2

After the Battle.

A Woman's Account of the Battle of Corinth and Its Incidents.

I enclose extracts from letters just received from Corinth, giving such information of the late battle as may prove interesting to your readers. The first is from a lady whose husband was a captain in Oglesby's brigade. She says:

"Oh, my friend! how can I tell you of the tortures that have nearly crazed me for the last three days! Pen is powerless to trace, words weak to convey one little of the misery I have endured. I thought myself strong before. I have seen so much of sufforing that I thought my nerves had grown steady, and I could bear anything; but today I am weak and trembling like a frightened child. But do not wonder at it. My dear husband lies beside me wounded unto death perhaps. I have lost all hopes of saving him, though I thank God for the privilege this moment of being beside him.

And beside this, all around me the sufferers lie moaning in agony. There has been little time to tend them, poor fellows. True, the surgeons are busy all the time, but all the wounded have not yet been brought in, and it seems as if the time will never come when our brave men shall have been made comfortable as circumstances may permit. It is awful to look around me. I can see every imaginable form of suffering, and yet am helpless to aid them any of consequence. Since night before last I have not left my husband's side for a moment, except to get such things as I required, or to hand some poor fellow a cup of water. Even as I write my heart throbs achingly to hear the deep groans and sharp cries about me. F. is sleeping, but I dare not close my eyes, lest he should die while I sleep. And it is to keep awake, and in a manner relieve my overburdened heart, that I am writing to you now under such sad auspices.

On the morning of the 2d inst., the fight began. The attack was made on Gen. McArthur's division, and we could plainly hear the roll of the artillery here, as it is about two miles and a half distance only from the place.

Oh, the fearful agony of that awful, awful day! I had seen F. a moment early in the morning, but it was only a moment, when he bade me good-bye — saying, hurriedly as he tore himself away: "Pray for me, my wife; and if I fall, God protect you."

There was something in his look and tone which struck a chill to my heart, and every moment after I knew the fight had begun I felt as if he had indeed fallen. I cannot tell how long it was before I heard that Oglesby's brigade was engaged, but it seemed an age to me. After that my agony was nearly intolerable. I never had a thought of fear for myself. I was thinking only of F. — Then I got the word that they had been the hotly pursued by the rebels, and had fallen back. Late in the afternoon I had succeeded in gaining a little intelligible information. Poor General Hickleman was shot through the neck while giving a command and fell mortally wounded. He died between ten and eleven o'clock the same night, I have since learned. Up to the time of receiving the wound, he had acted with the greatest bravery and enthusiasm, tempered by a coolness that made every action effective.

When dusk at last put an end to the first day's conflict, I learned that Gen. Oglesby had been dangerously wounded, but could gain no intelligence of my husband. I could not bear the suspense. Dark as it was, and hopeless as it seemed to search for him then, I started out to the battlefield.

Oh, how shall I describe the search of that night? It looked like madness. It was madness — but all night long I straggled among bleeding corpses, over dead horses, trampled limbs, shattered artillery — everything that goes to make up the horrors of a battlefield when the conflict is over. They were removing the wounded all night. Oh, think how awful to stumble over the dead and hear the cries of the wounded and dying, alone, and in the night time. I had to start off alone, else they would not have let me go.

As you may supposed, I could not find him, either amongst the living or the dead. But the next morning just after sunrise I came to a little clump of timbers where a horse had fallen — his head shot off and his body half covering a man whom I supposed dead. His face was to the ground, but as I stopped to look closer, I perceived a faint movement of the body, then heard a faint moan.

I stooped and turned the fact upward. The head and face were both covered with blood, but when I turned it to the light I knew it in spite of its disfiguration. Oh God, the agony of that moment sickened me almost to suffocation. With a strength I thought impossible in me, I drew him, crushed and bleeding, from beneath the carcass of our poor old horse, whom we both had loved and petted, and dipping my handkerchief in a little pool of water amongst the bushes, patted his face and pressed some moisture between his parched swollen lips.

He was utterly insensible and there was a dreadful wound in his forehead. Both limbs were crushed hopelessly beneath the horse. He was utterly beyond the reach of human skill to save, but as soon as possible I had him conveyed to the hospital. I have nursed him ever since, hopelessly and with a heart breaking with grief. Oh! how many wives, how many mothers, are to-day mourning the dead and dying! He has not opened his eyes to look at or spoken to me since he fell. Oh! could he but he speak to me once before he dies, I could give him up with more resignation. But to die thus — without a look or a world! Oh, my heart is breaking!

Here the friend who communicates the letter says it becomes illegible, baring the distress of the writer as much as her words, but we have already given the substance of all that the letter contains. It was dated at Corinth, Oct. 6th., and was mailed at Cairo.