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[321] slight crust from the previous scanty meal. As Breckinridge rode along the line, which was at rest, a cry arose of “Bread I” “Bread I” which was taken up and passed along until it seemed threatening to break out into some demonstration of riot. Breckinridge bore it with equanimity, until reaching a colonel of one of the regiments which was peculiarly demonstrative, he halted and good humoredly addressed him: “Your men seem to be in a bad humor this morning, Colonel.” “Yes,” was the reply, “they did not have time last night to cook their rations and they are hungry.” “Never mind, boys,” said the General, addressing himself to the soldiers, “we will have plenty to eat to-night. Those fellows in front of us have got our mills, and they have the biggest droves of fat cattle you ever saw; we are going now to capture them.” This acted like a charm; the men who heard him cheered him lustily, and soon along the line all complaint was hushed, and the surrounding hills echoed with the cheers of the tattered veterans eager to be led to battle. The result of the day verified Breckinridge's predictions. The enemy were found to be at Kernstown as expected. The army was drawn up in line of battle at right angles to the Valley, confronting a parallel line of the enemy. Breckinridge, after a thorough reconnoissance of the ground, which was always his custom before entering into action, took Echols' division, leaving its skirmish line in position, and marching it by the flank, placed it under cover of a ridge on the left flank of the enemy. From the crest of the ridge could be seen the hostile lines not more than forty yards, moving to the attack of the position we had just left. The skirmish lines being engaged, at a signal of command, the division swept over the hill, struck the enemy full in the flank, doubled his line in instant confusion, and in half an hour the whole force was routed and driven in confused flight towards the Potomac — the other divisions moving forward on the first sound of an engagement and completing the rout. A rapid pursuit followed, and had the cavalry carried out its instructions all the enemy's trains, if not the entire army, would have been captured. The army halted for the night three miles beyond Winchester, and for the first time in many days had full rations. Within the very limits of the camp was a mill in which a large supply of flour, which had been abandoned by us a week before, was found undisturbed. The enemy did not halt until the Potomac lay between us, leaving their dead and wounded, several hundred prisoners, and

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