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[197] squadron of the Ninth, under command of Capt. Knight, (consisting of the Lunenburgh troops and Lancaster cavalry,) having burned the transports and wagons, joined the column on its route thither. “Hab we got Richmon‘ yet, boss?” asked a darkey in a corn-field, turning up his eyeballs in admiration of the “Maryland cavalry;” “well, if we ain't, we soon shall, for McClellan and our boys is sure to fotch him.” Others, however, proved keener-sighted than the negro: women ran to the wayside cottage-door; a flash of triumph mantled their cheek; and, as the eye kindles into a flame of admiration, tears trickle down, and “God bless you, boys,” is all they say. Now arid then an old man is met by the wayside, pensive and sad, but recognizing the horsemen, he stops, looks astonished, and throws up his hat for the “Maryland cavalry,” just arrived. Others wave handkerchiefs--'tis useless to deceive them, for a woman instinctively discovers friends or foes at sight. “Our cavalry here!” exclaim they in wonder; and with hands clasped upon their breast, mutely, but eloquently, gaze. “Take care, men, take care. Heaven bless you; but take care — the enemy are everywhere.” Such is their gentle warning, given to the weary, dusty, chivalric column dashing through the country in the enemy's rear.

The advance-guard having reached New-Kent, and found an extensive sutler's establishment, some dismount and enter. Every description of goods that taste or fancy might require are found in profusion here. Clothes of all descriptions and qualities, cutlery, sabres, pistols, shoes, preserves, conserves, boots, stationery, wines, liquors, tobacco, segars, tea, coffee, sugar, tapioca, maccaroni, champagne, sherry, and burgundy in great quantity; in fine, all that men could buy for money was there discovered, while round the store lolled Federal soldiers, and the sleek, fat proprietor eloquently holding forth upon McClellan's wonderful genius as a commander, and the speedy subjugation of the rebels. Our wearied horsemen called for refreshments, which the sutler handed to the “Maryland cavalry” (!) with great alacrity; but when pay was demanded our troopers roared with laughter, told the proprietor who they were, and much to his surprise and indignation, pronounced them all prisoners of war. As the other troops arrived it was found that a magnificent Federal ambulance had been captured on the route, containing many valuable medical stores. The vehicle and contents were burned when overtaken, the driver, good-looking, well-dressed doctor, and companions, being accommodated with a mule each, and were at the moment to be found among nearly two hundred other nondescripts — sailors, teamsters, negroes, sutlers, etc., etc., in the motley cavalcade at the rear. Helping themselves liberally to all the store afforded, our troops remained at the sutler's till nearly midnight, (Friday,) when, being comparatively refreshed and all present, the head of the column was turned towards the Chickahominy and home. Champagne, we are told, flowed freely while any remained; wines, liquors, and segars were all consumed. Yankee products of every description were appropriated without much ado, and with light hearts all quietly journeyed by a lonely road, near the main body of the enemy, and a little before dawn of Sunday were on Chickahominy's bank, ready to cross.

Being far below all the bridges, and where deep water flows, they knew not how or where to cross! Here was an awful situation for a gallant band! Directed to Blind Ford, it was fifteen feet deep! The enemy had blocked up all the main roads, and had thousands scouring the country eager to entrap or slaughter them — but two miles from McClellan's quarters, within sound of their horse-pickets — and without means to cross! Quietly taking precautions against all surprise, strict silence being enjoined upon the prisoners, first one horseman plunged into the flood and then another, at different points — all too deep; no ford discoverable, no bridge! The horses, it was thought, would follow each other and swim the stream — it was tried, and the horses carried away by the current! Breaking into small parties, the cavalrymen swam and re-swam the river with their horses, and when some fifty or more had been landed, a strange but friendly voice whispered in the dark: “The old bridge is a few yards higher up — it can be mended!” 'Twas found, and mended it could be! Quietly working, tree after tree was felled, earth, and twigs, and branches were carried and piled up on the main props — old logs were rolled and patched across the stream, yet after long and weary labor the bridge was built, and the long and silent procession of cavalry, artillery, prisoners, and spoils safely and quietly passed this frail, impromptu bridge, scarcely any sounds being heard but the rush of waters beneath. Once across and in the swamp, all was industry and expedition. Artillery-axles sank low in the mire--ten Yankee horses were hitched to each piece, and as the first rays of morning crimsoned the tree-tops, the long line rapidly sought the shade of woods away from the Federal lines. Yet our troops had not proceeded far when the advance were halted. “Who comes there?” cried the Federal horsemen in the swamp. “Who goes there?” calls another, and quicker than thought our advance-guard (by order) dash away into the open ground; the Federals fire half a dozen shots, and rush in pursuit. Into the thicket some half-dozen Federal horsemen dart after our men, and quicker than lightning are surrounded and prisoners!

Once more within our lines, all went merry as a marriage-bell. Quickly the dirty, weary band sped along the Charles City road, dawn revealed them to our pickets, and they entered our camps faint and famished, but the noblest band of heroes that ever bestrode a charger, or drew a battle-blade for their birthright as freemen.

“What, then, was the general result?” asked we of a wearied, dusty trooper, watering his jaded and faithful animal by a roadside spring. “The result,” answered he, proudly, but much exhausted, “the result? We have been in the saddle from Thursday morning until Saturday ”

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