I have heard, politicians tell it. I have heard it told from the sacred desk. It is true; no one doubts it. Now, were I to tell something that happened in this nineteenth century exactly similar, you would hardly believe it. But whether you believe it or not, it is for you to say. At a little village called Hampshire Crossing, our regiment was ordered to go to a little stream called St. John's Run, to relieve the 14th Georgia Regiment and the 3rd Arkansas. I cannot tell the facts as I desire to.
In fact, my hand trembles so, and my feelings are so overcome, that it is hard for me to write at all. But we went to the place that we were ordered to go to, and when we arrived there we found the guard sure enough. If I remember correctly, there were just eleven of them. Some were sitting down and some were laying down; but each and every one was as cold and as hard frozen as the icicles that hung from their hands and faces and clothing-dead!
They had died at their post of duty. Two of them, a little in advance of the others, were standing with their guns in their hands, as cold and as hard frozen as a monument of marble-standing sentinel with loaded guns in their frozen hands! The tale is told. Were they true men? Does He who noteth the sparrow's fall, and numbers the hairs of our heads, have any interest in one like ourselves? Yes He doeth all things well. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without His consent.
From the book Co. Aytch, A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War by Sam R. Watkins, page 38- Copyright 1962 by MacMillan Publishing Company Copyright renewed in 1990 by Simon &Schuster Inc. Sam began to write of his experiences in 1881 as a series for his hometown newspaper, the Columbia, Tennessee, Herald.
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