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      A number of the wounded were critical, and there was little hope of their survival. Toward dusk, a wagon arrived from the Southern position bearing three wounded Union soldiers already attended to by Confederate surgeons. Lieutenant Mank, on advanced picket duty with Company A, reciprocated the humane gesture by allowing the enemy detail to remove the body of Colonel Terry and several wounded Rangers. [33]

      Also left on the field was the Bonnie Blue Flag of Terry's Texas Rangers, possibly retrieved by a soldier of the 34th Illinois soon after the battle. After receiving notice that men from regiments other than the 32nd Indiana were scavenging the battlefield for souvenirs, Sixth Brigade Commander General Johnson issued an order restricting the recovery of enemy material to the 32nd. He further implored the men of the brigade to return any such articles recovered as the proceeds from sales of these items would go to family members of the dead, especially to their widows and orphans. Apparently, by lack of mentioning the banner in after action reports, the men of the 32nd Indiana were unaware of the Confederates' loss of such a coveted prize. [34]

      On December 18, the morning after the battle, Confederate Major Charles W. Phifer, of the 6th Arkansas Cavalry, approached the Union lines with a party of men under a flag of truce where he met with Colonel Thomas J. Harrison, commander of the 39th Indiana. The major reported that he had been detailed by General Hindman to respectfully request permission to collect the Confederate dead for burial. Harrison informed the major that such a request would need the approval of his brigade commander, General Richard W. Johnson.

      Major Phifer inquired as to the possibility that General Johnson might meet with him, explaining that he had served as Johnson's lieutenant for five years in the U. S. Cavalry before the war. Upon receiving the message, Johnson rode forward to see his former associate. The two men greeted one another warmly and, as the detail performed the grisly task of gathering the bodies, the officers reminisced on old times. They casually discussed the previous day's battle and those sure to come, jested on capturing each of the other's pickets, and parted company, as friends would do. [35] The Confederates afterward retreated to Cave City, Kentucky.

      As the reunion of old comrades was occurring in the fields south of the Green River, the 32nd Indiana paid solemn tribute to their first heart rending battle losses as they prepared their comrades for burial at Fort Willich. The fort was a redoubt in sight of the rail bridge just to the north of the river and a little east of the L&N Railroad designed to cover the crossing. It would also serve as a resting-place for the dead. [36]

      Colonel Willich delivered a brief, though touching eulogy over
the burial site.

"Ah! never shall the land forget,

How gushed the life-blood of her brave--

Gushed warm with the hope and courage yet,

Upon the soil they fought to save!"

      Witnessing the graveside ceremony, 15th Ohio Infantry Chaplain Richard L. Gunter recalled how, "The Colonel made a speech, and then remarked, 'that as their brave comrades had fallen in the struggle for human rights and liberty, and were now on their journey to immortality, they would give them three cheers;' and cheer they did..." [37] Each member of the regiment, in passing by the slain, deposited a fistful of earth on the coffins in a final personal salute. [38]

      Chaplain Gunter returned to the hospital after the funeral to administer to the comfort of the wounded. Since the facilities in Louisville already bulged with patients, a hospital was organized in Munfordville to accommodate the lingering illnesses carried forward from Camp Nevin and to treat those injured in the recent engagement. Gunter gave this account: "I visited all the wounded to-day. Number one has his ear shot off, number two is minus the bridge of his nose, four or five wounded in the arms, four or five in the legs, four in the chest, one in the abdomen, another has a quantity of buckshot in his side. I saw the latter gentleman as the doctor was cutting out the shot. He remarked 'tat dey didn't shoot mit buckshot in de old country,' but he hoped the rebels would 'shoot buckshot all de times.' They all took great pleasure in explaining their wounds, and most of them did not wince under the doctor's dressing. One poor fellow comforted himself with the reflection that if he had to lose his leg he would join the cavalry." [39]

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 [33] Official Records (1898), Vol. VII, Chap. XVIL, 18.
 [34] Brigadier General Richard W. Johnson issued Order No. 17 prohibiting the removal of souvenirs from the battlefield. The banner was donated to the Decorative and Industrial Collection of the Chicago Historical Society in 1921 from the estate of collector Charles Gunther. Since the 34th Illinois was the only regiment from the state in the region at the time, it could be proposed that a member of the 34th recovered the flag from the field sometime after the battle.
 [35] Harrison, 8.

 [36] Controversy debates the existence of Fort Willich at this time. The author must argue that both Willich and von Trebra were seasoned professional soldiers and would have chosen a tactical position to guard the bridge site and to provide bivouac. Willich, an experienced artillerist, would no doubt have fortified the position. It was a common practice to name even one night encampments after commanders, dignitaries, men killed in action, etc.; a practice still common today. Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (1983 reprint), Arno Press, and Crown Publishers, Plate CII, "Defenses of Munfordville, Ky."
 [37] Moore, 252-253.
 [38] Dodge, 104; Conner, Vol. 8 "Roll of Honor," 501-504. Killed and buried at Ft. Willich: John Fellerman, Co. B; Henry Lohse, Co. C; Frederick Schumacher, Co. C; Richard Wehe, Co. C; Garri Kiefer, Co. F; Ernst Schiemann, Co. F; Christopher Reuter, Co. F; George Burkhardt, Co. G; Daniel Schmidt, Co. G.
 [39] Moore, 252-253.