forty rounds, and at their side hangs a haversack (satchel you would call it) quite bursting with three days rations. Hullo! what has that man, dangling at the end of his musket? A coffee-pot! an immense tin coffee-pot! and there is another with a small frying-pan — more precious to them than gold. And there goes a squad of cavalry, the riders almost obscured by the bags of oats and the blankets and coats piled on pommel and crupper; their carbine hangs on one side and their sabre clatters from the other. And then behold a train of artillery (the best-looking arm of the service), each gun drawn by six or eight horses, and the caissons covered with bags of forage. And so the face of the country is covered, when an army is on the march, the waggons keeping the road, the infantry winding through the open land. It is singular, in regard to the latter, that, however dirty or slovenly the men may be, their muskets always shine like silver; they know it is an important member. Well, you perceive I have leisure to get a pen-full of ink, to continue the letter, begun this morning. In fact we have done our day's march and our movable houses are all up at a new “Headquarters.” We hear nothing much of the Insurges, but are all ready to pitch into them if we find them in a soft spot. . . . [At this time Meade's main line was from Rapidan Station, where the railroad from Alexandria to Charlottesville crosses the river, to Raccoon Ford, some seven miles down the Rapidan. During the following days there was a series of minor engagements, Lee endeavoring to turn Meade's right flank, and get between him and Washington. But Meade, outmarching Lee, kept between him and Washington, finally bringing the Headquarters to Centreville about twenty-four miles west of Alexandria.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
I. First months
IV . Cold Harbor
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