some of the fragrant leaf might be found in Warrenton
We were not disappointed.
The morning after our arrival at Warrenton
was the beginning of a typical Indian summer day; the air was delightfully exhilarating.
After water-call and stable-duty we hurried into the village, and found in the basement of a tavern a man in a gray coat dealing out figs of tobacco among a swarm of blue coats, who gave him great trouble to make change.
It was ‘first come, first served,’ and there was considerable crowding, but we secured forty hands, which were soon distributed in camp to the satisfaction of those who received them.
Others having found the source of supply, there was a general relighting of pipes, and a marked decrease of nervousness.
This episode is only a vagary,— a whimsical incident of our return to the peninsula between the Rappahannock
and the Rapidan
Stern experience was in store for us, of a color like that already realized, but with new features.
The Army of the Potomac had made its last retreat when it finally crossed these rivers.
The Confederate army, retiring behind the Rappahannock
in our front, left a detachment of Hoke
's brigade in an earthwork on the north side on the plain, which could be approached on the run from the rising ground to the northwest by an attacking force.
These brave men were to dispute the Federal
crossing at this point just above Rappahannock Station,—a forlorn hope, indeed.
's brigade of Wright
's division of the Sixth Corps carried the earthworks, Saturday, November 7.
The stubborn resistance of that devoted band was sublime in its hopelessness; they would not surrender.
Sunday morning, those who did not escape lay in mathematically straight rows with their feet to the north; now a bayonet thrust in one's breast, or a fracture of the skull as from a clubbed musket.
The countenances of these dead were stamped with an expression of grim resolution, which was unmistakably the seal of the courage of despair.
The gallantry of the Federal
brigade was duly noticed by General Meade
, and its wounded commander, Gen. Russell
, was selected to bear the captured battle-flags to Washington
Crossing the Rappahannock
, we marched up the peninsula to the farm of John Minor Botts
, and made a camp north of Brandy