Fifteenth Corps. They seemed to be having an easy time of it just then
    --no fighting going on in their front, except occasional shots from some
    heavy guns on the main line of Rebel works around the City. We crossed
    right over the Fifteenth Corps' works and filed to the left, keeping
    along on the outside of our works. We had not gone far before the Rebel
    gunners in the main works around the City discovered us; and the way they
    did tear loose at us was a caution. Their aim was rather bad, however,
    and most of their shots went over us. We saw one of them--I think it was
    a shell--strike an artillery caisson belonging to one of our-batteries.
    It exploded as it struck, and then the caisson, which was full of
    ammunition, exploded with an awful noise, throwing pieces of wood and
    iron and its own load of shot and shell high into the air, scattering
    death and destruction to the men and horses attached to it. We thought
    we saw arms and legs and parts of bodies of men flying in every
    direction; but we were glad to learn afterwards that it was the contents
    of the knapsacks of the Battery boys, who had strapped them on the
    caissons for transportation.

    "Just after passing the hill where our battery was making things so
    lively, they stopped firing to let us pass. We saw General Leggett, our
    Division Commander, come riding toward us. He was outside of our line of
    works, too. You know how we build breastworks--sort of zigzag like, you
    know, so they cannot be enfiladed. Well, that's just the way the works
    were along there, and you never saw such a curious shape as we formed our
    Division in. Why, part of them were on one side of the works, and go
    along a little further and here was a regiment, or part of a regiment on
    the other side, both sets firing in opposite directions.

    "No sir'ee, they were not demoralized or in confusion, they were cool and
    as steady as on parade. But the old Division had, you know, never been
    driven from any position they had once taken, in all their long service,
    and they did not propose to leave that ridge until they got orders from
    some one beside the Rebs.

    "There were times when a fellow did not know which side of the works was
    the safest, for the Johnnies were in front of us and in rear of us.
    You see, our Fourth Division, which had been to the left of us, had been
    forced to quit their works, when the Rebs got into the works in their
    rear, so that our Division was now at the point where our line turned
    sharply to the left, and rear--in the direction of the Sixteenth Corps.

    "We got into business before we had been there over three minutes.
    A line of the Rebs tried to charge across the open fields in front of us,
    but by the help of the old twenty-four pounders (which proved to be part
    of Cooper's Illinois Battery, that we had been alongside of in many a
    hard fight before), we drove them back a-flying, only to have to jump
    over on the outside of our works the next minute to tackle a heavy force
    that came for our rear through that blasted strip of woods. We soon
    drove them off, and the firing on both sides seemed to have pretty much

    "'Our Brigade,' which we discovered, was now commanded by 'Old Whiskers'
    (Colonel Piles, of the Seventy-Eighth Ohio. I'll bet he's got the
    longest whiskers of any man in the Army.) You see General Scott had not
    been seen or heard of since he had started to the rear after our regiment
    when the fighting first commenced. We all believed that he was either
    killed or captured, or he would have been with his command. He was a
    splendid soldier, and a bull-dog of a fighter. His absence was a great
    loss, but we had not much time to think of such things, for our brigade
    was then ordered to leave the works and to move to the right about twenty
    or thirty rods across a large ravine, where we were placed in position in
    an open corn-field, forming a new line at quite an angle from the line of
    works we had just left, extending to the left, and getting us back nearer
    onto a line with the Sixteenth Corps. The battery of howitzers, now
    reinforced by a part of the Third Ohio heavy guns, still occupied the old
    works on the highest part of the hill, just to the right of our new line.
    We took our position just on the brow of a hill, and were ordered to lie
    down, and the rear rank to go for rails, which we discovered a few rods
    behind us in the shape of a good ten-rail fence. Every rear-rank chap
    came back with all the rails he could lug, and we barely had time to lay
    them down in front of us, forming a little barricade of six to eight or
    ten inches high, when we heard the most unearthly Rebel yell directly in
    front of us. It grew louder and came nearer and nearer, until we could
    see a solid line of the gray coats coming out of the woods and down the
    opposite slope, their battle flags flying, officers in front with drawn
    swords, arms at right shoulder, and every one of them yelling like so
    many Sioux Indians. The line seemed to be massed six or eight ranks
    deep, followed closely by the second line, and that by the third, each,
    if possible, yelling louder and appearing more desperately reckless than
    the one ahead. At their first appearance we opened on them, and so did
    the bully old twenty-four-pounders, with canister.

    "On they came; the first line staggered and wavered back on to the
    second, which was coming on the double quick. Such a raking as we did
    give them. Oh, Lordy, how we did wish that we had the breech loading
    Spencers or Winchesters. But we had the old reliable Springfields, and
    we poured it in hot and heavy. By the time the charging column got down
    the opposite slope, and were struggling through the thicket of
    undergrowth in the ravine, they were one confused mass of officers and
    men, the three lines now forming one solid column, which made several
    desperate efforts to rush up to the top of the hill where we were
    punishing them so. One of their first surges came mighty near going
    right over the left of our Regiment, as they were lying down behind their
    little rail piles. But the boys clubbed their guns and the officers used
    their revolvers and swords and drove them back down the hill.

    "The Seventy-Eighth and Twentieth Ohio, our right and left bowers, who
    had been brigaded with us ever since 'Shiloh,' were into it as hot and
    heavy as we had been, and had lost numbers of their officers and men, but
    were hanging on to their little rail piles when the fight was over.
    At one time the Rebs were right in on top of the Seventy-Eighth. One big
    Reb grabbed their colors, and tried to pull them out of the hands of the
    color-bearer. But old Captain Orr, a little, short, dried-up fellow,
    about sixty years old, struck him with his sword across the back of the
    neck, and killed him deader than a mackerel, right in his tracks.

    "It was now getting dark, and the Johnnies concluded they had taken a
    bigger contract in trying to drive us off that hill in one day than they
    had counted on, so they quit charging on us, but drew back under cover of
    the woods and along the old line of works that we had left, and kept up a
    pecking away and sharp-shooting at us all night long. They opened fire
    on us from a number of pieces of artillery from the front, from the left,
    and from some heavy guns away over to the right of us, in the main works
    around Atlanta.

    "We did not fool away much time that night, either. We got our shovels
    and picks, and while part of us were sharpshooting and trying to keep the
    Rebels from working up too close to us, the rest of the boys were putting
    up some good solid earthworks right where our rail piles had been, and by
    morning we were in splendid shape to have received our friends, no matter
    which way they had come at us, for they kept up such an all-fired
    shelling of us from so many different directions; that the boys had built
    traverses and bomb-proofs at all sorts of angles and in all directions.

    "There was one point off to our right, a few rods up along our old line
    of works where there was a crowd of Rebel sharpshooters that annoyed us
    more than all the rest, by their constant firing at us through the night.
    They killed one of Company H's boys, and wounded several others. Finally
    Captain Williams, of D Company, came along and said he wanted a couple of
    good shots out of our company to go with him, so I went for one. He took
    about ten of us, and we crawled down into the ravine in front of where we
    were building the works, and got behind a large fallen tree, and we laid
    there and could just fire right up into the rear of those fellows as they
    lay behind a traverse extending back from our old line of works. It was
    so dark we could only see where to fire by the flash of guns, but every
    time they would shoot, some of us would let them have one. They staid
    there until almost daylight, when they, concluded as things looked, since
    we were going to stay, they had better be going.

    "It was an awful night. Down in the ravine below us lay hundreds of
    killed and wounded Rebels, groaning and crying aloud for water and for
    help. We did do what we could for those right around us--but it was so
    dark, and so many shell bursting and bullets flying around that a fellow
    could not get about much. I tell you it was pretty tough next morning to
    go along to the different companies of our regiment and hear who were
    among the killed and wounded, and to see the long row of graves that were
    being dug to bury our comrades and our officers. There was the Captain
    of Company E, Nelson Skeeles, of Fulton County, O., one of--the bravest
    and best officers in the regiment. By his side lay First Sergeant
    Lesnit, and next were the two great, powerful Shepherds--cousins but more
    like brothers. One, it seems, was killed while supporting the head of
    the other, who had just received a death wound, thus dying in each
    other's arms.

    "But I can't begin to think or tell you the names of all the poor boys
    that we laid away to rest in their last, long sleep on that gloomy day.
    Our Major was severely wounded, and several other officers had been hit
    more or less badly.

    "It was a frightful sight, though, to go over the field in front of our
    works on that morning. The Rebel dead and badly wounded laid where they
    had fallen. The bottom and opposite side of the ravine showed how
    destructive our fire and that of the canister from the howitzers had
    been. The underbrush was cut, slashed, and torn into shreds, and the
    larger trees were scarred, bruised and broken by the thousands of bullets
    and other missiles that had been poured into them from almost every
    conceivable direction during the day before.

    "A lot of us boys went way over to the left into Fuller's Division of the
    Sixteenth Corps, to see how some of our boys over there had got through
    the scrimmage, for they had about as nasty a fight as any part of the
    Army, and if it had not been for their being just where they were, I am
    not sure but what the old Seventeenth Corps would have had a different
    story to tell now. We found our friends had been way out by Decatur,
    where their brigade had got into a pretty lively fight on their own hook.

    "We got back to camp, and the first thing I knew I was detailed for
    picket duty, and we were posted over a few rods across the ravine in our
    front. We had not been out but a short time when we saw a flag of truce,
    borne by an officer, coming towards us. We halted him, and made him wait
    until a report was sent back to Corps headquarters. The Rebel officer
    was quite chatty and talkative with our picket officer, while waiting.
    He said he was on General Cleburne's staff, and that the troops that
    charged us so fiercely the evening before was Cleburne's whole Division,
    and that after their last repulse, knowing the hill where we were posted
    was the most important position along our line, he felt that if they
    would keep close to us during the night, and keep up a show of fight,
    that we would pull out and abandon the hill before morning. He said that
    he, with about fifty of their best men, had volunteered to keep up the
    demonstration, and it was his party that had occupied the traverse in our
    old works the night before and had annoyed us and the Battery men by
    their constant sharpshooting, which we fellows behind the old tree had
    finally tired out. He said they staid until almost daylight, and that he
    lost more than half his men before he left. He also told us that General
    Scott was captured by their Division, at about the time and almost the
    same spot as where General McPherson was killed, and that he was not hurt
    or wounded, and was now a prisoner in their hands.

    "Quite a lot of our staff officers soon came out, and as near as we
    could learn the Rebels wanted a truce to bury their dead. Our folks
    tried to get up an exchange of prisoners that had been taken by both
    sides the day before, but for some reason they could not bring it about.
    But the truce for burying the dead was agreed to. Along about dusk some
    of the boys on my post got to telling about a lot of silver and brass
    instruments that belonged to one of the bands of the Fourth Division,
    which had been hung up in some small trees a little way over in front of
    where we were when the fight was going on the day before, and that when,
    a bullet would strike one of the horns they could hear it go 'pin-g' and
    in a few minutes 'pan-g' would go another bullet through one of them.

    "A new picket was just coming' on, and I had picked up my blanket and
    haversack, and was about ready to start back to camp, when, thinks I,
    'I'll just go out there and see about them horns.' I told the boys what
    I was going to do. They all seemed to think it was safe enough, so out I
    started. I had not gone more than a hundred yards, I should think, when
    here I found the horns all hanging around on the trees just as the boys
    had described. Some of them had lots of bullet holes in them. But I saw
    a beautiful, nice looking silver bugle hanging off to one side a little.
    'I Thinks,' says I, 'I'll just take that little toot horn in out of the
    wet, and take it back to camp.' I was just reaching up after it when I
    heard some one say,

    "'Halt!' and I'll be dog-Boned if there wasn't two of the meanest looking
    Rebels, standing not ten feet from me, with their guns cocked and pointed
    at me, and, of course, I knew I was a goner; they walked me back about
    one hundred and fifty yards, where their picket line was. From there I
    was kept going for an hour or two until we got over to a place on the
    railroad called East Point. There I got in with a big crowd of our
    prisoners, who were taken the day before, and we have been fooling along
    in a lot of old cattle cars getting down here ever since.

    "So this is 'Andersonville,' is it! Well, by ---!"
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