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[55] mounted and rode rapidly towards the front, slop, slop, slop, through the red mud, and amid ambulances and artillery and columns, all struggling forward. We had come on them sure enough, and on their line of works into the bargain, whereof we had. notice beforehand, by spies. A halt was therefore ordered and the different corps ordered into position. This was a tremendous job, in the narrow wood-roads, deep with mud; and occupied fully the whole day. If you consider that the men must often move by fours, then a division of 4000 men, closed up, would occupy in marching some 1000 yards, and, by adding the space for pack horses, and the usual gaps and intervals, it would be nearer a mile; so you see how an army would string out, even with no artillery. You must remember also that these long columns cannot move over two miles in an hour; often not so much . . . .

November 29
I rode to and along our front to see the enemy's position, which is a fearfully strong one. Within about a mile of our position, there runs a high, gradually sloping ridge, which trends in a northerly and southerly direction, and crosses the turnpike at right angles, where it is naked, though to the right and left it is wooded in some parts. Between this and a parallel high ground, occupied by us, is a shallow ravine, in which was a small stream, Mine Run. Along their ridge the Rebels have thrown up a heavy and continuous breastwork, supported by entrenched batteries; and, in some places at least, they probably have a second line. Any troops, advancing to the assault, would be exposed to a heavy artillery fire from the very outset, over the space of a mile, besides having to encounter the still worse musketry at the end. At daylight this morning, General

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Mine Run (Virginia, United States) (1)

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