Civil War Diary of Sergeant Henry W. Tisdale 1862-1865


July 13th. 1863

Were divided, four men to a post during the night, two required to be on the watch at a time-thus got four hours sleep during the night. Just as day broke the rebels opened fire quite savagely. At the same time, we were being relieved by the 7th RI. Many of this regiment were wounded, a few killed in getting their position. Has a very narrow escape viz. I was standing behind an orderly Sergeant of the 7th who had relieved me, both of us behind a tree, I giving him some instructions. I had my gun in front of me lengthwise of my body-flat a click upon my gun and at the same moment the Sergeant uttered a faint cry and fell upon his face at my feet. I sprang close to the tree and glancing at the body saw blood gushing from his mouth and that a bullet had passed through his body. He uttered a groan and expired. Looking at my gun I saw that the middle band was partially broken and the woodwork close to it dented upon the barrel, thus showing that the bullet after passing through his body had struck the gun and by it was glanced aside. Thus has God again preserved me in the day of battle. How strange the fortunes of war, all the day before I had been in the same spot and not always careful to keep behind the tree thoughtless of real danger. In fact not five minutes before, the Sergeant was killed, I spread out my blanket in an open spot near the tree and folded it and yet not a shot was fired at me.