Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 23.djvu/165

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t<> respond; and I cannot describe mv feeling of disappointment and ch.igrin when my lather himself a volunteer told me that I must not join the army, hut must continue at school, my tear now beini; that the war would end before I could have any share in it. How- ever, my enthusiasm did not cool in the least, and I found some consolation in drilling a company of my school-mates, and feeling that we were practicing to some purpose.

When I did go into the army I joined Company I, Twenty-sixth North Carolina regiment, and was as proud and happy as possible when I put on soldier's clothes, shouldered my gun, and marched away to share the danger and the glory of this courageous band.

But as I am to tell of my prison life I must pass over other events in camp and field, and commence with the Battle of Gettysburg, where all active service for my beloved South came to a bitter end.

THE FIRST SHELL.

Well do I remember the first shell that burst in our ranks that first day. We were still in the road, and our boys wavered just a little, when our gallant colonel, H. K. Burgwyn, called out, "Steady, men!" which brought every man to his place, to waver no more, for we now fully realized what we must do.

We marched to the right of the road and formed in rear of our batteries, in order to support them, but in a short time we moved forward to a piece of timber at the foot of the hill, where we remained some time, watching the enemy masking their forces in another piece of timber in front of us, all impatient for the word "forward," well knowing that every moment's delay was giving them the advantage.

When tlu word "attention" was given, every man was on his feet and in position instantly. Then came the command "forward," and dauntlessly we charged across the open field, while three lines of the enemy in front of us poured a murderous fire into our ranks. Undaunted, we pressed on until we struck the timber, where we encountered the first line of the enemy aud routed them, driving them and the other two lines out of the timber. But in doing this we lost many of our brave boys, and our dear, noble colonel, who was shot down with the colors in his hand, leading the charge. Four- teen of our brave men fell with the colors in their hands. Although they knew it was almost certain death to pick it up, the flag was never allowed to remain down, but as fast as it fell some one raised it again. I venture to say that our regiment suffered greater loss in