Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/111

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Crisis at Sharpsburg. 107


Several months after the memorable battle, when I was nicely re- covering from my wounds, a comrade related to me three incidents that came under his experience at Sharpsburg. I think them en- tirely relevant and worthy of space in this sketch since they rightly belong with the stirring events of that sanguinary field.

Abont 6 P. M., when the heat and turmoil of battle had subsided,- I was reminded that I had not eaten anything since early in the morning, and then only two "hardtacks"; three of us soon filled our haversacks with fine apples from a nearby orchard, then kindled a fire, got out frying pan, and a chunk of very fat mess pork; two

of our party were slicing apples, B doing the ccok's duties.

The first pan of apples was being turned into a tin plate, when bang! bang!! bang!! in quick succession, exploded three shells most un- comfortably near, tendering us the untimely and cruel compliments of a Federal battery which had spied us, and made a target of our little tea party. The Federal gunners soon had our range and drop- ped a % dozen or more shells about us in a few minutes, doing no seri- ous damage, causing us to postpone the meal on fried apples, in the mode a la Sharpsburg.


In a headlong charge, all going at a double quick, and yelling like wild Comanches, a hardy, muscular, fearless "Tar Heel," who had joined us in a determined rush on the Federal lines, received a minie ball in his open mouth. He did not seem to immediately lose his speech, for he blurted out: "Boys, I'll have to leave you. Going to the rear to look for that damned ball. Give 'em hell and my compliments." The narrator subsequently learned that the brave fellow rejoined his own famous fighting regiment (Thirteenth North Carolina) three months later, still a good and staying fighter, but minus the full notes of that lusty yell at Sharpsburg.


In a few moments after a "hot mix-up" when we were getting our "second-wind" for another onset or attack, either offensive or de- fensive, a brave and hungry Georgian who was "taking chances" with us proceeded to unroll his blanket that had a considerable bulge in it which disappeared when relieved of a half gallon crock