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The Stonewall

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

FIVE days before the fight at Brandy Station, Ewell and the Second Corps, quitting the encampment near Fredericksburg and marching rapidly, had disappeared in the distance toward the Valley. Two days after the fight, Hooker, well enough aware by now that grey plans were hatching, began the withdrawal of the great army that had rested so long on the northern bank of the Rappahannock. A. P. Hill and the Third Corps, watching operations from the south bank, waited only for the withdrawal from Falmouth of the mass of the enemy. When it was gone, Hill and the Third, moving with expedition, joined Lee and Longstreet at Culpeper Court-House.

Stuart and his thousands rested from Brandy Station and observed movements. All day the grey infantry moved by, streaming toward the Blue Ridge. Cavalry speculated. " Jeb knows, of course, and the brigadiers I reckon, and I suppose Company Q knows, but I wish I did! Are we going to Ohio, or Maryland, or Pennsylvania, or just back to the blessed old Valley? I don't hold with not telling soldiers things, just because they don't have bars on their collars or stars or sashes! We've got a right to know —"

" What's in those wagons — the long white ones with six horses? " "banged if I know!"

"Boys, I know! Them's pontoons!"

"Pontoons! We're going to cross the Potomac!"

On went the infantry, over country roads, through the forest, over open fields. There were no fences now in this region, and few, few standing crops. All day the infantry streamed by, going toward the Blue Ridge. Before sunset blew the trumpets of Stuart. "Boot and saddle!" quoth the men. "Now we are going, too!"

Ewell and the Second Corps, far in advance of the First, the Third and the cavalry, pierced the Blue Ridge at Chester Gap. " Old Dick" had left a leg at Groveton, but he himself was here, going ahead of his troops, a graver man than of old, but irascible yet, quaintly lovable yet and well loved. Behind him he heard the tramp of his thousands, Jubal Early's division, Edward Johnson's division, the division of Rodes. They were going back to the Valley, and they were going to take Winchester, held by Milroy and eight thousand.

The Stonewall Brigade, led now by Walker, was numbered in Edward Johnson's division. It marched near the head of the column, and it gazed with an experienced eye upon the wall of the Blue Ridge. How many times, O Mars, how many times! Up, up the June heights wound the column, between leafy towers, by running water, beneath a cloudless sky. The Sixty-fifth Virginia, Colonel Erskine, broke into song.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
n' never brought to mind

For auld lang syne, my dear,
or auld lang sync —"

Allan Gold was not marching with the Sixty-fifth. He was half a day ahead, scouting. Around stretched the rich woods of the western slope of the Blue Ridge, below lay the wooded valley of the Shenandoah. He saw the road to Front Royal, and before him the Massanuttens closed the view. He had been travelling since sun-up, and now, at noon, he was willing enough to camp awhile. He chose the bottom of a knife-blade ravine where was a trickle of water beneath laurels in bloom. The sun came down between leaves of ash and hickory; the topmost branches just stirred, bees buzzed, birds sang far and wide. He was quite alone with the earth. First he set his rifle against a hickory, and then he gathered a very small heap of twigs and dead leaves, and then he set fire to these. From his haver-sack he took a metal plate, one side of a burst canteen. It made a small but splendid griddle and he set it on the coals. Then out came a fragment of bacon and two pieces of hard-tack. He fried the bacon, then crumbled the hard-tack in the gravy and made "coosh." Then, with slow enjoyment, he ate the bacon and the coosh. When the last atom was gone, he lifted the griddle, handling it with a thick glove of leaves, plunged it in the streamlet, washed it clean, and restored it, sun-dried, to his haversack. This done, he took out a small bag of tobacco and his pipe, filled the latter, and with his back against the hickory began to smoke. He was happy, alone with the earth whom he understood. Long and blond and strong, the grey of his clothing weatherbeaten until it was like in hue to the russet last year's leaves on which he lay, he looked a man of an old-time tale, Siegfried, perhaps, quiet and happy in the deep, deep forest.

When the pipe was empty, he cleaned it and restored it to his pocket. This done, he routed out the side of the haversack d-voted to apparel, comb, toothbrush, and — when he could get it — soap, together with other small articles. Hp had a little New Testament in which he conscientiously read at least once a week. Now he took this up. Between its pages lay an unopened letter. He uttered an exclamation. It had come to him at Fredericksburg, an hour before marching. He had had no time to read it then, and he had put it here. Then had come the breaking camp, the going ahead — he could hardly tell whether he had forgotten it or had simply taken up the notion that it had been read. He laughed. "Well, Aunt Sairy, it never happened before!" He opened it now, settled his shoulders squarely against the hickory, and read —

"DEAR ALLAN: — It's Tom's turn to write, but he says I do it because his hand's took to shaking so. The doctor says it's just eagerness — he wants to know all the time and at the right identical minute what's happening. And even the newspapers don't know that, though Lord knows they think they do! But it's just as bad to be sick with eagerness as to be sick with anything else. It's sickness just the same as if it was typhoid or pleurisy. Yes, Allan, I'm anxious enough about Tom, — though, of course, I did n't read that out to him. He's sitting in the sunshine holding the toll-box, and there ain't anything in it — and there never will be until you all stop this fool war. The doctor says — Yes, Tom! Allan, you just straighten this letter out in your own head."

Oh, it straightened out well enough in Allan's head! He let the hand that held it drop upon the leaves, and he looked up the knife-blade ravine to where the green rim of the mountain touched the blue. He saw Thunder Run Mountain, and he heard, over the mur-mur of surrounding trees, the voice of Thunder Run. He saw with the inner eye the toll-house, the roses and the pansies and the bees. It was not going well with the toll-house he knew that. Tom failing, and no toll taken, the county probably paying nothing. , Where was the money with which it could pay? Sairy fighting hard — he saw her slight, bent old figure — fighting hard now with this end, now with that, to make them meet. He knew they would never meet now, not while this war lasted. It was one of the bitter by-products — that never meeting. There was nothing to send — he himself had had no pay this long while. Pay, in the Southern armies, was a vanishing quantity.

The wood blurred before Allan's eyes. He sighed and took up the letter again.

"The school-house is most fallen down. They told me so, and I went up the Run one evening and looked at it. It's so. It looked like a yearning ghost. Christianna tried to teach the children awhile this spring, but Christianna never was no bookworm. An' then she had to do the spring ploughing, for Mrs. Maydew went down into the Valley to nurse the smallpox soldiers. Mrs. Cleave went, too, from Three Oaks. I have n't got much of a garden this year, but the potatoes and sparrowgrass look fine. The wrens have built again in the porch. They're company for Tom, now that there's so little other company. He's named the one Adam and the other Eve — Lord knows they're wiser than some Adams and Eves I know! — Tom's calling! —

"It wasn't anything. He thought it was a wagon coming up the road. If this war don't stop soon, some of us won't be here to see it stop. And now he says if he just had a little something sweet to eat — and there ain't no sugar nor nothing in the house!

"Lord sake, Allan, I did n't mean to write like this! I know you've got your end to bear. Tom is n't really so sick, and I'm jest as right as ever I was! The sun 's shining and the birds are singing, and the yellow cat's stretching himself, and the gourd vine's got a lot of flowers, and I bet you'd like to hear Thunder Run this minute! Steve Dagg's still here and limping — when he thinks anybody's looking. Rest of the time he uses both feet. He's making up to Christianna Maydew -"

Allan's hand closed on the paper. "Steve Dagg making up to Christianna Maydew! Why — damn him —" He was not a swearing man, but he swore now, rising from the ground to do so. He did not pause to analyze his feeling. A cool-blooded, quiet-natured man, he found himself suddenly wild with wrath. He with the balance of the Sixty-fifth had fully recognized Steve Dagg as the blot on their 'scutcheon — but personally, the blot had until now only amused and disgusted him. Quite suddenly he found the earth too small for both Allan Gold and Stephen Dagg.

Standing in the deep and narrow ravine and looking upward he had a vision. He saw Thunder Run Mountain, and high on the comb of it, the log house of the Maydews. He saw the ragged mountain garden sloping down, and the ragged mountain field. All about was a kind of violet mist. It parted and he saw Christianna standing in the doorway.

Allan Gold sat down upon a stone beside the brook. He leaned forward, his clasped hands hanging below his knees. The clear, dark water gave him back his face and form. He sat so, very still, for some minutes, then he drew a long, long breath. "I have been," he said, "all kinds of a fool."

Sairy's letter offered but a few more words. He read them through, folded the paper thoughtfully and carefully, and laid it between the leaves of the Testament. Then he stood up, carefully extinguished with his foot the fire of leaves and twigs, took his rifle, and turned his face toward the Shenandoah.

Thirty-six hours later found him waiting, a little east of Front Royal, for the column. It appeared, winding through the woods, Ewell riding at the head, with him Jubal Early and J. B. Gordon. Allan stood out from the ferny margin of the wood and saluted.

"Hello!" said Old Dick. "It's the best scout in the service!"

Allan gave his information. "General, I've been talking to an old farmer and his wife, refugeeing from the Millwood section. They believed there was a considerable Yankee force at Berryville. So I went on for a few miles, and got three small boys and sent them into Berryville on a report that there was a circus in town. They got the news all right and came back with it. Mc-Reynolds is there with something like fifteen hundred men and a' considerable amount of stores."

"Is he ?" quoth Old Dick. "Then, when we get to Cedarville I'll send somebody to get that honey out of the gum tree! Now you go on, Gold, and get some more information."

The column marched through Front Royal. All of Front Royal that was there came out and wept and laughed and cheered, and dashed out to the ranks to shake hands, to clasp, to kiss. "Oh, don't you remember, little more'n a year ago - and all the things that have happened since! The North Fork — and the burnt bridge — and Ashby at Buckton.... Oh, Ashby! . . . and the fight with Kenly — and the big charge — and Stonewall Jackson. 'My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof!'"

The column crossed the Shenandoah and came to Cedarville, where it rested for the night. Here there reported to Ewell Jenkins's cavalry brigade. In the morning Old Dick sent this body of horse, together with Rodes's division, across country to Berryville with instructions to capture or disperse McRennolds's command, and then to press on to Martinsburg. Ewell himself, with Early and Edward Johnson's divisions, took the road that led by Middletown and Nineveh to the Valley Pike.

At Nineveh Allan Gold again appeared. "General, I've been almost into Winchester. Milroy has breastworks all around, and he's well off in artillery. The hills west and northwest of the town command his works."

"All right, all right!" said Ewell. "Winchester's going to see another battle."

On the morning of the thirteenth the column divided. Edward Johnson, with Nounnan's cavalry force, keeping on upon the Front Royal and Winchester road, while Early's division struck the Valley Pike at Newtown.

The Valley Pike! The Valley soldiers — of whom there were a number in this division, though more in Edward Johnson's — the Valley soldiers had last seen the Valley Pike in October — and now it was June. They had seen it in a glory of crimson and gold, and a violet haze of Indian summer, and then they had left it, Stonewall Jackson riding ahead. . . . and then had come Fredericksburg .. . and then had come the Wilderness.

"Howdy, Valley Pike!" said the soldiers. "It's been long that we've been away! Did you miss us, old girl ? We've missed you. A lot of us did n't come back, but here's some of us!"

Through the hot afternoon Jubal Early and his troops moved down the pike toward Winchester. Near Bartonsville, in position upon a low hill, they found the First Maryland Infantry and the Baltimore Artillery.

Colonel Herbert of the First reported. "They've got a force, sir, at Kernstown, and a battery on Pritchard's Hill. We've been skirmishing off and on all day."

"All right!" swore Old Jube. "I'll send the Louisiana Brigade and dislodge that battery."

Hays and the Louisianians went, crossing the meadow and skirting the ridge, marching where had marched the Army of the Valley on the old field of Kernstown. The blue battery removed from Pritchard's Hill; they took that eminence without difficulty. Hays sent back tidings of Federal infantry massing to the left. Early ordered Gordon forward. That dashing officer and brave and handsome man swung by with his brigade. Joining Hays, the two, Georgia and Louisiana, drove the blue detachment over field and ridge and Abraham's Creek to Bowers's Hill. This, infantry and artillery, the blue seized and held through the night. The brigades of Hoke and Smith arrived, but it was twilight and a drenching summer rain. The grey bivouacked on the field of Kernstown.

Dawn came up, hot and still, and with it Old Dick to confer with Old Jube. Council over, Gordon was moved forward, the Maryland troops with him, and left to skirmish with, amuse, and distract the enemy. Hays and Hoke and Smith with some artillery plunged into the woods. "Flank movement!" said the men. "It's fun to flank and it's hell to be flanked. That's the road to Romney over there."

They came to the lower slopes of Little North Mountain, to the Pughtown road. On high ground to the south was a ruined orchard and a ruined house called Folk's Old House; while on high ground to the north lay a ruined cornfield, part of Mrs. Brieley's land. Both points overlooked the fortifications. Old Jube divided Jones's Artillery. Twelve pieces were posted in the ruined orchard, eight in the ruined cornfield. The Fifty-seventh North Carolina kept guard in the direction of the Pughtown road, and Hoke and Smith were drawn up in the rear of Hays. It was late in the day; intensely hot, and the men suffering greatly from thirst. The twenty pieces opened on the blue earthworks crowning the hills in front. Harry Hays and the Louisianians moved forward, climbing the hill, through felled brushwood, to the assault. They took the height and six guns upon it. It overlooked and commanded the main works of the blue, and the grey brought up and trained the guns. But the hot night fell, and the soldiers lay on their arms till daybreak. When the dawn came, pink over the distant Blue Ridge, it was found that the Federals had evacuated all fortifications on this side of Winchester. Before the earth was well lit, scouts brought news that they were in retreat upon the Martinsburg Pike.

While on the thirteenth, Early advanced upon Winchester by the Valley Pike, Edward Johnson's division, Nounnan's cavalry going ahead, kept to the Front Royal and Winchester road. Two miles from the town they made a line of battle and began to skirmish. There was a blue battery upon the Millwood road, and to meet it Carpenter's guns were brought up. A dozen blue pieces upon this side of Winchester opened fire and for hours there went on a slow cannonade. On the morning of the fourteenth the division moved forward, the Stonewall leading, and renewed the skirmishing. In the afternoon they heard the roar of Early's guns.

The Fifth Virginia was thrown forward, across the Millwood road to the low hills fronting the town. The blue held in some strength the scrubby crest of this ridge. The Fifth had sharp skirmishing. Behind it came two companies of the Sixty-fifth, turned a little to the left, and began sharpshooting from a screen of pine and oak.

"Sergeant Maydew," said a captain, "take six men and go occupy that scrub-oak clump down there. Watch that ravine and pick them off if they come up it."

Billy Maydew and the six fairly filled the tuft of bushes halfway down the hill. "Jest as snug as a bug in a rug!"

"They'll get it hot if they come up that gully! It's a beautiful — what did Steve use to call it ? — `avalanche'!"

"I kind of miss Steve. He had his uses. He'd keep up even a yaller dog's self-esteem. Even a turkey-buzzard could say, `I am better than thou.' Every time I got down in the mouth and began to think of my sins I just looked at Steve and felt all right."

"Reckon the army 'll ever get him again ? Reckon his sore foot 'Il ever get well ?"

"He'd better not come back to the Sixty-fifth," said Sergeant Billy Maydew. He spoke with slow emphasis. "The day Steve Dagg comes back to the Sixty-fifth Billy Maydew air goin' to be marched to the guardhouse for killing a polecat."

The six smiled, smiled with grimness. "Ef you do it, Sergeant, reckon the Sixty-fifth, from the colonel down, 'll appear for you and swear you did a public service!"

Dave Maydew moved his head aside, then softly raised his rifle. The others did likewise. There was a pause so utter that they heard each other's breathing and. the dry Zrrrr! of a distant grasshopper.

Dave lowered the rifle. "I see now! 'T wa'n't nothing but a squirrel."

"Reckon 't won't do to shoot him ? Squirrel stew—"

"Don't you dar!" said Billy. "There air to be no firing out of this oak clump except upon the enemy."

The skirmish line of the Fifth swept past them, driving the blue. The fighting was now nearer town; they knew by the slight change in sound that there were houses and stone walls. The afternoon wore on, — hot, hot in the clump of bushes! Litter bearers came by, carrying a wounded officer. " Colonel of the Fifth — Colonel Williams. They came against our right! They've got ten of our men. But then did n't we drive them!"

Litter and bearers and escort went on. "Ain't anybody, less'n it's a crittur with fur, comin' up that ravine!"

"An old mooley cow might come up."

"Where 'd she come from ? They're all slaughtered and eaten. Nothing 's left of anything."

"That's right! Egypt and the locusts —"

"Lieutenant Coffin's signalling to rejoin. Reckon Sixty-fifth's going on, too!"

Just before night the general commanding sent an order to Ed-ward Johnson. "Move with three brigades by right flank to the Martinsburg Turnpike at a point above Winchester. If enemy evacuates, intercept his retreat. If he does not, attack him in his fortifications from that direction." Johnson started at once with Steuart's and Nicholls's brigades, and Dement's, Raines's, and Carpenter's batteries, Snowden Andrews commanding. Their way lay across country on a dark night, by the Jordan Springs road.

The objective was Stephenson's, several miles above Winchester, where a railroad cut hidden by heavy woods almost touched the Martinsburg Pike. Off marched Steuart and Nicholls and the artillery. The Stonewall Brigade, nearest to the enemy, was ordered to advance skirmishers to conceal the movement, and then to follow to Stephenson's. There was some delay in the receipt of the order. The Stonewall advanced its skirmishers, ascertained on this side the position of the enemy, but did not till midnight take the road by which the two brigades had gone.

It was a pitch black night after a hot and harassing day. The "foot cavalry" marched as Stonewall Jackson had taught it to march, but all country and all roads were now difficult, scarred, trenched, broken, and torn by war. This was like a dream road, barred, every rood, by dream obstacles. The Sixty-fifth sighed. It was too tired to make any other demonstration. In the hot, close night it was damp with perspiration. The road was deeply rutted and the drying mud had a knife-like edge. The shoes of the Sixty-fifth were so full of holes! The bruise from the chance stone, the cut of the dried mud helped at least in keeping the regiment awake. The Sixty-fifth's eyes were full of sleep: it would have loved — it would have loved to drop down in the darkness and float away — float away to Botetourt and Rockbridge and Bedford . . . float away — float away, just into nothingness!

Behind the Stonewall the sky began, very faintly, to pale. The native of the country who was guiding spoke briefly. "We're near the pike. Stephenson's not far on the other side." Down the dark line, shadows in the half light, rang an order like a ghostly echo. "Press forward, men! Press forward!" The "foot cavalry" made a sound in its throat, then did its best.

The east grew primrose, the rolling country took form. It was now a haggard country, seamed, burned over, and ruined, differing enough from what it once had been. There came a gleam of the Valley Pike, then with suddenness a heavy sound of firing. "They're attacking! They're attacking!" said the Stonewall. "Hurry up there! — hurry up — Double-quick !"

So thick was the fog that it was difficult to distinguish at any distance shape or feature. A mounted man appeared before the head of the column, all grey in grey mist. "It's Captain Douglas, General, from General Johnson! The enemy's evacuating Winches-ter. We're holding the railroad cut over there, but they're in strength and threaten to flank us! Ammunition 's almost out. Please come on as fast as you can!"

The Stonewall felt the Valley Pike beneath its feet. Through the fog, a little to the west of the road, they saw a body of troops moving rapidly. In the enveloping mist the colour could not be told. "Grey, are n't they ? — Can you see the flag — ?" "No, but I think they 're ours — Steuart or Nicholls . . ." "They're not Steuart and they are not Nicholls," said Thunder Run. "They're blue."

"It's the Yankee flanking body! . . . Fire I"

The dew-drenched hills and misty woods echoed the volley. It was answered by the blue, but somewhat scatteringly. The blue were in retreat, evacuating Winchester, moving toward the Potomac. They were willing to attack the grey regiments known to be holding the railroad cut, but a counter-attack upon their own rear and flank had not entered into their calculations. In the fog and in the smoke it could not be told whether it was one grey brigade or two or four. Soldiers, grey or blue, might be stanch enough, but in this, as in all wars, the cry, "We're flanked!" stirred up panic. The constitution-ally timid, in either uniform, were always expecting to be flanked. They often cried wolf where there was no wolf. This morning certain of the blue cried it lustily. And here, indeed, was the wolf, grey, gaunt, and yelling! The blue, bent on flanking the two brigades and the artillery in and around the railroad cut, found themselves, in turn, flanked by the Stonewall Brigade. They were between Scylla and Charybdis, and they broke. There was a wood. They streamed toward it, and the Stonewall came, yelling, on their tracks. At the same moment at the railroad cut, Nicholls's Louisiana regiments, Dement's and Raines's and Carpenter's guns, came into touch with and routed the blue cavalry and infantry moving to the left. The cavalry — most of it — escaped, Milroy on a white horse with them. The infantry were taken prisoner. From the centre, where it, too, was victor, rose the jubilant yell of Steuart's brigade.

The Stonewall reached the rim of the wood. It was filled with purple, early light and with the forms of hurrying men. The charging line raised its muskets; the Stonewall's finger was on the trigger. Down an aisle of trees showed a white square, raised and shaken to and fro. Out of the violet light carne a voice. "Don't fire! We surrender!"

Steuart and Nicholls and the Stonewall and the artillery took, above Winchester, twenty-three hundred prisoners with arms and equipments, one hundred and seventy-five horses, and eleven stands of colours. Back in Winchester and the surrounding fortifications there fell into Early's hands another thousand men in blue, other horses, twenty-five pieces of artillery, ammunition, and three hundred loaded wagons and stores. The remainder of Milroy's command, evacuating the town early in the night, had passed the danger-point on the Martinsburg Pike in safety. Now it was hurrying toward the Potomac, after it Jenkins's cavalry.

"Dear Dick Ewell" with his crutches, Jubal Early with his eccentricity, his profanity, his rough tongue, his large ability, and heroic devotion to the cause he served, behind them Hays and Gordon and Hoke and Smith, and all the exultant grey officers, and all the exult-ant grey men passed in the strengthening sunlight through happy Winchester. It was a scarred Winchester, a Winchester worn of raiment and thin of cheek, a Winchester that had wept of nights and in the daytime had watched, watched ! Sister Anne, Sister Anne, what do you see? This June morning Winchester was happy beyond words.

Out on the Martinsburg Pike, Ewell and Early met Edward Johnson and his brigadiers. "Rodes is at Martinsburg. His courier got to us across country. He's taken the stores at Berryville and now at Martinsburg,—five pieces of artillery, two hundred prisoners, six thousand bushels of grain. The enemy's making for the river, Jenkins behind them. They'll cross at Williamsport. I've sent an order to General Rodes to press on to the Potomac. We'll rest the men for two hours and then we'll follow."

The next day, the fifteenth of June, Rodes crossed to Williamsport in Maryland, Jenkins going forward to Chambersburg. Jubal Early with his division took the Shepherdstown road, threatening, from that vicinity, Harper's Ferry. Edward Johnson and his division crossed at Shepherdstown and encamped near the field of Sharpsburg.

On the fifteenth, Longstreet and the First Corps left Culpeper, and marched along the eastern base of the Blue Ridge toward Ashby's Gap. At the same time A. P. Hill and the Third Corps took the road for the Valley already traversed by Ewell and the Second. Stuart and the cavalry moved to cover Longstreet's front. Fighting Joe Hooker had left the Rappahannock, but he yet hovered in Virginia, on the south side of the Potomac.

June seventeenth, June nineteenth, June twenty-first saw the second tilt of this month between Pleasanton and Stuart, the running cavalry fight through the Loudoun Valley, between the spurs of the Bull Run Mountains, by Middleburg and the little town of Aldie. The tournament was a brilliant one, with charge and counter-charge, ambuscade, surprise, wheelings here and wheelings there, pourings from dark mountain passes, thundering dashes through villages quivering with excitement, fighting from the saddle, fighting dismounted, incursions of blue infantry and artillery, hairbreadth escapes, clank and din and roll of drum, dust cloud and smoke cloud, mad passage of red-nostrilled, riderless horses, appeal of trumpet, rally and charge. It was a three-days' fight to stir for many a year to come the blood of listening youth, but it was not a fortunate fight — not for the grey South! The honours of the joust itself were evenly enough divided. Stuart lost five hundred men, Pleasanton eight hundred. But before the trumpets rang Halt! the blue horsemen pushed the grey horsemen across the Loudoun Valley from Bull Run Mountains to Blue Ridge. In itself the position was well enough. Stuart, jocund as a summer morning, extricated with skill brigade after brigade, plunged with them into the dark passes, and, the fight drawn, presently marched on to the Potomac. But Pleasanton's patrols, winding upward, came out upon the crest of Blue Ridge. Here they reined in their horses and gazed, open-mouthed. Far below, travelling westward, travelling northward were troops on the roads of the great Valley — troops and troops and troops; infantry, artillery, cavalry, wagon trains and wagon trains. The vedettes stared. "The Confederacy 's moving north! The Confederacy's moving north!" They turned their horses and went at speed back to Pleasanton. Pleasanton sent at speed to Fighting Joe Hooker. Hooker at once pushed north to the Potomac, which he crossed, on the twenty-fifth, at Edwards's Ferry.

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