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[512] no response, and then after waiting awhile we entered and found to our astonisment that it was deserted. The inmates had fled in anticipation of a battle — the fighting at Boonsboro a few hours before had evidently frightened them away. Not an article had been carried off — the parlor door was open — there stood the piano, the pictures depended from the wall, the curtains hung as gracefully as if some hand has just arranged its fold; we entered the dining-room — there rested the cat on the window-sill — everything seemed so natural, it was difficult to realize that the hostess would not enter and welcome us in a few moments.

We had no time to linger, the cannon sounded their warning note; besides, we had come to get something to eat, and not to make any voyage of discovery. So finding nothing in the pantry, nor in the kitchen, we went to the spring and filled our canteens with water, then to the dairy at the foot of the hill, and discovered several buckets and cans of milk which had been placed there last night by some visible means; we filled our canteens with the lacteal fluid, and noticing the loft, a room over the dairy, we climbed up, found it a perfect store-room. Several barrels were on stands, and on investigating the contents of one, it was found to be cider, and then the canteens were emptied of milk and filled with the juice of the apple. Then an exclamation from one of the party brought us over to him, and he showed us a barrel of apple brandy. That cider in the canteens was soon poured on the floor, and the apple jack took its place. An animated discussion took place. The whole squad, except the sergeant, wanted to carry the barrel and leave everything else behind, but then came the difficulty about obeying orders. The discussion waxed high, and to end the matter the sergeant stove in the head of the barrel with the butt of his musket, and the precious liquid that would have made glad, for a time at least, the whole brigade, poured in a useless stream upon the floor.

In the room was half a dozen tubs of apple butter, which we confiscated for the use of our comrades, and carried it off with us. Starting towards the reflected steel, that flashed in the sunlight like a beacon to the mariner, showing us where our troops were marching, we hurried after and soon caught up with them. I will drop for a second the character of a veracious chronicler, and not mention how many lips were glued long and lovingly to the mouths of those canteens. The owner's health was honestly drunk, however, none asking or caring whether he was Yank or Reb.

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