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with his division, comprising the regiment to
which I belonged, was ordered to advance by
a newly-discoverd route through the bottom
of a ravine, and to gain a commanding position
on the top of a high, unfortified hill. It
was while moving down the ravine, which
had been partially cleared by our pioneers,
and while waiting until a party of the rifles
should have beat up a suspicious-looking bit
of chaparral in front, that we began to feel
we were on the point of meeting with the
enemy; but we had no expectation of anything
more than a skirmish. A shot or
two from the muskets of the enemy was followed
by the cracking of our rifles; and at
double-quick time we descended to the bottom
of a steep hill, partly covered with brushwood,
on the top of which stood a body
of the Mexican infantry, busily engaged
in firing down upon us as we came in
sight. Luckily for us, their firing did but
little damage; and, ordered to charge, we,
with a loud hurrah, began running up the
hill. When near the summit, we began to
fire, and the Mexicans went off, as quickly as
our shot, closely pursued by us up the
hill. An effort was made by some of our
captains to form their men into companies as
they reached the top; but they could collect
only a few, and soon gave up the
attempt. We pursued the flying Mexicans
down the opposite side of the hill, which was
only divided from Cerro Gordo by a ravine,
across which the enemy's battery fired grape
among us; while some thousands of infantry,
clustered like bees on the top and sides of
Cerro Gordo, kept up against us an incessant
fire of musketry. Our men now began to
fall fast; and it was partly owing to the proverbial
bad firing of the Mexicans that, our
small party of between six and seven hundred
for the united regiments of rifles and
artillery did not number morewas not
annihilated. As it was, our killed and
wounded amounted to about two hundred.
The affair lasted between two and three
hours; and this was the first time of my
meeting the foe face to face.

I found the meeting, after all, not such a
terrible affair as I had fancied. To say that I
felt no fear on going into action, would be a
senseless boast. I did feel considerable apprehension
on the first burst, and until heated
to a degree of preternatural excitement. After
the first few minutes, the fall of a wounded
comrade would at the best only cause it to
be said, "Poor fellow! There's Smith (or
Thompson) down." The first whom I saw
wounded in this action, was a rifleman. Just
as we reached the top of the hill, he dropped
his ritle with a cry of anguish, staggering to
the rear. A musket-ball had entered his
mouth. The horror imprinted on his features
made a deep impression on me at the
moment, and the recollection of it haunted
me long afterwards.

After our return to the bottom of the hill
from which we had started in pursuit of the
enemy, the excitement of action having gradually
passed away, we all felt very tired,
and were soon on the ground preparing our
rest. The groans of the wounded men, who
were collected on a plot of grass close by,
over whom our surgeons were busy
during the whole night, distressed us, and
prevented sleep for a few hours. At length
fatigue prevailed.

Next morning, the regiment to which I
belonged, together with the rifles and sixth
infantry, had the duty assigned to us of
charging the hill of Cerro Gordo. While
performing my share of that duty, I again
felt the same intense excitement, swallowing
up all perception of personal danger,
and making me feel as if the ground were
air. As on the former occasion, this state
gradually wore off, and was succeeded by a
feeling of great lassitude. I also observed,
both in myself and others, certain indications
of a fulness of the heart, and an inclination
not easily subdued, to shed tears, which lasted
for some time after the action.

Goethein his Campaign in France, after
a preliminary account of having ridden out
to a battery on which the French were then
playing, for the express purpose of realising
in person the effect said to be produced by
coming within range of the guns during a
cannonadehas described his sensations
(known as the cannon fever) thus:—

"In the midst of these circumstances, I was
soon able to remark that something unusual
was taking place within me; I paid close
attention to it, and still the sensation can
only be described by similitude. It appeared
as if you were in some extremely hot place,
and at the same time quite penetrated by
the heat of it, so that you felt yourself quite
one with the element in which you stood.
The eyes lose nothing of their strength and
clearness; but it is as if the world had a
kind of brown red tint, which makes the
situation as well as the surrounding objects
more impressive. I was unable to perceive
any agitation of the blood; but everything
seemed rather to be swallowed up in the glow
of which I speak. From this, then, it is clear
in what sense this condition can be called a
fever. It is remarkable, however, that the
horrible uneasy feeling from it, is produced in
us solely through the ears."

Most persons who have been in a similar
situation will doubtless recognise the general
truth of this description. Yet it is not a
complete account of the soldier in active
participation of battle. There is, then, an
end of horrible, uneasy feeling; he is not
shocked, but pleasedexhilarated. Many a
comrade tells me, for his own part, what I
always feel myself; that, in the day of battle,
war acts on the blood like wine. Goethe's
brown-red tint, apparently enveloping surrounding
objects, I have often heard soldiers
describe as a thing they had remarked when

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