Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/266

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260 Southern Historical Society Papers.

louder and nearer, that told of battle lost and victory won. Silence, " silence " " alas for the fallen brave."


I turned and looked to the rear of the battery, on the top of a perfect pyramid of overcoats, blankets, knapsacks and frying pans, "Old Hines" was seated, with his legs crossed, "tailor-fashion," sewing away for dear life, and right in the range of a dozen bat- teries. I had very improvidently thrown away in the morning a very heavy but good overcoat, rather than lug it through the fight, which I was then regretting. The fire in our front having slack- ened, I walked over to "Old Hines." He had put on my overcoat and was sewing a button on some other garment. I plead hard for my coat, but in vain. Just then a shot from the enemy came bound- ing along, passing through two of the horses to the caisson, and not missing us very lar. "Old Hines" cocked up his eye at me, and, with a grin and chuckle, said "Shoo, Fly, don't bother me," and I didn't any more. That night as we left the field, the batteries in our front having been almost silenced, we fired an occasional parting shot. Riding along by my gun I passed "Old Hines," trudging along under a pile of plunder towering at least six feet above his head. He reminded me of the pictures of Atlas with the world on his shoulders. In a few minutes I heard a tremendous crash. I looked back and saw some reckless cavalryman had ridden over "Old Hines," bag and baggage. "Old Hines" scrambled to his feet and said "I'll be durned," that was all. I was avenged.


While in winter quarters, near Bowling Green, Caroline county, "Old Hines" was court-martialed. When Christmas day dawned upon us "Old Hines" was missing. No one could tell when or whither he had gone; his plunder had vanished, too. Some said his mess-mates had killed him in revenge for dancing out the fire and for washing his face in the bread-tray, which was one of his amusements; others said he had deserted. Several days elapsed and no tidings of the lost one. At length word came from Bowling Green that " Old Hines " had rented the best room in the hotel there, and was living like a lord. A guard was dispatched for him, and he was found in his room in the hotel, seated before a roaring fire with