Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/223

This page has been validated.
207
On Historic Spots,

the enemy, and as absolute quiet was necessary, we ordered the soldiers to throw away the caps of their guns, so as to provide against even the accidental explosion of a weapon. I can remember the pitiful look some of the men gave while obeying the order, for they knew that they would be helpless if attacked, and, at any rate, something desperate was being planned. We made every man hold his canteen, so that it should not rattle. In the morning we moved forward. The Confederates had placed an abattis of rails stuck in the ground on end as their first line of protection, and then had piled the ground with timber. It took several moments to clear these obstructions away, so that the enemy had some little notice of our coming. They were in pens of logs and could not get out to fight, so that we captured them after a brief conflict, and then we bagged a whole division, including General Johnson, whose headquarters had been established in the McCool house. We could not advance, however, because our line had become disorganized. For twenty hours the fighting continued, re-enforcements coming up on both sides."

The Landrum house, near which Hancock's men were massed by Colonel Bird, still stands, and is occupied by the Landrum family. "We had 500 bodies in and around our house," said Mr. Landrum, as he told of his experiences during the fight.

MILES AND MILES OF EARTHWORKS.

The hill back of Bloody Angle is literally plowed into earthworks. The trenches are so close together that a man can step from one to the other for a great distance. Like all the other works, they are covered with brown pine needles, while the woods in which they are situated look today as they did during the hours when they were the centre of hand-to-hand fighting. Many of the trenches were made to serve as graves, the raised earth being simply turned back over the dead which filled the excavated line.

On the hill near the Landrum house, where Hancock's artillery was stationed, the lunettes in which the guns were placed stand today just as they appeared in 1864. There are eight or ten of them in a row, looking brown and sombre with their carpet of pine needles, and the sun filters down upon them