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[355] mare, and took command of an unarmed suttler, he looked every inch a soldier.

Cause of the stir.

When Willis returned from the delivery of his charge to the quartermaster he explained the town's stir: The citizens had ordered Stuart to halt his column long enough to eat the dinners prepared for themselves, and handed around by the ladies, who did not take time to don hats and aprons. It is a pity to draw the brush over this lovely picture, but truth demands that I should say that the watching, waiting, vanguard was forgotten! All that we got was a pelting, driving rain. The dinner over, the orderly dashed up and said: ‘The General orders that you push ahead and cross Cedar creek, now swollen by the rain, unless your horses have to swim.’ Our zeal pronounced the creek fordable, although it was angry, dashing, crashing and swollen much beyond its usual limits.

After a dangerous struggle we crossed, and sent back word that it would be impossible to get the artillery over. Ah! who can tell what would have been the result if the artillery could have crossed? After marching a short distance, we came to a splendid mansion on our left, whose lawn was extended to the road, and was reached on foot by a stile. Here we halted and called out the owner, a ruddy, hearty old man. In reply to our questions he gave unsatisfactory answers.

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