This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 prayers were made, though no preacher was there. Memory reverted fondly to the past, to home and friends. The spirit of the soldier soared away to other scenes and left him to sit blankly down, gaze at the stars and feel unspeakable longings for undefined joys, and weep, for very tenderness of heart, at his own sad loneliness. At 10 P. M. some man, mounted on horseback, rode up to one of the huts and said the battalion had orders to move. It was so dark that his face was scarcely visible. In a few minutes orders were received to destroy what could be destroyed without noise or fire. This was promptly done. Then the companies were formed, the roll was called and the battalion marched slowly and solemnly away. No one doubted that the command would march at once to the assistance of the troops at or near Five Forks. It was thought that before morning every man would have his musket and his supply of ammunition, and the crack of day would see the battalion rushing into battle in regular infantry style, whooping and yelling like demons. But they got no arms that night. The march was steady till broad day of Monday the 3d of April. Of course the men felt mortified at having to leave the guns, but there was no help for it, as the battery horses which had been sent away to winter had not returned. It was evident that the battalion had bid farewell to artillery and commenced a new career as infantry. As the night wore on the men learned that the command was not going to any point on the lines. That being determined, no one could guess its destination. Later in the night, probably as day approached, the sky in the direction of Richmond was lit with the red glare of distant conflagration, and at short intervals there were deep, growling explosions as of magazines. The roads were filled with other troops, all hurrying in the same direction. There was no sign of panic or fear, but the very wheels seemed turning with unusual energy. The men wore the look of determination, haste and eagerness. One could feel the energy which surrounded him and animated the men and things which moved so steadily on, on, on!! There was no laughing, singing or talking. Nothing but the steady tread of the column and the surly rumbling of the trains. As morning dawned, the battalion struck the main road leading from Richmond. Refugees told the story of the evacuation and informed the boys from the city that it was in the hands of the
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.