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[105] left in charge of the picket lines of the brigade front, with orders to hold them against any attack that might be made until 3 o'clock in the morning, and then, if not captured by the enemy, to rejoin the column then rapidly retreating towards Chesterfield Courthouse. The suspense and responsibility attending this midnight work during a continuous picket-firing at short range can never be fully appreciated by anyone not in a similar position. Yet I personally withdrew every picket and vidette, and rejoined the command about twelve hours afterwards, much to the surprised pleasure of my brigade commander, who said he feared he had seen me for the last time.

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