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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/151

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Closing Scenes of the War about Richmond. 143

By this time our killed and wounded were many among the for- mer one of the General's aids, the gallant and amiable Goldsbo- rough.

There were no facilities for taking off the wounded, and indeed we had no rear to carry them to, so they were directed, when able, to crawl behind trees and into gullies. It is probable many were shot a second time or oftener while thus lying on the field.

The appeals of some poor fellows to their comrades and officers to put them in a place of safety were piteous, especially in the Naval Brigade, where the sailors seemed to look up to their officers like children, and one such scene in particular between the Commodore and a wounded sailor still dwells painfully and vividly in my memory.

The heavy artillery brigade had not a medical officer present, and there were not more than two or three in the whole division.

My observation of the latter part of the battle was chiefly limited to the center of the line, my horse, one which had belonged to General J. F. Reynolds, and which I had ridden ever since his capture at Games' Mill in 1862, having been struck by a musket ball. I had also been struck, but not hurt, by splinters in the face, and by a ball, nearly spent, on the shoulder, while another had passed through my coat, which will serve to show how severe and accurate the fire was.

I saw a number of men in blue uniform, where Kershaw'sline had been, but supposing them to be prisoners, no attention was paid to their appearance.

I presume now they were engaged in receiving the surrender of his men. Along Custis Lee's line the firing was still continued, and we had no idea the battle was so nearly ended.

I thought we were endeavoring to hold our ground until night might enable us to draw off, but from what I saw afterwards we were so surrounded that escape was impossible, and to have prolonged the contest would have been a useless sacrifice of life.

There being an intermishio.n in the fire presently, I passed along the line toward the left to inspect the condition of affairs.

The line was at every point unbroken and the men in excellent spirits, exulting in their success so far, and confident of their ability to hold out. But, alas! there was nohing to hold out for.

It was now reported in one of Barton's regiments that we had surrendered, and although this was contradicted at first and refused to be credited, still so many and such various rumors passed along the line that the men soon were uncertain what to think.