The Twelfth Alabama Infantry. 229
handed by one of the men a half dozen razors, one of which I now daily use, and a number of red silk sashes, which evidently belonged to officers. Also a number of of ambrotypes, which I saved, and, the first opportunity, expressed to my home-folks at La Grange, Georgia, near where my mother lived. I am sorry to relate that some of the letters, which were read aloud by the men after we re- turned to camp, were too obscene and improper to be written, and certainly should never have been preserved. We saw many artil - lery horses lying dead, and numerous cannoners by their side, stiff and cold. My little band remained in possession of the large col- lection of knap-sacks, haversacks, etc., until recalled about night, and every man returned to his company loaded with trophies, many of them of some value, others worthless, except as curiosities. When the battle ended it was dark.
The next day, an extremely hot one, while we were in line of battle in the blazing sun, I witnessed a piece of recklessness, or, heroism, if you choose to call it so, on the part of Captain L'Eton- dal, of Company A, from Mobile. The Twelfth Alabama was stretched out, and the men were lying prone upon the ground, enduring the sun's rays, and suffering greatly from the heat. Sud- denly their attention was drawn to a novel sight, perhaps never a similar one was seen in any battle. At the end of Company A an umbrella was stretched over the prostrate form of Captain Jules L'Etondal. Soon the notice of the enemy's artillery was attracted by the umbrella, and they began aiming their Napoleon guns at that portion of the regiment, and the balls began to strike in dan- gerous proximity to it, and to the brave men near it. The men of the other companies began to call aloud, "shut down that um- brella," "close it up, you old fool." The cries had no influence upon L'Etondal, or his company, and when, some of the other companies, indignant at his willingness to expose his comrades to the fire of the enemy, by his efforts to protect himself from the blazing rays of the burning sun, called to him that they would come and shut up the umbrella if he didn't do it, and a few rose and started toward the captian as if to carry out their threat, some of his company rose to meet them, and swore that he should keep the umbrella raised over head, if he wanted to, and it was none of
their d d business. This state of affairs continued for some
little time, but L'Etondal kept up his shade, and was totally obliv- ious to the commands and entreaties of the men, and his own cum-