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[97] army in an attempt to thus gain the vantage point at Centerville. Meade crossed the Sixth Corps over the bridge at Rappahannock Station and it advanced toward Brandy Station in line of battle. This was the most spectacular movement the writer saw during the war. The country was open, and nearly level, the morning was fine and the sun shone brightly. The line of battle, extending about three miles, advanced slowly and steadily, the flags floating in the gentle breeze, the sunlight flashing from their arms, and the batteries in regular formation following close behind the infantry. In front of the advancing line a force of cavalry were in almost constant conflict charging and repelling the charges of a like force of Rebel cavalry, but constantly advancing until Brandy Station was reached. The writer followed closely after the cavalry, and was equally interested in watching the frequent charge and recharge of the cavalry and the steady advance of the beautiful line of battle. In the morning however he was wakened by a squad of cavalry, to find the brigade gone, and he alone of the foot soldiery at Brandy Station. The return to Rappahannock Station that he made was much more rapid than the advance had been. Meanwhile Meade had divined the purpose of General Lee and began a rapid race back to Centerville along the line of the railroad. The infantry used the railroad track as a road, leaving the dirt road for the trains and batteries. The route lay through Bristoe Station, Manasses, and Bull Run, and the head of the army filed into the old fortifications of Centerville just before the advance of the old corps of Stonewall Jackson came in sight of them.

Colonel Beckwith tells of several experiences of this march that will interest other members of the regiment. We “passed Bristoe Station about 3 ”

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