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[251] before dark, and before troops could be sent there to stop us. Infantry did come on the cars that night; but we had gone. All they saw by the moonlight were our tracks in the sand. As we were jogging along a mile or so ahead of the column we came upon a sutler's wagon. About a mile to the left could be seen the masts of some schooners at anchor in the river. A wagon train was loading at the wharf with supplies for the army. I sent one of the men back to tell Stuart that the woods were full of game; to hurry on. The sutler's wagon was condemned as prize of war and left in charge of my other companion. Tunstall's was still two or three miles off. I had never been there, but the road was plain and I jogged on alone. When Stuart got up to the sutler in the road he sent a squadron to burn the schooners and wagon trains. I believe this is the only instance in the war where cavalry operated on water. As I turned a bend in the road I came suddenly in sight of Tunstall's, half a mile off, and a few yards from me was another sutler's wagon, and a cavalry vedette, who had dismounted. Just then a bugle sounded, and I saw a company of cavalry, to which the vedette belonged, only a few hundred yards off. My horse was pretty well fagged out. The vedette and sutler surrendered, but I was in a quandary what to do. I thought there would be more danger in trying to run away on a slow horse than to stand still. So I concluded to play a game of bluff — I drew my sabre, turned around, and beckoned with it to imaginary followers. Fortunately, just then Lieutenant Robins, commanding the advanced guard, came in sight at a fast trot. The company of Pennsylvania (Eleventh) cavalry left in a hurry. Robins captured the depot and guard without firing a shot. Stuart soon rode up at the head of the column just as a train of cars came in sight. There was no time to pull up a rail; logs were placed on the track. The engineer discovered the danger too late to reverse his engine, so crowding on a full head of steam he dashed by, receiving a salute as he passed. He carried the news to the White House, four miles off. The critical condition we were in would not allow us the time to go there and destroy the stores. They were under guard of gunboats. If we had had a pontoon train on which to cross the river this could have been done. We were now on McClellan's line of communication. News of the affair with Royall had by this time spread through the camps. As soon as the telegraph lines were cut it was noticed to McClellan that Stuart was in his rear. General Ingalls, who was in command at the White House, says that he received a telegram from McClellan warning him of danger. It is a

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H. M. Stuart (4)
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