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Eye Witness Account, W T Sherman

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Well we had big battle where they shot real bullets and I am safe except a buckshot wound in the hand and a bruised shoulder from a spent ball - The first horse I rode was one I captured from the enemy soon after I got here, a beautiful sorrel race mare that was as fleet as a deer, and very easy in her movements to which I had become much attached - She was first wounded and then shot dead under me. This occurred Sunday when the firing on both sides was terrific and I had no time to save saddle, holsters or valise. I took the horse of my aid McCoy till it was shot, when I took my doctors horse and that was shot, My camp was in advance of all the others and we caught the first thunder, and they captured all our tents and two horses of mine hitched to the trees near my tent were killed. So I am completely unhorsed - The first man killed in battle was my orderly close by my side a young handsome faithful soldier who carried his carbine ever ready to defend me, his name was (Thomas D.) Holiday and the shot that killed him was meant for me. After the battle was over I had him brought to my camp and buried by a tree scarred with balls and its top carried off by a cannon ball. These above embrace all the personal events connected with myself. My troops were very raw and some regiments broke at the first fire. Others behaved better, and I managed to keep enough all the time to form a command and was the first to get back to our front line. The battle on Sunday was very severe. They drove back our left flank on the river, but I held the right flank out about a mile & half, giving room for reinforcements to come up from Crump's Landing to our north, and for Buells army to land. Beauregard, Braggs, Johnston, Breckinridge and all their big men were here, with their best soldiers and after the battle was over I found among the prisoners an old Louisiana cadet named Barrow who sent for me and told me all about the others, many of whom were here and knew that they were fighting me. I gave him a pair of socks, drawers and shirt and treated him very kindly. I will not attempt to give an account of the battle but they say I accomplished some important results and General Grant made special mention of me in his report which he showed me.... from Sherman's Civil War, Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman 1860-1864, edited by Brooks D. Simpson & Jean V Berlin, pg 201-202

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