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[389] the brigade commander in a mild, pleasant way, at the same time joining him and riding in the same direction. He seemed to have a knowledge that the column had been ordered to leave the road, and said it was a wrong or mistaken order, but did not assume that he had any authority to order otherwise, and kept riding along until the two officers were one or two hundred yards in advance of the troops. The strange officer's manner was observed to be somewhat peculiar, as he kept watching the head of the column; and it being near the turning off point, and being satisfied that the brigade commander was not going counter to the order of his division commander at his mere suggestion, or request, and being satisfied, doubtless, that he Was not regarded as of much account, decided it would be necessary for him to indicate higher rank and authority. Turning his head again, and finding that in another minute the head of the brigade would change direction, and leave the road, unless otherwise ordered, he says to the brigade commander: “Direct your orderly to return to the column, and have it continue its advance on the road.” The quiet, dignified manner in which these words were uttered made an impression that he might be more than what he seemed to be. His full character was not yet understood, and hesitation to comply was manifested. The orderly having overheard the words, and knowing the officer, had turned his horse and was ready, and anxious, to bear the order to the officer commanding the leading regiment. As the crisis in this little episode had now come, the modest stranger found it necessary to assert more fully his position and authority. In a calm and moderate tone, peculiar to him, he said: “General Reynolds orders that the column shall continue its march in this direction.” These words opened the eyes of the officer in command. No sooner said than done. The orderly was off at full speed, and the order communicated just in proper time. The officer was not slow in recognizing his superior. Finding himself in the presence, and in company with his corps commander, he was no little alarmed and embarrassed, and being about to take respectful leave and retire to his proper place, the General requested him to ride along in company with him, which the officer was pleased to do for some considerable distance, and now looks back upon it as one of the pleasant reminiscences of his early experience in the war, and as his first introduction to an officer who was then eminent, and who afterward became so distinguished.

Two or three days after this pleasant incident, when our brigade was leading the advance, the day being warm, dry, and dusty, we observed some distance forward a party of officers, dismounted, in a

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John F. Reynolds (1)
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