Chapter 14 Hold Untill Releived Well I haven't written in quite a spell. We have been drilling a lot since the weather has turned warmer. I have been plum tuckered out after supper. Ole Testy has been in camp so long, he's been ah eyen the generals horses. This winter some of the men built little wooden houses, to keep warm in. When they left for duty some of them houses would disapear. Leavin only the inside things there. Some one else took the wood to keep warm with. Pvt Wilber said he's takin his with him if we leave this camp. Sgt. Brown has his company drillin now. They look real good! Sgt. Careless's company hasn't drilled in weeks. It shows too. His men look sloppy standing around the camp fire. Haven't heard much about the war fer a while. In your last letter you asked about Timmy. Well he's quite the young man now. He takes his duty serious. He's still drumin, and has been working with Sgt. Brown on the musket. I'm told he's a pretty fair shot too! There's that bugle again. Still can't tell what call he's ah playin. Guess I better lay my pencil down and go find out. Well been a couple of days since I had time to write. We've been moved into a battle line. Don't even know where we are. A mounted trooper came riding up. He pulled up in front of our line. "Boy am I glad to see you. My company was cut to pecies. I'm all thats left." "I see," said Lt. Hazzard feeling his map case. "Report to the general," he said pointing. The trooper rode off, like the devil his self was after him. It didn't take long till the trooper came back with Hazzard's horse. "The general ordered us to scout out the rebs. He needs to know if they're comming this way. "Fine lets do it," Hazzard said as he mounted up. As they rode off I heard Cpl. Young say, "Hope he's gona be ok. I like him." A bugle call was heard. Capt. Testosterone stopped and looked over in the direction of the sound. "Was that officers call or Captains call? Never could tell em apart.." Cpl. Young turned to him and said, "What difference does it make? You have have to go to both." "Your right Cpl. Your right. You'll make Sgt one of these days.," he said walking off. Every soldier around yelled, "in 10 or 12 years!" We heard gun shots in the distance. Then more shots. "Sounds like Hazzard found the rebs," said Pvt. Quackenbush. Sgt. Brown started pacing behind our battle lines. "If you haven't loaded, do it now and be quick about it," he said. One soldier put his bayonet on his musket. "I can just hear the general. You fix bayonet. You can not stick the enemy if she's not fixed." With that one by one everyone fixed bayonets. That sound was kinda scary. We had no plans to fall back. We were here to stay, or die. Capt. Testosterone came running up, "Fix bayonets!" he yelled. "We already have," said a pvt as he stared stright ahead. Then on the horizon a reb battle line appeared. As it moved troward us, more kept coming, and coming, and coming. Gray as far as you could see. The general came up close to the front line. "Fire by battilions!" he yelled with sword raised high in the air, and each ballilion commander's sword in the air. "Ready, Aim.............. Fire! There was very little wind blowing, and the smoke kinda hung in front of us. A few of the rebs fell, but they kept comin. "Fire at will," yelled the general. Timmy was playing the battle roll, as the rebs kept getting closer and closer. "We must be faceing a whole Army," said Sgt. Brown. "Load... Fire! Load... Fire!" yelled 1st Sgt Gehosafat as he moved through the company. The rebel line stopped about a hundred yards in front of us. They raised thier muskets and fired. A second line ran trrough and fired. We had several men hit. We fired as fast as we could load. It wasn't good enough. The reb line was now 50 yards away. They volleyed our line again. Then someone over there yelled, " Charge!" With that the whole reb army ran troward us. "Go meet them!" yelled Sgt. Brown as he ran forward. He took a few steps then stopped. He turned around, his jacket was covered in blood. He fell to his knees, then forward on his face. As I loaded, I looked at Timmy. He had tears in his eyes, but he kept playing the battle roll. "Fall back," some one yelled. "Break through." yelled another. The smoke was so thick my eyes were burning. We fought hand to hand. I got hit in the chest, and fell where I stood. I was out of the fight. All I could do was watch. The general, with pistol in one hand and sword in the other, was a site to see. I saw Timmy fall. There was bodies all around blue and gray alike. To stay alive, you had to fall back. Our Regiment was being cut to pecies. The general was out numbered, but he fought on. I saw a reb pvt aim at the general. I heard a shot....the reb fell. I looked over and Timmy was just lowering a musket. His jacket was covered with blood. The general fell to a bayonet wound from a reb. He wasn't moving. We must be down to 100 men by now. The men were using their muskets like clubs. We were done fer. Then far to our rear I heard cannon fire. Shells exploded around us. Then what loked like a regiment of Cavalry came over the hill behind us. They were ours! "Retreat," yelled a reb officeer. A bunch or rebs ran by me and I heard one say, "Well not hot food tonight." "Go get the Doctors, they can set up here," said a Cavalry officer. Well that's all I remember. Till I woke up three days later. I looked around me, and saw Timmy next to me. He had his left arm cut off. He told me the general was hurt real bad. But he'll be ok in a few months. Out of our regiment, 53 men survived. 1st Sgt. Gehosafat never got a scratch. Guess Pvt. Jonhson was right. He's built too close to the ground to get hit. We lost about everyone else. We have about 100 men missing. Testy is one of the missing. To find him, look for the nearest female. "About time you woke up, you old slacker." I turned to look up and there was 1st Sgt. Gehosafat. And next to him was Lt. Hazzard!. "Look who I found. He shows up after the battle. He came out of the Reb line carring half a sword, and a pistol with out a clyonder in it. I yelled to him. Thats the wrong side, sir. He just walked past me and said, well any one can make a mistake. I saw blood on his jacket and...." "Good to see you again sir," I said holding out my hand. He took it and just said to get better. The Regiment need men like me. He looks at Timmy, "How are you Sgt?" " Thats Cpl, sir. Guess I'm ok. My drummin days are done fer." " Yes they are, but you can teach others," said Hazzard. "And you are a Sgt! The general ordered it before they took him to the field hospital." "Here are some strips. They belonged to Sgt. Brown. I know he would want you to have them. He was so proud of you," said the 1st Sgt. They handed Timmy the strips, as his eyes filled with tears. "You guys get well, see you later on," Hazzard said as they walked off. Then we heard a voice we both knew at once. "Me why me? I can't beleive this is happening to me. What did I do now?" "Watch this," Timmy says. "Bull Whip get over here , now!" "What, who wants me?" he asks. Better do what your told," I said trying to look at him. Bull Whip walks up next to me. "I heard you were dead." "What is your problem now Cpl?" Timmy said waving his Sgt strips. "I was promoted to Sgt. I have to take over the company till we are mustered out. What did I do to deserve this?" He said. "You lived through the battle, sides you always wanted to be a Sgt." I said. But there's only 2 of us and ... and " He sees Timming waving his new stripes and his big grin. "Well I'll be. You get better real fast Sgt. I need some help. Gotta go, I'll check on you later," he said walking off. "Gentlemen please, you must get your rest." That voice, could it be, on no tell me it isn't. Well it was, Miss Crinoline Pure. "You won't get well if you don't get your rest. Now do I need to put a guard on you so you will rest. Really now, just lay there and rest." She said as she walked off. "Is it possible to be talked to death," asked Timmy? "Don't know." I said. "But if she comes back I'm gona to surender to the enemy so I can get some rest." It's been several weeks since I wote in this letter. Timmy ah helpin Sgt Bull Whip with the Company. Hazzard said something about a inventory of all property before a regiment can be mustered out. That will keep him busy till its done with. I hear the muster out is already done with. We can all leave when ever we want. I'll be home soon! I'm sure gona miss everyone. The doctor told me we faced a major reb attack. And held our ground till our army moved in line behind us. We got wiped out, but we held... again. Hope it was worth it. The lives of over 500 men. Von Din Burg's Regiment is no more. But it will live forever in our memories! I hope to see everyone when I get home. Should be there in 3 - 4 weeks. Till then....... Keep your powder dry
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