o'clock and crossed a stream, called Broad Run
, on the high trestle that carries the Orange and Alexandria Railroad over the stream.
I had an experience crossing that bridge that I shall never forget.
We marched in double file, stepping from tie to tie. Now and then the ties would be close together, making a gap of several feet to the next tie. This would make the men hesitate until the two in front had gotten fairly across and out of the way before the necessary jump was made, and those behind would crowd up to the waiting men. I got on all right for a time, but suddenly felt myself getting dizzy, and knowing that I should certainly fall to the ground and be crushed if I advanced farther, I crouched down to the track and placed my musket across the gap in the ties and made up my mind that I would stay there until I could go on safely again.
The fellows behind were not suited with my partial obstruction of the bridge, but I paid no attention to their orders to get up and go on. After remaining there a short time and accustoming myself to the distance, I got up and went on without trouble, thankful at my escape from sure death.
It was reported that night that several persons had fallen and been killed.
Ordinarily I could have gone over all right, but the lifting of the foot of the man ahead confused me and I lost power to judge the distance.
Just after crossing the bridge a considerable battle broke out in our rear and the musketry firing indicated that a large infantry force was engaged.
This battle was between the Second Corps and the pursuing Rebels, and resulted in their defeat.
We encamped near a deep railroad cut, and one of the men ran headlong over it while escaping from a friend upon whom he had been playing some prank, and plunging down to the bottom was badly injured.”
The arrival of the Army of the Potomac at Centerville