something to graze or browse.
The officer at the head of the command, thus left to his own judgment, several times took the wrong road.
The moment the men were halted the majority of them would lean forward on their horses' necks and fall dead asleep.
The task of rousing them, turning about the artillery which was twice involved in these blunders, and getting back on the right track was not a pleasant one, especially when the troops were jammed into a lane barely wide enough to hold them, and the high fences on either hand reinforced by impenetrable hedges of briars and underbrush.
An officer who could get from the foot to the head of such a solid column of stupid somnolency without blaspheming, must be a man of rare self-control.
I remember to have had my boots, a new and stylish pair, ruined, and my spurs dragged off in such a tedious expedition, and when my work was accomplished I had worn out my sword, and trampled a half-dozen poor fellows half to death, whose tumble from their horses was not enough to wake them from their deep slumbers, and whom it was impossible for one to see at a few feet distant, so dense was the darkness.
Finally the general, with a volley of profanity by way of special emphasis, ordered Lyle
to place three men at every by-road, and to order those who remained awake to take those who fell asleep under guard to headquarters, where they were to be punished by some infliction just short of decapitation.
But despite mishaps and delays we arrived, as day was dawning, Sunday morning, July 19th, on the top of a high bluff, a mile and a half from Buffington ford, the road ahead of us leading directly to that point.
A dense fog hung over the river and its shores, which was all that prevented the hostile forces from having a full view of each other.
The bottom of the river where our road crossed it is fully a mile wide, and tapers almost to a point a mile and a half above, where the road by which the rebels reached their position passes close to the water's edge, and under a steep, high bluff.
The Confederates were stretched out along a range of low hills, their left resting near and so as to cover a retreat through this narrow passage.
Our position was not more than three-fourths of a mile from Morgan
's right, with some broken and low woods between.
The command had halted, the staff and escort.were dismounted and waiting to hear from O'Neil
, who was, as we supposed, feeling his way along the river bank in the fog, he having taken a road which lay close to the bank on the last ten miles of the march.
While thus loitering and maledicting the fog, a staff officer approached, having in charge a colored man who was terribly frightened.
He said he had just got away from the rebels.
He told us