Bunker Hill en route
, to engage Joe Johnston
, the rebel commander of forces there.
While the tents were being packed, while wagons filled the parade-ground, and luggage encumbered the earth; while there was motion everywhere, as far as the eye could see,--galloping horses bearing orderlies with dispatches, artillery rumbling, and long lines of infantry moving out to the inspiring militia-muster melody of jingling kettle-drums, screeching fifes, and roaring bass,--a sharp-featured and sombre person, dressed in the prevailing butternut-colored homespun of Virginia
, shying up towards the Colonel
of the Second Massachusetts' Regiment, demanded a settlement: first, for the fence-rails the regiment had burned; second, for the green grass we had trampled down; and third, for an extra cost for ploughing in the coming spring, the soil had been trodden down so hard.
As we were then carrying on war upon peace principles, with assurances that we warred not upon the institutions of the South
, nor upon their citizens, nor upon their property; as we were just from Massachusetts
, where we were not accustomed to trespass upon or take a man's property without paying for it,--the Virginian
was paid; paid all he asked; paid upon his own estimates; paid in gold; and his vouchers are now on file in Washington
, in settlement of the regimental quartermaster
I am — at least I was once — inclined to think the owner of so much of the sacred soil as we encamped on must have thought our kind of invasion would pay well.
If those men had not soon begun to shoot so: many of their best customers as finally to make us mad, I doubt not we should have been paying for the ploughing of Virginia
It having been found by General Joe Johnston
that he could do us much more injury by uniting his forces with