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From the Rapidan to Richmond and the Spottsylvania

A triangular hole just under the ridge pole


The

sound of a tumbling Parrott shell in full flight, is the most horrible noise that ever was heard!--a wild, venomous, fiendish scream, that makes every fellow, in half a mile of it, feel that it is looking for _him particularly_, and _certain_ that it's _going to get him_. I believe it would have made Julius Caesar, himself, "go for a tree," or want to, anyhow!

Well! these blood-curdlers came crashing into us, from the rear, knocking up clouds of dirt, digging great holes, bursting, and raining fragments around us in the field. We were not firing, and had leisure to realize the fix we were in. With the enemy hotly shelling us from the front, and our friends from the rear, obliged to stay by our guns, expecting an infantry assault every minute, we certainly were in a pretty tight fix, "'Tween the devil and the deep sea."

It was the only time I ever saw Lieutenant Anderson excited under fire, but he was excited _now_, and mad too. He said to one of the fellows, "Go back under the hill, get on a horse, ride as hard as you can, and tell those men on the hill, what confounded work they are doing, and if they fire any more shells, here, I will open on them immediately." In a few minutes it was stopped, with many regrets on the part of our friends.

=The Narrow Escape of an Entire Company=

In the midst of all this, an incident took place that created

a great deal of amusement. Along the line, just back of and somewhat protected by the works, the Texans had pitched several of the little "shelter tents" we used to capture from the enemy, and found such a convenience. One of these stood apart. It had a piece of cloth, buttoned on the back, and closing that end up to about eighteen inches from the top, leaving thus, a triangular hole just under the ridge pole. In this little tent sat four men, a captain and three privates, all that were left of a Company in this Texan Brigade. These fellows were playing "Seven-up" and, despite the confusion around, were having a good time. Suddenly, one of the shells from the hill behind, struck, tumbled over once or twice, and stopped, right in the mouth of that tent, the fuse still burning. The game stopped! The players were up, instantly. The next moment, one fellow came diving headforemost out of that triangular hole at the back, followed fast by the other three--the captain last. It only took "one time and one motion" to get out of that. Soon as they could pick themselves up, they, all four, jumped behind a tree that stood there; and then, the fuse went out, and the shell didn't burst. Everybody had seen the shell fall, and were horror stricken at the apparently certain fate of those four men. Now, the absurdity of the scene struck us all, and there were shouts of laughter at their expense. Despite their sudden, hasty retreat through that narrow hole everyone of the scamps had held on to his "hand," and they promptly kicked the shell aside, crawled into the tent again, and continued their little game; interrupted, however, by jokes from all sides. It was very funny! The smoking shell, in front, and those fellows shooting through that hole at the back, and alighting all in a heap, and then the scramble for that tree. As the shell went out, it was a roaring farce. If it hadn't, it would have been a tragedy. The Captain said that these three men were his whole company, and when that lighted shell struck, he thought that his company was "gone up" for good and all.

Such was about the size to which some of the companies of this Texan Brigade was reduced.

Well! after we got rid of those shells from the rear we didn't so much mind the artillery fire from the front, which kept up more or less through the morning.


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