Monday, October 22, 2012

The Manner in Which it Was Lost

The Manner in Which it Was Lost – Charles Davis 13th MA

     "While we were on the Seminary Ridge, spent cannon-balls could occasionally be seen rolling slowly along the earth from the battle-ground to the north of us. Such a sight was common enough during battles, as every soldier knows, and once in a while a man was seen who was foolish enough to try stopping one. While we were busy with our earthworks, such an incident happened close to us. One of our officers saw a soldier of a Wisconsin regiment, with great glee, boldly put out his heel to stop a ball that was rolling toward him, supposing it to be the easiest thing in the world to do. Those who saw his purpose yelled with all their might; but it was too late, for when their remonstrances reached his ear his leg was off. The poor fellow cried like a child to think he had lost his leg in such a manner, when, as he said, he would gladly have lost it in action. It was pitiable to see his grief as he exclaimed, ”I shall always be ashamed to say how I lost it.” It is so difficult for a person unacquainted with the fact to appreciate the latent force in a cannon-ball as it rolls innocently along the ground, that old soldiers took pains to caution new recruits about the danger of attempting to stop one with the foot."

It was near "Old Dorm" that this member of the 13th MA witnessed a Wisconsin
soldier trying to stop a solid shot with his foot in a failed attempt.

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