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Bell, W. R.
W. R. BELL, Blossom, Texas—Born in 1843, at Crawfordville, Miss., and enlisted in the Confederate Army May 1, 1861, at the Choctaw Agency, in Company G, Fourteenth Mississippi Regiment. My first Captain was Wear and first Colonel was Baldwin. In every battle we lost some officer, but I can not go over the changes. Was never wounded. Was captured at Fort Donelson and sent to Camp Douglas, Ill., and was exchanged at Vicksburg.
It would be impossible to go over all the battles and skirmishes I was in during the war, but will give you a few: Fort Donelson, Jackson, Miss., and Dalton, Ga. Went with Hood to Franklin and Nashville, after he was put in comand. I helped to bury the dead at Franklin, and I think I could have command all over the battelfield [sic] on dead men. Gen. Adams' horse fell on a dead man and as the charge was being made a man fell on the horse. There is no language that could picture that battle, and there is little use for me to try. All honor to Forrest and the cavalry. I will relate one incident. I could give hundreds, and many of them would seem beyond belief. There was a dreadfully severe battle between one of our batteries and a Yankee battery across the mouth of Peachtree Creek. There was a Pine tree in the way of one of the guns and my brother picked up an axe and started to cut it down. I pulled him back when just then a cannon ball cut it down. I said to him, "Where would you have been if I had not pulled you back." "I don't care if it had," said he.
Capt. McDonald was killed in the charge at Franklin and fell on the breastworks. I saw a Yankee who was shot through. I only weighed 100 to 120 pounds, and he said, "little fellow shoot me." I told him I would not, and he said he was bound to die and wanted to get out of his misery. "I will give you everything I have. It will not be any sin." I told him I never would, and left him. This was at Nashville. There was no firing and we were all together. 1 was talking to the Yankees and was swapping them to-bacon for coffee. One said to me, "Little fellow, how long have you been in the army?" I told him. "Were you ever wounded?" And when I said no, he wanted to know the reason, and I told him it was on account of the prayers of my mother. "Your bullets, can't hit me," I said. "Do you believe that?" he asked. I told him that I knew it. He said if he believed that he would throw his gun down and go home. Many such scenes happened all over the country.
After the armistice was out it was "Johnny Rebs to your holes" again. After we had gone back to our works there were three lines advancing. Mon. Rice and I were on the extreme left watching them advance. The order was given to move. We did not know where they were going, as they went east down behind the works. We had to make a run for it. I think every man in the line shot at me. The bullets flew around all over me, but not one touched my clothes.
There is much more that I could write, but perhaps this is enough. War is just exactly what Gen. Sherman said it was—hell.