The Mississippi River being cleared to Vicksburg, everything now centered in taking that stronghold. Sherman's force was to reach the mouth of the Yazoo, above the city, and await the arrival of Grant's force across the country, but the latter was compelled to return to Memphis. After Sherman affected a landing on the Yazoo River, it leaked out, some way, that he was to wait till General McClernard arrived, who was the ranking officer, and would assume command. This angered Sherman's officers and was displeasing to Sherman as well. A council of war was held, and the decision arrived at, that "we would be in Vicksburg or in hell," before General McC. arrived. Many, I fear, reached the latter place, but we did not get into Vicksburg. Before leaving for Chickasaw Bayou, where the battle was to be fought, Captain Schleich, of Co. F, took breakfast with my mess, and after eating said “boys, I am going to be killed in this battle, and I want you to bury me in this sand bank!" I attempted to change his trend of thought, but without success. The night before leaving Memphis he was quite unwell, and his tent did not protect him from rain. I had taken a room with a comfortable bed, and asked him to lodge with me, which he did. In the night he made a nervous spring, which aroused me, but I refrained from suggesting that I was disturbed. He was fearful that he had disturbed me, and recited the strange dream which he had, that so moved him. He said: "I seemed standing facing a rebel about fifty yards away, and he shot me through the heart," and when thus shot he made the spring which he feared disturbed me. All the way from Memphis to the Yazoo, he was unlike himself, and spent much of his time in his stateroom. This dream had so fastened itself on him that he could not shake it off. After the battle had opened on the Bayou, I had charge of some wounded and the temporary oversight of two bodies awaiting burial some distance from my regiment, when I felt I must go to the regiment, and obeyed the impression. I was overwhelmed with an inner sense of impending calamity. On reaching the boys Captain Schleich was "falling in" my old company, to go on to the picket line. The day as fearfully dark, and the woods were draped with Spanish moss, giving the enemy every advantage over us. I was much moved, and urged the Captain to take the utmost care. As they marched off I had to follow them, and as they filed by me to the left, I spoke to the Captain again, and also to the men, urging the utmost care, and then started for my post of duty, 100 yards away, but before reaching it I was compelled by this unspeakable heart concern to turn right about and go to the regiment. As I reached it, I met three men bringing the dead body of my Captain in their arms! He had done just as he dreamed. On reaching the picket line he stood facing a rebel, who was hidden from him, and as he was stretching out his hand to warn some of the boys of danger, he was shot through the heart! After those grounds were taken a soldier showed me the place where the Captain stood, and the tree which sheltered the rebel, and I stepped the distance and made it just fifty yards! I have always hoped that this warning was given the Captain to give him time to shelter his soul by the cross.

 

From: SIGNIFICANT DREAMS By Duane V. Maxey

 

 

Index