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[181]

The men were posted at long intervals in the trenches, and a few pickets placed in front of and on top of the works to prevent surprise and disaster.

Men and officers saw and appreciated at a glance the great advantage gained by opportune movement, and they resolved instinctively to defend and hold the Howlett-House fortifications to the death, if necessary, until reinforcements came.

All kept guard that night because the force was too weak and scattered for any to sleep.

Word was sent back to General Corse that his ‘disobedient boys’ were in the Howlett-House entrenchments. He was slow to believe it, and only when he came in person with his command next morning could he realize what a clever swoop had been made by a handful of bold, dashing fellows of rebel proclivities.

General Corse didn't reprimand the boys at all for flagrant violation of orders. Perhaps he forgot to do so.

By the way, there were not many better men or braver officers in the Army of Northern Virginia than M. D. Corse, of Alexandria, and his soldiors admired and loved him with a sort of filial affection. They had several nick-names for him.

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