Page images

Kimball, proceeded to Division Headquarters (Gen. Newton commanding) and reported to him, through Gen. K., that our lines were very much exposed, and as it was now near daylight, would soon suffer severely from the enemy's fire. Gen. Newton replied, that he would like to change our lines, but could not assume the responsibility. Disheartened by the thought that our brave comrades would soon be under a merciless fire, at great disadvantage, and suffering from our wounds, we bade Gen. Kimball good-bye and started to the rear, to find, if possible, a resting place. We had not gone far when we met Gen. 0. 0. Howard, our Corps Commander, who, recognizing us, asked us about the condition of the lines in front. I told him heartily our experience, the exposed condition of our men, and urged a withdrawal of our lines to a more sheltered position. Putting spurs to his horse, he moved hastily to the front and we resumed our journey to the rear in search of a resting place. Re-crossing the classic “Pumpkin Vine," and seeing a small frame building on our left, minus weather boarding, near the road over which the troops were passing, we turned our horses toward it, and on examination, Jackson and I concluded to start a hospital. Assisted by comrades, we dismounted, and were soon lying side by side on our blankets under the roof of the frame. For the first time an opportunity was given to carefully examine our wounds, disclosing the fact that we had received the contents of an old U. S. Army cartridge, a round ball and three buckshots; one buckshot hitting a finger on Jackson's right hand, another penetrating his groin, and the third passing almost through my left knee-the large ball passing between us, clipping my clothing in front and Jackson's in rear.

We now began to realize our situation. Our army was on the march. There was no hospital established near us. seriously wounded ; lying in the midst of a wilderness, and at least twenty miles from the nearest point on the railroad. Jackson and I were both alarmed about his wound in the groin, and I was satisfied, from the indications, that my limb would have to be amputated. Would we live to rejoin our families and again



form part of the family circle ? was the question discussed by us. We were both married men, and each was fully convinced that he had the best wife and some of the prettiest children that could be found in any place, north or south. But we were not allowed to become despondent. Kind comrades by hundreds, on passing, stepped off the road to take a look at the wounded officers, and although nearly all strangers to us, except that they “wore the blue,” they kept us supplied with the best fresh water they could get, to appease our thirst and cool our wounds. They gave us food, and rendered a thousand little kindnesses, that can neither be described nor forgotten. One Commissary Sergeant, on discovering us, and knowing what officers were supposed to like, walked back a mile and got us a canteen full of what was there known as “ Commissary,” brought and left it with us—depriving himself, as I verily believe, of the only canteen he had to carry water to slake his own thirst on that weary march. How can persons forget such kindnesses ?

Or how could they become despondent when those grim-visaged and sunburned “ soldier boys" all had a word of encouragement. They could go into battle and face death, but when they met a wounded comrade, they were gentle as a woman, and could handle one with that lightness of touch that at once indicates the skillful nurse. It brings tears to my eyes yet, when I think of that day, and of the thousand unpremeditated kind acts rendered by those comrades. It did much to convince me that we often judge wrongly those hardy, blunt specimens of our race, by looking on the exterior, and give no opportunity to draw out those finer feelings that they all possess.

Passing a tolerably uncomfortable night, an ambulance was sent for us in the morning, and we were taken to the Field Hospital, which had been established nearer the front than we had been lying. We had our wounds carefully examined by skillful surgeons, with the following result: Jackson got what they called a “twenty days home," and I-got my leg cut off. The operation was skillfully performed by Dr. W. P. Pierce, assisted by an able and sympathetic corps of surgeons, who by a judicious use of chloroform, rendered it entirely painless, not allowing me to wake up until the last pin was put in the bandage enclosing my mutilated limb. I took a last look at what had been my faithful support through life, and with feelings that cannot be described, was carried to the cot prepared for me.



John Green, Co. F; William Thompson, Co. F; Joseph Hook, James Royde, Co. G; Martin Highbrick, Co. I; Geo. W. Gates, Co. K.



1st Sergt. W. Ordway, arm amputated, died at Ackworth, June 12th; Charles A. Halsey, arm broken.


Elihu Mayhew, arm; Fritz Wilkinson, thigh; W. Edwards, head; Sidney Kendall, hand.


Lieut. J. M. Turnbull, leg amputated; James W. Black, finger.


Seth Darling, head, died June 1st; William Duckworth, finger.

COMPANY E. James Stokes, arm.

Sergt. B. Thompson, leg.

Robert Bradshaw, neck; Ellis Hulsizer, breast and hand.


1st Sergt. James F. Ferris, leg.


Lieut. Chas. Hazelhurst, back; Harrison W. Blank, knec; Jas. Hazelhurst, forehead; Seneca Birdsall, leg.




EN. JOHNSTON, after abandoning his strong works at New Hope Church, occupied a new line extending over a series of hills, reaching from Kenesaw on his right to Lost Mountain on his left, with Pine

Mountain as his advanced centre. McPherson operated against Kenesaw, Schofield against Lost, and Thomas against Pine Mountain. We started from Ackworth on Friday, June 10th, but the advance coming upon the enemy's skirmishers at once, and we being in the rear, our progress was very slow, only about five miles the first day. A heavy rain storm set in which lasted until the following Tuesday, bringing all active operations to a halt. But while gloom seemed to rest over everything, we had one bright spot in the knowledge that we were not dependent upon wagon trains for supplies, the railroad being repaired, and the whistle of the locomotive heard right up to the skirmish line. Big Shanty, in sight of Kenesaw, was now our base. On Tuesday, 14th, operations were resumed, and that day Gen. Polk was killed by a shot from a battery fired close by us. On Wednesday, knapsacks were thrown off and preparations made for a charge, but it was found unnecessary The next day was a busy one entrenching in two positions under fire, and Gen. Sherman came down and lying behind the low breastworks, examined the ground and talked with the men. Luther W. Gates, Company D, was wounded in the shoulder. A work was thrown up for twelve guns which were mounted during the night, but the position being now untenable, Johnston gave up his centre and fell behind Mud Creek. The next day was spent in finding his position, and at night his skirmishers were driven across the creek. Twice during the night he attempted to drive off our skirmishers, but was repulsed. Just as it became light we surprised him by a sudden attack, securing a portion of his main line, and capturing quite a number of prisoners. This was done in a drenching rain-storm, and as we waited in reserve at the top of a hill, the poor fellows captured presented a most woe-begone appearance while filing past us.

Immediately the whole division was ordered forward to hold the ground thus gained, and having crossed Mud Creek (it was worthy of its name), went into position on the second line. The enemy opened with both artillery and musketry, but after a while one of our batteries came up and kept theirs tolerably quiet. Five of our men were wounded : L. P. Boyd, Company D, both thighs; M..C. Skinner, Company E, foot struck by a round shot which went through Silas Dyer's haversack-foot afterward amputated; William Pletch, Company F, side; Chris. Thake, Company I, contusion, and John Shields, slight.

This day's operations proved so decisive, that the enemy evacuated during the night, and fell back to his third and strongest position, on Kenesaw, by which he was directly in front of Marietta, and well protected, both on his flanks and his centre, and his line being shorter, his troops were more concentrated. Our division was thrown forward at once; the 36th with orders to

« PreviousContinue »