must go, and that proper transportation should be furnished him. He had always had too high an appreciation of himself to walk, and had ridden more thousand miles, had fallen out of more vehicles, and been run over oftener, than any other dog in the world —I assert this without fear of contradiction.
He had but few friends, and but little capacity to make friends.
Some incompatibility of temper, I suspect, had occurred betwixt him and the chief of ambulance
, on the subject of riding, before the start from Petersburg
, hence Jack
was left behind.
I said to the chief: ‘Return at once to the city and bring me my dog, or fall into the hands of the enemy with him.’
The man looked at me for a minute as if he would question such an order, but four years of discipline and obedience had not lost its force on the first night of the retreat, and he turned off and retraced his steps to Petersburg
I never expected to see him again, but late at night and after we had gone into camp, he returned on horseback (he had borrowed a horse —soldiers rarely found any difficulty in borrowing a horse), and leading Jack
by a chain of white handkerchiefs.
I did not enquire where he got the horse, but having some curiosity to know where he got the handkerchiefs, I ventured to ask him. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘Sir, they are breaking up everything in town and looting the stores, and I found these handkerchiefs at the head of Old street.’
We found, on taking up our march, that some broken sections of artillery had been ordered to take the same road to Chesterfield Courthouse that we were following, and that our retreat was somewhat obstructed by their irregular and tardy movements.
The teams were bad, the roads worse, the drivers profane, neither helping themselves nor calling upon Hercules
to help when a wheel fell into a hole, and when we had gotten over Brander
's bridge, about four miles from the city, one or two caissons were stuck so badly in the mud that the officer in charge of the party, or somebody else, concluded that it would be safer for the caisson to be left there, and it was so ordered, or at least it so occurred.
It was now about 9 or 10 o'clock at night, and our little party went into their first camp or bivouac.
We were very tired after the stirring and fatiguing incidents of the day, and the most of us were soon asleep.
I do not know how long we had slept, when we were awakened by what seemed quite a heavy firing, both of artillery and musketry, a few miles to our right, exciting our fears of pursuit and capture.
It seemed so near, and the danger so imminent, that we thought best to break camp and to continue