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[180] held any position on open ground. When they were not drawn up in the forests, they skirted the borders of a clearing. A charge across one of these must carry the opposite wood, or the column fall back under cover in confusion. Nothing could live in these open fields on Saturday under the solid sheet of musket balls that tore across them hour after hour.

Arriving at headquarters, I found the staff servants rolling up the blankets, and the orderlies bridling their horses. Headquarters, like the army itself, must go further to the left. The widow Glenn's house had been selected the previous day, because it was thought that it would be near the center of the line of battle; but one day's fighting had completely unmasked it, leaving it just on the verge of our extreme left. The day before it was far to the rear of the line; now it was surrounded by grim lines of troops standing to arms, chattering with the penetrating cold of early morning, but grasping their guns firmly. A battery was driving through the garden and wheeling into position, and a moment after I saw it was General Lytle's. His brigade soon marched up and took position near the house. This startled, while it relieved me. We could not then afford to let a brigade lie idle—at such an important ford as Gordon's Mills, The enemy were at liberty to crush our right, and we were powerless to avert it. The only hope was that they would not attempt it, that they would mass everything on the right, just as we had massed it on the left.

General Rosecrans shortly aftewards emerged from the house. He was enveloped in a blue army overcoat, his pantaloons stuffed in his boots, and a light brown felt hat of uncertain shape was drawn over his brow. A cigar, unlit, was held between his teeth, and his mouth was compressed as if he were shortly biting it. He stalked to a heap of embers where I was standing, and stood a moment silently by my side. An orderly brought a raw-boned, muscular, dappled gray horse to him, and mounting it without a word, he rode down the lane toward the road, his staff clattering after him, and understanding his mood, perhaps, as silent as himself.

I knew, for I had seen old Rosecrans often and under widely differing circumstances, that he was filled with apprehensions for the issue of the day's fight. I recognized a change instantly, although I could hardly say in what it consisted. Rosecrans usually is brisk, nervous, powerful of presence, and to see him silent, or absorbed in what looked very much like gloomy contemplation, filled me with indefinable dread. Remember, this was but for an instant,

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