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1 was losing a great deal of blood
and felt weak, but I had my head and
shoulders raised, and as I was car
ried along the line J held my hat in
my hand and waved it to the boys.
They saw I had. not been killed and
they cheered me and took heart for
It seemed to be the logical, sensi
ble thing for me to do at the time,
and I was surprised later, when for
that service I was given the con
gressional gold medal of honor for
My leg was amputated immediate
ly in the-field hospital, Thursday, July
2, and I was takM to Washington,
arriving early Sirnday morning. I
was carried to a house where quar
ters had been obtained for me, on
the same stretcher on which I was
laid at Gettysburg. The landlady was
not up yet and we waited a few min
utes outside her door. As it was
warm I had laid a handkerchief over
my face. Seeing me the landlady
"He is dead!"
"Oh, no," I replied, removing the
handkerchief, "only dozing a little."
How Lincoln's Prayer Was Answered.
Soon after I reached my apartment
President Lincoln came to see me.
After he had given a touching ex
pression of his sympathy, we talked
about the battle. I said:
"Mr. Lincoln, we heard at Gettys
burg that here at the capital you
were all so anxious about the result
of the battle that government offi
cials packed up and got ready to
leave at short notice, with the official
"Yes," he said, "some precautions
were prudently taken, but I was sure
of our success at Gettysburg."
"Why were you so confident?" I
asked. The Army of the Potomac
had suffered many reverses."
There was a pause. The President
seemed in deep meditation. His pale
face was lighted up by an expression
I had not observed before. He said:
"When Lee crossed the Potomac
and entered Pennsylvania, followed
by our army, I felt that the crisis had
come. I knew that defeat in a great
battle on northern soil involved the
loss of Washington, to be followed,
perhaps, by the intervention of Eng
land and France in favor of the
Southern Confederacy. I went to my
room and got down on-my knees in
"I felt I must put all my trust in
Almighty God. He gave our people
the best country ever given to man.
He alone could save it from destruc
tion. I prayed that he would not let
the nation perish. I asked him to
help us, and give us victory now.
"I was sure my prayer was an
swered. I knew that God was on our
side. I had no misgivings about the
result at Gettysburg."
When Mr. Lincoln roseto leave he
took my hand and said:
"Sickles, I am told, as you have
been told perhaps, that your condi
tion is serious. I am in a prophetic
mood today. You will get well!"
Seeing Longstreet Home in Atlanta.
Although it was Gen. Longstreet's
command that attacked me in the
Peach Orchard, and caused me to go
through the rest of my life on
crutches,, the general and myself be
came warm friends after the war.
We attended many celebrations to
gether, he with one arm and I with
One of our liveliest experiences
was a celebration of St. Patrick's day
in Atlanta, when, I must confess, we
had been supplied lavishly with hot
whisky punch in pitchers.
When I was called on to make a
speech I did the best I could, consid
ering the whisky punch. I agreed to
make a speech if Longstreet would
sing "The Star Spangled Banner,"
which he did to the accompaniment
of great shouting.
Soon after midnight we started
home, but our carriage could not be
found and we managed to walk to
my hotel, I on crutches. When wa
got there, I said: