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[141] morning, and at once offered to escort Mrs. Stuart in her sad journey. Mr. Charles Carter, of Hanover county, proved himself also the kind and attentive friend.

Some two hours or more were consumed in reaching Ashland, for the engineer was a volunteer. At that place a new difficulty presented itself. How was the party to go from there to Richmond? Fortunately, an ambulance had just been made ready for the trip, in which one or more wounded cavalry officers were going; these most courteously insisted upon Mrs. Stuart using it. Under the circumstances Dr. Woodbridge acccepted it for her, and in a few minutes they were on their way.

The roads were very bad, and soon after leaving Ashland a heavy storm gathered, and it became dark and threatening, with constant and terrifying flashes of lightning; but still they pushed on. Frequently on the way soldiers were met, and each time the same question was asked by Dr. Woodbridge, “Any news from General Stuart?” Almost invariably the answer was, “No; but we heard his wound was not serious,” --so that the anxious hearts of the poor wife and friend were encouraged to hope for the best.

About eight o'clock they reached the Chickahominy, and found to their distress that the Confederate cavalry had destroyed the bridge. In the rain and dark, after some little detention, a cavalry picket was found not far off, who directed the driver to a ford a mile or two lower down. This difficulty was surmounted in time, and once more they were traveling on the turnpike towards Richmond.

Just before reaching the suburbs of the city they were delivered from what might have been a most distressing accident. It was so very dark, it now being after ten o'clock and still storming, that neither the driver nor Dr. Woodbridge saw the dark masses of horses and men lying along the roadside; but suddenly they became aware of a horseman being directly in front of their horses' heads. When the noise of the moving vehicle ceased, he was heard to say, “Who's there?--stand” Dr. Woodbridge discovered he was a sentinel on duty, and at once told him his errand and who were in the ambulance, when he exclaimed: “Thank God! my cap snapped twice when you did not answer my repeated challenge,” --and then added, “We are Lomax's men.”

Not until half-past 11 o'clock did they reach Dr. Brewer's residence, on Grace street, and then a certain quiet resting on all about the house instantly impressed them, and words were not necessary to convey to the quick perceptions of an anxious and devoted wife the sad intelligence awaiting her.

During that day, in his longing desire to once more see his dear ones, this noble man had done what he had never before consented to do — use spirits as a stimulant, hoping thus to delay, for a few hours, what he well knew to be inevitable. But God's will must be done, and for a wise purpose, no doubt, this last hope was denied.

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