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Chapter 6:

  • Return to the “old Dominion”
  • -- up Loudon Valley -- New Baltimore -- McClellan relieved of command -- grand divisions -- reminiscences of the marches and halts -- Stafford, C. H. -- Belle plain -- reminiscences

A pontoon bridge had been thrown across the Potomac at this place, over which we passed and climbed the high banks on the Virginia shore. We marched up Loudon Valley, which is a continuation in Virginia of Pleasant Valley, in Maryland, lying between the same ranges, which, under different local names, cross the state of Virginia. Somewhat more than a day's march from Berlin, the Sixth Corps, having bivouacked on a farm which lies in the north central part of the valley, stretching from the pike down toward Goose Creek, rested there the following day and night. On the morning after our arrival we were sent to forage, hay being needed for our horses. We were directed to the barns on this farm, which stood on a ridge perhaps half a mile east of the highway, and in the vicinity of the mansion, negro houses, storehouses, and other buildings of the farm. Before we mounted we espied the cavalry on the ground with feed bags, evidently bent on obtaining grain if it were to be had, and as we got under way, the infantry, seemingly prospecting on individual accounts, were streaming along ahead of us. As we rode up to the establishment, we found some of the cavalrymen who had filled their feed bags with grain, watching with evident signs of interest the infantry chasing pigs and chickens. The proprietor himself seemed to enjoy the affair so long as the foragers failed to catch any game. But when at last some fleet-footed and nimble-fingered infantryman fastened upon a young porker, his rage was enkindled, and he imprudently declared that he ‘would like to see the d—d Yankee hung.’ Natural and pardonable as was his indignation, the imprudent expression of it was the spark that ignited a big blaze for him, for they denuded the place of pigs and chickens and negro stores; all this either before any

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Virginia (Virginia, United States) (1)
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George B. McClellan (1)
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