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The Last Charge
Brandon, Age 14, Clarinda, IA

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
July 3, 1863

The cannon laid waste to the field below as General Lee sent wave after wave of men at the top of the union held Cemetery Ridge. The fighting grew stronger as the Confederate soldiers kept charging up the hill at the union cannons. In the cloud of smoke from the cannon balls and the musket fire, Lieutenant Ash Mitchell and a small band of Confederate men from the Virginia Regiment ran over the dead bodies of their comrades as they fought their way up the hill. The Grape shot from the cannon was murderous and several of Mitchell’s men fell from just a single blast.

The muskets and the rifles bullets were like the smoke in the air. The smell of gunpowder and of the dead was almost over powering. Lieutenant Mitchell looked away from the corps on the ground and stared back up the hill as the last of his men ran in to their deaths from the union cannon and rifle fire. The charge was hopeless, but Lieutenant Mitchell had no choice but to keep going for if he retreated he would die and if he kept going he would die. The difference would be that he would die with the glory of dying in battle than the embarrassment of dieing in retreat. He waved for his remaining ten men to move forward and they charged head long in to battle.

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