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[234] terrible as the famous mysterious horse of Albert Durer. They were the teams and drivers brought along to carry away the captured guns, and they must have been harnessed in cotton or velvet and shod with straw, for they came on as noiselessly as the spectres of a dream.

And now, under thick darkness, headed by our morning guide, Lieutenant Goode, we broke our way through bush and briar, splashed water, stole quickly across some open patch of ground, descended into a steep gully, then climbed a hill, and the redoubt was right in front of us. Just above me, not twenty feet away, I could see a sentinel, seeming to be peering down into the cavernous gloom.

There was a moment's breathless pause. The man awaited the clarion command, ‘Charge!’ Then lights flashed along the line of embankment, soldiers rushed to the front, a bugle sounded, drum beat, and a random shot rang out here and there. The night attack had failed. Either the garrison was larger than we had been given to understand, or the enemy had been informed of the expedition, and had sent reinforcements to the redoubt. Our retreat was a crawling on hands and knees to the first sheltering thicket, and then a run for it, with the uneasy feeling of a probable volley in the back at any moment.

It is said that ‘there is but a step from the sublime to the ridiculous.’ In camp, while volunteers were falling into line for the expedition, W. E. Kyle called to a relative, J. K. Kyle, to come up to the front. ‘Go on, Emmett, my boy,’ cried the latter; ‘I glory in your spunk, but I have a wife and a stake in the country.’ A young fellow in the Chowan Light Infantry, when informed that we were about to charge the redoubt at the point of the bayonet, exclaimed in all the proud consciousness of a big tidewater plantation and hundreds of negroes, ‘Hell! if the Confederacy is so bad off for guns I'll get father to buy half a dozen cannon for it.’

I doubt not that there are some survivors of that expedition among the old soldiers of Virginia and North Carolina, who can corroborate my account, I may be repeating a story, but I have never seen it in print.

J. M. H. Fayetteville. N. C. December 26th.

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