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[151] delighted guests were barely seated, when without knocking, a tall soldier entered, with army rifle and new, shining cartridge box and bayonet scabbard. He quietly stood his rifle in the corner of the room, but was immediately clasped about the neck by one of the ladies and caressed silently. The other and more active of the two looked on with an expression of pleasure, and exclaimed, ‘John! you were not hurt! You don't know how glad we are to see you. Where is Charley?’ The newcomer was calm and taciturn, and after a short silence replied, ‘He stayed with Jim White; he will not be here tonight.’ ‘Oh, why did you leave him? Where is he? What about Jim White?’ she asked, under nervous tension. ‘He's wounded.’ ‘Is he hurt much?’ ‘I think he is.’ ‘When will Charley come?’ ‘He cannot come tonight.’ The silent caressing of the soldier by the smaller woman continued. The soldier was one of the new levies of Brooks' regiment, he told us, as he took a seat at table. He was very quiet, and turned his eyes away from the fair-haired sister-in-law, who was busying herself about the board, but yet earnestly asking, ‘Was Charley hurt? Will he be home tomorrow?’ Quieting answers were given, which seemed to satisfy her, but the guests looked grave, for they understood. The division was bivouacked close by, at the foot of a mountain along the creek, and the men slept late under their saddle-blankets on the frosty earth. They were awakened by a woman's shriek. It was the fair-haired woman, who had come ‘to camp’ to inquire about Jim White and Charley. She was told they were both killed—dead on the battlefield.

The enemy had been severely punished. His main body fell back to Rhea's mill, and was ready to retreat farther when the fact that the Confederates were preparing to fall back was ascertained. They were no longer apprehensive of a renewed attack. Monroe's brigade marched the night of the battle over the ground upon which most of the fighting had occurred, and found it unoccupied by

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Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)
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