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[264]

Our wounded were placed in a barn, about a mile from the battlefield. Straw was strewn on the floor, where they lay awaiting such attention as the surgeons could give. Among the wounded from Company C was Kit Gilmer, from Madison county, whose leg was broken by a minie ball. Kit was attended by his servant, Ike. When we passed the barn on the march to recross the river, several men ran in to say ‘good-by.’ There were no possible means of taking the wounded along. Kit Gilmer resolved to accompany the command, even with a broken leg, and said to Ike, ‘I expect you to take me across the river.’ That evening, as soon as the darkness permitted, Ike quietly led a horse from the farmer's stable, and taking his young master in his arms, placed him on his back. Ike mounted behind, and to our great astonishment and delight when we reached Winchester, we found them awaiting us. A strange sequel is that Ike went back with the horse and remained with the Federal army until the battle of Fredericksburg, when he returned to serve the remainder of the war with ‘Mars Kit,’ and is now living in Madison county, Miss.

Gallant Kit, after numerous subsequent wounds, survived the war and died about fifteen years ago at his old home.

Soon after camping near Winchester the weather turned very cool. The men had few blankets, and to add to the hardships and horrors of the situation, small pox broke out. Great numbers of the men had either small pox or varioloid, but they never thought much of the danger, and few, if any, who remained in camps died from the effects.

After the Maryland campaign the Army of Northern Virginia camped in the valley, near Winchester.

McClellan again took possession of Harper's Ferry, and, crossing his main army on pontoon bridges at a point some five or six miles below, began to move south about the 1st of November, along the east side of the Blue Ridge mountains.

He made several threatening movements on the different passes, evidently with the expectation of compelling General Lee to remain in the valley, and doubtless thought by doing so he would be able to cross the Rappahannock before General Lee was aware of his purpose.

McClellan marched directly to Warrenton with the bulk of his army, but after arriving there discovered that a strong Confederate force awaited him at Culpeper. General Lee managed this movement with so much success that McClellan was evidently bewildered.

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