when they bivouacked near Blackburn's Ford on the Bull Run Creek
A temporary halt was made at Blackburn's Ford and then the march was resumed for a short distance toward Centreville
where the regiment occupied some deserted earthworks on the position occupied by the Union
troops in the first Bull Run
, having been foiled in the object of his grand march, began his retreat toward the Rapidan
, and on October 19th, the regiment again started South toward the position it had abandoned seven days before.
The march was very slow, to keep pace with the reparation of the railroad which had been destroyed by the enemy.
The men had traversed the roads so often that they began to seem like old acquaintances.
The first night was spent in a bivouac at Bristoe Station.
On the following day the line moved to Gainesville
, then to Greenwich
and then to Auburn
, no rebels being encountered.
This march was over some of the worst roads in Virginia
During the day the men forded five streams, three of them knee deep, and for a portion of the day they did not get an opportunity to remove the water from their boots.
The battlefield of John Pope
and of the first Bull Run
was passed over and many relics of Pope
's battle were seen in the numerous skulls lying grinning above the ground and portions of skeletons protruding from shallow graves.
There were no means of telling those of friends from those of foes, as it was only occasionally that there was seen a slab, with a name upon it, imperfectly and hastily scrawled, to tell whose bones were thus left to bleach in a strange land.
These were sad reminders of the havoc of war but they were passed without a sentimental thought, although each man knew that the advent of another autumn might find his bones whitening on some field far from home.
They took no thought, however, of future possibilities, borrowed no trouble and contentedly trudged along.
During the 21st and 22nd of October the regiment remained at Auburn
, and here the mails were received, the first for over a fortnight.
On October 23 the regiment was moved to near the railroad,