wives, by address and strategy, obtain passes to get them out of town!
Now they go with large and helpless families, they know not whither.
Many have passed whom I did not know.
What is to become of us all?
We came here (the house of our friend Mrs
. S.) this morning, after some hours of feverish excitement.
About three o'clock in the night we were aroused by a volley of musketry not far from our windows.
Every human being in the house sprang up at once.
We soon saw by the moonlight a body of cavalry moving up the street, and as they passed below our window (we were in the upper end of the village) we distinctly heard the commander's order, “Halt.”
They again proceeded a few paces, turned and approached slowly, and as softly as though every horse were shod with velvet.
In a few moments there was another volley, the firing rapid, and to my unpractised ear there seemed a discharge of a thousand muskets.
Then came the same body of cavalry rushing by in wild disorder.
Oaths loud and deep were heard from the commander.
They again formed, and rode quite rapidly into the village.
Another volley, and another, then such a rushing as I never witnessed.
The cavalry strained by, the commander calling out “Halt, halt,” with curses and imprecations.
On, on they went, nor did they stop.
While the balls were flying, I stood riveted to the window, unconscious of danger.
When I was forced away, I took refuge in the front yard.
B. was there before me, and we witnessed the disorderly retreat of eighty-five of the Second United States Cavalry (regulars) before a much smaller body of our raw recruits.
They had been sent from Arlington
, we suppose, to reconnoitre.
They advanced on the village at full speed, into the cross-street by the hotel