Chapter 34: battle of Bristoe Station.
In camp at Warrenton.
Movement to the Rapidan.
The corps lay in position behind the embankment until after dark, expecting an attack from the enemy who were supposed to be in force near, but earnestly hoping that they should keep away, being satisfied with the day's work and longing for night to come.
Although the men in the ranks did not know the real extent of the danger, they could see by the constant hurrying about of staff officers, trying to strengthen the weak points along the line, and the anxious uneasy manner of the general officers
, that something serious was about to happen.
At nine o'clock in the evening, the order came to march, a staff officer bringing the command to each regimental commander, with the injunction that no word of command was to be given above a whisper, and each man was to keep his hand on his canteen and dipper to keep them from rattling.
The command to march, with the cautionary instructions, was passed down the line in whispers, and the men stole silently away, along the front of the enemy, whose many camp fires were plainly visible and whose voices could be heard on every passing breeze; the groans of the wounded rebels lying between the lines were occasionally heard, no word was spoken above a whisper, and few at that; the noises usually incident to the moving of large bodies of troops could not be heard, only the ceaseless and almost inaudible shuffling of many feet as the regiments followed each other to and across Broad Run
, after which crossing they felt that they were out of a trap and marched in a more natural manner until about 4 o'clock in the morning,