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[115]

You know that our old friend Slocum at times could be very much out of sorts. Then he was very likely to make everybody else uncomfortable, all at the same time. One cold, dreary, drizzling morning, for example, up in the interior of South Carolina, he had one of these fits on him. As we were riding along we struck my herd of cattle, which were just outside the column. It was a motley herd, I can assure you, and had everything in it that could walk. It had been gathered while on the march, and was made up from a patriarchal bull, with a head as shaggy as a buffalo's, to a sucking calf. At the head of the line was an enormous ox, one of our own stock, and he was led by a soldier who had strapped all his belongings on the ox's back. The soldier was patiently trudging along, singing every few minutes:

“ Yo-ho-ee! Yo-ho-ee! ”

The soldier himself was a picture not soon to be forgotten. A leg of his pants was gone, and part of his hat rim, and he was as grimy as a coal heaver, caused by traveling through the burnt woods. When not calling to his cattle with his “Yo-ho-ee” he was singing in a stentorian voice: “I'll be gay and happy still.”

The sight of that soldier, when Slocum's attention was called to him and his surroundings, was too much for the general. As soon as he looked at him he exclaimed:

“ Look at that fellow Hear him I think if he can be happy and gay, surely I ought to be.” Then Slocum's good humor returned.

From Robertsville, S. C., Slocum's march aimed a little to the north of Columbia, and for the time Kilpatrick's cavalry was beyond his wing northward.

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