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[54] could not risk an engagement. Officer after officer was despatched to him, piloted by niggers who said they knew the country. The indefatigable Ludlow went in the opposite direction, and reported Sykes coming along all right. . . . At 12.30 we heard cannon on our extreme right, which seemed to announce French; still no authentic news, and the precious minutes fled rapidly. At last, late in the afternoon, came authentic despatches that General French's advance had had a heavy fight with the Rebels, in force, and had driven them from the field; but had thus been greatly delayed, and besides had found no roads, or bad roads, and could not effect a junction that evening. And so there was Sedgwick's Corps jammed up in the woods behind, and kept back also! So we pitched camp and waited for morning.

November 28
I thought that our wedding day would be celebrated by a great battle, but so it was not fated. Let us see, a year ago, we were in Paris; and this year, behold me no longer ornamenting the Boulevards but booted and spurred, and covered with an india-rubber coat, standing in the mud, midst a soft, driving rain, among the dreary hills of Old Virginny. It was early in the morning, and we were on the crest, near Robertson's Tavern. On either side, the infantry, in line of battle, was advancing, and a close chain of skirmishers was just going into the woods; while close in the rear followed the batteries, laboriously moving over the soft ground. The enemy had fallen back during the night, and we were following. When the troops had got well under way, the General took shelter in the old tavern, to wait for the development. He had not to wait long, before a brisk skirmish fire, followed by the light batteries, announced that we had come on them. Immediately we

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