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   Chapter 43 SHARPSBURG

The Long Roll By Mary Johnston Characters: 30512

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


"Sharpsburg!" said long afterwards Stephen D. Lee. "Sharpsburg was Artillery Hell!"

"Sharpsburg," said the infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia. "Sharpsburg! That was the field where an infantryman knew that he stood on the most dangerous spot on the earth!"

Through the passes of the South Mountain, over Red Hill, out upon the broken ground east of the Antietam poured the blue torrent-McClellan and his eighty-seven thousand. Lee met it with a narrow grey sea-not thirty thousand men, for A. P. Hill was yet upon the road from Harper's Ferry. In Berserker madness, torrent and uproar, clashed the two colours.

There was a small white Dunkard church with a background of dark woods. It was north of Sharpsburg, near the Hagerstown turnpike, and it marked the Confederate left. Stonewall Jackson held the left. Before him was Fighting Joe Hooker with Meade and Doubleday and Ricketts.

From a knoll behind Sharpsburg the commander-in-chief looked from Longstreet on the right to D. H. Hill, and from Hill to Jackson. He looked to the Harper's Ferry Road, but he did not see what he wished to see-A. P. Hill's red battle shirt. "Artillery Hell" had begun. There was enormous thunder, enormous drifting murk. All the country side, all the little Maryland villages and farmhouses blenched beneath that sound. Lee put down his field glass. He stood, calm and grand, the smoke and uproar at his feet. The Rockbridge Guns came by, going to some indicated quarter of the field. In thunder they passed below the knoll, the iron war-beasts, the gunners with them, black with powder and grime! All saluted; but one, a very young, very ragged, very begrimed private at the guns, lingered a moment after his fellows, stood very straight at the salute and with an upward look, then with quickened step caught up with his gun and disappeared into the smoke ahead. Lee answered a glance of his chief of staff. "Yes. It was my youngest son. It was Rob."

The Dunkard church! In this war it was strange how many and how ghastly battles surged about small country churches! The Prince of Peace, if he indwelled here, must have bowed his head and mourned. Sunrise struck upon its white walls; then came a shell and pierced them. The church became the core of the turmoil, the white, still reef against which beat the wild seas in storm.

Fighting Joe Hooker came out of the North Wood. His battle flags were bright and he had drums and brazen horns. Loud and in time, regular as a beat in music, came the Huzzah! Huzzah! of his fourteen thousand men. He crossed the turnpike, he came down on the Dunkard church. "Yaii! Yaaaii! Yaaaaaaaaiihhh!" yelled the grey sea,-no time at all, only fierce determination. Sometimes a grey drum beat, or bugle called, but there was no other music, save the thunder of the guns and the long rattle, never ceasing, of the musketry. There were battle flags, squares of crimson with a starry Andrew's cross. They went forward, they shrank back. Standard-bearers were killed. Gaunt, powder-grimed hands caught at the staves, lifted them; the battle-flags went forward again.

Doubleday struck and Ricketts. They charged against Stonewall Jackson and the narrow grey sea. All the ground was broken; alignment was lost; blue waves and grey went this way and that in a broken, tumultuous fray. But the blue waves were the heavier; in mass alone they outdid the grey. They pushed the grey sea back, back, back toward the dark wood about the Dunkard church! Then Stonewall Jackson came along the front, riding in a pelting, leaden rain. "Steady, men. Steady! God is over us!" His men received him with a cry of greeting and enthusiasm that was like a shriek, it was so wild and high. His power upon them had grown and grown. He was Stonewall Jackson! He was Stonewall Jackson! First, they would die for those battle-flags and the cause they represented; second, they would die for one another, comrades, brethren! third, they would die for Stonewall Jackson! They lifted their voices for him now, gaunt and ragged troops with burning eyes. Stonewall Jackson! Stonewall Jackson! Virginia! Virginia! Virginia! the South! the South! He turned his horse, standing in the whistling, leaden rain. "Forward, and drive them!"

Lawton and D. H. Hill leaped against Meade. He was a staunch fighter, but he gave back. The wood about the Dunkard church appeared to writhe like Dante's wood, it was so full of groaning, of maimed men beside the tree trunks. The dead lay where they fell, and the living stepped upon them. Meade gave back, back-and then Mansfield came in thunder to reinforce the blue.

The grey fought as even in this war they had hardly fought before. They were so gaunt, they were so ragged, they were so tired! But something ethnic was coming more and more rapidly to the front. They were near again to savage nature. The Maryland woods might have been thicker, darker, the small church might have been some boulder altar beside some early Old World river. They were a tribe again, and they were fighting another and much larger tribe whom they had reason, reason, reason to hate! Their existence was at stake and the existence of all that their hearts held dear. They fought with fury. About each were his tribesmen-all were brothers! Brother fought for brother, brother saw brother fall, brother sprang to avenge brother. Their lips were blackened from tearing cartridges; their eyes, large in their thin, bronzed faces, burned against the enemy; their fingers were quick, quick at the musket lock; the spirit was the spirit behind hurled stones of old, swung clubs, thrown javelins! They had a loved leader, a great strong head man who ruled them well and led them on to victory. They fought for him too, for his scant and curt praise, for his "Good, Good!" They fought for their own lives, each man for his own life, for their tribe, their possessions, for women at home and children, for their brethren, their leader, their cause. Something else, too, of the past was there in force-hatred of him who opposed. They fought for hate at Sharpsburg, as they fought for love. The great star drew, the iron thong fell. Led and driven, the tribe fought gigantically.

* * *

The battle became furious. Within the din of artillery and musketry human voices, loud, imperative, giving orders, shouting, wailing, died like a low murmur in the blast. Out of the wildly drifting smoke, now dark, now flame-lit, forms emerged, singly or in great bodies, then the smoke drew together, hiding the struggle. There was blackness and grime as from the ash of a volcano. The blood pounded behind the temples, the eyeballs started, the tongue was thick in the mouth, battle smell and battle taste, a red light, and time in crashes like an earthquake-toppling city! The inequalities of the ground became exaggerated. Mere hillocks changed into rocky islands. Seize them, fortify them, take them before the blue can! The tall maize grew gigantically taller. Break through these miles of cane as often before we have broken through them, the foemen crashing before us down to their boats! The narrow tongues of woods widened, widened. Take these deep forests, use them for shelter, from them send forth these new arrows of death-fight, fight! in the rolling murk, the red light and crying!

Before the Dunkard church Starke, commanding Jackson's old division, was killed, Jones was wounded, Lawton wounded. Many field officers were down, many, many of lesser rank. Of the blue, Mansfield was killed, Hooker was wounded, and Hartsuff and Crawford. The grey had pressed the blue back, back! Now in turn the blue drove the grey. The walls of the white church were splashed with blood, pocked with bullets. Dead men lay at the door; within were those of the wounded who could get there. But the shells came too, the shells pierced the roof and entered. War came in, ebon, blood-stained, and grinning. The Prince of Peace was crowded out.

The artillery was deafening. In the midst of a tremendous burst of sound D. H. Hill flung in the remainder of his division. Sumner came through the smoke. The grey and blue closed in a death grapple. From toward the centre, beneath the howling storm rose a singing-

The race is not to them that's got The longest legs to run.

"Hood's Texans! Hood's Texans!" cried the Stonewall and all the other brigades on the imperilled left. "Come on, Hood's Texans! Come on! Yaaaii! Yaaaaaiih!"

Nor the battle to those people, That shoots the biggest gun.

The Texans came to the Dunkard church. Stonewall Jackson launched a thunderbolt, grey as steel, all his men moving up as one, against the opposing, roaring sea. The sea gave back. Then Sumner called in Sedgwick's fresh troops.

Allan Gold, fighting with the 65th, took the colours from the last of the colour guard. He was tall and strong and he swung them high. The glare from an exploding shell showed him and the battle flag. Gone was the quiet school-teacher, gone even the scout and woodsman. He stood a great Viking, with yellow hair, and the battle rage had come to him. He began to chant, unconscious as a harp through which strikes a strong wind. "Come on!" he chanted. "Come on!

"Sixty-fifth, come on!

Come on, the Stonewall!

Remember Manassas,

The first and the second Manassas!

Remember McDowell,

Remember Front Royal,

Remember the battle of Winchester,

Remember Cross Keys,

Remember Port Republic,

The battle of Kernstown, and all our battles and skirmishes,

Our marches and forced marches, bivouacs, and camp-fires,

Brother's hand in brother's hand, and the battle to-morrow!

Remember the Seven Days, Seven Days, Seven Days!

Remember the Seven Days! Remember Cedar Run.

The Groveton Wood, and the Railroad cut at Manassas

Where you threw stones when your cartridges were gone, where you struck with the bayonet,

And the General spoke to you then, 'Steady, men, steady!'

Remember Chantilly, remember Loudoun and Maryland Heights.

Harper's Ferry was yesterday. Remember and strike them again!

Come on, 65th! Come on, the Stonewall!"

Back through the cornfield before the Dunkard church fell the blue. Dead and dying choked the cornfield as the dead and dying had choked the cane brake. Blade and stalks were beaten down, the shells tore up the earth. The blue reformed and came again, a resistless mass. Heavier and heavier, Fighting Joe Hooker, with Meade and Doubleday and Ricketts and Sumner, struck against Stonewall Jackson! Back came the grey to the little Dunkard church. All around it, wood and open filled with clangour. The blue pressed in-the grey were giving way, were giving way! An out-worn company raised a cry, "They're flanking us!" Something like a shiver passed over the thinning lines, then, grey and haggard, they tore another cartridge. Stonewall Jackson's voice came from behind a reef of smoke. "Stand fast, men! Stand fast. There are troops on the road from Harper's Ferry. It is General McLaws. Stand fast!"

It was McLaws, with his black bullet head, his air of a Roman Consul! In he thundered with his twenty-five hundred men, tawny with the dust of the seventeen miles from Harper's Ferry. He struck Sedgwick full. For five minutes there was brazen clangour and shouting and an agony of effort, then the blue streamed back, past the Dunkard wood and church, back into the dreadful cornfield.

Maury Stafford, sent with a statement to the commander-in-chief, crossed in one prolonged risk of life from the wild left to the only less stormed-against centre. Here a strong blue current, French and Richardson, strove against a staunch grey ledge-a part of D. H. Hill's line, with Anderson to support. Here was a sunken road, that, later, was given a descriptive name. Here was the Bloody Lane. Lee was found standing upon a knoll, calm and grand. "I yet look for A. P. Hill," he said. "He has a talent for appearing at identically the right moment."

Stafford gave his statement. All over the field the staff had suffered heavily. Some were dead, many were wounded. Those who were left did treble duty. Lee sent this officer on to Longstreet, holding the long ridge on the right.

Stafford rode through the withering storm across that withered field. There seemed no light from the sky; the light was the glare from the guns. He marked, through a rift in the smoke, a battery where it stood upon a height, above felled trees. He thought it was Pelham's-the Horse Artillery. It stood for a moment, outlined against the orange-bosomed cloud, then, like an army of wraiths, the smoke came between and hid it. His horse frightened at a dead man in his path. The start and plunging were unusual, and the rider looked to see the reason. The soldier had drawn letters from his breast and had died with them in his hands. The unfolded, fluttering sheets stirred as though they had life. Stafford, riding on, found the right and found Longstreet looking sombrely, like an old eagle from his eyrie. "I told General Lee," he said "that we ought never to have divided. I don't see A. P. Hill. You tell General Lee that I've only got D. R. Jones and the knowledge that we fight like hell, and that Burnside is before me with fourteen thousand men."

Stafford retraced his way. The ground beneath was burned and scarred, the battle cloud rolled dark, the minies sang beside his ear. Now he was in a barren place, tasting of powder, smelling of smoke, now lit, now darkened, but vacant of human life, and now he was in a press of men, grey forms advancing and retreating, or standing firing, and now he was where fighting had been and there was left a wrack of the dead and dying. He reached the centre and gave his message, then turned toward the left again. A few yards and his horse was killed under him. He disengaged himself and presently caught at the bridle and stayed another. There were many riderless horses on the field of Sharpsburg, but he had hardly mounted before this one, too, was killed. He went on afoot. He entered a sunken road, dropped between rough banks overhung by a few straggling trees. The road was filled with men lying down, all in shadow beneath the rolling battle smoke. Stafford thought it a regiment waiting for orders; then he saw that they were all dead men. He must go back to the Dunkard wood, and this seemed his shortest way. He entered the lane and went up it as quickly as he might for the forms that lay thick in the discoloured light. It looked as though the earth were bleeding, and all the people were fantastic about him. Some lay as straight as on a sculptured tomb, and some were hooped, and some lay like a cross, and some were headless. As he stepped with what care he might, a fierce yelling broke out on the side that was the grey side. There was a charge coming-already he saw the red squares tossing! He moved to the further side of the sunken road and braced himself against the bank, putting his arm about a twisted, protruding cedar. D. H. Hill's North Carolinians hung a moment, tall, gaunt, yelling, then swooped down into the sunken lane, passed over the dead, mounted the other ragged bank and went on. Stafford waited to hear the shock. It came; full against a deep blue wave

. Richardson had been killed and Hancock commanded here. The blue wave was strong. The sound of the mêlée was frightful; then out of it burst a loud huzzahing. Stafford straightened himself. The grey were coming back, and after them the blue. Almost before he could unclasp his arm from the cedar, the first spray of gaunt, exhausted, bleeding men came over and down into the sunken lane. All the grey wave followed. At the moment there outburst a renewed and tremendous artillery battle. The smoke drifting across the Bloody Lane was like the fall of night, a night of cloud and storm. Orange flashes momentarily lit the scene, and the sullen thunders rolled. The grey, gaunt and haggard, but their colours with them, overpassed the dead and wounded, now choking the sunken road. Behind them were heard the blue, advancing and huzzahing. The grey wave remounted the bank down which it plunged fifteen minutes before. At the top it stayed a moment, thin and grey, spectral in the smoke pall, the battle flags like hovering, crimson birds. A line of flame leaped, one long crackle of musketry, then it resumed its retreat, falling back on the west wood. The blue, checked a moment by that last volley, now poured down into the sunken road, overpassed the thick ranks of the dead and wounded, mounted, and swept on in a counter charge.

Maury Stafford had left the cedar and started across with the last broken line of the grey. Going down the crumbling bank his spur caught in a gnarled and sprawling root. The check was absolute, and brought him violently to his knees. Before he could free himself the grey had reached the opposite crest, fired its volley, and gone on. He started to follow. He heard the blue coming, and it was expedient to get out of this trap. Before him, from the figures covering the earth like thrown jackstraws, an arm was suddenly lifted. The hand clutched at him, passing. He looked down. It was a boy of nineteen with a ghastly face. The voice came up: "Whoever you are, you're alive and well, and I'm dying. You'll take it and put a stamp on it and mail it, won't you? I'm dying. People ought to do things when the dying ask them to."

Stafford looked behind him, then down again. "Do what? Quick! They're coming."

The hand would not relax its clasp, but its fellow fumbled at the grey jacket. "It's my letter. They won't know if they don't get it. My side hurts, but it don't hurt like knowing they won't know ... that I was sorry." The face worked. "It's here but I can't-Please get it-"

"You must let me go," said Stafford, and tried to unclasp the hand. "Stay any longer and I will be killed or taken."

The hand closed desperately, both hands now. "For God's sake! I don't believe you've got so hard a heart. Take it and stamp it and mail it. If they don't know they'll never understand and I'll die knowing they'll never understand. For God's sake!"

Stafford knelt beside him, opened the grey jacket, and took out the letter. Blood was upon it, but the address was legible. "Die easy. I'll stamp and mail it. I will send a word with it, too, if you like."

A light came into the boy's face. "Tell them that I was like the prodigal son, but that I'm going home-I'm going home-"

The arms fell, the breast ceased to heave, the head drew backward. Death came and stamped the light upon the face. Before Stafford could get to his feet, the blue wave had plunged into the trough. He remembered using his pistol, and he remembered a dizziness of being borne backward. He remembered that a phrase had gone through his mind "the instability of all material things." Then came a blank. He did not assume that he had lost consciousness, but simply he could not remember. He had been wrecked in a turbulent, hostile ocean. It had made him and others captives, and now they were together at a place which he remembered was called the Roulette House. An hour might have passed, two hours; he really could not tell. There were a number of prisoners, most of them badly wounded. They lay in the back yard of the place, on the steps of out-houses, with blue soldiers for guards. A surgeon came through the yard, and helped a little the more agonizedly hurt. He glanced at Stafford's star and sash, came across and offered to bind up the cut across his forehead. "An awful field," he said. "This war is getting horrible. You're a Virginian, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"Used to know a lot of Virginia doctors. Liked them first rate! Now we are enemies, and it seems to me a pity. Guess it's as Shakespeare says, 'What fools these mortals be!' I know war's getting to seem to me an awful foolishness. That cornfield out there is sickening-Now! that bleeding's stopped-"

On the left, around and before the Dunkard church, the very fury of the storm brought about at last a sudden failing, a stillness and cessation that seemed like those of death. Sound enough there was undoubtedly, and in the centre the battle yet roared, but by comparison there seemed a dark and sultry calm. Far and near lay the fallen. It was now noon, and since dawn twelve thousand men had been killed or wounded on this left, attacked by Fighting Joe Hooker, held by Stonewall Jackson. Fifteen general officers were dead or disabled. Hardly a brigade, not many regiments, were officered as they had been when the sun rose. There was an exhaustion. Franklin had entered on the field, and one might have thought that the grey would yet be overpowered. But all the blue forces were broken, disorganized; there came an exhaustion, a lassitude. McClellan sent an order forbidding another attack. Cornfield and wood lay heavy, hot, and dark, and by comparison, still.

Stonewall Jackson sat Little Sorrel near the Dunkard church. They brought him reports of the misery of the wounded and their great numbers. His medical director, of whom he was fond, came to him. "General, it is very bad! The field hospital looks as though all the fields of the world had given tribute. I know that you do not like hospitals-but would you come and look, sir?"

The general shook his head. "What is the use of looking? There have to be wounded. Do the utmost that you can, doctor."

"I have thought, sir, that, seeing the day is not ended, and they are so overwhelmingly in force, and the Potomac is not three miles in our rear-I have thought that we might manage to get the less badly hurt across. If they attack again and the day should end in defeat-"

"What have you got there?" asked Jackson. "Apples?"

"Yes, sir. I passed beneath a tree and gathered half a dozen. Would you like-"

"Yes. I breakfasted very early." He took the rosy fruit and began to eat. His eyes, just glinting under the forage cap, surveyed the scene before him,-trampled wood where the shells had cut through bough and branch, trampled cornfields where it seemed that a whirlwind had passed, his resting, shattered commands, the dead and the dying, the dead horses, the disabled guns, the drifting sulphurous smoke, and, across the turnpike, in the fields and by the east wood, the masses of blue, overcanopied also by sulphurous smoke. He finished the apple, took out a handkerchief, and wiped fingers and lips. "Dr. McGuire, they have done their worst. And never use the word defeat."

He jerked his hand into the air. "Do your best for the wounded, doctor, do all that is humanly possible, but do it here! I am going now to the centre to see General Lee."

Behind the wood, in a grassy hollow moderately sheltered from the artillery fire, at the edge of the ghastly field hospital, a young surgeon, sleeves rolled up and blood from head to foot, met the medical director. "Doctor, the Virginia Legion came on with General McLaws. They've just brought their colonel in-Fauquier Cary, you know. I wish you would look at his arm."

The two looked. "There's but one thing, colonel."

"Amputation? Very well, very well. Get it over with." He straightened himself on the boards where the men had laid him. "Sedgwick, too! Sedgwick and I striking at each other like two savages decked with beads and scalps! Fratricidal strife if ever there was fratricidal strife! All right, doctor. I had a great-uncle lost his arm at Yorktown. Can't remember him,-my father and mother loved to talk of him-old Uncle Edward. All right-it's all right."

The two doctors were talking together. "Only a few ounces left. Better use it here?"

"Yes, yes!-One minute longer, colonel. We've got a little chloroform."

The bottle was brought. Cary eyed it. "Is that all you've got?"

"Yes. We took a fair quantity at Manassas, but God only knows the amount we could use! Now."

The man stretched on the boards motioned with the hand that had not been torn by the exploding shell. "No, no! I don't want it. Keep it for some one with a leg to cut off!" He smiled, a charming, twisted smile, shading into a grimace of pain. "No chloroform at Yorktown! I'll be as much of a man as was my great-uncle Edward! Yes, yes, I'm in earnest, doctor. Put it by for the next. All right; I'm ready."

On the knoll by Sharpsburg Lee and Jackson stood and looked toward the right. McClellan had apparently chosen to launch three battles in one day; in the early morning against the Confederate left, at midday against its centre, now against its right. A message came from Longstreet. "Burnside is in motion. I've got D. R. Jones and twenty-five hundred men."

It was evident that Burnside was in motion. With fourteen thousand men he came over the stone bridge across the Antietam. They were fresh troops; their flags were flying, their drums were beating, their bugles braying. The line moved with huzzahs toward the ridge held by Longstreet. From the left came tearing past the knoll the Confederate batteries. Lee was massing them in the centre, training them against the eastern foot of the ridge. There had been a lull in the storm, now Pelham opened with loud thunders. Other guns followed. The Federal batteries began to blaze; there broke out a madness of sound. In the midst of it D. R. Jones with his twenty-five hundred men clashed with Burnside's leading brigades.

Stonewall Jackson pulled the forage cap lower, jerked his hand into the air. "Good! good! I will go, sir, and send in my freshest troops."

"Look," said Lee. "Look, general! On the Harper's Ferry road."

All upon the knoll turned and gazed. Air and light played with the battle smoke, drove it somewhat to one side and showed for a few seconds a long and sunlit road, the road from Harper's Ferry. One of the staff began a low uncontrollable laughter. "By God! I see his red battle shirt! By God! I see his red battle shirt!"

Lee with a glance checked the sound. He himself looked nobly lifted, grave and thankful. The battle smoke closed, obscuring the road, but the sound of marching men came along it, distinguishable even beneath the artillery fire. "Good, good!" said Jackson. "A. P. Hill is a good soldier."

Tawny with the dust of the seventeen miles, at a double quick and yelling, the crimson battle flags slanting forward, in swung the Light Division! D. R. Jones rallied. Decimated, out-worn, but dangerous, the aiding regiments from the left did well. The grey guns worked with a certain swift and steadfast grimness. From all the ridges of the Antietam the blue cannon thundered, thundered. Blue and grey, the musketry rolled. Sound rose into terrific volume, the eddying smoke blotted out the day. Artillery Hell-Infantry Inferno-the field of Sharpsburg roared now upon the right.

The Horse Artillery occupied a low ridge like a headland jutting into a grassy field. Below, above, behind, the smoke rolled; in front the flame leaped from their guns, the shells sped. There was a great background of battle cloud, lit every ten seconds by the glare from an opposing battery. John Pelham stood directing. Six guns were in fierce and continuous action. The men serving them were picked artillery men. To and fro they moved, down they stooped, up they stood, stepped backward from the gun at fire, moved forward at recoil, fell again to the loading with the precision of the drill ground. They were half naked, they were black with powder, glistening with sweat, some were bleeding. In the light from the guns all came boldly into relief; in the intermediate deep murk they sank from sight, became of the clouds, cloudy, mere shapes in the semi-darkness.

Stonewall Jackson, returning to the Dunkard church and passing behind this headland, turned Little Sorrel's head and came upon the plateau. Pelham met him. "Yes, general, we're doing well. Yes, sir, it's holding out. Caissons were partly filled during the lull."

"Good, good!" said Jackson. He dismounted and walked forward to the guns. Pelham followed. "I don't think you should be out here, general. They've got our range very accurately-"

The other apparently did not notice the remark. He stood near one of the guns and turned his eyes upon the battle on the right. "Longstreet strikes a heavy blow. He and Hill will push them back. Colonel Pelham, train two guns upon that body of the enemy at the ford."

Pelham moved toward the further guns. The howitzer nearest Jackson was fired, reloaded, fired again. The men beside it stood back. It blazed, thundered, recoiled. A great, black, cylindrical shell came with a demoniac shriek. At the moment the platform was lit with the battle glare. Its fall was seen. It fell, smoking, immediately beside Stonewall Jackson. Such was the concussion of the air that for a moment he was stunned. Involuntarily his arm went up before his eyes; he made a backward step. Pelham, returning from the further guns and still some yards away, gave a shout of warning and horror; from all the men who had seen the thing there burst a similar cry. With the motion almost of the shell itself, a man of the crew of the howitzer reached the torn earth and the cylinder. His body half naked, blackened, brushed, in passing, the general. He put his hands beneath the heated, smoking bottle of death, lifted it, and rushed on to the edge of the escarpment fifty feet away. Here he swung it with force, threw it from him with burned hands. Halfway to the field below it exploded.

Pelham, very pale, protested with some sternness. "You can't stay here, general! My men can't work with you here. It doesn't matter about us, but it does matter about you. Please go, sir."

"I am going, colonel. I have seen what I wished to see. Who is the man who took up the shell?"

Pelham turned to the howitzer. "Which of you was it?"

Half a dozen voices were raised in answer. "Deaderick, sir. But he burned his hands badly and he asked the lieutenant if he could go to the rear-"

"Good, good!" said Stonewall Jackson. "He did well. But there are many brave men in this army." He went back to Little Sorrel, where he stood cropping the dried grass, and stiffly mounted. As he turned from the platform and the guns, all lit again by the orange glare, there came from the right an accession of sound, then high, shrill, and triumphant the Confederate yell. A shout arose from the Horse Artillery. "They're breaking! they're breaking! Burnside, too, is breaking! Yaaaii! Yaaaaiiihh! Yaaaaaiiihhh!"

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