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[301] did, for more than one night, on that expedition. This is what our poor slovenly ragamuffins can do; and this it is to be a good soldier. The Rebels are still tougher, if anything. Being still in love with the new picket line, which has been established in our rear, I again went down what is called the Church road, until I struck the. infantry pickets, near a Colonel Wyatt's house. This once was a well-to-do establishment. The house is large and a huge cornfield testifies that he (or our cavalry) had gathered a good harvest that very year. There were the usual outbuildings of a well-to-do southern farmer: little log barns, negro huts, and odd things that might be large hencoops or small pigstyes. The Virginians have a great passion for putting up a great lot of diminutive structures as a kind of foil to the main building, which, on the contrary, they like to have as extensive as possible; just as the old painters added importance to a big saint by making a number of very small devotees, kneeling below him. A stout old gent, in a shocking bad beaver, who was walking about in the back yard was, I presume, the distinguished Colonel. Having stared at the house and been in turn stared at by a pretty little girl who threw up a window, to have a more clear view of the Yank, I went, still along the Church road, till I got to the Weldon road.

A picket line is always one of the most picturesque sights in an army, when it runs through woods and fields. You know it consists of a string of “posts,” each of half a dozen men, or so, and, in front of these, a chain of sentries who are constantly on the alert. The squads of men make to themselves a gipsy bough-house in front of which they make a fire in cool weather. They must always have their belts on and be ready to fight at a moment's notice. In the woods, you follow along from one rustic shelter to another,


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