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[125] some wooded ground, just off a road near a point known at that time, I think, as Longstreet Church, some few miles distant from Fayetteville, N. C. The day had been very wet, and the night was rainy and black as ink. As my horse and I had eaten nothing since the evening of the previous day, I was naturally first interested in the ration question. Ah! bonnie little bay, who had to go supperless, and was so soon to brave a mortal wound unflinchingly until the fight was won, and then to sink to rest with a look so plaintive it was humanlike! I could only obtain for myself, through the kindness of a comrade, a small piece of musty corn-bread. Having finished this not very exhilirating feast, and washed it down with a draught of water, that would have been more acceptable if it had been less pure, I was about attempting to kindle a fire when I was told in a whisper that doing so was prohibited by orders. I drew out my pipe to comfort myself with a puff, but this too was forbidden, to my disgust. I then observed that such of the men as I could make out in the darkness were close to their horses, and that the animals were saddled and bitted, ready to be mounted.

I soon discovered the explanation of all this. At dusk in the evening, in a drizzling rain, General Butler had been reconnoitering at some little distance in advance of his command, accompanied by only his staff and a few couriers. Riding at the head of this little band he was met by a body of horsemen coming from the opposite direction.

To his ‘Halt!’ and ‘What command are you from?’ it was replied:

‘Picket from the—the Iowa.’1 ‘All right,’ said the General. ‘Pass on, picket.’

In the meantime a hint had been given to his escort, which they were not slow to comprehend. They separated on each side of the road, as if to allow the Federal picket to pass; but as the latter was doing so, the officer in command and the men in front were again halted, this time with the unwelcome addition, ‘Surrender; you are prisoners.’

As point was given to this sudden information by the mute but eloquent muzzles of cocked revolvers covering them, the picket quietly accepted the situation without making themselves disagreeable. They were then marched forward until the advance-guard of our division was met, when they were duly turned over as prisoners. Of course these fellows were entirely unaware that they had been

1 I think, but am not sure, the picket was from that State.

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Fayetteville (North Carolina, United States) (1)
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