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Reconnoitering the enemy.

I immediately returned to the picket post, took one man, and started on my scout. I passed to the left of Halltown, the Federal picket still in the same position, mounted, as we first saw him at daylight, took the farm road up to near the top of the hill. My man and myself dismounted, tied our horses in the woods, and crept very cautiously to the edge or summit of the hill, which was now an open field of wheat well grown. I knew we were on dangerous ground, and we were both careful to [345] conceal ourselves as best we could in the wheat and bushes at the fence on the top of the hill.

I was surprised to find I was so close to the Yanks on the heights. I could see the men in the fort, the sentinels on guard, the embrasure with guns pointing in our direction, and we were almost in rear of the Federal picket at the railroad. I was very uneasy about our situation, but I saw nothing to report until I got almost on them. I felt I must go on until I saw something, and I was soon entirely satisfied with what I saw. After noticing closely the ground in front, as well as the work, we crept back to our horses, rode down the hill, and passed in front of the Federal picket we first saw. He had not moved his position.

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Halltown (West Virginia, United States) (1)

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