Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/65

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The Battle at Bethesda Church. (51

heard this and raised a so-called white flag, red with blood and black with powder, and the enemy ceased firing. The little rem- nant of the Forty-ninth Virginia Regiment stood up at an order arms, after which the writer started to run the gauntlet of death and cut his way out, if possible. I got about fifty yards and cleared the men when, as General Anderson, who commanded the Penn- sylvania reserves we were fighting afterwards told me, three thous- and shots were fired at me, all at once.


One of the first struck me between my ear and head, but was turned out by a double gold cord around my hat, cutting off a small piece of my ear, and while falling I was shot through both shoulders, but fell in a deep water furrow, which saved me from be- ing riddled. I had already been shot in the throat. Later they threw out a line of skirmishers: these advanced to where I lay a sandy haired fellow leveled his gun at me and ordered me up. I told him I was wounded and perhaps bleeding to death. He gazed at me an instant and soliloquized: "What a likely fellow! What a pity! What a pity!" and moved on a few yards, when a shot from the woods fatally wounded him. He came staggering back, crying, "Johnny Reb, please kill me" fell a few yards off crying out with pain got up and staggered a few yards further fell and was hushed in death. The skirmish line then retired into the trenches until after dark, when they covered the ground and com- menced removing the wounded.


The enemy treated me with great consideration and kindness, I was the ranking living officer of the brigade they had to deal with. General Anderson (I think that was the officer's name) who com- manded the Pennsylvania reserves, whom we fought, had me carried on a stretcher to his headquarters, administered whiskey to me with his own hands as I was cold and chilly offered me something to eat gave directions that I was to have special medical attention and said that "I and every man I had, should be well treated that he had never seen men come up at a 'right-shoulder shift arms' and meet death like mine did before." He asked me specially about the " red-cap " "color bearer," whose taking off he saw.

The next morning I was taken to a field hospital in the beautiful