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[201] From the condition of the troops, I had no idea we were near the enemy. They were completely worn out, and most of them enjoying a well-earned rest in sleep.

After leaving these troops all behind us we continued our ride, expecting every few minutes to come upon our infantry picket, but none appeared. We passed some houses on the road, but not a single living soul did we see. We finally came to several houses together, stretched along the pike for a distance of two hundred yards. It was still dark, and everything seemed to be perfectly still in these houses, no lights, no chickens crowing. As it was getting on towards morning I concluded this village must be deserted. This was the first impression we had that we must be nearing the enemy's lines, having seen no pickets and nobody on duty, even in the bivouac, I could hardly conceive of our being so near as it turned out to be.


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