Throughout the war, both sides were often accused of actions that would qualify as war crimes. Both sides vehemently denied each others accusations. One of the most controversial issues of the time was regarding the use of an "exploding bullet". This projectile was designed to literally explode (as the name would suggest) upon impact with its target. It would send out not only the shrapnel from the bullet itself but also a large amount of tiny balls that would shred the internal organs causing certain death. Although there had been surgeons who claimed to have treated soldiers who suffered from injuries sustained by these hellish inventions, no documented evidence had ever been logged to confirm their usage. Near the area of "Devil's Den", the fighting had become a fatal dance of hand to hand combat. The Confederates were gaining the upper hand and many of the charging Union soldiers began to lose it. The heat of the moment and sheer nerves would cause them to drop more bullets than they could succesfully load. This would catch up with them and soon many were forced to drop their weapons and gear and run for their lives. As was the case with most soldiers, the dropped and surrendered gear was soon inspected and low and behold they found to their amazement that many of the cartridge boxes of the now fleeing Union troops were filled with "exploding bullets". In an act mixed of desperation and anger, the Confederates loaded up their longarms with these retrieved projectiles and before long they spotted Union soldiers making their way towards them. One Confederate sharpshooter took aim at a young Private and fired. The bullet hit Private's cartridge box which was filled to the brim with Explosive bullets. The impact caused every bullet in his box to erupt in a deadly fire with all bullets entering the Private's body. Stunned fellow soldiers looked on helplessly as this Private appeared to dance, his body standing erect and a glazed look on his eyes. It took 30 seconds for all of the bullets to finish their damage and for the young soldier to hit the ground. When his dance of death was done, he was left with a large hole where his stomach had once been. His fellow soldiers, seeing first hand with no immediate distractions, were very leary to move forward, but at the command of their officers went farther into the fray. Within a moment, a Union Sgt. would be hit, also in his cartridge box, he was very fortunate in that he managed to take off his box before the bullets began their fatal duty. As his box plummeted to the ground, he saw fragments shooting from his leather "US" embossed case. Many of those around him were unfortunate recipients of wounds because of his actions. many of the men in the ranks dropped their weapons and ran back to their lines. Even though the battle would continue on, the most ghastly visions of perhaps the entire war had already taken place and not even Lincoln himself could deny knowledge of the Union's usage of these horrific inventions spwaned from a horrific time.