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[241] of the enemy's fortifications, hoping thereby to discover some unprotected point where an attack might be made with some promise of success, but he failed to detect a single unguarded position. While making his perilous tour of observation along our front picket-lines, General Warren had twenty men killed and wounded.

A laughable incident occurred on this reconnoissance which is worth relating; and as it is too good to be omitted, I give it place in this review. One of our infantry skirmishers approached a secesh house, where quite a quantity of poultry were perambulating in a defiant and careless, yet to a hungry soldier, inviting manner. The wearied and half-famished “skirmisher” immediately commenced the practice of barn-yard strategy, deploying first to the left, then to the right, and in fact in every direction, regardless of all military rule, bent only upon dealing the death-blow to a good-sized turkey, which was strutting its hour upon the stage of life. He finally managed to turn the left flank of his noisy fugitive, and having captured the entire right wing, he was in the act of carrying off his prisoner, when the rebel sharp-shooters caught a glimpse of him, and instantly opened a galling fire upon him. The leaden shower was more unpalatable and harder to digest than the defunct “gobbler,” and the dish of Minie — balls was a warmer feast than the Yankee cared to indulge in, so he deemed it best to retire. He was in the act of doing this, when a tremendous volley accelerated his pace to such a degree that he dropped the coveted prize, and betook himself to a place of safety. Just then General Warren rode along, and seeing the soldier drop the fowl, he calmly dismounted, and, throwing the turkey over his saddle, rode quietly along, bearing off his valuable prize, while the enemy's bullets whistled tunes of the most discordant sound about his ears. This act caused considerable merriment among his troops, who reverenced the General for his bravery, which they have often witnessed on bloody fields. This, I believe, is the first time on record that a Major-General has been known to indulge in a foraging expedition.

As soon as our entire army had been properly posted, ready for an aggressive moment, General Warren solicited the privilege of taking his corps and making a lively demonstration on the right wing of the rebel army, for the purpose of ascertaining, while he threatened, where the most feasible point of attack was. He requested that in case he should not be successful in discovering a favorable position to assault, to march around as if attempting to get in their rear, so as to compel the enemy to change his front. This plan was mutually agreed upon, and General H. D. Terry's Third division, Sixth corps, one of the strongest and best fighting divisions in the army of the Potomac, was attached to the Second corps, with three hundred cavalry, in order to enable General Warren to carry on more extensive operations in case of an engagement with superior force.

It was the intention of General Warren to make an important and quick movement, and to facilitate this he left half of his artillery, as well as half of his ambulance and ammunition trains, behind. Considerable time was required to issue extra rations, these being necessary, as it was expected to have a long and tedious movement, which made it essential that the troops should be kept in the best condition, ready for any emergency which might arise. Time was likewise exhausted in assigning the surplus trains to proper guards, in relieving the picket-lines on our front; and the night being dark and stormy, and our route lying through dense woods filled with tangled underbrush, General Warren, under the circumstances, wisely deemed it useless and imprudent to proceed further till daylight.

On the twenty-ninth, at daylight, General Warren marched rapidly toward the plank-road, a distance of eight miles, where he met General Gregg's cavalry outposts. Here General Warren and General Gregg scanned closely the position of the enemy. Just in the rear of the rebel videttes, General Gregg pointed out what he supposed to be a long line of intrenchments, but which afterward proved to be the embankment of the unfinished railroad projected several years since to run between Fredericksburgh and Gordonsville. General Warren forthwith ordered up General Caldwell's division, effecting his movements without the knowledge of the enemy, and deployed the Irish brigade to the right and Colonel Miles's brigade to the left of the plankroad. Captain Schwartz, with his three hundred cavalry, was also formed on the same road, with a battery in his rear for support; the balance of the division was ordered to march close up, ready for any contingency, while the whole column would follow on. Every thing being then in readiness, no time was squandered, and the order was given to advance. It was then noontime, and Brigadier-General Prince, on General Warren's right, was notified of this movement. The whole column then pressed on, and soon caught up with the retreating rebels, whom they drove three miles. Colonel Miles's brigade reaped new honors on this occasion, and deserve honorable mention for the cheerfulness with which they endured the privations on this rapid and most fatiguing march.

Considerable time was spent in bringing up the three divisions in the rear preparatory to the grand assault, and by the time they arrived, staff-officers from General Gregg brought news that the enemy had cut his forces in two, and he was sadly in need of reinforcements. General Warren at once sent word to General H. D. Terry, commanding Third division, Sixth corps, to render all necessary aid to General Gregg, and, if the enemy continued to press him so that he should need the whole division, to give it for his support. General Terry sent General Shaler's brigade to relieve General Gregg, but its services were not required when it arrived there.

During all this time, Colonel Miles's brigade remained on the extreme left, closing around the railroad to the enemy's right, being two miles

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