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[26]

He reported this to Colonel Hinks and was himself detailed for the duty at 10 o'clock in the morning. Some fugitives had secured a skiff on the Virginia side and had reached the island, and in this skiff Lieut. Dodge was rowed across by private Carr of Company F, who volunteered for the duty. The lieutenant borrowed a white handkerchief from Adjutant John C. Chadwick (his own being black) and tied it to a ramrod.

The little lieutenant, as he went over in the skiff on the important mission, was dressed in a pair of private's trousers, turned up at the bottom, a pair of old army shoes, a blouse with shoulder straps, sword and revolver. A dirty, ragged, gray blanket was thrown over his shoulders like a shawl and his glazed cap cover hid the bugle on the front of the cap. No real insignia of his rank appeared in sight.

A fine wet drizzle served to make matters more gloomy than they otherwise would have been, and the little skiff was borne down stream by the current. The bank where the lieutenant landed was strewn with the tins from cartridge boxes, broken muskets, bits of uniforms, and one or two wounded men were calling for water. Here and there, rebels were seeking for spoil. In one place, four or five men were ‘going through’ a knapsack or a dead soldier,—it was not possible to tell which. One of them, the roughest looking of the lot, had a red ‘U. S.’ blanket around him and was hailed by Lieut. Dodge with: ‘I say, you fellow with the red blanket, where is the officer who called for a flag of truce?’

‘He's on the bluff somewhars, I reckon,’ was the reply.

‘Can't you take me where I can find him,’ asked the lieutenant. Evidently moved by the idea that it might be a feather in his cap to conduct a flag of truce, he consented.

The bluff was steep and slippery and the lieutenant found it very difficult, with one hand holding the flag and the other his blanket, to surmount. The rebel escort, seeing his difficulty, politely assisted him, but when they reached the plateau at the top no officer was visible.

‘He was here a short time ago and went in that direction,’ said one man who was standing at the top. The two men, ‘Rebel’ and ‘Yank,’ started off to hunt him up, but it seemed as if

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J. G. G. Dodge (2)
Yank (1)
Edward Hinks (1)
John C. Chadwick (1)
Hugh J. Carr (1)
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