supposed rendezvous of the rebels was about one hundred and ten miles, and the greater portion of the route lay through a howling wilderness.
The imaginary suffering that our soldiers endured during the first two days of their march was enormous.
It was impossible to steal or “confiscate” uncultivated real estate
, and not a hog, or a chicken, or an ear of corn was anywhere to be seen.
On the third day, however, affairs looked more hopeful, for a few small specks of ground, in a state of partial cultivation, were here and there visible.
On that day, Lieutenant Wickfield
, of an Indiana cavalry regiment, commanded the advanceguard, consisting of eight mounted men. About noon he came up to a small farm-house, from the outward appearance of which he judged that there might be something fit to eat inside.
He halted his company, dismounted, and with two second lieutenants entered the dwelling.
He knew that Grant
's incipient fame had already gone out through all that country, and it occurred to him that by representing himself to be the General
he might obtain the best the house afforded.
So, assuming a very imperative demeanor, he accosted the inmates of the house, and told them be must have something for himself and staff to eat. They desired to know who he was, and he told them that he was Brigadier-General Grant
At the sound of that name they flew around with alarming alacrity, and served up about all they had in the house, taking great pains all the while to make loud professions of loyalty.
The lieutenants ate as much as they could of the not over sumptuous meal, but which was, nevertheless, good for that country, and demanded what was to pay. “Nothing.”
And they went on their way rejoicing.
In the mean time General Grant
, who had halted his army a few miles further back for a brief resting spell, came in sight of, and was rather favorably impressed with, the appearance of this same house.
Riding up to the fence in front of the door, he desired to know if they would cook him a meal.
“No,” said a female, in a gruff voice; “General Grant
and his staff have just been here.
and eaten every thing in the house except one pumpkin pie.”
,” murmured Grant
; “what is your name?”
,” replied the woman.
Casting a half-dollar in at the door, he asked if she would keep that pie till he sent an officer for it, to which she replied that she would.
That evening, after the camping-ground had been selected, the various regiments were notified that there would be a grand parade at half-past 6, for orders.
Officers would see that their men all turned out, etc.
In five minutes the camp was in a perfect uproar, and filled with all sorts of rumors; some thought the enemy were upon them, it being so unusual to have parades when on a march.
At half-past 6 the parade was formed, ten columns deep, and nearly a quarter of a mile in length.
After the usual routine of ceremonies the Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
read the following order:
's orders were law, and no soldier ever attempted to evade them.
At seven o'clock the Lieuten ant filed out of camp with his hundred men, amid the cheers of the entire army.
The escort concurred in stating that he devoured the whole of the pie, and seemed to relish it.