slow, agonizing motion of endless trains of artillery, army wagons, and ambulances with their sad burdens.
But where were those wounded who could not bear the jolt and swaying of the ambulances?
Are the hospital tents with the faithful nurses abandoned to the enemy?
It may be that the safety of the army demands it. ‘This is the time that tries men's souls.’
So, various were the reflections of men of diverse temperaments and physiques.
Now we hear from a dust-begrimed veteran with sleepless eyes, an optimist to the core: ‘I have not the faintest doubt of the final triumph of our cause, and I have the firmest faith in our commander-in-chief.’
Then an officer replies to another, who asks: ‘Where are we going?’
‘To the James
, to take transports to Fortress Monroe
The southern Confederacy will be recognized within a week.’
Certainly the awful suspense of Saturday, June 28, and the night following, were more trying to the spirit of the soldier than the combats that ensued.
The narrow ways were choked with cavalry, teams, and infantry.
The monster procession moved at a snail's pace; the day wore away.
We cannot say where we passed the night of the 28th.
We were evidently a part of the rear guard.
At daybreak we were in the vicinity of Savage's Station.
We found upon reaching Savage's Station, commissary stores and quartermaster's supplies smouldering in piles, and the scattered debris of army property.
A locomotive derailed was poised upon the embankment, its smoke-stack leaning like the Tower of Pisa
But there was yet some property undestroyed.
At this time the contending forces were at no point a mile apart, while Sedgwick
's division was but a few hundred yards from the Confederates
; they had undoubtedly divined McClellan
They must flank White Oak swamp
and get possession of the New Market cross roads before the Union
army can pass through the swamp, at the same time that they are prodding our rear, or it will be too late for flanking movements to avail them anything.
The commander of the extreme Federal rear guard had been ordered to retire slowly and hold the enemy in check.
At Peach Orchard
it was necessary for the rear division to turn and confront the Confederate
van. For four hours the contest was waged with great vigor on both sides, the advantage being