Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/214

This page has been validated.
Southern Historical Society Papers.

intact, the stone now green and gray with age, while the old Marye mansion, on the summit, is the residence of Captain Rowe. The columns of its spacious porch are still perforated with bullet-holes, its walls are chipped where shell and shrapnel struck, and the outbuildings are bored in numerous places with the small, round hole of the minie-ball.


As the party stood upon the hill top, the story of the awful slaughter at the foot of Marye's Heights was retold. In the road below was the monument which marked the spot where General Cobb was killed, with the house still standing over which came the shell that struck him. Longstreet's description was recalled. "A fifth time the Federals formed and charged and were repulsed," he says. "A sixth time they charged and were driven back, when night came to end the dreadful carnage and the Federal withdrew, leaving the battle-field literally heaped with the bodies of their dead. Before the well-directed fire of Cobb's Brigade, the Federals had fallen like the steady dripping of rain from the eaves of a house. Our musketry alone killed and wounded at least 5,000, and these, with the slaughter by the artillery, left over 7,000 killed and wounded before the foot oj Marye's Hill. The dead were piled sometimes three deep, and when morning broke the spectacle that we saw upon the battlefield was one of the most distressing I ever witnessed. The charges had been desperate and bloody, but utterly hopeless. I thought as I saw the Federals come again and again to their death, that they deserved success if courage and daring could entitle soldiers to victory."

"It was a wonder to me," said Congressman Jones, "that any man escaped alive. I was a boy of twelve then, and I went on the field with my father the morning after the battle. I remember seeing a peach orchard, every tree of which had been literally stripped of its branches by flying bullets. The field was covered with the dead, and the sight was so terrible that I have never forgotten it. I remember, too, a story of the battle which my father told me. He had met in a North Carolina regiment a man whom he had known years ago, and they were standing talking—one