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Manassas junction, where the Federal war department entertained unexpected guestsStonewallJackson and twenty thousand men were the unexpected guests of the North at Manassas Junction on August 26, 1862. The ragged and famished Confederates, who had marched over fifty miles in the last two days, had such a feast as they never knew before. The North had been lavish in its expenditures for the army. No effort had been spared to feed, clothe, and equip them, and for the comfort of the individual soldier the purse-strings of the nation were freely loosed. Streets of warehouses, crammed to the doors, a line of freight cars two miles in length, thousands of barrels of flour, pork, and biscuit, ambulances, field-wagons, and pyramids of shot and shell, met the wondering gaze of the Confederate soldiery. The sutlers' stores contained a wealth of plunder. “Here,” says General George H. Gordon, describing the scene that followed, “a long, yellow-haired, barefooted son of the South claimed as prizes a tooth-brush, a box of candies, and a barrel of coffee, while another, whose butternut homespun hung round him in tatters, crammed himself with lobster salad, sardines, potted game, and sweetmeats, and washed them down with Rhenish wine. Nor was the outer man neglected. From piles of new clothing, the Southerners arrayed themselves in the blue uniforms of the Federals. The naked were clad, the barefooted were shod, and the sick provided with luxuries to which they had long been strangers.” All unportable stores were destroyed.

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