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Old December 14, 2005, 11:12 PM   #124
4V50 Gary
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Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,636
You will see them again... and I hope shortly.

"The house we were defending faced all the batteries of Bayonne looking to the north and the Citadel stared it in the face... Here we mustered the Company... about thirty only remaining. That rascal Notting called up Schauroth and myself, the Youngest officer, and desired me to enter the house with fifteen men while he stood behind to assist in the yard with Schauroth (Notting was the writer's captain).

"Putting the Serjeant and six men in the left room and four in each of the others, I superinteded the whole and began by firing the first shot myself. My poor fellows did their utmost. I lost two killed from the centre room and one in [the] right hand one. In about two hours more I had sent two wounded away from the left and had one more killed in the Centre. Just at this time the French poured in grape at us and one or two forty-eight pounders which filled the rooms with mortar dust and we fired back at random... Just then a violent scream from the next room, with a thundering noise announced the corners of the house being blown down... I ran out to keep the men in; and as I turned to the right I bawled into the yard, 'Send up some more men.' But my eyes were so full of dust that I could see no one and the noise was so great, perhaps, that they could not hear.

"I had just at this time the narrowest escape of all. I was leaning agains the wall opposite the Centre room, rubbing my eyes and collecting my senses, so horrible was the noise, when the Serjeant from the [other] room tapped me on the shoulder, saying, 'Sir, Martin is shot in the head.'

"I had not taken two steps to the left to proceed to the room when an immense sixty-eight pounder poured through the the house and made a large hole enough to jump through in the very spot I had that instant left.

"My men were now so few that I saw it would be useless. However I returned to the Centre room where Lather alone was, and after firing till my shoulder was black and blue, the French poured in so strongly upon us that I began to think of leaving the house as the Serjeant had advised me.

"The two corners of the house were laid open and near one hundred and thirty cannons pointing at us. My men were reduced from fifteen to five and the Serjeant. And I was just making up my mind when a confusion as if heaven and earth were in contact suddenly came over me. The roof fell in and buried the whole of us.

"As Lather and myself were in the middle place, we fell together. My left elbow was so nearly smashed that I carry my arm in a sling. The Shoe-maker's head was actually scalped and when I groped into the yard like a miller the Captain says, 'I thought you was killed... Where is the Company?'

'You will see them again,' I answered, 'and I hope shortly.'

'Why, where are they, then, Sir?'

'Gone to hell!'"
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