42 Southern Historical Society Papers.
went over the hill. Every mstn in our line began to load his musket with frenzied haste. Only three or four of the Sevetvteenih were shot, the fire of the enemy being too high.
We had barely loaded and capped the muskets when the blue line came with a rush and we fired now without orders. Before we could load a third time the two lines of battle of the Federals, now com- mingled as one solid bank of men, poured a volley into us that set- tled the matter. It killed or wounded every officer and man in the regiment except five, of whom I was fortunate enough to be one.
Just as the bluecoats were climbing the fence I threw down my musket and raised my hand in token of surrender. Two or three stopped to carry me back to the rear. The rest kept on, urged by their officers, in the direction of the village of Sharpsburg.
Major Herbert and Lieutenant Perry made a dash for the rear and escaped. I and a private named Gunnell, of the Fairfax Rifles, were the only prisoners; the rest of the regiment lay there motion- less in their positions. The men were either lying down or kneel- ing the wounds were dangerous or deadly. But for the protection afforded by the fence I do not believe that a single man of the regi- ment would have escaped alive.
In conversation with Doctor Macgill, of Hagerstown, Md., shortly after' the war, he told me that two days after the battle he visited the spot, having had some friends in the Alexandria regiment of Kemper's brigade, and that the fence was literally a thing of shreds and patches.
Our captors hurried us off. When we reached a hill in the rear we stopped to rest. My guard said to me:
"It's all up with you, Johnnie; look there." I turned and gazed on the scene. Long lines of blue were coming like the surging bil- lows of the ocean. The bluecoats were wild with excitement, and their measured hurrah, so different from our piercing yell, rose above the thunder of their batteries beyond the bridge. I thought the guard was right, that it was all up with us, and our whole army would be captured. We, Yank and Reb, were sitting down taking a sociable smoke when all at once we were startled as if touched by an electric shock. The air was filled with bursting shells, as if a dozen batteries had opened at once from the direction of Sharpsburg, and while we stood gazing we saw emerging from a cornfield a long line of gray, musket barrels scintillating in the rays of the declining sun and the Southern battle flags gleaming redly against the dark background. They seemed to have struck the Federal advance on