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Chapter 13:

At eleven o'clock on the 26th of November, our corps, having been delayed since sunrise in the midst of the Third Corps camps at Brandy Station (that command having been ordered to precede us), moved with slow and tedious steps toward Jacob's Ford on the Rapidan. The movement was of that peculiarly irritating character which can only be appreciated by those who have experienced the effect of being prodded on through tanglewood, brush, and briar, and then suddenly pulled up standing, hungry, and cold, pushed forward anon, and again checked; have stood wearily in the bleak, wintry wind, longing for exercise that would quicken circulation, then advanced fifty feet to make another dull, chilled halt for minutes that the imagination made hours. This was the routine till eleven P. M. Then through the column rang the cry of ‘Coffee, coffee!’ The forest echoed the shout. It was hungry nature's appeal. The forest furnished the fuel, and during the next quarter of an hour the shadows of the trees were luminous with the glint and gleam of thousands of bonfires, the air was redolent of the mingled odor of commissary coffee and the fumes of dry brushwood. At midnight we crossed the bridge, part pontoon, part poles, and before one o'clock, save the guards, the boys were stretched upon the damp ground, as happily oblivious of the November frost as if in their cabins.

Early on the 27th, the Third Corps resumed the advance, and the Sixth, pursuant of orders on the previous day, was in line of march to follow the Third. Both were to proceed to Robertson's Tavern on the Orange plank road, seven miles from this crossing, southwest. The First, Fifth, and Second Corps, having crossed the river before noon on the 26th, were already in assigned positions, occupying a line that extended east and southeast from and

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