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[548] we knew not how many more Yankees there were, nor in what direction they might come), I decided to go into the woods a short distance, and there spend the night. My party consisted of myself, Littlepage, the “lieutenant,” and several other gentlemen of King & Queen county. We walked into the woods about a quarter of a mile, and sat down.

Up to this time, we had not even an intimation of the name and rank of the officer commanding the enemy. In fact, we felt no curiosity to know. All we cared for was to punish as severely as possible the raiders with whom we were contending. We knew that one man was killed, but knew not who he was. We were just getting our places for the night, and wrapping up with blankets, garments, etc., such as we had, for the ground was freezing, and we dared not make a fire, when Littlepage pulled out a cigar-case, and said: “Mr. Halbach, will you have a cigar?” “No,” said 1; “but where did you get cigars these hard times?” He replied that he had got them out of the pocket of the Yankee who had been killed, and that he had also taken from the same man a memorandum book and some papers. “Well,” said I, “William, you must give me the papers, and you may keep the cigar-case.”

Littlepage then remarked that the dead Yankee had a wooden leg. Here the lieutenant, greatly agitated, exclaimed: “How do you know he has a wooden leg?”

“I know he has,” replied Littlepage, “because I caught hold of it and tried to pull it off.”

“There!” replied the lieutenant, “you have killed Colonel Dahlgren, who was in command of the enemy. His men were devoted to him, and I would advise you all to take care of yourselves now, for if the Yankees catch you with anything belonging to him, they will certainly hang us all to the nearest tree.”

Of course it was impossible for us to learn the contents of the papers, without making a light to read them by, or waiting till the next morning. We did the latter; and, as soon as day broke, the papers were read, and found to contain every line and every word as afterwards copied into the Richmond newspapers Dahlgren's name was signed to one or more of the papers, and also written on the inside of the front cover of his memorandum-book. Here the date of purchase, I suppose, was added. The book had been written with a degree of haste clearly indicated by the frequent interlineations and corrections, but the orders referred to had also been re-written on a separate sheet of paper; and, as thus copied, were published to the

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