Incidents of This Day
"Among the incidents I remember on this day were these. I saw a private of the 61st New York, who was
mounted for some reason, with a brilliant red shirt on, riding to and fro along the infantry line when the musketry was hottest, and
he being the only mounted man in his vicinity was especially conspicuous, and I learned that he was doing his best to encourage his
men. I was told, too, that a woman, who followed the Irish Brigade as laundress or nurse, went up with it, and standing with the fight,
swung her bonnet around and cheered on the men; and that Colonel Barlow, of the 61st New York, tired of seeing his drummers shrink from
their duty, tied them to his waist with his sash and led them under fire. A rebel in flying before our advance was killed as he was
climbing over a fence and remained fixed upon it, and through mistake or rage our men had shot or bayoneted him many times.
On that evening a man from another brigade reported that " Corporal Gay" of my company lay wounded in front of his regiment, and we sent
some men after him; and they indeed brought back poor Gay, who once was corporal in our company, but had been promoted to second lieutenant
of another. He had been seen, in our fight, to put his hand to his head and walk away as if wounded, and it was supposed he had been wounded
not badly and had gone to the hospital; but astonishing as it seemed, his only wound was where a shell had taken off a portion of his skull,
although he must have walked a number of yards after being hit. He was still alive, and some ruffian had robbed him of his watch and sword.
The poor boy, insensible to the world and wounded beyond all hope, was laid down beside us, his old comrades, to die, and all that night,
amidst the alarms of the battle-field, we watched him as he chafed the earth with his foot, and the life did not leave his manly body
until almost twenty-four hours from the time he was wounded."
Lieutenant Thomas L. Livermore,
5th New Hampshire, The Battle of Antietam
"Days and events, 1860-1866"
By Thomas Leonard Livermore