Sunday, December 25, 2016

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Friday, May 30, 1862

Flat Top. — A hot summer day. A very singular thing happened this afternoon. While we were at supper, 5:30 P. M., a thunder-storm broke out. It was pretty violent. Avery and Dr. McCurdy got up a warm discussion on electricity. As the storm passed away we all stepped out of the tent and began to discuss the height of the clouds, the lapse of time between the flash and the thunder. While we were talking, Avery having his watch out and I counting, there came a flash and report. It seemed to me that I was struck on the top of the head by something the size of a buckshot. Avery and McCurdy experienced a severe pricking sensation in the forehead. The sentinel near us was staggered as by a blow. Captain Drake's arm was nearly benumbed. My horse Webb (the sorrel) seemed hit. Over a hundred soldiers felt the stun or pricking. Five trees were hit about a hundred yards off and some of them badly splintered. In all the camps something similar was felt; but "no harm done."

The news not decisive but favorable. Lost a bet of twenty-five cents with Christie, Company C, that either Richmond or Corinth would be taken today.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 282-3

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