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[67] slapped the brisk old gent out of his saddle, like a shuttlecock! The Chief-of-Staff was up in a second, laughing at his mishap; while I galloped up, in serious alarm at his accident. To make short a long story, the persistent H. tagged after those womenfolk (and I tagged after him) first to Corps Headquarters, then to General Carr's Headquarters, and finally to General Morris's Headquarters, by which time it was dark! I was the only one that knew the nearest way home (we were four miles away) and didn't I lead the eminent soldier through runs and mud-holes, the which he do hate!

To-day we have had a tremendous excitement: a detail of 250 men to “police” the camp, under charge of Biddle, just appointed Camp Commandant. They have been sweeping, cutting down stumps, burning brush, and, in general, making the worst-looking camp in the army neat and respectable.

Headquarters Army of Potomac January 31, 1864
As I was riding the other day, I came on a rare bird, a real old family nigger; none of your lying, stealing, camp contrabands, but a real, grey-headed, old-fashioned Virginian nigger. He seemed to be living in a little log hut. His battered, white broad-brim, and coat of faded snuffcolor, did speak of days before the war, when Master lived in the big house, now burned flat. “Good morning, Uncle!” said I, after the manner of our Southern brethren. The ancient darky looked up in surprise, at this once familiar greeting, and then, taking his hat off in a way that knocked Louis XIV entirely, he replied, “Good mornina, saar! a beautiful mornina, saar!” I asked where Beverly Ford was, and thanked him for his information. Whereupon I was favored with more of the Great Monarch, and

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