Several little incidents occurred during the Fort Donelson fight that may be of interest to some of our readers. On Thursday, while a skirmish fight was going on, two brothers, one in the Federal forces, the other in the Confederate, recognized each other, and, after standing a moment as if paralyzed, they threw down their guns, rushed into each others arms, and retired from the field. A similar occurance happened after the fort was surrendered. Some prisoners were ordered to vacate a building in the fort, when one of the Iowa Seventh stepped up and said, "For God's sake, Lieutenant, let this man remain a while. He is my brother, whom I have not seen for eight years." The brother alluded to was Captain in Col. Sagg's 15th Tennessee Regiment.
Shells Filled with Rice - The conical shell fired by the Rebels at Great Bethel, and which was forwarded to Wm. E. Hogan, of this city, was opened at the United States Arsenal yesterday, with a view of "drawing the load". Instead of being filled with the instruments of death - bullets, slugs, sulfur and powder, it contained several pounds of rice! Perhaps the slaves have the filling of these shell, and they make them harmless as possible. The Rebel shells filled with rice by the negroes, and ours filled with sawdust by traitors! Well, as Punch says,"This is a very civil war".
The following from Bulls Run correspondent of the Mississipian: While Joe, a servant of Erskine Watkins, was cooking a chicken in a kitchen near the hospital, a ball passed near him and struck the skillet. In his report he said, "bless God! Massa, I never saw the chicken after dat."
It is said that the Secretary of War, at the commencement of the battle at Bull Run, implored a certain Pennsylvania regiment to "strike for their homes", which they did at the rate of ten miles an hour.
Courage of Horses at Bull Run - The following incidents of the courage displayed by horses at the battle of Bull Run, are related by a Washington correspondent. One of the guns of the celebrated Shermans Battery was rescued from capture by the rebels and brought off the field by two horses that had been shot through by Minie musket balls. When the order "Forward" was given they resolutely straightened out and absolutely brought off the gun. At the commencement of battle Lt. Hasbrouck, of the West Point Battery, was riding a little sorrel horse. In a short time he was shot three times and from loss of blood became to weak for further service. He was stripped of bridle and saddle and turned loose, as his owner supposed, to die. In the heat of the contest nothing more was thought of the little sorrel, nor was he seen again until the remnant of the battery was far towards Washington on the retreat. It paused at Centreville and while resting there, Lt. Hasbrouck was delighted to be joined by his faithful horse, which, by strolling instinct had obeyed the bugle call to retreat, and had found his true position with the battery, which is more than most of the human mass engaged on the field can boast of doing. He came safely into Washington, is now recovered of his wounds and ready for another fight.
On the second day of the battle of Corinth, Mrs. Wilson and her daughter, who resides in a cottage just behind Battery Richardson, discovered that they were in about as hot a place as could be found, fled from their dwelling and dropped down into a thirty foot well, the storm of lead and iron whizzing harmlessly above them. But in the midst of the battle a horse, which fled frantically over the field, attempted to leap across the mouth of the well, but struck the windlass, and his hindquarters fell into the oriface. The poor women expected to be crushed. The horse struggled furiously with his forefeet, and the women waited their fate in horror. At last, however, the horse by desperate efforts extricated himself and they were saved.
Mr. W.W. Cone, of Cincinnati, was in Holly Springs, buying cotton, when the rebels made their recent raid. He had $28,000 on his person when the enemy entered the place, and immediately throwing off his citizens garb, he attired himself in the castoff garments of a private soldier, entered the Magnolia House, employed as a hospital, and throwing himself upon a bed, assumed to be exceedingly and impressively sick while the foe remained. As soon as the rebels departed, he became suddenly and vigorously healthy, and walked into the street to denounce the traitors. He declares his eleven hours sickness caused him less pain, and saved him more money, than any illness he ever before endured.
A wooden legged amateur happened to be with a skirmishing party lately, when a shell burst near him, smashing his artificial limb to bits, and sending a piece of iron through the calf of a soldier near him. The soldier "grinned and bore it" like a man, while the amateur was loud and emphatic in his lamentations. Being rebuked by the wounded soldier, he replied, "Oh, yes; its all well enough for you to bear it. Your leg didnt cost anything, and will heal up; but I paid $200 cash for mine."
A soldier in the Fortieth New York regiment was saved from death by his wifes picture in his breast pocket. A rifle ball was repelled by the iron plate, and though the concussion doubled the soldier up he was not injured. Moral: Keep your wifes face next to your heart.
Zollicoffers brigands went into battle singing Dixie, when they went out they were singing: Fire on the mountain, run, boys, run!
What they call a "spent ball" from a cannon, at Pea Ridge, went through a fence, broke the legs of three men, and still sped on its winding way. The ball was not so near spent as some men's wages are on Monday.
The Madison Patriot says a volunteer from that place, in a letter, thanks his father for giving him crooked, or bow legs, saying that on the day before he had narrowly escaped losing both his legs, a cannonball passing harmlessly through the space occassioned by the "natural crook" of the legs. Everything is for the best.
Here is a pleasant incident of the late battle of Monticello, Kentucky. A soldier of the Seventh Ohio, who was fighting during the close of the day on the left, had used up all his caps, and asked a man by his side to let him have part of his. The reply was that he had no more than he needed for himself. With that a poor, wounded rebel, no doubt a conscripted Union man, exclaimed, "Boys, I've got caps," and running his hands through his pockets pulled out what he had and handed them to the Federal soldier. "Now boys", said he, "can't you give me some water?" Unfortunately their canteens were empty, and they had none to give. "Well" he exclaimed, "won't you raise up my head and place something under it, for it seems so low." In the midst of the fight the soldier raised up the dying man's head and made him as comfortable as he could, then went on in the discharge of his duty.
The Hero of Vicksburg - Peter Apple, of Oakland, Indiana is the hero of the seige of Vicksburg. In the late assault on the rebel works he did not know that our men were recoiling under the terrific fire of the rebel batteries, but pressed onuntil he reached one of the rebel guns, and, seizing a gunner by the collar, brought him into our lines, saying "Boys, why didn't you come on? Every fellow might have got one!"
Among the incidents of Gen. Banks' retreat, the following story is told of a lieutenant in the Tenth Maine Regt. He noticed a piece of soap lying on the roadside in the midst of the retreat and remarked to a man near him that he should probably be "pretty dirty before he got through" and should need it. Stooping to pick it up, a shell burst near him; almost burying him alive in the mud and dirt. His companions looked on aghast, supposing but a mangled corpse could be dug out. What was their surprise, however, on the smoke clearing away, to see the llieutenant peer out through the dirt, and holding up his soap, cooly exclaim:"Well boys, I'll be hanged if I shant need this soap!"
A German soldier at the Battle of Fair Oaks, being found in great apparent agony and asked if he was wounded, replied: "Ah, yes, mein beer, I von very bad wound in der kanteen!", holding up his canteen which had been riddled with balls.
The saddest of all infernal tragedies of this infernal war was enacted upon the crimsoned and slippery stage, when Major Lea, of the Confederate army, encountered in the dying Lieutenant of the Federal steamet Harriet Lane, his own son! Can history or fiction afford any parallel to this?
A darkey gives quite an amusing description of the desperation with which the Confederates fought at Murfreesboro. He says they shot mules out of their cannons. "Fore God Massa", said he to his master, "I seed it wid my own eyes! I seed 'em shoot a mule out of a cannon and it hit Gen. McCook's behind; and it went clean through him! I 'clare it did!"
A soldier in one of the late battles, sitting very coolly behind one of his guns, where the shot was falling fast, being asked by a chaplain whether he was supported by Divine Providence, replied "No sir, I'm supported by the Ninth New Jersey."
One of the Texans who boarded the Harriet Lane, immediately on jumping aboard grasped a federal by the collar exclaiming: "Surrender, or I will blow your brains out!" The other replied: "You had better look at me first!" Recognition was instantaneous; they were brothers.
When Gen. Sill's division left Frankfort the last thing they did was to remove two monster cannon from their position on the hills over South Frankfort. Some Union men of Frankfort, during the night, went over to the spot and planted two empty beer kegs in the place of the cannon, and covered them with a tarpaulin. All next day a lot of Morgan's cavalry were scouting around the kegs, but dared not enter Frankfort for fear of being charged upon. On Wednesday night "our forces" abandoned the kegs when they made a bold and daring charge on the "tarpaulin beer keg battery" and captured it without the loss of a man. The captain acknowledged that he had been "sold by the Yanks," and it was not until then that they were aware of the fact that General Sill's whole corps had left Frankfort. But Gen. Dumont's forces soon let them know that it was not the "battle of the kegs" when he attacked them. It was these men and two empty beer kegs that kept the Rebels from burning all the bridges around Frankfort.
A letter in the Mobile Advertiser from Shelbyville, Tenn. dated the
1st inst., makes the following statement:
"You will be concerned to hear of an affair that transpired yesterday morning at Tullahoma, between Slocumb's Washington Artillery and Austin's battalion of sharpshooters - all Louisianians. It began among a few of the men, but, like most disturbances in camp, grew in dimensions until the entire force on both sides became engaged. It was a regular pitched battle at last, in which the commanding officers joined and fought with desperation. The artillerists were first driven back, the sharpshooters peppered them in gallant style, but in their turn had to fall back before the heavy shot of the artillerists; and so, across the road which seperated the camps the battle raged furiously a full hour - victory at last perched on the banner of the artillerists. The commanding officers, Austin and Slocumb, received several severe wounds, I learn; but were, at last accounts, getting no better fast, the surgeons having failed to provide sufficient quantities of the proper medicine."
When the Fire Zouaves stormed the masked battery at Bull Run, and were forced to fall back by the grapeshot and cavalry charge, one of them was stunned by a blow from a sabre and fell almost under the enemy's guns. The rebels swarmed around him like bees, but feigning death, in the excitement he was unnoticed, and when a sally was made, managed to crawl back into the thicket inside the enemy's lines. Here he waited some time for an opportunity to escape, but finding none, concluded he would make the best of a bad bargain, and if he was lost would have a little revenge before-hand. Hastily stripping the body of a Confederate nearby he donned the uniform, and seizing his rifle made his way to the entrenchments, when he joined the Secessionists, and, watching his opportunities, succeeded in picking off several of their most prominent officers whenever they advanced out upon the troops. Here he remained for some time, until thinking it best to leave before his disguise should be discovered, he joined a party who were about to charge upon our forces, and was to his gratification, again captured, but this time by his own men. Our fire proved very destructive to the enemy, and cut down their men by hundreds. In the battery where the Zouave fell, he afterward counted 85 dead bodies lying close together , and the bushes were full of wounded who had crawled off to get out of the way.
A correspondant writing from Vicksburg relates the following curious
"I lately saw at the headquarters of Col. Slack's brigade, two Minie bullets which had once told a history. One was a rebel bullet of English Manufacture, smuggled over by our dear brethren in Britain to shoot their dear brethren in America. The other was a national ball of the Springfield rifle type. The former was fired from a rifle pit at Jackson at our skirmishers. The latter was fired from our line of skirmishers at the rifle pit. They met midway in the air, were welded by the compact and fell harmlessly to the ground. They are now firm friends, sticking each to the other closer than brother or lover."
At the battle of Stone River, while the men were lying behind a crest waiting, a brace of frantic wild turkeys, so paralyzed with fright that they were incapable of flying, ran between the lines and endeavored to hide among the men. But the frenzy among the turkeys was not so touching as the equisite flight of the birds and rabbits. When the roar of battle rushed through the cedar thickets, flocks of little birds fluttered and circled above the field in a state of bewilderment and scores of rabbits fled for protection to our men lying down in line on the left, nestling under their coats and creeping under their legs in a state of utter distraction. They hopped over the field like toads, and as perfectly tamed by fright as household pets. Many officers witnessed it, remarking it as one of the most curious spectacles ever seen upon a battlefield.
A godly Captain in one of our western regiments, told us his story as we were removing him to the hospital. He was shot through both thighs with a rifle bullet - a wound from which he could not recover. While on the field, he suffered intense agony from thirst. He supported his head upon his hand, and the rain from heaven was falling around him. In a little while a small pool of water formed under his elbow, and he thought if he could only get to that puddle he might quench his thirst. He tried to get into a position to suck up a mouthful of muddy water, but he was unable to reach within a foot of it. Said he: "I never felt so much the loss of any earthly blessing. By and by night fell, and the stars shone out clear and beautiful above the dark field; and I began to think of that great God who had given his Son to die a death of agony for me, and that he was up there - up above those glorious stars; and I felt that I was going home to meet him and praise him there; and I felt that I ought to praise God, even wounded and on the battlefield. I could not help singing that beautiful hymn -
When I can read my title clear,
To mansions in the skies.
I'll bid farewell to every tear,
And wipe my weeping eyes.
"And," said he,"there was a Christian brother in the bush near me. I could not see him, but I could hear him. He took up the strain; and beyond him another and another caught it up, all over the terrible battlefield of Shiloh.That night the echo was resounding, and we made the field of battle resound with hymns of praise to God!"
The Baltimore American of last evening contains the following: Considerable excitement occurred in the Western limits of the city last night, occasioned by a fight between a portion of the Connecticut cavalry and the First Maryland cavalry. Both pistols and rifles were freely used, and several of the Connecticut cavalry were badly wounded in the melee. The fight commenced about midnight and occasional skirmishing took place through the night, the officers of both regiments exercising themselves to the utmost to quell the disturbance. At one time regular volleys were fired, and the hooting and yelling of the contestants kept the residents of the vicinity of West Baltimore street in constant alarm. The excitement became so great that the officers lost all command for a time of their men, and those that escaped from camp were prowling around all night endeavoring to get a shot at each other. The cause of the disturbance is said to be the fact that the Connecticut cavalry, which has been for more than year on Provost duty in Baltimore, has been ordered to the front, while the First Maryland Cavalry, which has been for two years on active duty with the Army of the Potomac, and in the Shenandoah Valley, has taken their places as Provost Guard. The Connecticut cavalry will leave today for their new field of duty.
Twenty women were killed during the siege of Vicksburg and a number of children. The great number of the former was attributable to their spirit of bravado, by exposing themselves on the streets, parasols in hand, during the bombardment.
During the recent bombardment of Fort Wagner from the "New Ironsides", it was found impossible to drive the balls through the sand and cotton of which the work was made, or elevate the guns so as to toss the shot in as from a mortar. The gunners resorted to the expediant of depressing the pieces, whereby the balls striking the water about fifty yards from the beach, bounded upward and over into the fortress. This was remarkably successful.
How Nature Covers Up Battle Fields - Did I ever tell you, among the affecting little things one is always seeing in these stirring war times, how I saw on the Bull Run battle field, pretty, pure, delicate flowers growing out of emptied ammunition boxes, a rose thrusting up its graceful head through the head of a Union drum, which doubtless sounded its last charge (or retreat as the case may have been) in that battle, and cunning scarlet verbena peeping out of a fragment of bursted shell, in which strange cup it had been planted? Wasn't that peace growing out of war? Even so shall the graceful and beautiful ever grow out of the horrid and terrible things that transpire in this changing but ever advancing world. Nature covers even battle grounds with verdure and bloom. Peace and plenty soon spring up in the track of devastating campaigns, and all things and nature and society shall work out the progress of mankind and harmony of God's great designs.
Two Kentucky regiments met face to face, and fought each other with terrible resolution, and it happended that one of our boys wounded and captured his brother, and after handing him back began firing at a man near a tree when the captured brother called to him and said, "Don't shoot there any more - that's father!"
New and startling incidents of war are daily coming to light. During one of the charges of the Fire Zouaves upon the Mississippi Rifles, a Fire Zouave and a Mississippian came in contact, both with discharged rifles. Each drew his revolver. "Blaze away, Mississippian; Ill take the last shot," said the Fire Zouave. The Mississippian did blaze away and missed, when the Fire Zouave fired the shot, going through the heart of the Mississippian, killing him instantly.
A Minnesota boy was rushed upon by four colored soldiers - full blooded Africans; three were shot by Zouaves the fourth attempted to pin him to the ground with his bayonet, which he parried, which gave a slight wound upon his thigh and run into the ground its whole length, and before he could extricate it, the boy shot him through the body, which was so near that the blaze of the gun set his clothes on fire.
One of the Fire Zouaves who had been in the battle of Bull Run and vamoosed very soon thereafter, was recognized near Washington Market, in this city, a day or two ago. "What the devil are you doing here?" asked the aquaintance when he recognized him - "Got leave of absence?" "No!" thundered the Zouave. "I got the word to Fall Back at Bull Run, and nobody has told me to halt! So I have kept on retreatin ever since - and got away here!" Who says that Zouave is not under thorough discipline?
On board the Atlanta, when she was captured by the Weehawken, there was a chicken. When the rebel Capt. Webb gave up his sword the chicken set up a lively crow, which so amused Capt. Rogers that he gave orders for the fowl to be looked after in the future.
They tell of some soldiers in an Iowa regiment stopping in the midst of the battle of Lookout Mountain to listen to the song "Root Hog or Die", sung by one of their number, and then, their pieces having cooled, resumed their fire and fighting again as furiously as ever.
Some idea of the tremendous work at Gettysburgh may be inferred from the fact stated that more shells were discharged in the single battle of Gettysburgh than were employed in all the battles that Napolean ever fought.
Two Irishmen in a recent engagement were gallantly standing by their
gun, firing in quick succession when one, touching the piece, noticed that
it was very hot.
"Arrah! Mike, the cannon is getting hot, we'd better stop firin' a bit." "Divil a bit", replied Mike, "just dip the cartridges in the river afore yees load and kape it cool."
We printed a few days ago from an Atlanta paper an account of a mocking bird which, at the battle of Resaca, perched itself on the top of a tree and during the fight imitated the whistling of the bullets and other noises incident to a battle. Another, and more touching incident of a similar character was yesterday related to us by Captain George Babbitt of General Gresham's staff and of which he himself was a witness. During the fierce cannonading at Nickajack a small bird came and perched upon the shoulders of an artilleryman - the man designated we believe as "No.1", whose duty it is to ram down the charge after the ammunition is put in the gun. The piece was a Napolean, which makes a very loud report. The bird as we have stated perched itself upon the man's shoulder and could not be driven from its position by the violent motions of the gunner. When the piece was discharged the poor little thing would run its neck and head up under the man's hair at the back of the neck, and when the report died away would resume its place upon his shoulder. Capt. Babbitt took the bird in his hand, but when he released his grasp it immediately resumed its place on the shoulder of the smoke-begrimed gunner. The scene was witnessed by a large number of officers and men. It may be a subject of curious inquiry what instinct led it to throw itself upon this gunner as a protector. But, whatever the cause the incident was a most beautiful and pleasing one to all who witnessed it.
On Tuesday a new recruit in a Massachusetts regiment was killed in front of Petersburg by a rebel sharpshooter and was robbed of $450 by some of his worthless comrades.
On the field of Gettysburg there were 27,574 guns picked up and of those 24,000 were found to be loaded, and half of them were double loaded. One fourth had from three to ten loads in, and many had five or six balls to one charge of powder. In some cases the powder was above the ball, in others the cartridges were not broken at the end, while in one musket twenty three balls, sixty two buckshot and a quantity of powder were all mixed up together.
The Atlanta Intelligencer publishes the
following among its selected items:
It is a well known fact that the reason assigned by many for the panic which caused our troops to break at the battle of Missionary Ridge was that the enemy showed themselves in such overwhelming numbers that the boys thought the whole world was marching to attack them. In order to show the opinion prevailing among our boys we relate the following anecdote which we do not remember having seen in print.
"As line after line and mass after mass of Yankees appeared crossing the plain and ascending the hillside marching onward with seemingly resistless force, our troops began to waver and many of them, to their shame, fled without firing a gun. Some of them, however, staid until the last, and among these one fellow, to use his own language, staid there till they got so close that he heard the the Yankee general give the command 'Attention World! By nations right wheel!! By states, fire!!!' and then I thought it was time for this darned little Southern Confederacy to be getting out of the way!
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