Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 17.djvu/426
418 Southern Historical Society Papers,
makes me laugh now to think of the whoop I gave as they came up. It would have done honor to a Comanche. Hope was almost gone, and the sight once more of these brave men's faces and the cheery ring of their guns was like the breath of life.
A PICTURE OF A. P. HILL.
In the midst of the renewed uproar General Hill came down the line. He stood bolt upright between the contending fires, looked around awhile, then went off to the left, returned, looked once more intently into the timber as if to say this nest must be cleaned out, and finally went off up the line. Years 'afterwards I stood by the grave of this valiant soldier in the cemetery at Richmond. Naught marked the spot but a slab with ** A. P. Hill,*' and nothing but the twitter of little birds broke the solemn stillness ; but as I stood there I saw him as he stood that day — erect, magnificent, the god of war himself, amid the smoke and the thunder.
The order came to charge. Of how we got up and went into and through that felled timber no man can tell. It was confusion worse confounded ; now leaping from one tree trunk to another; now run- ning along this, and then crawling under the other. But if it was hard for us to get in it was equally hard for the enemy to get out. Some rough work was done in there. The edge of the timber looked as if a cyclone had struck it. In every angle bodies were huddled. In the smoke and confusion I lost the regiment, and kept on ahead in- stead of right-obliquing. A terrific roar and jar and a hot breath as of a furnace warned me of the uncomfortable proximity of a can- non. It was an enfilading battery which our colonel had avoided by a right oblique.
CLOSE OF THE DAY. .
One artilleryman was springing to the mouth of his piece, and another tightening on the lanyard of his. Down I went as flat as possible, and I wished I was a mole. The dirt, leaves and sticks flew all about, but I was so close the position was more terrifying than really dangerous. I could see the fire leap out of the muzzle, and a very unsatisfactory sight it was. A gray wave swept up over guns and cannoneers, and the battery was taken. I got up extremely shaky, and set out to find the regiment. After wandering about a while I met the Adjutant, who directed me and exultantly showed me a magnificent dapple-gray he had got at the battery. I told him