"The roar of all this tumult reached us on the left and heightened the intensity of our resolve. Meanwhile the flanking column worked around to our left and joined those before us in a fierce assault, which lasted with increasing fury for an intense hour. The two lines met and broke and intermingled in the shock. The crush of musketry gave way to cuts and thrusts, grapplings and wrestlings. The edge of conflict swayed to and fro, with wild pools and eddies. At times I saw around me more of the enemy than of my own men; gaps opening, swallowing, closing again with sharp, convulsive energy; squads of stalwart men who had cut their way through us, disappearing as if translated all around me, strange, mingled roar- shouts of defiance, rally and desperation; and underneath, murmered (sic) entreaty and stifled moans; gasping prayers, snatches of Sabbath song, whispers of loved names; everywhere men torn and broken, staggering, creeping, quivering on the earth, and dead faces with strangley (sic) fixed eyes staring stark into the sky.
"In the very deepest of the struggle while our shattered line had pressed the enemy well below their first point of contact... I saw through a sudden rift in the thick smoke our colors standing alone. I first thought some optical illusion imposed upon me. But as forms emerged through the drifting smoke, the truth came to view. The cross fire had cut keenly; the center had almost been shot away; only two of the color guard had been left, and they fighting to fill the whole space; and in the center, wreathed in battle smoke, stood the Color Sergeant Andrew Tozier. His color-staff planted in the ground at his side, the upper part clasped in his elbow, so holding the flag upright, with musket and cartridges seized from the fallen comrade at his side he was defending his sacred trust in the manner of the songs of chivalry. It was a stirring picture..."
Although the battle occurred long ago, the Colonel does an outstanding job of describing the battlefield experience that each soldier has faced in combat. This is the cost of freedom. This is also why we owe these men and women a debt that can never be repaid. This Memorial day give a prayer of thanks and a kind thought to our men and women of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Their service purchased our liberty.