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[118] direction for a short distance he volunteered to act as our guide; we joyfully accepted his proposal and followed him through a by-path which led us over quite a rugged road, at length we came out upon a main road which led us by Mr. Cobb's, Mr. Foster's and Major James Penn's, at this latter point our guide left us after giving us the necessary directions. After going about a mile and a half we came to a point where the road made three forks; we took the central one. Proceeding down this road for a mile and failing to arrive at a church which we were told would be upon this road, two miles from Major Penn's, we came to the conclusion that we had lost the road again. We sent out scouts to find out and their report confirmed our opinions. In order to get ourselves right we were compelled to take another by-path which led us by quite a round — about way to Mr. Edward Tatum's, it being then about 2 P. M. We obtained dinner from him and then started on again for Mr. James Tatum's about seven miles off. We reached the residence of this gentleman without further adventure about 6 o'clock and were very hospitably received; here we were told of a band of deserters which had figured very prominently of late in a number of depredations upon the citizens and passing soldiers; we were cautioned to be careful in our actions and language while passing through the country in which their camp was situated. This is within the bounds of Stokes county, North Carolina, into which State we cross tomorrow. This is the last night we expect to spend in Virginia for some time, ‘It may be for years and it may be forever.’

24th. We crossed the dividing line between the Old Dominion and North Carolina quite early this morning and made our debut before the people of the old North State. Shortly after getting into the State we were hailed by one of the natives with the exclamation, (uttered in evident surprise) ‘Hullo strangers, you're on the back track, aren't you.’ He informed us that he intended to designate ‘The Army’ by that expression. One of our party told him that this was our destination, which piece of information caused his eyes to expand in an expression of bewildering surprise. He was evidently, I think, one of that class of ‘Buffaloes’ with which this portion of this State seems to be infested. The people are Tories or Union men in sentiment and are much greater lovers of the Yankees than of the Confederates. They often attack Confederate soldiers who may be passing through this country and strip

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