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[137] a race in earnest for Centreville. A night march, dark and chilly; the sutlers crawled between the column and the railroad track, halting when the procession paused, and hastening along when it was again in motion, persistently wedging themselves into a niche when one presented itself. It was so dark that one could not see his best friend's face, but he could hear some evil genius asking for a wrench,—the nuts of the wheels were loose; a few moments later, a cry from the sutlers that they were breaking down; and one heard proffered assistance accepted, then shrieks and denunciations. Somebody was expressing disgust that a box contained ‘jacks’ which he supposed filled with tobacco. Another complacently fondled a cheese. Thus was avarice punished, but morals meanwhile corrupted. How we crossed Broad Run beyond Bristow, passed Manassas and over Bull Run and climbed to the summit of Centreville, the All-seeing eye alone perceived. We were arrayed upon the height in the morning, and retained the position during that day and the following night.

On the morrow after we marched south, along the Warrenton pike, crossed Bull Run by the Stone Bridge, and pushed on to Gainesville on the Manassas Gap road; here a locomotive was standing facing the gap; it had probably brought cars with some supplies, possibly some men, from Alexandria, switching off at Manassas Junction. The enemy must have paused somewhere along their line of march, for after a very brief halt we marched along the pike to New Baltimore.

As at noon we rode into this decayed hamlet, and rested a moment at the junction of the pike with the road that leads over the mountains from White Plains, whence we came a year ago, memory reverted to our departure from this place in 1862, for Fredericksburg, and rapidly reviewed the thrilling history of that eventful year. What a long oval with a diameter of a hundred miles we had described since then! We had left comrades at many a point in the curve, because of disease or death.

We halted an hour south of the village on the east side of the pike, nibbled some hardtack, and speculated upon the events of the morrow. There was a very general dearth of tobacco in the ranks, and the commissioned officers who used pipes were not seen to take them from their pockets; it was ardently hoped that

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1862 AD (1)
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