It would, therefore, be impossible to convey the pleasure we found at Winchester
During the period the army was in Maryland
there were no depredations of any kind.
issued orders that no private property should be disturbed, and not an apple must be plucked.
Frequently, on the march, we passed orchards loaded with apples, but, so far as my belief and observation goes, nothing was molested; and yet the men never had a good square meal at any time during the two weeks the army was in the enemy's country.
The condition of the soldiers, therefore, can be well understood.
About the 7th of November we moved to the vicinity of Strasburg
and camped along the side of the mountain in a beautiful wood.
's Brigade halted and stacked guns.
The men were soon industriously employed collecting wood, and every mess had a pile.
Unexpectedly, and in less than half an hour after we halted, orders were given to ‘fall in.’
We moved about a mile further on, leaving our wood to fall into the hands of some other brigade.
The boys were in an ugly humor over their bad luck, but finally halting in one of the prettiest spots in the Shenandoah Valley, we found on every side cords of dry wood.
were happy, and ran here and there claiming cords and exchanging congratulations for the move.
Suddenly, and before we had settled in camp, we heard cheering ahead.
It grew louder and nearer.
It sounded as if the whole army was charging.
Men wondered what it meant.
Officers walked to and fro with anxious faces, and all awaited with uncertainty, and some anxiety, to learn the cause.
The yelling became more and more distinct, but we heard no firing.
What could it mean?
Finally we saw, about half a mile distant, beyond the valley of a little stream, on a plateau or table land, hundreds of men running and scurrying back and forth, their hats raised above their heads, waving and gesticulating, apparently in the wildest state of excitement.
's men were anxious to join in the melee, whatever it was, but the officers, for prudential reasons, held them to their places.
The 13th Mississippi was ahead, or further south, followed successively by the 17th, 21st, and 18th regiments.
Very soon we saw the boys of the 13th running back and forth, throwing rocks and sticks and yelling madly, but we could not yet divine the cause.