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[294] went into camp among the stumps which they had left but a short while ago. Remarkable as it may seem, yet nevertheless it is true, that while they remained in that section they were not molested or harassed by the enemy.

As night approached there was a heavy guard mounted around the camp, and the men, feeling perfectly secure, wrapped themselves in their blankets, stretched themselves out on old Mother Earth, and soon fell asleep and enjoyed that which was so much needed to the body, a night of refreshing slumber. The camp was aroused early the next morning, and the men being greatly refreshed from the labor and fatigue of the day before, started in to prepare their breakfast from such stores as were provided by the commissary department.

During the morning the general commanding had learned from some source that at a block-house at the junction of the Washing and New Berne roads, a place called Beech Grove, there was a section of artillery, and the Confederates being between them and New Berne, there was no chance for them to get to that town. Here an opportunity presented itself to get something as a trophy, beyond the capture of Colonel Fellows, his Adjutant, and his orderly, for the trip to that section. And it will be noted further on, that it was something beyond the ordinary, the extraordinary, that took place, and which was not down on the programme.

The general commanding was determined to have that section of the artillery, and to that end orders were hastily given to the Fayette Artillery, Stribling's Battery, and the 30th Virginia regiment of infantry, to prepare to march. In a short time all was in readiness, and the commands moved. The march was in a different direction, and on a different road from that which they had moved in on the day before. Having covered but a short distance from the camp, the infantry was directed to take the woods on the right and left of the road, while the artillery was compelled to traverse that thoroughfare. After marching several miles, the artillery reached an open country on the right, which proved to be a very large farm. There was a large farm house, and to reach this they had to march down a wide lawn. Before the turn into this lawn was made, ahead of them was seen a fort; soldiers were observed walking about in it, and, as the Fayette Artillery turned to the right, driving down the lawn just mentioned, with their broadside to the fort, men were seen to rush to the guns in the fort, and it was then realized that an enemy was in sight. As the Fayette Artillery drove through the lawn, not a

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Robert M. Stribling (1)
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