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[277] and then having it ground at the few mills the enemy have not yet destroyed. The work is done by details from different regiments. It shows to what straits we have been reduced. Still the men remain cheerful and hopeful.

September 10. Rodes' division, preceded by our cavalry, under Generals Fitz Lee and Rosser, went as far as Darkesville, returning to Bunker Hill at night. Our brigade acted as the immedtate support of the cavalry. As it rained without cessation during the night, we had a very damp time of it. I slept on half, and covered with the other half, of my oil cloth, one I had obtained from the Yankees when I captured my sword. The drops of rain would fall from the leaves of the large trees under which I lay, drop on my head and face, and trickle down my back occasionally. Notwithstanding these little annoyances, I managed to get a pretty good night's rest. A stone served as my pillow.

I am almost barefoot, and was glad to pick up, and substitute for one of mine, an old shoe, which I found thrown away on the roadside. It, in its turn, may have been thrown away for a better one, or perhaps the wearer may, in some of the numerous skirmishes in this vicinity, have been wounded and lost his leg, thus rendering his shoe no longer necessary to him, or, probably, the gallant wearer may have been slain, and is now sleeping his last sleep in an unmarked and unknown soldier's grave. Nearly all of my company are barefoot, and most of them are almost destitute of pants. Such constant marching on rough, rocky roads, and sleeping on the bare ground, will naturally wear out the best of shoee and thickest of trousers. While anxious for some attention from our quartermasters, our men are nevertheless patient and uncomplaining. We returned at night to our camp near Stephenson's depot.

On September 13th in obedience to a singular order, we marched from our camp two or three miles in the direction of Winchester, and then marched back again. At night Company F went on picket This continual moving to and fro indicates that a decisive action is imminet. Sheridan is reported to have large reinforcements from Grant. Our own ranks are thinner than at any time since weentered service. My company is one of the largest in the 12th Alabama and numbers less than 30 ‘present for duty.’ The entire regiment, including officers, will not number 200, and the brigade is not more than 1,000 strong, if so much. It is said that Early has, including infantry, cavalry and artillery, less than

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