which oozes through a clay bank, often-
times impregnated with a very disagree-
able odor, and always having the appear-
ance of mud paste, (being chiefly composed
of that very necessary but not always pal-
atable substance,) the boys were willing to
run some little risk for the sake of a
draught of genuine water. One day a
sick man asked a chum to flU his canteen.
Without hesitation he promised to do so ;
and so, crawling up with all due caution,
be at length reached the spring.
It so happened, however, that a rebel
sharpshooter had seen him. He waited
quietly till the canteen was filled, and
itien drawing a bead on the soldier, cried
«I say, Yank!"
The startled Unionist at once saw his
predicament, and began to think that his
last minute had come. He at last got voice
enough to cry out—
" Well, what do you waiit ?"
"Want you. Walk over this way,
It was certainly a very courteous invita^
tion, and there seemed no way to avoid ac-
cepting it ; for the rebel kept him covered
with his rifle. He was in an unpleasant
predicament ; and, when the rebel had en-
joyed his embarrassment long enough, he
cried out —
** I say, Yank, aren't you coming ? or
shall I send some lead after you ? "
This was a very pointed remark. Noth-
ing was left the poor Unionist but to obey ;
and so, with unwilling steps, he walked
over to the jocose rebel and gave himself
Staedman taking the Fla^ .
It was about four o'clock of that after-
noon on which occurred the battle of Chick-
amauga, when a part of Greneral Steed-
man's division of the Reserve Corps bowed
their heads to the fierce storm of lead as
if it had been rain, and betrayed signs of
breaking. The line wavered like a great
flag in a breath of wind. They were as
splendid material as ever shouldered a
musket, but then — ^what could they do in
such a blinding tempest ? General Steed-
man rode up. A great, hearty man, broad-
breasted, broad-shouldered, a face written
all over with sturdy sense and stout cour-
age; no lady's man to make bouquets for
showy fingers, and sing * Meet me by moon-
light alone,' like some fancy Generals, but
realizing fully the description given of the
stout old Morgan of the Revolution. Well,
up rode old Steedman, took the flag from
the color-bearer, glanced along the wavering
frt>nt, and with that voice of his, that could
talk against a small rattle of musketry,
cried out, " Go back, boys, go back ; but
the flag can't go with you ! " grasped the
8lii£^ wheeled his horse, and rode on. Is
it necessary to say that the column closed
up and grew firm, and moved resistlessly
on like a great strong river, and swept
down upon the foe, and made a record that
THE BOOK OF ANECDOTES OF THE REBELLION.
shall live when their graves are as empty
as the cave of Maepelah ?
Q-lad fi»r Bumoidt.
When the telegram from Cumberland
Gap reached President Lincoln that ^ fir-
ing was heard in the direction of Knox-
ville." he remarked that he was " glad of
it" Some person present, who had the
perils of Bumside's position uppermost in
his mind, could not see irAy Mr. Lincoln
should be " ffiad of it," and so expressed
himself. " Why, you see," responded the
President, " it reminds me of Mrs. Sallie
Ward, a neighbor of mine, who had a large
family. Occasionally one of her numer-
ous progeny would be heard crying in some
out-of-the-way place, upon which Mistress
Sallie would exclaim, " There's one of my
children that tsnU dead yet*'
Bowie-Kniib Ckmfiiot at the Battle of Fea-
While the fight was raging about Miser's
farmhouse, at the battle of Pea-Ridge, on
Friday morning, a Union soldier belonging
to the Twenty-fifth Missouri regiment and
a member of a rebel Mississippi com|)any,
became separated from their commands,
and found each other climbing the same
fence. The rebel had one of those long
knives made of a file, which the South has
so extensively paraded, but so rarely used,
and the Missourian had one also, having
picked it up on the field.
The rebel challenged his enemy to a fair
open combat with the knife, intending to
bully him, no doubt, but the challenge was
promptly accepted. The two removed
their coats, rolled up their sleeves, and be-
gan. The Mississippian had more skill,
but his opponent more strength, and conse-
quently the latter could not strike his efie-
my, while he received several cuts on the
head and breast. The blood began trick-
ling rapidly down the Unionist's face and
miming into his eyes, almost blinding him.
The Union man became desperate, for he
saw the secessionist was unhurt. He made
a feint ; the rebel leaned forward to arrest
the blow, but employing too much energy,
he oould not recover himself at once. The
Missourian perceived his advantage, and
knew he could not lose it Li five sec-
onds more it would be too late. His enemy
glared at him like a wild beast, and was
on the eve of striking again. Another
feint ; another dodge on the rebeFs part,
and then the heavy blade of the Missou-
rian hurtled through the air, and fell with
tremendous force upon the Mississippian's
neck. The blood spurted from the throat,
and the head fell over, almost entirely sev-
ered from the body. Ghastly sight — ^too
ghastly even for the doer of the deed !
He fainted at the spectacle, weakened by
the loss of his own blood, and was soon
afler butchered by a Seminole who saw
him sink to the earth.
Kearney, the '* One-Armed Devil."
Of the many noble Generals who took
part in the battles of the Peninsula, one
of the most active and efficient was Gen-
Mai Q«n. PhU. Kmmtj.
eral Kearney. He was always foremost
in the fray, and many times it is said he
was observed with his bridle in his teeth,
while with his right arm, the only one he
had, grasping his sword, he charged at a
furious rate among the enemy. The Con-
federates styled him the "one-armed devil,"
and at the battle of Williamsburg he was
GREAT CONFLICTS, INDIVIDUAL HEROISM, ETC.
watclied by them and their officers, some
of the most accurate sharpshooters being
ordered to " draw a bead on that one-armed
devil;" yet they did not bring him down.
Finally, a rebel Colonel ordered his entire
regiment — according to the statement of a
prisoner taken at the battle — to withdraw
their fire from everythhig else and centre
it " on that officer with one arm." His or-
der was obeyed, and the entire regiment —
the Fifth Carolina— discharged a volley at
General Kearney, but he wAs unhurt.
Neffro TUflemaTi Brouarht Down at Torktown.
One of the best morning's work done at
Yorktown was that of reducing to a state
of perfect inutility in this mundane sphere,
a rebel negro rifleman, who, through his
skill as a marksman, had done more injury
to our men than any dozen of his white
compeers, in the attempted labor of trim-
ming off the complement of Union sharp-
shooters. The latter had known him a long
time, had kept an eye on him, and la'n in
wait to pick him off. His habit was to perch
himself in a big tree, and, keeping himself
liid behind, the body, annoy the Union men
by firing upon them. He climbed the tree
as usual one morning, but in advance of
the others coming out, and, smuggling him-
self into his position, was anticipating his
usual day of quietude. The Union men
might have killed him aj9 he came out, but
purposely avoided shooting, so as not to
alarm the others. His tree was about
twenty rods from one of the Union pits.
When our men fired on the advancing rebel
pickets, he of course saw the fix he was in
— that he was indeed and decidedly up a
" I say, big nigger," called out one of the
Union soldiers, "you better come down
v" What for ? " returned the big nigger.
" I want you as prisoner."
" Not as this chile knows of," replied the
"Just as you say," replied our sharp-
In about an hour the darkey poked his
head out. Our man was on the lookout
for him ; he had his rifle on the bead-line
ready — ^pulled the trigger — whiz-z went
the bullet, down came the negro. He was
shot through the head.
Tragical Death of General Baker.
At the battle of Ball's Bluff; while Col-
onel Wistar was doing glorious service in
council and action at the crisis hour in that
hard-fought struggle, a ball shattered his
sword arm — ^lie dropped his weapon, picked
it up with his left hand, and General Baker
himself restored it to its scabbard. Alas !
that the chivalric leader should never again
do such a kindly service for a brother in
arms ! The yelling enemy began to pour
in overwhelmingly, a large body of them
pressing down from the left. The General
ordered the troops around liim to stand
firm, and cried —
" Who are tho?e men ? "
" Confederate troops, you — Yankees ! "
No sooner did they give this reply than
they rushed almost within bayonet distance.
One huge, red-haired ruffian now stepped
from behind the trees, and drawing a re-
volver, came within five feet of General
Baker, and fired four balls at the General's
head, every one of which took effect, and
a glorious soul fled through their ghastly
openings, for he fell on his back against a
I tree and died instantly. Captain Beiral
THE BOOK OF ANECDOTES OF THE REBELLION.
seized the slayer by the throat and blew
out his brains — the hero and the traitor
falling within the same minute, and face
to face. In a second the enemy swarmed
over the spo'. ** For God's sake, boys,"
Geneml £. D. Baker.
cried Adjutant Harvey, in his hot Engliiith
way, " are you going to let them have the
General's body ? " An angry howl was
the answer, when a dozen of our fellows
charged, with set teeth and bayonets fixed,
upon the rebels, who surrendered their
Colonel Baker was in plain dress, wearing
a ix*gulation hat with a black plume. He
hiid no distinguishing mark as Colonel, and
was not unnecessarily conspicuous. His
right tiand had been maimed a week or two
before the fight, and he kept it in his breast.
He constantly passed up and down the
ranks encouraging his soldiers, saying, —
**A/(^i, don^t run till I run,** ^^Keep your
courage up^ and other words of cheer.
He was exceedingly anxious for a bayonet
charge, having more faith in that than in
any other weajion. Indeed, he was con-
stantly drilling his men in the bayonet ex-
ercise, and, when on parade or drill, he in-
sisted upon their going through every
movement. He was a whole-souled hero,
but his bravery cost him his life. His was
that ** good gray head which all men knew
and loved." He fell gloriously with the
^ light of battle ** on his features.
Too Fond of Chestnuts.
The capture of Lieutenant Segal, of the
Confederate army in Virginia, was a neat
and amusing affair. On Friday, the 4th
October, 1861, a scouting party of eighth
een men, under Lieutenant-Colonel B.
Winslow and Captain L. B. Shattuck, of
the Thirty-seventh New York Regiment,
were out in the vicinity of the enemy's
lines, about five miles from Fairs Church
in the direction of Fairfax. As they were
proceeding in silence and caution, through
dense woods, they heard the tramp of
horses and the jingle of sabre scabbards.
The Lieutenant-Colonel and Captain, order-
ing their men to halt, went to reconnoitre.
In a short time, one of them came upon an
open space where they saw four rebels
seated under a large chestnut tree, by the
side of a road, and engaged in eating chests
nut«. The Confederates saw hinl, and
sprang upon their horses. The officer cry-
ing in a loud voice " Charge ! " by the
time the scoutuig party had got up, the
four " gallant " horsemen were beyond pur-
suit. Our men were about gathering; up
the spoils of victory, which consisted of
four sabres, two revolvers, four coats and
Fairlkx Court Uoom.
blankets, when they saw a horse tied to a
tree by the wayside. A further search re-
vealed its master, perched upon the lower
limb of a large chestnut — whither he had
climbed with his sabre to lop off* the tempt-
Digitized by VjOOQIC
GREAT CONFLICTS, INDIVIDUAL HEROISM, ETC.
iiig fruit. A dozen rifles pointed at his
breast soon brought him to reason, and he
surrendered himself a prisoner. When he
got down, and felt safe, he began to ^blow,'*
with true southern chivalry; and, when
brought before General McDowell, coolly
boasted that in the battle of Bull Run he
had aimed repeatedly at the General, but
had always missed. General McDowell
smiled, and said that '' he would send hun
somewhere where he would not have
another such chance for some time."
No Caloulation of that Sort.
After the battle of Pittsburg Landing and
General Grant's complete victory at that
point. General Buell, a thorough soldier,
began criticising in a friendly way the im-
policy of his having fought a battle with
the Tennessee river behind him.
" Where, if beaten, could you have re-
treated. General ? " asked BuelL
"I didn't mean to be beaten," was
Grant's sententious reply.
^ But suppose you had been defeated,
despite all your exertions ? "
" Well, there were the transports to
carry the remains of the command across
"But, General," urged Buell, "your
whole transports could not contain over
ten thousand men ; and it wotdd be im-
possible for them to make more than one
trip in the face of the enemy."
"Well, if I had been beaten," said Gen-
eral Grant, pausing to light another cigar
as he spoke, " transportation for ten thou-
sand men would have been abundant for
all that would be lefl of us."
This anecdote is eminently characteris-
tic, the data for the proper appreciation of
it being that General Grant had aboat
fifty thousand men over the river.
Tngedy of EUsworth'a A— aairination.
It was 2 o'clock in the morning of the
24th of May, when the expedition planned
by General Scott started secretly from
Washington to take military possession of
Alexandria. One half of the troops
crossed the Long Bridge, and marched
down the right bank of the Potomac, to
enter Alexandria by the rear, and to cut
off any rebel troops who might be lurking
about the city. The other half, including
the Fire Zouaves under Colonel Ellsworth,
descended the river in steamers, from the
Washington Navy Yard. It was in the
first gray of the morning, when the steam-
ers touched at the wharves. Of this divi-
sion Colonel EUsworth was in command.
He was one of the fu^t to land. While
the regiment was forming in line, one com-
pany was sent, post haste, to seize the tele-
graph station, that no communication could
be sent to Richmond of their landing
This was of such vital importance, that
CoL Ellsworth himself accompanied the
party, passing through the streets on the
On their way they went by the JMar-
shall House, a hotel kept by one Jackson,
over the roof of which a secession flag was
flaunted. "We must have that flag,"
said CoL Ellsworth, and, rushing in, he
found a white man, in the front room, half
dressed, and a negra " Who raised that
flag ? " inquired the Colonel " I do not
know," was the reply, " I am a boarder
here." Followed by two or three he sprang
up stairs to the roof of the house, seized
tho rebel banner, and was descending with
THE BOOK OF ANECDOTES OF THE REBELLION.
it in his hands, hardly a moment having
been occupied in the movement, when the
same half-dressed man, who had said that
he was a boarder, but who proved to be
Jackson himself, a brutal desperado, jump-
ed from a dark passage, and leveling a
double-barreled gun at CoL Ellsworth's
breast, at a distance of not more than two
yards, fired a couple of slugs directly into
his heart, and which of course, proved
Ellsworth was on the second or third
step from the landing, and he dropped for-
ward with that heavy, horrible, headlong
weight, which always comes of sudden
death inflicted in such a manner. His as-
sailant had turned like a flash to give the
contents of the other barrel to Francis E.
Brownell, a private, but either he could
not command his aim, or the 2k>uave was
too quick with him, for the slugs went over
his head, and passed through the panels
and wainscot of the door, which sheltered
some sleeping lodgers. Simultaneously
with his second shot, and sounding like the
echo of the firet, Brownell's rifle was heard
and the assassin staggered backward. His
wound— exactly in the middle of the face,
was frightful beyond description. Of
course Brownell did not know how fatal
his shot had been, and so, before the man
dropped, he thrust his sabre bayonet
through and through the body, the force
of the blow sending the dead man violent-
ly down the upper section of the second
flight of stairs.
The body of the murdered Colonel was
laid upon a bed ; and the rebel flag, stain-
ed with his blood, and purified by this con-
tact from the baseness of its former mean-
ing, was fitly laid about his feet
Harp and Shamrook, Stars and Stripes.
At the fearful battle which opened the
way to the crossing of the Pamunkey by
Grant's army, Maurice Collins, of the
Twelfth Massachusetts, was brought off
with an ugly wound in the shoulder. He
was a Catholic, and the priest was showing
him the crucifix. "Will it be mortal P'^
he asked. " Perhaps not, if you lie still
and keep quiet. But you have to lo-e
your arm." " Well, I'm wiUing to give an
arm to my country," was the reply of one
who, though bom in the ever-green ii^le,
and still loving the Harp and Shamrock
of Fatherland, was willing to uphold to
the last the Stars and Stripes of his adopt-
Maiaaohnaetta and South Carolina Pitted
affainat each other in Battle.
A very curious coincidence happened
on the left, in the Eighteenth Corps, But-
ler's army, when engaged in the spring
campaign of 1864. In General Hickman's
brigade were the Twenty-third, Twenty-
fifth and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts
regiments. Opposed to them, and in a
brigade opposite to them in the line of
battle, were the Twenty-third, Twenty-
fifth and Twenty-seventh South Carolina
regiments; and the Twenty-fifth South
Carolina charged upon the Twenty-fifth
Massachusetts. They got used up by tlie
Yankees they are accustomed to despite.
The two Twenty-fifths charged each other
three times. South Carolina getting most
thoroughly worsted. These facts were as-
certained from a Captain of the Twenty-
fifth South Carolina, who was wounded
and brought in a prisoner.
"Leatherbreeohes*' in the Federal Service.
Captain Dilger, or " Leatherbreeches,"
as he was familiarly called, earned an
honorable name, as one of the most skill-
ful and plucky officers in the Union service.
When the war broke out. Captain Dilger
was an artillery officer in the Prussian
service. A short time after the battle of
Bull Run, an uncle of Dilger (a merchant
in New York) wrote that the present was
an opportune time to visit America, etc.
Dilger was desirous of studying war as
carried on in the Western world, and to
this end procured leave of absence for a
year. As soon as he arrived he joined
the army of the Potomac, as an artillerist.
Digitized by V:f OOQIC
GREAT CONFLICTS, INDIVIDUAL HEROISM, ETC.
and commanded a battery. As his year
drew to a close he managed to get his
leave indefinitely extended. The term
of his battery, the First Ohio artillery,
having expired, he was ordered to Cincin-
nati, to be mustered out of the service.
His next appearance with his battery
was under General Hooker, and by the
name of " Leatherbreeches " he became
known to every officer and soldier in the
army of the Cumber-
land. In all the bat-
tles which occurred, ^
from Lookout Moun-
tain to Peachtree
Creek, Dilger was
on hand. He was
the first to open fire
upon the eve of a
battle, taking his guns
nearly up to the skir-
mish line. So often
had he done thip, that
some officer, appre-
ciating the frightful
destruction which his
presented the Captain with bayonets for
At one time^ upon the eventful day of
the Hooker and Johnston contest, Captain
Dilger took his " smooth bores " up to Gen-
eral Johnston's line of battle, and for half
an hour poured a raking fire of grape and
canister into the enemy in front of Hooker.
So conspicuous and deadly was his move-
ment, that he became at one time the
target for three rebel batteries, and lost
seven men during the day. He fured by
volley when he got a ^good thing,' and the
acclamations of the infantry drowned the
reverberation of the cannon's roar on all
such occasions. Captain Dilger impressed
every one by his fine appearance; he
always wore close buckskin breeches, with
top boots, and stood by his gun in his shirt-
sleeves during battle, eliciting the admira-
tion of the whole army by his coolness
and intrepidity when in action.
Karron of the Old Bull Bun BatUe-Field.
At the old Bull Run battle-field, ac^a-
cent to the Warrenton pike, as described
by a visitor fourteen months after, bullets
are still picked up and exhibited by the
handfuL In the long, luxuriant grass, the
visitor strikes his foot against skulls and
bones, mingled with the deadly missiles
that brought them to the earth. Hollow
skulls lie contiguous to hemispheres of ex-
BuU Ran Battlefield, Va.
ploded shells. The shallow graves rise
here and there above the grass, sometimes
in rows, semetimes alone, or scattered at
irregular intervals. Through the thin
layer of soil one sees the protruding ribs
whence the rain has washed their covering,
a foot or an arm reaching out beyond its
earthy bed; and in one case one of these
long sleepers was seen covered snugly up
to the chin, but with the entire face exposed
and turned up to the passer by,— one could
imagine him a soldier lying on the field
wrapped up. in his blanket, but the blanket
was of clay and the face was fleshless and
In one case a foot protruded, with the
flesh still partially preserved ; in another, an
entire skeleton, lay exposed upon the sur-
face, without any covering whatever. The
tatters of what had been his uniform
showed that he had been a cavalryman.
The flesh was decomposed ; but the tan-
THE BOOK OF ANECDOTES OF THE REBELLION.
ned and shrivelled skin still incased the
bonj framework of the body, and even the
finger-nails were in their places. The
ligaments that fasten the joints must have
been preserved, for he was lifted by the
belt which was still around the waist,
and not a bone fell out of its place.
When found, he lay in the attitude of
calm repose, like one who had fidlen asleep
from weariness. * This was in the camp of
the Ninth Massachusetts regiment. He
was buried, as were more that night, who
had waited a long fourteen months for
their funeral rites. In fact, the different
pioneer corps were engaged some time in
paying this last tribute to the gallant dead.
The Pennsylvania reserves bivouacked,
fourteen months afterwards, for a night, on
the same ground where they themselves
were engaged in the deadly strife of bat-
tle, and the skulls and bones of some of
their former companions in arms lay
around within the light of their camp
fir^ It may even have happened that
men pitched their tents over the grave of
a lost comrade, and again unwittingly
rested 'under the same shelter with one
who had often before shared their couch
on the tented field. A soldier of the First
raiment struck his foot against a cart-
ridge box, near his tent, and, picking it up,
read on it the name of an old assodate
who had been among the missing, and
whose death was only known from his pro-
longed absence. His resting place had at
length been found.
8hott8d Salute at lEidxil«ht fiNxm Oraot to
Sherman's victories and the fall of At-
lanta were celebrated in true military
style in the army of General Grant before
Petersburg. By special order of the
General, thirty-six shotted guns from each
battery was fired at midnight, directly into
the city or into the enemy's works, while
the bands at the rear played '^ Hail Col-
umbia,' ' Star Spangled Banner,' and ' Bed,
White and Blue.' Pleasant and soldierly
way of celebrating victory, certainly. Of
course, the shrieks of the dying or the
maimed and mangled sufferers beyond the
federal lines, formed ao part of the chorus
as heard by the celebrants ; but what was