Excerpt from Chapter Five – “A Terrible Ordeal”: the Iron Brigade

Published July 23, 2018

Thirty-year-old Captain Brown, already weak with stomach trouble
and exhausted after marching 130 miles in oppressive heat over the past
six days, turns and walks away. “I think I’m going to be sick,” he says.

Dawes shakes his head as he sees hands, arms, and every fragment
of the body thrown over the field. “It beggars description,” he sadly
responds. “I talked with one of the staff officers. There’s over 300 dead
they had to leave on the field, and 930 wounded. Plus, hundreds missing,
probably on their way to a Reb prison. And that out of only 6,000
engaged! So much for General Pope’s bombastic ‘Where I come from,
we always see the backs of the enemy’ message!”

Noyes and Dawes follow Brown and leave the scene as a group of
soldiers, many with faces covered with handkerchiefs, moves forward
with shovels to bury the fallen soldiers. The detail includes many black
contrabands who have followed along on the march, looking for work in
exchange for food. Sergeant Howard Pruyn, of Noyes’s Company A, has
a teenage boy with him, a light-skinned contraband who latched onto
Pruyn during the Frederick’s Hall Raid.