Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/38
Southern Historical Society Papers.
brave and faithful fellow urging them to carry me off first, declaring he would die anyway, and my life must be saved. However, I had him moved away to the rear before I consented for Privates P. W. Chappell and Tobe Ward to place me on my blanket and carry me to the rear. As I was borne back, Attaway called out for them to hasten with me out of danger, as bullets and shells and solid shot were falling thick and fast around us. His conduct was that of a true, magnanimous friend and generous soldier. Ward and Chappell carried me as gently and quickly as possible towards some ambulances in the rear. When we reached them we were told they belonged to the Louisiana brigade, and I was refused admittance into one. At this time the gigantic and brave Colonel Peck, who had been slightly wounded and retired from the field, rode up, and ascertaining the status of affairs, ordered the men to "take him up tenderly and put him in an ambulance," adding, "he is a wounded brother soldier, and must be cared for." I thanked the Colonel, but he, in his bluff, soldierly way, interrupted me, and said he "had done nothing but what I would have done for him." Bidding a last farewell to my faithful men, I was driven to the Union Hotel, then turned into a hospital. The surgeons examined my wound, pronounced it a serious one, and dressed it, uncertain in their minds whether the leg should be amputated or not. In my own, I resolved I would die before submitting to its loss. The surgeons promised me, in event our army was forced to evacuate Winchester, to send me off in an ambulance, but, a few minutes after, shot and shell were fired into the hospital building, crashing resistlessly through roof, walls, chimneys, etc., and knocking down bricks, plastering, planks and splinters over the helpless wounded and dying, and the demoralized surgeons, hastily detailing two or three of their number to remain with the wounded, fled incontinently, forgetting, in their anxiety to escape capture, all thought of their promise to carry me along with them. Our scattered troops, closely followed by the large army of pursuers, retreated rapidly and in disorder through the city. It was a sad, humiliating sight, but such a handful of worn-out men could not successfully withstand such overwhelming odds. I never saw our troops in such confusion before. It is said that Mrs. General Gordon, Mrs. General Breckinridge, Mrs. Hugh Lee and other patriotic ladies ran impetuously into the streets, and eloquently pleaded with the retreating soldiers to cease their flight and stand and con-
- Chappell and Ward were both afterwards killed at Petersburg, Virginia.