Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/214

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204
Southern Historical Society Papers.

ahead of the line, and several yards in advance they could be seen loading and firing as deliberately as though practicing at a mark.

Colonel Cutshaw received a wound which so shattered his leg that he had to be lifted from his horse into an ambulance. He was near being captured, but by hurrying away the ambulance at a gallop, he escaped to a house a short distance in the rear, where he fell into the hands of the enemy. The same night he suffered amputation of a leg. Captain Garber was struck, and called for the ambulance corps, but on examination found the ball in his pocket. It had lodged against the rowel of a spur which he found the day before and dropped in his pocket.

At last the enemy appeared in strong force on both flanks, while he pushed hard in front. It was useless to attempt a further stand. The voice of Captain Jones, of the Howitzers, rang out loud and clear: "Boys, take care of yourselves!" Saying this, he planted himself against a pine, and as his men rushed by him, emptied every chamber of his revolver at the enemy, and then reluctantly made his way, in company with several privates, down the hill to the creek.

At the foot of the hill a group of perhaps a dozen men gathered around Lieutenant McRae. He was indignant. He proposed another stand, and his comrades agreed. They stood in the road facing the gentle slope of the hill from which they had been ordered to retire. The enemy's skirmishers were already on the brow of hill, dodging about among the trees and shouting to those behind to hurry up. Their favorite expressions were—"Come along, boys; here are the damned Rebel wagons!" "Damn 'em, shoot 'em down!"

In a few moments their line of battle, in beautiful order, stepped out of the woods with colors flying, and for a moment halted. In front of the centre of that portion of the line which was visible—probably a full regimental front—marched the colors and color guard. McRae saw his opportunity. He ordered his squad to rise and fire on the colors. His order was promptly obeyed. The color-bearer pitched forward and fell, with his colors, heavily to the ground. The guard of two men on either side shared the same fate, or else feigned it. Immediately the line of battle broke into disorder and came swarming down the hill, firing, yelling and cursing as they came. An officer, mounted, rode his horse close to the fence on the roadside, and with the most superb insolence mocked McRae and his squad, already, as he thought, hopelessly intermingled