that were indicated from time to time in orders.
The marches were from ten to fifteen miles a day, though sometimes on the extreme flanks it was necessary to travel as many as twenty miles; but the rate was regulated by the wagons.
The troops started at the earliest break of dawn, and went into camp soon after midday.
No tents were taken, but a nightly bivouac was made of the abundant pine-boughs, which served for shelter as well as beds; and, after dark, the whole horizon was lurid with the bonfires of railroad-ties, while all night groups of men were busy carrying the heated iron to the nearest trees, and bending it around the trunks; for the destruction of the railroads was one of the most important duties of the army.
The troops were ordered to forage liberally upon the country.
The region was rich, and had never before been visited by a hostile force.
The recent crop had been excellent, and was just gathered and laid by for winter.
Meal, bacon, poultry, and sweet potatoes were abundant, as well as cows, oxen, horses, and mules.
The skill and success displayed in collecting forage was one of the notable features of the march.
Each brigade commander detailed a company, usually of about fifty men, under officers selected for their boldness and enterprise.
These parties were dispatched before daylight, with a knowledge of the intended day's march as well as of the site of camp; they proceeded on foot five or six miles from the route travelled by their brigade, and then visited every farm and plantation within range.
They usually procured a wagon or a family carriage, loaded it with bacon, corn-meal
, turkeys, chickens, ducks, and anything else that could be