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[173] was because he meant, when he moved, to push Early up the valley, and was preparing to do so.

During the next nineteen days, foraging was the leading industry of the mounted troops; after guard mounting, almost invariably, of a morning, we sallied forth for provender for the horses, now east, now west, now to the rear, scouring the farms by the cross roads, and now out upon the wings of the army, even passing sometimes with an infantry guard, the cavalry picket line, with its motionless riders, sitting with carbines at aim. What a region of diverse natural gifts is this valley of the Shenandoah,— a land flowing with milk and honey! Such mutton as the slope of the mountains produced, we believe could be found nowhere else; no need of strips of pork in the frying-pan, to facilitate the cooking of this fine, juicy meat. In all that portion of the valley north of the interloping Massanutten Range, twenty odd miles south of Winchester, the farms present about every variety of surface, with uniformly excellent soil, and consequent adaptation to every variety of stock raising and cereal culture.

We found that much of the fruits of that section had been left untouched by the Southrons, and we came in for a fair share of those things that the quartermaster's and commissary department of an army may properly appropriate in an enemy's country.

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