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[401] of nature — a wonder worthy of a voyage across oceans and continents to see;1 so we will dismiss the consideration of it by saying that we ascended into upper air and the sunlight at a late hour in the afternoon, with appetites that gave a keen relish to a good dinner at Mohler's, for we had eaten nothing since breakfast. After dinner we rode on by a good highway, parallel with the Valley Pike, toward Staunton, passing the site of what is known as the Battle of Piedmont (to be mentioned hereafter) at sunset, and arrived at our destination at a late hour in the evening. We spent the next day (Sunday) in Staunton, and on Monday morning departed by railway for the scenes of strife eastward of the Blue Ridge, along the hollow of Rockfish Gap in that range, and through the great tunnel. Magnificent was the panorama seen on our right as we emerged from that dark artificial cavern in the mountains. Skirting the great hill-side along a terrace, we saw, a thousand feet below us, one of those beauteous and fertile valleys with which the mountain regions of Virginia abound. Others opened to our view as we descended gradually into the lower country. We passed the seat of Jefferson, near Charlottesville, at noon, dined at Gordonsville, and lodged that night at Culpepper Court-House. Our experience at the latter place will be considered hereafter.

Tail-piece — Punishments in camp.

1 This cave is seventeen miles northeast from Staunton, in the northern extremity of Augusta County. It is on the eastern side of a high hill that runs parallel with the Blue Ridge, and a little more than two miles from it. It was accidentally discovered by a hunter — a German named Barnard Weyer — about the year 1804. A short distance from it, in the same hill, is Madison's Cave, so well described by Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia, at a time when this far greater cave was unknown.

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