The sun was in the meridian; all sounds of combat had ceased, and such of the American Army as had survived the total defeat, were to be seen disarmed and guarded, wending their way sullenly in the direction by which the victors had advanced in the morning. From the field, in which the troops had commenced the action, numerous sledges were seen departing, laden with the dead—the wounded having previously been sent off. One of these sledges remained stationary at some distance within the line, where the ravages of death were marked by pools of blood upon the snow, and at this point were grouped several individuals, assembled round a body which was about to be conveyed away.
“By Heavens, I would give the world never to have said an unkind word to him,” observed one, whose arm, suspended from a sling, attested he had not come scatheless out of the action. It was St. Clair, whose great ambition it had always been to have his name borne among the list of wounded—provided there were no broken bones in the question.
“As brave as he was honest hearted,” added a second, “you say Grantham, that he forgave us all our nonsense.”
“He did, Molineux. He declared he could not bear resentment against you long. But still, I fear, he could not so easily forget. He observed to me, jestingly, just before deploying into line, that he felt his time was come, but there can be no doubt, from what we all witnessed, that he was determined from the outset to court his death.”
Captain Molineux turned away, apparently much affected —Middlemore spoke not, but it was evident he also was deeply pained. Each seemed to feel that he had been in some degree accessory to the catastrophe, but the past could not be recalled. The body, covered with blood, exuding from several wounds, was now placed with that of Ensign Langley, (who had also fallen, and lay at a little distance beyond), on the sledge which was drawn off to join several others just departed, and the lingering officers hastened to overtake their several companies.
When the action was at the hottest, one of the small guns in front (all of which had been fearfully exposed), was left without a single artilleryman. Availing themselves of this circumstance, the enemy, who were unprovided with artillery of any description, made a movement as if to possess themselves of, and turn it against the attacking force, then closing rapidly to dispute the possession of the breast work which covered their riflemen. Colonel St. Julian, who had continued to ride along the line with as much coolness as if he had been assisting at a field day, and who was literally covered with wounds, having received no less than five balls, in various parts of his body, seeing this movement, called out for volunteers to rescue the gun from its perilous situation. Scarcely had the words passed his lips when an individual moved forward from the line, in the direction indicated.—It was Lieutenant Raymond—Exposed to the fire,