10. Running to Save the Regiment
When the 55th Illinois ran out of ammo outside Vicksburg, resupply became a matter of life and death. However, the regiment was situated such that anybody leaving its relatively covered position for the rear would have to cross hundreds of yards of open ground that was swept by enemy fire. When the regimental commander sought volunteers to make the dangerous dash, Orion Howe was one of the soldiers who stepped up.
Sprinting to the rear up a rise swept by Confederate canister and rifle fire, the volunteers were killed one by one, until only Orion remained, scrambling onward to complete his mission. His comrades held their breath as the child made his way through a storm of enemy fire, with bullets, shot, and shell kicking up puffs of dust all around him. Stumbling, falling, but always rising again and moving on, Howe was severely wounded in the leg, but gamely limped on until he crested the summit’s rise and disappeared from sight.