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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/296

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288 Southern Historical Society Papers.

and go down the road at full speed. The battery started as ordered, and as soon as it uncovered, the three Federal batteries opened on it, and at almost every jump of the horses you could feel the wind- age from the shot and shell. We kept on down the road until its declination put us under cover of the elevation on which the house stood. Seeing that the battery would suffer very much if an at- tempt was made to keep on the road directly up to the house, it was deemed best to turn it off to the right to work its way through the valley to the position desired, every piece and caisson turned out of the line of fire except the last caisson, when a shot struck the limber chest and exploded it, burning and wounding several men and horses, setting fire to some shelter tents strapped on the footboard of the caisson, which caused the rear chests to explode for several hours; the exploded limber chest was unlimbered immediately, which removed the men and horses from danger. The wheel-driver, J. C. Coleman, of the exploded caisson, deserves special mention for his coolness in managing his horses, for with fire all around them, their tails burnt, and badly scorched about the body and legs, and with the lead drivers blown off their horses, he still retained his seat and stopped the horses from running. The balance of the battery went into the position they were ordered to take, and held it.

As an instance of humor under disadvantageous circumstances, this is too good to be lost. It occurred at Spotsylvania when the battery was under a hot fire waiting orders. The men were lying around the guns in groups of three and four, and somebody was being wounded every few minutes. One of the groups hap- pened to be near half a box of crackers that had been left by the enemy, and the party soon began munching them, when one of the men not far off cried, " Pitch me a cracker." At this moment a shell from the enemy's guns fell on the ground between the parties and exploded with a tremendous report, when the party addressed replied, " There's a 'cracker.' Catch that." It is needless to say a smile illumined the countenances of all who heard the request and response.


The following roster gives the names, ranks, dates of enlistment, and remarks concerning the men who composed the battery. In some instances where no remarks occur, the men "served until sur- render," but in many they were detailed for various reasons before the company left the city, and saw no service in the field, while a