Archive for peacock tattoos

shooting him to pieces bit by bit

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2008 by baileyrobinson

img_0196img_01941But the skirmish line being deployed out, extending a little wider than
the battle did–passing through a thicket of small locusts, where Brown,
orderly sergeant of Company B, was killed–we advanced on toward the
breastworks, on and on. I had made up my mind to die–felt glorious.
We pressed forward until I heard the terrific roar of battle open on our
right. Cleburne’s division was charging their works. I passed on until
I got to their works, and got over on their (the Yankees’) side. But in
fifty yards of where I was the scene was lit up by fires that seemed like
hell itself. It appeared to be but one line of streaming fire. Our
troops were upon one side of the breastworks, and the Federals on the
other. I ran up on the line of works, where our men were engaged.
Dead soldiers filled the entrenchments. The firing was kept up until
after midnight, and gradually died out. We passed the night where we
were. But when the morrow’s sun began to light up the eastern sky with
its rosy hues, and we looked over the battlefield, O, my God! what did we
see! It was a grand holocaust of death. Death had held high carnival
there that night. The dead were piled the one on the other all over
the ground. I never was so horrified and appalled in my life. Horses,
like men, had died game on the gory breastworks. General Adams’ horse
had his fore feet on one side of the works and his hind feet on the other,
dead. The general seems to have been caught so that he was held to the
horse’s back, sitting almost as if living, riddled, and mangled, and torn
with balls. General Cleburne’s mare had her fore feet on top of the
works, dead in that position. General Cleburne’s body was pierced with
forty-nine bullets, through and through. General Strahl’s horse lay by
the roadside and the general by his side, both dead, and all his staff.
General Gist, a noble and brave cavalier from South Carolina, was lying
with his sword reaching across the breastworks still grasped in his hand.
He was lying there dead. All dead! They sleep in the graveyard yonder
at Ashwood, almost in sight of my home, where I am writing today.
They sleep the sleep of the brave. We love and cherish their memory.
They sleep beneath the ivy-mantled walls of St. John’s church, where they
expressed a wish to be buried. The private soldier sleeps where he fell,
piled in one mighty heap. Four thousand five hundred privates! all
lying side by side in death! Thirteen generals were killed and wounded.
Four thousand five hundred men slain, all piled and heaped together at
one place. I cannot tell the number of others killed and wounded.
God alone knows that. We’ll all find out on the morning of the final
resurrection. -sam watkinsimg_0184img_0185

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