“You’ve killed me, you cowards,” sobbed Devlin and dropped, cut from the shoulder-strap to the centre of the chest; and a fresh detachment of his men retreating, always retreating, trampled him under foot as they made for the pass whence they had emerged.
this is from “The Drums of the Fore and Aft”, collected in Wee Willie Winkie.
An inexperienced English regiment, retreats before a force of fanatical Afghans. Two drummer boys, Jakin and Lew, are left stranded in front of the enemy.
Rather than run, they march up and down, beating a rousing tune. Their comrades rally, return to the fight, and win the day, though Jakin and Lew die in the first volley.