Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 23.djvu/123

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.I/-//'//,/-//. 117

er" from tin- captured li.ittciu-,, and these uc spread oiil, not over the " caissons," but on tin- ground, and were using them fo r l>eds. We slc|)t like logs. t>nt before morn in g these logs were en- livened by r.iin. \vhi( h began falling pretty rapidly before daylight. We then got under our caisson covers and slept till morning, and found ourselves when we rose in most disconsolate surroundings. "Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink." The ground \\as saturated, the- fragments of \\ood which \ve gathered for fuel were soaked; the nearest running water, several hundred yards dis- tant, was muddy, and, alas, in some places was colored with blood. The water which we hoped to get from the roof of the Lewis house had been stained by blood which oozed from the several limbs which the surgeons had thrown out on a part of the roof. Our commissary stores were difficult to get, for great confusion necessarily prevailed in this and all departments of the army. The captured "hard- tack" was the greatest god-send to us then. In the midst of our physical discomforts, we were hearing sad news from time to time of the death of this or that friend and acquaintance in other com- mands; and in every available room and out-house near us were suf- fering or dying soldiers. In the pouring rain many of us assisted to bury, in a rude, primitive way, a young man well known to many of our Rockbridge boys. This brought the horrors of battle sadly near to many of us.

The condition of the roads kept us there a day or two, but when the weather permitted it, about the 27th, we moved from this place several miles, and, to avoid the sickening odors of the battle-field, a place for temporary encampment was selected in an open field, where our captured caisson covers again served us a good turn, as we made props for them and used them as shelter from the sun.

About this time we were allowed to make a complete change in our equipment. We gave up the two light six-pounder brass guns which had belonged to the Virginia Military Institute, retaining only the United States six-pounder and the twelve-pounder Howitzer, and got in addition two other United States brass six-pounders, and two of the ten-pounder parrot guns which had been used against us on the 2ist. We got also, of course, ammunition for all these, and proper ammunition-chests supplied with caps, lanyards, thumb-stalls, &c. We got, also, six United States army caissons, a new forge with all needed supplies for the blacksmith, additional horses, and full sets of new harness, made expressly for the United States bat- teries, but which we found admirably adapted for use in the Confede-