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Friday, July 19, 2013

A TEEN EYEWITNESS AT GETTYSBURG
"Charge of the Pennsylvania Reserves"
By Tillie Pierce
The Confederates faced toward them, fired, halted, and then began to retreat. I saw them falling as they were climbing over a stone wall and as they were shot in the open space. The fighting lasted but a short time, when the Confederates were driven back in the direction of Little Round Top. I think they passed between the Round Tops.
On this evening the number of wounded brought to the place was indeed appalling. They were laid in different parts of the house. The orchard and space around the buildings were covered with the shattered and dying, and the barn became more and more crowded. The scene had become terrible beyond description.
That night, in the house, I made myself useful in doing whatever I could to assist the surgeons and nurses. Cooking and making beef tea seemed to be going on all the time. It was an animated and busy scene. Some were cutting bread and spreading it, while I was kept busy carrying the pieces to the soldiers.
One soldier, sitting near the doorway that led into a little room in the southeast corner of the basement, beckoned me to him. He was holding a lighted candle in his hand, and was watching over a wounded soldier who was lying upon the floor. He asked me if I would get him a piece of bread, saying he was very hungry. I said certainly, ran away and soon returned. I gave him the bread and he seemed very thankful. He then asked me if I would hold the light and stay with the wounded man until he came back. I said I would gladly do so, and that I wanted to do something for the poor soldiers if I only knew what.
I then took the candle and sat down beside the wounded man. I talked to him and asked if he was injured badly. He answered:
"Yes, pretty badly."
I then asked him if he suffered much, to which he replied:
"Yes, I do now, but I hope in the morning I will be better."
I told him if there was anything I could do for him I would be so glad to do it, if he would only tell me what. The poor man looked so earnestly into my face, saying:
"Will you promise me to come back in the morning to see me."
I replied: "Yes, indeed." And he seemed so satisfied, and faintly smiled.
The man who had been watching him now returned, and thanked me for my kindness. I gave him the light and arose to leave.
The poor wounded soldier's eyes followed me, and the last words he said to me were:
"Now don't forget your promise."
I replied:
"No indeed," and expressing the hope that he would be better in the morning, bade him good night.
FROM: "At Gettysburg, or, What a Girl Saw and Heard at the Battle"

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