Kincaid's Battery eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 307 pages of information about Kincaid's Battery.
than of the foe’s:  wailing wounded, ghastly, grimy dead, who but yesterday were brothers, cousins and playmates of these very men snatching and searching the list.  They told, those boards, of the Washington Artillery (fifth company, never before under fire) being thanked on the field by one of the “big generals,” their chests and wheels shot half to splinters but no gun lost.  They told of all those Louisiana commands whose indomitable lines charged and melted, charged and withered, over and over the torn and bloody ground in that long, horrible struggle that finally smoked out the “Hornets’ Nest.”  They told of the Crescent Regiment, known and loved on all these sidewalks and away up to and beyond their Bishop-General Polk’s Trinity Church, whose desperate gallantry had saved that same Washington Artillery three of its pieces, and to whose thinned and bleeding ranks swarms of the huddled Western farm boys, as shattered and gory as their captors and as glorious, had at last laid down their arms.  And they told of Kincaid’s Battery, Captain Kincaid commanding; how, having early lost in the dense oak woods and hickory brush the brigade—­Brodnax’s—­whose way they had shelled open for a victorious charge, they had followed their galloping leader, the boys running beside the wheels, from position to position, from ridge to ridge, in rampant obedience of an order to “go in wherever they heard the hottest firing”, how for a time they had fought hub to hub beside the Washington Artillery; how two of their guns, detached for a special hazard and sweeping into fresh action on a flank of the “Hornets’ Nest,” had lost every horse at a single volley of the ambushed foe, yet had instantly replied with slaughterous vengeance; and how, for an hour thereafter, so wrapped in their own smoke that they could be pointed only by the wheel-ruts of their recoil, they had been worked by their depleted gunners on hands and knees with Kincaid and Villeneuve themselves at the trails and with fuses cut to one second.  So, in scant outline said the boards, or more in detail read one man aloud to another as they hurried by the carriage.

“But,” said Anna, while Flora enjoyed her pallor, “all that is about the first day’s fight!”

“No,” cried Constance, “it’s the second day’s, that Beauregard calls ’a great and glorious victory!’”

“Yes,” interposed Flora, “but writing from behind his fortification’ at Corinth, yes!”

XLIV

“THEY WERE ALL FOUR TOGETHER”

Both Constance and Victorine flashed to retort, but saw the smiling critic as pale as Anna and recalled the moment’s truer business, the list still darting innumerably around them always out of reach.  The carriage had to push into the very surge, and Victorine to stand up and call down to this man and that, a fourth and fifth, before one could be made to hear and asked to buy for the helpless ladies.  Yet in this gentlewomen’s war every gentlewoman’s wish was a military command, and when at length one man did hear, to hear was to vanish in the turmoil on their errand.  Now he was back again, with the list, three copies!  Oh, thank you, thank you and thank you!

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Kincaid's Battery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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