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Gentle Annie: A Daughter Of The Regiment
by [?]

On another part of that bloody battle-field of Bull Run, tireless in her activity, although sick at heart from the ghastly sights and sounds of the day, she was kneeling beside a soldier and tenderly binding up his wounds, when she heard a gruff voice repeating her name, and looking up, to her astonishment saw brave General Kearney, checking his horse by her side, watching her with genuine admiration in his eyes. “That’s right,” he exclaimed. “I am glad to see you here, helping those poor fellows, and when this is over, I will have you made a regimental sergeant,” which meant that she would receive a sergeant’s pay and rations, but as the gallant General was killed two days later at Chantilly, Annie never received the appointment. But she continued her care of the sick and wounded in the same quiet manner which characterised all her actions. When she was not busy on the field or in hospital or transport duty she superintended the cooking at headquarters, and when the brigade moved, she would mount her horse, and march with the ambulance and the surgeons, ready to serve where she was most needed, or if on the battle-field when night fell she wrapped herself in her soldier’s blanket and slept under the protecting sky with the hardihood of a true soldier.

At Chancellorsville, on the 2nd of May, 1863, the men of the Third Corps were in extreme danger because of a panic by which the Eleventh Corps was broken up; and one company of the Third Michigan and also one of the sharp-shooters were detailed as skirmishers. Annie was advised of her danger in remaining with the regiment, but refused to go to the rear, and instead took the lead, but met her Colonel and he peremptorily commanded her to go back, saying the enemy was very near, and he was every moment expecting an attack. Reluctant to obey, Annie turned and rode along the front of a line of shallow trenches filled with Union men. Then rising in her saddle she called out, “Boys, do your duty and whip the rebels!”

The men’s heads rose above the edge of the trench and they cheered her, crying, “Hurrah for Annie! Bully for you!” which shout unfortunately showed their position to the enemy, who at once fired a volley of shots in the direction of the cheering. Annie rode to the end of the rear of the line, then turned to look back, and as she did so, an officer quickly pushed his horse between her and a large tree by which she was standing, so that he might be sheltered behind her. She was staring at him in astonishment at such an unchivalrous act, when a second volley was fired; a ball whizzed past her, and the officer fell heavily against her, then lifeless to the ground. At the same moment another ball grazed Annie’s hand (this was the only wound she received during the whole war), cut through her dress, and slightly wounded her horse, who was so frenzied by the pain that he set off on a run through the woods, plunging in and out among the trees so rapidly that Annie was afraid of being brushed from her saddle by the branches, or of having her brains dashed out by being thrown against a tree trunk. Raising herself on her saddle with a violent effort she crouched on her knees and clung to the pommel and awaited what might come, but by a lucky chance, the frightened animal dashed out of the woods and into the midst of the Eleventh Corps, who stopped the runaway and gave a rousing cheer for plucky Annie. Her regiment was by this time quite a distance away, and Annie wanted to see and speak with General Berry, who was the commander of her division, but was told by an aide that he was not there. “He is here,” replied Annie, “and I must see him.” The aide turned his horse and rode up to the General, who was near by, and told him that a woman was coming up, who insisted on seeing him.