yself, with several other members of the Staff, again set out for Port Royal, where some of the Federal gunboats were renewing their demonstrations.
The day was bitterly cold, and the road exceedingly slippery from the frost, so that the ride was anything but pleasant.
All along our route we found our troops, chiefly those of Jackson's corps-Old Stonewall having established his headquarters midway between Fredericksburg and Port Royal, at the plantation of James Parke Corbin, Esq., known as Moss neck --busily employed in throwing up fortifications, rendering our position as impregnable as it afterwards proved itself to be. They had greatly improved the highway also, erected lines of telegraphic communication to the headquarters of the different corps of the army, and cut military roads through the woods to various points along our lines.
It was late in the evening, and darkness had overtaken us, when we reached the charming country-seat of Gaymont, within a short distance of our pl
icksburg and its immediate neighbourhood; Jackson's was stationed half-way between that place and Port Royal; and Stonewall himself had fixed his headquarters about twelve miles from us, near the well-known plantation of the Corbyn family, called Moss-Neck.
The weather became now every day worse, snow-storms alternating with rains and severe frosts; and if officers and men were tolerably well off under the circumstances, it was not so with our poor beasts, whose condition, from want of food, eseveral hours of merriment, we separated at a late hour, both of them agreed that camp life was, after all, not so unendurable.
On the morning of the 30th our guests paid a visit to General Lee, where I joined them, and we rode off together to Moss-Neck, Jackson's headquarters, a distance, as has been mentioned, of twelve miles. We arrived about midday, and were received in a small pavilion attached to the main building, where the General had been prevailed upon, at the urgent request of the
dest daughter was to be married to Dr Fontaine, one of our comrades then acting as surgeon to Fitz Lee's brigade.
That we could accept it seemed impossible; for on the very same day a review of William Lee's command was ordered to take place near Moss-Neck, Jackson's headquarters, and the distance thence to our friend's house was not less than five-and-forty miles. Nevertheless, to leave still a chance open, and hoping I might persuade Stuart to undertake the ride, I sent a courier with a relay of horses to Bowling-Green, a village about half-way between Moss-Neck and the spot we were to reach.
It seemed as if the review would never be over; hour after hour flitted by, till at last it was a quarter to three by the time all was over, when Stuart rode over to me, and called out with a laugh, Well, Von!
How about the wedding?
Shall we go?
Without hesitation I declared myself ready, only observing that as the wedding ceremony was appointed at seven o'clock we should have some difficul