Thread: Horse Artillery
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Old 08-10-2019
Theodoric Theodoric is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 195

By firing on the Union line, the Confederates had exposed the position of their guns to Union view. Wainwright once again ordered his cannon forward to shell the heights. There was now no reason for the Confederates to hold back, and for an hour both sides went at it hammer and tongs. The Union army had superior artillery and ammunition, and the Confederates took a beating. The 14 guns at Prospect Hill were especially hard hit.

In the ranks that day was a young South Carolina soldier named Ben. As he stood by his gun, iron fragments struck all around him. "The trees around our guns were literally torn to pieces and the ground plowed up," he informed his parents. "I have been several times covered with dirt, and had it knocked in my eyes and mouth."

Three men in Ben's battery were killed in the maelstrom; 16 others were wounded. Ben himself survived by only the narrowest of margins:

"A piece of shell went through my coat sleeve; it stung a little. A Minié ball went through the ramrod, and it or a splinter struck me on the head. I was by the gun looking at the Yankees when a great piece of shell, big as my two fists, came along and knocked a spoke out of the wheel, and it or a piece of the spoke, or something else, hit me square in the breastI saw a piece of shell go a-'kiting' by my leg, missing it an inch or two. This is only a few of the narrow escapes I made today."

"It was," he noted, "a time to test a man's courage."
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