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[159] plenty of rails for fuel, and we slept by blazing fires.

Next morning resumed the march up the Back Creek valley. This morning a dog ran a fine buck into the water at the picket-post, which they secured. We burned an extensive saltpetre works, and another winter encampment of the rebels. Our train was fired into by a bushwhacker, but he was secured after receiving a broken leg. Our march led us through the settlement where we had been bushwhacked on our former expedition, and as we had a little account to settle, we “camped” there. Here we captured a rebel lieutenant, and the boys found quite a number of deposits of apples hid away in the ground. Here was abundant forage for the horses and mountain-mutton for supper, and with a soft bed of hay after supper, before our “big” fires, we had a luxurious night's rest.

Next morning, at seven o'clock, we resumed the march, and when we arrived at the place where the road diverges to Monterey, we destroyed another winter encampment of the rebels, and the Fourteenth Pennsylvania was sent around by that route to meet us at the point where the Crab Bottom road strikes the South Branch, while the rest of the brigade continued up the valley to Hightown; we arrived here at noon and halted. This is the point where the Beverly and Staunton road descends the Alleghanies on the eastern side, and this gap between the double mountain is the source of the two branches of the James and Potomac.

Here is another of the splendid views to be met with in the mountains, and as each season has its own peculiar beauties and charms, yet for grandeur, the winter scenery of the mountains cannot be surpassed, when earth's huge billows are capped with snow, and a wilderness of mountains is spread out as far as the eye can reach.

While we were at rest, word was brought that there was a force of rebels in camp down Crab Bottom, so we started expecting to surprise them, but when we arrived, we found the Ringgold cavalry and a force of infantry under Colonel Thoburn of the First Virginia, and they, like us, had suspected that there was a rebel force in the Gap, and if we had been rebels we would have had a warm time if we had attacked them, for they were wide awake and drawn up in line ready to receive us. We went into camp on the south side of Franklin road.

November twelfth, resumed the march, and our advance broke up a party of guerrillas who were getting ready to bushwhack Thoburn at Crab Bottom. We destroyed four hundred gallons of apple brandy at one distillery, and a barrel at another. We came to the saltpetre works that we had destroyed in August, and that the rebels had begun to repair; this we again destroyed, and a contraband told us of another up a ravine; this was also destroyed, and a guerrilla party put to flight. This was a fine warm day, and in the clear water of the stream we noticed fine large trout basking in the sunshine. We passed through Franklin, and camped on a large bottom on the river, and again found an abundant supply of corn and hay for the horses, and the boys, believing that all such forage belongs to “Uncle Sam,” especially if claimed by rebels, have no compunctions of conscience about using it.

Next morning a detachment of the Eighth was sent down the North Fork, while the balance of the brigade started for Petersburgh. The march to-day called up the recollections of the march the first time under Fremont, and through this beautiful valley almost every spot was remembered: the road, the camps, the church at the “Tract,” the burned bridge — all would call forth some remark; for then every thing was fresh and novel, and we had not become hardened.

We came through the Mill Creek Valley — a good, loyal neighborhood, and the homes of Captain Ault's “Swamp Rangers.” We now felt that we were among friends; and from here to New-Creek there is a large proportion of Union men.

We arrived at Petersburgh, and enjoyed a two days rest.

This morning McNeil and White, with three hundred guerrillas, attacked a train of ninety wagons, which were on the way from New-Creek to Petersburgh. They killed two of the guards, wounded five, pillaged seven wagons and burned five, and captured two hundred horses. It was a bold, daring act; but the train was some two miles in length, and a guard of only seventy-five men to protect it. As soon as the General got the news, he sent the Third Virginia in pursuit, if possible to overtake them; but the rebels had six hours start, and with their knowledge of the country, but a slight prospect of overtaking them. This evening we camped on the farm of Mrs. Williams, who has a son with McNeil, and she, with her daughters, are bitter “secesh.” But we found corn and hay in abundance, and that was what our horses needed, so we used it.

The morning of the seventeenth we started for New-Creek, where we arrived in the afternoon, and where our ears were gladdened by the music of the steam-whistles on the locomotives of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

It is refreshing to hear the sounds, to see sights, and witness the customs of civilization, in contrast to the semi-barbarism of Dixie that we have been conversant with during our campaigns.

The results of the expedition are that we have inflicted a blow upon the rebellion in West-Virginia, such as it has not received before since the war begun. We have made glad the hearts of the Union men, who are suffering under a despotism worse than that inflicted in the slavepens of Africa. We have liberated a number of refugees who will find their way inside of our lines. We have thoroughly scouted the mountains and valleys, scattered and frightened the small bands of guerrillas, destroyed all the winter-quarters that the rebels had expected to occupy the coming winter; know the roads, and the places that they have made their haunts;

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