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[244] latter were supposed to be loyal and were therefore protected. I say supposed, for personally I am of the opinion that the Virginians were fully as loyal as the Marylanders. But a large number of the soldiers when fresh and new in the service saw an enemy in every bush, and recognized no white man south of Mason and Dixon's line as other than a “secesh.” Very often they were right, but the point I wish to make is that they indulged in foraging to a greater extent probably than troops which had been longer in service. Before my own company had seen any hard service it was located at Poolesville, thirty-eight miles from Washington, where it formed part of an independent brigade, which was included in the defences of Washington, and under the command of General Heintzelman. While we lay there drilling, growling, and feeding on government rations, a sergeant of the guard imperilled his chevrons by leading off a midnight foraging party, after having first communicated the general countersign to the entire party. On this particular occasion a flock of sheep was the object of the expedition. These sheep had been looked upon with longing eyes manly times by the men as they rode their horses to water by their pasture, which was, perhaps, half a mile or more from camp.

As soon as the foragers came upon them in the darkness, the sheep cantered away, and their adversaries, who could only see them when near to them, followed in full pursuit. As the chase up and down the enclosure, which was not a very large one, waxed warm, one of the party, more noted for his zeal than his discretion, drew a revolver and emptied nearly every barrel among the flock, doing no bodily injury to the sheep, however, but he did succeed in calling down upon his head the imprecations of the sergeant, for his lack of good-sense, and with reason, for in a few minutes the fire of the outer pickets was drawn. This being heard and reported in camp, the long-roll was sounded, calling into line the two regiments of infantry that lay near us, and

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Samuel P. Heintzelman (1)
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