At headquarters we had some very agreeable guests, among whom were Colonel Bradley T. Johnston, and an intimate friend of General Stuart and myself, Colonel Brien, who had formerly commanded the 1st Virginia Cavalry, and had resigned his commission in consequence of his failing health.
Every evening before starting for had invited families from Martinsburg, Shepherdstown, and Charlestown, and in the success of which we all felt a great interest.
As an exceptional bit of fun, Colonel Brien and I had secretly prepared a little pantomime, The Pennsylvania farmer and his wife, in which the Colonel was to personate the farmer and I the spouse.
Accormade to repeat our little play in dumb show, until, getting tired of it and wishing to put a stop to it, I gracefully fainted away and was carried from the room by Brien and three or four assistants, amid the wild applause of the company, who insisted on a repetition of the fainting scene.
When, in a few moments, I made my appeara
ment by indulging, as much as was compatible with the performance of duty, in rides, drives, shooting, and social visiting at The Bower.
So I resumed my field-sports with very great success, except in respect of the turkeys, often accompanied by Brien, who was an excellent shot.
I had now also the satisfaction of greeting on his return to headquarters my very dear friend and comrade, Major Norman Fitzhugh, who had been captured, it will be recollected, near Verdiersville in August, and haas a token of their appreciation, whereupon he adopted for himself the nom de guerre, Knight of the golden spurs, signing his name, in private letters of his, sometimes K. G.S.
Yielding to the urgent solicitations of the ladies and the General, Brien and I again produced our popular extravaganza, which was received, as at its first representation, with the greatest applause.
The beams of the morrow's sun were just making their way through the intricacies of foliage above our heads, as we
sired to get an idea of our mode of cavalry fighting.
My orders were to remain at headquarters in the performance of some important duties there.
I disliked this exceedingly, but I was soon compensated by the unexpected arrival of Vizetelly and Brien, who, after a very amusing ride through the valley and across the Blue Ridge, had at last found us again, and came into the encampment with the outburst of Dixie, sung to new words, the composition of the versatile Vizetelly himself.
Most heartind for a few days on some matters of business.
As I had never once asked for leave of absence since the commencement of my eventful campaigning, the General, at my request, very readily extended the term of my sojourn at the capital to ten days. Brien and Vizetelly having determined to accompany me, the gay trio soon rolled along in one of the most uncomfortable of railway carriages to our place of destination, where we arrived the same evening, and took lodgings at the well-known Spotswood Ho