Frederick H. De Peu.

Frederick H. De Peu's poems online

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111. to follow him, and placing them along the gap that yet
intervened between Hooker and Newton, and poured into
their flank a most destructive fire. Hooker being back and
to the right of us, some of his men fired rather wildly and
as the balls passed over our heads, some of the boys be-
came excited for fear that the enemy had crowded through


on the left and got to our rear, but we thought if uncle
Billy had got us in he would get us out.

While Hooker was pushing them back with the bayo-
net, slowly contending for every inch of ground, all along
Newton's line it was one contiuous roar, but the confeder-
ates came on slowJy, determined to crush Newton's divis-
ion. Now each line stood face to face, pouring into each
other's breasts the deadly missiles. My gun, by this time,
became so hot that I dare not charge it, so my captain
handed me one of a fallen comrade. Right in front, I saw
a little rebel Captain, with his cap on the point of his
sword and swinging it over his head, cheering on his com-
pany to capture the two brass pieces in the road. But the
battery boys saw the impending doom and double charged
one piece, then put in between fifty and sixty short-range
grape, then rammed down an old wool hat filled with min-
nie balls, and trained it on the little captain and his devot-
ed company, who so bravely were marching on to certain
doom. The little captain and the most of his company
were swept away, but on came their heavy lines, undis-
mayed, slowly and steadily. By this time they were only
a few paces in front of us and seemed determined to burst
through, when all along the line you could hear the omin-
ous click of the bayonet, saying "thus far and no farther."
On they came, with the battle cry of "Bull's run. Bull's
run." It was echoed back, "Fort Pillow, Fort Pillow."


Just at this critical moment, two pieces of a Michig-an bat-
tery came up at full speed, wheeled into line and joined in
a welcome with those two in the road, and sent shot and
shell tearing through their ranks, mowing great gaps, fir-
ing at will, men yelling, officers riding here and there.
Riffes cracked, cannon roared and flashed and flamed, un-
til they fairly leaped in the excitement; trees came crash-
ing down, slivered by the huge iron balls; leaves and twigs
filled the air; the cry of the wounded, the last request of
the dying as he gave it to some comrade near; shells went
screaming through the air, bursting, sending their ragged
edge through the ranks; the dull thud of the relentless
minnie as it struck the breast of some comrade near, draw-
ing the life blood, as he sank with a half stifled groan.

Heavy clouds of sulphurous smoke hung low over the
two contending lines, the sun almost hidden. Not a foot
of ground had Newton given, though contending against
great odds. Rifles glimmered and gleamed, cracked and
smoked. It seemed hell and earth had met. I turned and
looked down the line and when I saw such wretched work,
the smoke, the roar, the demoniac yells, I thought "Oh!
is this earth and man?"

Hooker had driven the enemy back, foot by foot, by
the bayonet, and now lapped on Newton. The confeder-
ates contested every inch, and crowded us hard, but the
Union lines stood, though powder-burnt, smoke-begrim-
med and trembling.


It seemed our nerves could not stand the strain much
longer, when an officer came running along the line telling
us to "Hold the line, hold the line boys, reinforcements
are coming." We greeted the news with a cheer and re-
newed our efforts. Soon, strangers began to crowd into
our lines, and welcome guests, to be sure. Then, nerv-
ing ourselves for the final struggle, we poured into their
ranks such a storm of lead that they broke and ran.

Colonel Barrett and Captain Bliss, just at my right,
were jumping up and down and throwing their caps in the
air, and shouting themselves hoarse, and cutting as many
antics as a lot of rustic school boys just let loose, over the
victory. They soon formed and came on again, but a few
well directed volleys sent them back. They formed again
and agam, but every attack grew weaker and weaker, and
at dark they withdrew and left us masters of the field.




Boyhood Days §7

Boadicea, 103

Battle of Peach Tree Creek, .... 115

Eureka, 84

Ellennor, 8g

Forest Home, The 73

Hope, 93

Kinderhook, 14

Little gleaner, 72

Lines to my sister Alvira, 69

Lines to Rizpah, 75

Lines to Miss N. A 96

Lines to Infant of Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, 114

Last Station, The 106

Mother, Home and Heaven, .... 67

Muse, 68

Maid of the Plains, 82

Old Well, The 11

Orison, An 74

Old Home, The 98

Preface, 3

Parody on The Last Glass, 102

Rogers and Jones, iio

124 INDEX.

Sunset on Lake Lavin:\, 12

Siege of Atlanta, 42

Seven Oaks, The i)'

Two Little Maids, ... 76

Trial of Galileo, .... 100

Vision, A . . '12

Women and Wine, .... 65

We are all Jumping, .... 70

Waiting, . . • 7^

Why it was so, 1°^

Zagonyi's Charge, t)'



W - M\


sT -J





x^ .^y J

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Online LibraryFrederick H. De PeuFrederick H. De Peu's poems → online text (page 6 of 6)