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DR. WILLIAM A. HAMMOND,
SURGEON-GENERAL UNITED STATES ARMY.
Page) 'Aleck Hayes,' rides up, and,
pointing to the last fence the enemy must cross before reaching us, says, 'Don't
fire till they get to that fence; then let 'em have.'
"On, on, come the rebs, till we
can see the whites of their eyes, and hear their officers command, 'Steady,
boys, steady!' They reach the fence, some hundred yards in front of us, when
suddenly the command 'Fire!' rings down our line; and, rising as one man, the
rifles of the old Second Army Corps ring a death-knell for many a brave heart,
in butternut dress, worthy of a better cause—a knell that will ring in the
hearts of many mothers, sisters, and wives, on many a plantation in the once
fair and sunny South, where there will be weeping and wailing for the soldier
who never returns, who sleeps at
Gettysburg. 'Load and fire at will!' Oh Heaven!
how we poured our fire into them then—a merciless hail of lead! Their first line
wavers, breaks, and runs; some of their color sergeants halt and plant their
standards firmly in the ground: they are too well disciplined to leave their
colors yet. But they stop only for a moment; then fall back, colors and all.
They fall back, but rally, and dress on the other lines, under a tremendous fire
from our advancing rifles: rally, and come on again to meet their death. Line
after line of rebels come up, deliver their fire, one volley, and they are mown
down like the grass of the field. They fall back, form, and come up again, with
their battle-flags still waving; but again they are driven back.
"On our right is a break in the
line, where a battery has been in position, but, falling short of ammunition,
and unable to move it off under such a heavy fire, the gunners have abandoned it
to its fate. Some of the rebels gain a footing here. One daring fellow leaps
upon the gun, and waves his rebel flag. In an instant a right oblique fire from
'ours,' and a left oblique from the regiment on the left of the position, rolls
the ragged rebel and rebel rag in the dust, rolls the determined force back from
the gun, and it is ours.
"By-and-by the enemy's lines come
up smaller and thinner, break quicker, and are longer in forming. Our boys are
wild with excitement, and grow reckless. Lieutenant John Tibbetts stands up
yelling like mad, 'Give it to 'em! give it to 'em!' A bullet enters his arm—that
same arm in which he caught two bullets at Antietam: Johnny's game arm drops by
his side; he turns quickly to his First Lieutenant, saying, 'I have got another
bullet in the same old arm, but I don't care a d—n!' Heaven forgive Johnny!
rebel lead will sometimes bring rebel words with it. All of 'OURS' are carried
away with excitement; the Sergeant-Major leaps a wall, dashes down among the
rebs, and brings back a battle-flag; others follow our Sergeant-Major; and
before the enemy's repulse becomes a rout we of the Fourteenth have six of their
"Prisoners are brought in by
hundreds, officers and men. We pay no attention to them, being too busy sending
our leaden messengers after the now flying hosts. One of our prisoners, a rebel
officer, turns to me, saying, 'Where are the men we've been fighting?' 'Here,' I
answer, pointing down our short thin line. 'Good God!' says he, 'is that all? I
wish I could get back.' "
"Yes," I interrupted, "Townsend
told me that when he fell back with his skirmishers and saw the whole length of
our one small, thin, little line
pitted against those then full
lines of the rebels, his heart almost sank within him; but Meade had planned
that battle well, and every one of our soldiers told."
"Yes," said Fred, "Meade planned
the fight well, and Hancock, Hayes, and in fact all of them fought it well. All
through the fight General Hancock might be seen galloping up and down the lines
of our bully corps, regardless of the leaden hail all about him; and when
finally severely wounded in the hip he was carried a little to the rear, where
he lay on his stretcher and still gave his orders.
"The fight was now about over;
there was only an occasional shot exchanged between the retreating rebel
sharp-shooters and our own men, and I looked about me and took an account of
stock. We had lost about seventy killed and wounded and taken prisoner, leaving
only a hundred men fit for duty. We had killed treble that number, and taken
nearly a brigade of prisoners; six stands of colors, and guns, swords, and
pistols without number. For the first time we had been through
an action without having an
officer killed or fatally wounded, though Tibbetts, Seymour, Stoughton, Snagg,
Seward, and Dudley were more or less seriously wounded, and Coit disabled.
"Hardly a man in the regiment had
over two or three cartridges left. Dead and wounded rebels were piled up in
heaps in front of us, especially in front of Companies A and B, where Sharpe's
rifles had done effective work.
"It was a great victory.
'Fredericksburg on the other leg,' as the boys said. The rebel prisoners told us
their leaders assured them that they would only meet the Pennsylvania militia;
but when they saw that d—d ace of clubs (the trefoil badge of the Second Corps),
a cry went through their lines—'the Army of the Potomac, by Heaven!'
"So ended the battle of
Gettysburg, and the sun sank to rest that night on a battle-field that had
proved that the Army of the Potomac could and would save the people of the North
from invasion whenever and wherever they may be assailed.
"'Long shall the tale be told,
Yea, when our babes are old.'"
"Pshaw, Fred! you are getting
sentimental. Let's go out in the air and have another cigar."
DR WILLIAM A. HAMMOND,
SURGEON-GENERAL UNITED STATES
DR. WILLIAM A. HAMMOND, the
present Surgeon-General of the United States Army, whose portrait we give
herewith, was born at
Annapolis, Maryland, in 1828, and with his parents removed
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1832. At the age of sixteen he commenced the
study of medicine with Dr. E. N. Roberts, of Harrisburg, and afterward attended
lectures and graduated at the University of New York, in 1848. He then went to
Philadelphia, and was engaged at the Pennsylvania Hospital until June 29, 1849,
when he entered into the army. Ordered immediately upon duty to Santa Fe, New
Mexico, he staid there three years, seeing much hard service and consequent
exposure in the Indian wars, which brought on a functional disorder of the
heart, and obliged him to retire from active service for a brief period. Upon
his restoration to health he was sent to Florida for six months, then to West
Point, from thence to Kansas and Fort Riley, where he remained for four years.
As Medical Director he was on the
Sioux Expedition, and in the same capacity on
Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains. Returning East with a somewhat
disordered constitution, he nevertheless applied himself to severe study, but
was eventually forced to take a trip to Europe for the recovery of his health.
While in Europe he studied the army medical systems, visited laboratories,
hospitals, museums, military camps and posts, thus unconsciously preparing
himself for his present position, and upon his return with recovered health,
after a year spent at Mackinaw in the service, he was appointed Professor of
Anatomy and Physiology in the University of Maryland, at Baltimore, and also
officiated as Surgeon at Baltimore Infirmary, and Lecturer on Clinical Surgery.
Resigning his commission in the army, he remained in the University for about
six months, when the rebellion having broken out he promptly offered his
services to the Government, and accepted a subordinate position far below that
to which his eminent abilities justly entitled him. Again in active service with
General Patterson at
Hagerstown, he was placed in charge of the General
Hospital, afterward at
Fredericksburg, and Baltimore with
General Banks: at the
latter place he organized an admirable hospital, and from thence he was sent to
Wheeling, Virginia, as Medical Purveyor, and Inspector of Hospitals for Generals
Fremont. While here he made a capital report, and submitted plans
for field hospitals which brought him prominently before the Government, and
upon the dismissal of Surgeon-General Finley, he was selected to fill that
important post upon the 25th of April, 1862, although the eightieth on the list
of medical officers.
Dr. Hammond's contributions to
Medical literature have been extensive and varied, and have procured for him a
high stand among his professional brethren. Too numerous to notice in the brief
space allotted us, many of them were the results of actual experiment upon
TERRIBLE ACCIDENT AT THE RUSH STREET BRIDGE,
CHICAGO.—FROM A PHOTOGRAPH BY ALSCHULER.—[SEE