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

When the enemy was attacked by the Second Corps, as they were at Deep Bottom, Annie became separated from her regiment, and with her usual attendant–the surgeon’s orderly, who carried the medicine chest, went in search of the troops, but before she realised it, found herself beyond the line of the Union pickets. An officer at once told her she must turn back, that the enemy was near, and almost before the words were spoken, the rebel skirmishers suddenly appeared, and as suddenly the officer struck spurs into his horse and fled, Annie and the orderly following as fast as they could, until they reached the Union lines. As the rebels had hoped to surprise the Union troops they did not fire lest they should give an alarm, which is probably the reason why Annie escaped uninjured, and in this as in many other cases it seemed as if the loving thoughts and prayers of those to whom she had been mother, sister and friend in hours of blackest despair protected the brave girl from harm.

So strong was the confidence of the soldiers in Annie’s ability to shape even circumstances to her will, that this confidence amounted almost to a superstition, and whenever a battle was to be fought, were uneasy as to results, also as to the care of the wounded unless she was at hand, and there was never a more fitting tribute paid to man or woman, old or young, than that paid to Annie by the brilliant General Birney. After watching her closely and observing her invaluable service and dauntless courage one day at twilight he gathered together his troops, and amid shouts of appreciative applause presented her with the glittering Kearney Cross, a token of noble self-sacrifice and heroic service rendered to the Union army, and it is pleasant to picture the brave girl as she received the reward of her faithful service, with that modest diffidence which is so charming in a woman, but with shining eyes and cheeks flushed with appreciation of the token that her work had not been in vain.

Many verses have been written in honour of Annie, and this fragment of one of them seems a fitting tribute to the pure, sweet, patriotic Daughter of the Regiment.

To Miss Anna Etheredge.


Hail dauntless maid! whose shadowy form,
Borne like a sunbeam on the air,
Swept by amid the battle storm,
Cheering the helpless sufferers there,
Amid the cannon’s smoke and flame,
The earthquake sound of shot and shell,
Winning by deeds of love, a name
Immortal as the brave who fell.

Hail angel! whose diviner spell
Charmed dying heroes with her prayer,
Staunching their wounds amid the knell
Of death, destruction and despair.
Thy name by memory shall be wreathed
Round many desolate hearts in prayer;
By orphan lips it shall be breathed,
And float in songs upon the air.