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The weather was intensely cold, the ground covered with six inches of snow, which a stiff northwester had drifted into heaps along the roads, rendering them almost impassable.
Yet with what joy did the boys prepare their rations and discuss the prospects of a fight.
But that night passed and all day of the 6th without our receiving marching orders.
On the evening of the 6th--my birthday — I was detailed as acting sergeant of the guard nightly placed over the intrenchments on the Winchester road.
With a foreboding that I was about to miss an opportunity of joining the gallant Fifth in action, I walked the two miles of the slippery road, mounted the guard, and after giving the corporals their instructions, wrapped myself in my blanket and was soon asleep.
I was awakened by the rumbling of artillery, and jumping up, learned from the boys that a large force was moving toward the enemy.
Taking my gun and blanket, and without saying a word to those I left behind, I joined the