Little Round Top; The Indiana Democrat, Indiana, Pennsylvania Wednesday May 26, 1909
BY PUILA BUTLER BOWMA.Y. with a penciled wttd to ','Send General General Warren at least/a division to'hold the position at Little Round Top." On the summit where the signal officer was the musket balls were beginning beginning to fly. He folded up his flags and was going to leave; but at this moment Warren came back, and induced him to keep the flags waving. waving. "It may puzzle those people," he said, meaning the enemy, "and may keep thorn back for a few minutes." minutes." So the two men waited, watch- Ing the puffs of smoke that appeared at different distances. A thick cloud showed where the action was already raging at the Peach Orchard; in hot haste the battle was spreading all along the field; cannonade and musketry musketry crashed and rattled at right, loft and centre of the long battle linos. A movement of the mass of infantry which Warren had detected on the wooded ridge was plainly visible. visible. Suppose Meade had delayed in sending him an army corps! The moments of suspense came suddenly to an end with the arrival of Hazlett's battery of rifled cannon of the Fifth Artillery. , The young lieutenant spoke. "General; "General; what's the matter?" "The deuce is to pay!" was the re- he held was of great importance In the battle. Retrfeat might mean thft destruction • of an entire corps. It wan almost certain that supports would be sent him sooner of later. He was resolved never to yield. Yet half the regiment were gone; hardly more than skirmish line was left him. The soldiers, having flred the sixty rounds of cartridges they had carried into the fight, were emptying emptying the cartridge boxes of their fallen comrades. A few minutes longer and not a man would be left alive. "Colonel, let us charge them! We. will drive them off the hill!" shouted a lieutenant in a hoarse voice. Last Hope of the Defenders. Chamberlain glanced at him in admiration. admiration. This was the heroic spirit of his men. Yes, why not charge them? he thought. Suddenly, unexpectedly even to himself, he gave the order: "Fix bayonets!" j The command, "Charge!" was lost in the deep, long drawn shout of the desperate men; they leaped forward and rushed down the hill. Striking the enemy among the scattered trees on the outskirt of the wood, they And why docs my sleeve hang empty? •And so you are asking to know Of the cloud that bent down With its blackening frown '•On our Nation, no little ago. And why does my sleeve hand empty? And why, when I fold you so tight Have I only one arm 'That shall shield you from harm? One was laid on the altar of Right. know what "My Country" means, Lad, Your grandfather's country and yours. You will know, as life thickens, Why_ all your blood quickens At sight of the flag that endures. You will learn what it means to be free, Lad, And to honor those sacrificed ones In, a country whose sod At the altar of God Was pledged free, in the blood of her sons. You have learned to be pi ad in the colors And swell, with your gay little shout, The song that dead stones TVould cry out, should our tones "Wake not, when the flag flutters out. The time is so little ago, Lad, And the valleys grew sweet with corn, And the grape and the grain; 3?orgot hardship and pain 3?er joy in God's country, new-born. But a spirit awoke in the air, Lad, Anil shadowed the lijrlit of the bars, And threatened to tear From their retral place there On tire blue of our banner—the stars. The story grows old in the telling, (If the voice that went ringing afat That the brave, loyal hand Of each son of the land Be pledged for the life of a star. And something, deep down in the breast, Lad, Leaped up at the voice of that call, And the tread of a host Rose, as marched to their post Those heroes, to conquer or fall. And War rode his terrible charger Throuch the valleys, that love had made fair. But God. in His might Helped the hand raised for right Crush the spirit that rose in the air. The story is sad to tell, dear, But—the stars arc still shining on high. Tho' the myriad graves Where the summer grass waves Are voices to answer us why. So I know what "the Union" cost, Lad,, And the fing that no spirit can grieve; And when it shakes out And 1 hear your triad shout. I thank God for the empty sleeve. WHEN McKINLEY SERVED COFFEE IN BATTLE. By Car I Hov<ey. Bronze Tablet to McKinley E rected at Washington, D. C. Exploit of Late Prssident, Who as Commissary Sergeant of Twenty-third Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers Gave Steaming Drinks and Hardtack to Soldiers, to Be Perpetuated in Bronze. The war council of Federal generals generals the night before the second clay's battle of Gettysburg became necessarily necessarily a frantic pretension of scanning the unknown. Outside, on the lengthening lengthening ridges and between the abrupt -hillsides of that intricate battle field, 3ay the encampments of the two hos- , tile armies, ominous and solemn. There were few camp fires. At times could be heard the voice of a sentry challenging, or the drawn out clatter of a horseman on the stone pavement of the cemetery. The night passed, and daybreak found the cautious General Meade still listening to the reports of his division division commanders, to their stories of misfortune, and plans for strengthening strengthening the line of battle. The unprotected unprotected North lay at his back; in his front a general whose resourcefulness resourcefulness was unfathomable and who ranked as a military genius. To picture picture in his mind's eye the battle ground that was now obscured and dim, and to foresee what would be the thing wanted there, at the given point, at the given moment, on the morrow, was the well nigh insuperable insuperable task of the Northern general. The unexpected was certain to befall befall both officers and men, and they must be ready to perform miracles if need be. An instance of this kind •was the fight of the Twentieth Maine on Little Round Top, in memory of which the colonel of the regiment, Joshua L. Chamberlain, for his great tenacity and his daring heroism, received received the Medal of Honor. Little Round Top had escaped the •vigilance of the Federal commanders. This was the smaller of two rough hills, strewn with boulders and bare, slippery rock, rising sharply from a "Wooded swamp, behind which Stretched .the Confederate battle line. At the foot of Little Round Top a body of Union troops had been posted. Ouly One Man For Defense. It was now afternoon. Lee's attack attack was expected momentarily, and every man was waiting intently, with TU.S eyes fixed upon the open space •that separated the two armies. Just at this time, by a fortunate chance, It occurred to General Meade to order General. Warren to ride over the field Jo the direction of the Round Tops. Warren did so, and when he came to the foot of Little Round Top he left . feis horse and climbed to the summit, was bis surprise <o find at this point only one soldier, an officer of the signal corps. He no sooner looked about him that it became instantly instantly clear to him that the top of this hill, where there were no troops, and which had been abandoned for a signal station, was in reality the key to the whole position. His astonishment astonishment gave place to consternation. With his glass he noted a thickly wooded ridge beyond the swamp; there, he surmised, the enemy was already forming his lines, to burst suddenly upon the Union troops at the base, where in the screening ply. "I hope you can hold out until the infantry come up." Stayed Until He Was Killed. "I guess I can," answered Lieutenant Lieutenant Hazlett. As a matter of fact, he stayed there until he was killed. The passage of those si:t guns through roadless woods and up among the jutting boulders of the height was marvelous; nothing but the dash and eagerness of the men to get into action, action, together with their incredibly skilful driving, could have planted those cannon on the very summit of Little Round Top. The infantry were not far behind. Among the regiments closing in to seize the hilltop were the Forty-seventh Forty-seventh and the Fifteenth Alabama of the Confederate side; and of the Union army, th,e Twentieth Maine, commanded by Colonel Chamberlain, which was an usually small regiment, numbering only about three hundred men. This little force had no sooner reached the portion of the hillside assigned to them, where they stood panting from their exertions, than they saw a dense mass of Confederates Confederates coming toward them; for the two strong Confederate regiments, containing a thousand men, had been ordered to turn the Union flank at exactly exactly that position. Discerning in'a flash the grave peril of his command, the Maine colonel quickly ordered five companies to swing back until they f-ormed a line at a right angle to the closed in upon them with bayonets and the butts of their guns. Of the Confederates some fought until they were killed; more, however, however, acted as if thrown into a panic by the wild charge, and they ran for their lives. Undoubtedly they supposed supposed that a strong re-enforcement had reached the Union line, and that this had caused the sudden attack. The brave Maine regiment captured captured three hundred prisoners, and returned with them to the old position, position, where they stayed until in the last hours of that terrible' summer's afternoon the victorious little command command was thrust into the struggle for the adjoining hill, Round Top. Concerning their leader in this exploit, exploit, it may be added that, besides receiving the Medal of Honor at Gettysburg, Gettysburg, he was afterward promoted in the field by General Grant; and he so distinguished himself as a brigadier brigadier that he was brevetted a major general in 1865, "for conspicuous gallantry gallantry in action." After the war he led, and is still leading, a highly important important public career in his native State of Maine. GETTYSBURG HATTLKFIKLD (RIG AND LITTLE ROUND TOP FROM KMMKTSliUKG ROAD.) woods nothing could be known of the movements of the emnny until the Confederates were upon them. To verify this strong suspicion, General Warren made his way as rapidly as possible to a buttery at the foot of the bill. "Captain," hp s-iid, "fire a shot into those woods." Tho Captain of the rifle, battery did so, and ;xs the shot, whistling, passed over the wood, it must have caused everyone of the concealed Rebels to look in the direction of the sound; for a simultaneous flash of musket barrel and bayonet revealed to the Northern general the presence of a long line of the enemy far outflanking outflanking the position of the Union troops. The fact thrilled him; it was almost appalling. A strong force should have been intrenched long ago high up on this hill; perhaps even now it was not too lute. He rushed off a messenger to General Meade rest. At this instant the Alabaniians attacked them on front and flank, opening with a murderous fire. Colonel Chamberlain with drawn sword moved up and down his lines. The Rebel bullets whizzed incessantly past him; his men were constantly groaning and falling on every side. Outnumbered more than three to one, their position was terrible, and it was apparently a hopeless one. Yet with dripping faces the men loaded and fired their muskets, displaying- the cool expertness of true veterans. Smoke walled them in and to some extent concealed from the enemy the terrible execution they were making upon their thin, gaping battle front. However, their Colonel never thought of retreating. In the dense smoke, the deafening and confusing volleys, in the face of the rapidly approaching approaching annihilation of his command, command, Colonel Chamberlain thought only of one thing, that the position Our Patriot Dead. Bring ye sweet flowers to deck their lowly graves, The noble ones who shed their life-blood free And, fighting, fell in freedom's cause, that we Should hold it sacred, while the old flag waves! Bring flowers, the fairest, sweetest, for our braves Roses find lilies. 'Twas for you and me They died. Cover each inouud that they limy see The living love that still a strong heart craves. O sainted dead! O husband, brother friend, ' Known or unknown, we hold thy memory memory green And' scatter o'er thy resting place, the rose, The lily, pansy, violet, to blend Their perfume with the tears that, oft unseen. Ik-dew the ground 'neath which our loved repose. —Anna M. S. Rossiter, in Christian Register. Register.