SEEING THE ELEPHANT-PART 5

SEEING THE ELEPHANT-PART 5

Our cavalry finally got into the fight and chased the Union cavalry away. We were ordered to straighten back into battle line and we advanced toward the Union Infantry. They retreated about 200 yards as we advanced. Theoretically, this allowed their cannon to fire at us without hitting their troops. We started to take casualties as we advanced. We reached a point about 50 yards from their infantry and stopped to trade volleys with them.

All of a sudden Chris, one of our unit’s young men, looked at me and said “let’s charge them.” I was game and said okay and we began a classic two person suicide charge against a full company of the enemy. It sort of took the Yanks by surprise and a lot of them weren’t loaded. A few shot at us and Chris went down. I continued charging and hit muskets with one of the Union infantrymen. After we crossed muskets we just looked at each other. He was really surprised. I was waiting for him to do some kind of act that would result in my being killed. I was anticipating something like him moving his musket and pretending he hit me with it so I could play dead. Well, he just kept looking at me. One of his officers moved toward me; took his pistol; and pretended to hit me. I fell dead and everyone was happy. I had made the gallant charge for the Confederacy and they had preserved the honor of the Union. The only thing that was wrong is that we aren’t supposed to have any hand to hand combat in Civil War Reenacting. No one had briefed me on the finer points of the Reenactment Rules of Engagement.

Anyway, our lines pushed the Union Infantry back and all of a sudden Pard appeared gave me some water and told me to pull my hands in close to me body and get my musket under me if at all possible to keep both me and the musket from being stepped on.

So my unit retreated back up toward our artillery and there were a few more cannon salvos. Then the call was given to “Resurrect”. All of us glorious dead rose and proceeded back to our units. The spectators cheered and my first battle was over. It had taken about 45 minutes. I had SEEN THE ELEPHANT.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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