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[89] and only their noisy house-dogs gave signs of life as we passed. Once or twice we had to rouse a sleeping worthy out of bed for directions about the road. At last camp-fires gleamed through the woods; presently we caught the hum of soldiers' talk ahead; by the roadside we passed a house where all the lights were out, but the family were huddled on the door-step, listening to the soldiers. “Yes, the army's right down there. If you want to stay all night, turn up by the school-house. ‘Squire Durboraw's a nice man.”

“Right down there” was the post-village of Two Taverns--thronged with soldiers — the women all in the streets, talking and questioning and frightening themselves at a terrible rate. A corps general's headquarters had been there today, but they were now moved up to the front. That didn't look like serious disaster. We were four miles and a quarter or a half from the line of battle. Ewell had come down from York, and we had been fighting him to-day. A. P. Hill was also up, coming by way of Chambersburgh or Hagerstown. Longstreet was known to be on the way, and would certainly be here to-morrow. The reserves were on their way. In short, Lee's whole army was rapidly concentrating at Gettysburgh, and to-morrow, it seemed, must bring the battle that is to decide the invasion. To-day it had opened for us--not favorably.

“‘Squire Durboraw is a nice man.” We roused him out of bed, where he must have been for two or three hours. “Can you take care of us and our horses till morning?” “I will do it with pleasure, gentlemen.” And no more words are needed. The horses are housed in one of those great horse-palaces these people build for barns; we are comfortably and even luxuriously quartered. If the situation is as we hope, our army must attack by daybreak. At any rate, we are off for the field at four in the morning.

Agate.


Ii. The repulse on Wednesday, First July.

Field of battle, near Gettysburgh, July 2.

To the front.

We were in the saddle this morning a little after daybreak. The army was cut down to fighting weight; it had shaken off all retainers and followers — all but its fighters; and the road was alive with this useless material.

My companion and myself were forcing our way as fast as possible through the motley crowd toward the front, where an occasional shot could already be heard, and where we momentarily expected the crash of battle to open, when I was stopped by some one calling my name from a little frame dwelling, crowded with wounded soldiers. It proved to be Colonel Stephenson, the librarian of Congress. He had run away from his duties in the Capital, and all day yesterday, through a fight that we now know to have been one of the hottest in the war, had been serving most gallantly as aid on General Meredith's staff. Congress should make an example of its runaway official!

The lower story of the house was crowded with wounded from the old “Iron brigade,” of Wadsworth's division; in a little upper room was their General. He had been grazed on the head with a fragment of shell, his horse had been shot under him, and had fallen upon him; he had been badly bruised externally and worse internally, and there was little prospect of his being ready for service again for months. He spoke proudly of the conduct of his men, almost tearfully of their unprecedented losses.

Half a mile further on, through crowds of slightly wounded, and past farm-houses converted into hospitals, a turn to the right through a meadow, up the slope of an exposed hill, and by the side of a smouldering camp-fire. Stretched on the ground, and surrounded by his staff, lies General Wadsworth, (late Republican candidate for Governor of New-York,) commander of the advance division in yesterday's fight. He, too, kindles as he tells, the story of the day, its splendid fighting, and the repulse before overwhelming numbers.

Batteries are all about us; troops are moving into position; new lines seem to be forming, or old ones extending. Two or three general officers, with a retinue of staff and orderlies, come galloping by. Foremost is the spare and somewhat stooped form of the Commanding General. He is not cheered, indeed is scarcely recognized. He is an approved corps General, but he has not yet vindicated his right to command the army of the Potomac. By his side is the calm, honest, manly face of Howard. An empty coat-sleeve is pinned to his shoulder — memento of a hard-fought field before, and reminder of many a battle-scene his splendid Christian courage has illumined. They are arranging the new line, of battle. Howard's dispositions of the preceding night are adopted for the centre; his suggestions are being taken for the flanks. It is manifest already that we are no longer on the offensive, that the enemy has the initiative.

The position.

A little further forward, a turn to the left, we climb the slope of another hill, hitch our horses half-way up, under cover of the woods, make our way through frowning batteries and by long rows of tombstones, stop for an instant to look at the monument of a hero from Fair Oaks, and are startled by the buzzing hiss of a well-aimed Minie, from the foes that fought us at Fair Oaks, above our heads; move forward to an ambitious little gate-keeper's lodge, at the entrance of the cemetery.

In front, on a gradual declivity, an orchard of gnarled old leafy trees; beyond the valley, a range of hills but little lower than that on which we stand; on this slope, half hidden among the clusters of trees, a large cupola-crowned brick building — a theological seminary; between this and us half a dozen spires, roofs of houses, distinguishable amid the luxuriant foliage, streets marked by the lines of trees — Gettysburgh!

No sound comes up from the deserted town, no ringing of bells, no voices of children, no hum of busy trade. Only now and then a blue curl


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