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   Chapter 15 KERNSTOWN

The Long Roll By Mary Johnston Characters: 31563

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


The brigade was halted before a stretch of forest white with dogwood. Ahead began a slow cannonade. Puffs of smoke rose above the hill that hid the iron combatants. "Ashby's Horse Artillery," said the men. "That's the Blakeley now! Boys, I reckon we're in for it!"

An aide passed at a gallop. "Shields and nine thousand men. Ashby was misinformed-more than we thought-Shields and nine thousand men."

Along the line the soldiers slightly moved their feet, moistened their lips. The 65th occupied a fairy dell where Quaker ladies, blue as the heavens, bloomed by every stone. A Federal battery opened from a hill to the right. A screaming shell entered the wood, dug into earth, and exploded, showering all around with mould. There came a great burst of music-the Northern bands playing as the regiments deployed. "That's 'Yankee Doodle!'" said the men. "Everybody's cartridge-box full? Johnny Lemon, don't you forgit to take your ramrod out before you fire!"

The colonel came along the line. "Boys, there is going to be a considerable deer drive!-Now, I am going to tell you about this quarry. Its name is Banks, and it wants to get across country to the Shenandoah, and so out of the Valley to join McClellan. Now General Johnston's moving from the Rapidan toward Richmond, and he doesn't want Banks bothering him. He says, 'Delay the enemy as long as you can.' Now General Jackson's undertaken to do it. We've got thirty-five hundred men, and that ought to be enough.-Right face! Forward march!"

As the troops crossed the Valley pike the men hailed it. "Howdy, old Road! Pleased to meet you again. Lord! jest as fresh as a daisy-jest as though we hadn't tramped them thirty-six miles from New Market since yesterday daybreak! My Lord! wish I had your staying qualities-Au re-vo-ree!"

Stone fences bordered the pike. The infantry, moving in double column, climbed them and entered another strip of springtime woods. The artillery-McLaughlin's, Carpenter's, and Waters's batteries-found a cross-roads and thundered by, straining to the front. Ashby, together with Chew's battery of horse artillery, kept the pike the other side of Kernstown. In front of the infantry stretched a great open marshy meadow, utterly without cover. Beyond this to the north, rose low hills, and they were crowned with Federal batteries, while along the slopes and in the vales between showed masses of blue infantry, clearly visible, in imposing strength and with bright battle-flags. It was high noon, beneath a brilliant sky. There were persistent musicians on the northern side; all the blue regiments came into battle to the sound of first-rate military bands. The grey listened. "They sure are fond of 'Yankee Doodle!' There are three bands playing it at once.... There's the 'Star Spangled Banner'-

Oh, say can you see,

Through the blue shades of evening-

I used to love it!... Good Lord, how long ago!"

Hairston Breckinridge spoke, walking in front of his company. "We're waiting for the artillery to get ahead. We're going to turn the enemy's right-Shields's division, Kimball commanding. You see that wooded ridge away across there? That's our objective. That's Pritchard's Hill, where all the flags are-How many men have they got? Oh, about nine thousand.-There goes the artillery now-there goes Rockbridge!-Yes, sir!-Attention! Fall in!"

In double column almost the entire fighting force of the Army of the Valley crossed the endless open meadow beneath Kimball's batteries. That the latter's range was poor was a piece of golden fortune. The shells crossed to the wood or exploded high in blue air. Harmless they might be, but undeniably they were trying. Involuntarily the men stared, fascinated, at each round white cloud above them; involuntarily jerked their heads at each rending explosion. From a furrowed ridge below the guns, musketry took a hand. The Army of the Valley here first met with minie balls. The sound with which they came curdled the blood. "What's that? What's that?... That's something new. The infernal things!" Billy Maydew, walking with his eyes on the minies, stumbled over a fairy's ring and came to his knees. Lieutenant Coffin swore at him. "-- --! Gawking and gaping as though 'twere Christmas and Roman candles going off! Getup!" Billy arose and marched on. "I air a-going to kill him. Yes, sir; I air a-going to kill him yet." "Shoo!" said the man beside him. "He don't mean no harm. He's jest as nervous as a two-year filly, and he's got to take it out on some one! Next 'lection of officers he'll be down and out.-Sho! how them things do screech!"

The meadow closed with a wooded hill. The grey lines, reaching shelter, gasped with relief. The way was steep, however, and the shells still rained. An oak, struck and split by solid shot, fell across the way. A line of ambulances coming somehow upon the hillside fared badly. Up the men strained to the top, which proved to be a wide level. The Rockbridge battery passed them at a gallop, to be greeted by a shell thrown from a thirty-two pounder on the Federal right. It struck a wheel horse of one of the howitzers, burst, and made fearful havoc. Torn flesh and blood were everywhere; a second horse was mangled, only less horribly than the first; the third, a strong white mare, was so covered with the blood of her fellows and from a wound of her own, that she looked a roan. The driver's spine was crushed, the foot of a gunner was taken off-clean at the ankle as by a scythe. The noise was dreadful; the shriek that the mare gave echoed through the March woods. The other guns of the battery, together with Carpenter's and Waters's, swept round the ruin and over the high open ground toward a stone wall that ran diagonally across. The infantry followed and came out on an old field, strewn with rocks and blackberry bushes. In the distance stretched another long stone wall. Beyond it, on the gentle slopes, were guns enough and blue soldiers enough-blue soldiers, with bright flags above them and somewhere still that insistent music. They huzzahed when they saw the Confederates, and the Confederates answered with that strangest battle shout, that wild and high and ringing cry called the "rebel yell."

In the woods along the ridge and in the old field itself the infantry deployed. There were portions of three brigades,-Fulkerson's, Burk's, and the Stonewall. Fulkerson held the left, Burk with the Irish Battalion the right, and Garnett the centre. The position was commanding, the Confederate strength massed before the Federal right, Shields's centre well to the eastward, and his left under Sullivan in the air, on the other side of the pike. It was Stonewall Jackson's desire to turn that right flank, to crumple it back upon the centre, and to sweep by on the road to Winchester-the loved valley town so near that one might see its bourgeoning trees, hear its church bells.

He rode, on Little Sorrel, up and down the forming lines, and he spoke only to give orders, quiet and curt, much in his class-room tone. He was all brown like a leaf with Valley dust and sun and rain. The old cadet cap was older yet, the ancient boots as grotesquely large, the curious lift of his hand to Heaven no less curious than it had always been. He was as awkward, as hypochondriac, as literal, as strict as ever. Moreover, there should have hung about him the cloud of disfavour and hostility raised by that icy march to Romney less than three months ago. And yet-and yet! What had happened since then? Not much, indeed. The return of the Stonewall Brigade to Winchester, Loring's representations, the War Department's interference, and Major-General T. J. Jackson's resignation from the service and request to be returned to the Virginia Military Institute. General Johnston's remonstrance, Mr. Benjamin's amende honorable, and the withdrawal of "Old Jack's" resignation. There had been some surprise among the men at the effect upon themselves of this withdrawal. They had greeted the news with hurrahs; they had been all that day in extraordinary spirits. Why? To save them they could not have told. He had not won any battles. He had been harsh, hostile, pedantic, suspected, and detested upon that unutterable Bath and Romney trip. And yet-and yet! He was cheered when, at Winchester, it was known that the Army of the Valley and not the Virginia Military Institute was to have Major-General T. J. Jackson's services. He was cheered when, at short intervals, in the month or two there in camp, he reviewed his army. He was cheered when, a month ago, the army left Winchester, left the whole-hearted, loving, and loved town to be occupied by the enemy, left it and moved southward to New Market! He was cheered loudly when, two days before, had come the order to march-to march northward, back along the pike, back toward Winchester.

He was cheered now as he rode quietly to and fro, forming his line of battle-Fulkerson's 23d and 37th Virginia on the left, then the 27th supported by the 21st, in the second line the 4th, the 33d, the 2d, the 65th, a little back the Irish Battalion, and at the bottom of the ridge the 5th, keeping touch with Ashby toward the pike. It was two of the afternoon, beautiful and bright. A brigadier, meeting him, said, "We were not sure, general, that you would fight to-day! It is Sunday."

The other fastened upon him his steady grey-blue eyes. "The God of Battles, sir, as a great general, will understand. I trust that every regiment may have service to-morrow in Winchester. Advance your skirmishers, and send a regiment to support Carpenter's battery."

The 27th Virginia, target for a withering artillery fire, crossed the open and disappeared in a strip of March wood, high and keen and brown against the fleckless sky. Behind it two long grey lines moved slowly forward, out now in the old field. The men talked as they went. "Wish there was nice ripe blackberries on these bushes! Wish I was a little boy again with a straw hat and a tin bucket, gathering blackberries and listenin' to the June bugs! Zoon-Zoon-Zoon! O Lord! listen to that shell!-Sho! that wasn't much. I'm getting to kind of like the fuss. There ain't so many of them screeching now, anyhow!"

A lieutenant raised his voice. "Their fire is slackening.-Don't reckon they're tired of it, sir? Hope their ammunition's out!"

From the rear galloped a courier. "Where's General Jackson?-They're drawing off!-a big body, horse and foot, is backing toward Winchester-"

"Glory hallelujah!" said the men. "Maybe we won't have to fight on Sunday after all!"

Out of the March woods ahead broke a thunderclap of sound, settling into a roar of musketry. It endured for some minutes, then forth from the thickets and shadow of the forest, back from Barton's Woods into the ragged old field, reeled the 27th Virginia. Its colonel, Colonel John Echols, was down; badly hurt and half carried now by his men; there were fifty others, officers and men, killed or wounded. The wounded, most of them, were helped back by their comrades. The dead lay where they fell in Barton's Woods, where the arbutus was in bloom and the purple violets.

The 21st swept forward. The 27th rallied, joined the 21st. The two charged the wood that was now filling with clouds of blue skirmishers. Behind came hurrying Garnett with the 2d, the 4th, and the 33d.

Fulkerson on the left, facing Tyler, had two regiments, the 23d and 37th Virginia. He deployed his men under cover, but now they were out in a great and ragged field, all up and down, with boggy hollows, scarred too by rail fences and blurred by low-growing briar patches. Diagonally across it, many yards away, ran one of the stone fences of the region, a long dike of loosely piled and rounded rock. Beyond it the ground kept the same nature, but gradually lifted to a fringe of tall trees. Emerging from this wood came now a Federal line of battle. It came with pomp and circumstance. The sun shone on a thousand bayonets; bright colours tossed in the breeze, drums rolled and bugles blew. Kimball, commanding in Shields's absence, had divined the Confederate intention. He knew that the man they called Stonewall Jackson meant to turn his right, and he began to mass his regiments, and he sent for Sullivan from the left.

The 23d and 37th Virginia eyed the on-coming line and eyed the stone fence. "That's good cover!" quoth a hunter from the hills. "We'd a long sight better have it than those fellows!-Sh! the colonel's speaking."

Fulkerson's speech was a shout, for there had arisen a deafening noise of artillery. "Run for your lives, men-toward the enemy! Forward, and take the stone fence!"

The two regiments ran, the Federal line of battle ran, the stone cover the prize. As they ran the grey threw forward their muskets and fired. That volley was at close range, and it was discharged by born marksmen. The grey fired again; yet closer. Many a blue soldier fell; the colour-bearer pitched forward, the line wavered, gave back. The charging grey reached and took the wall. It was good cover. They knelt behind it, laid their musket barrels along the stones, and fired. The blue line withstood that volley, even continued its advance, but a second fusillade poured in their very faces gave them check at last. In disorder, colours left upon the field, they surged back to the wood and to the cover of a fence at right angles with that held by the Confederates. Now began upon the left the fight of the stone wall-hours of raging battle, of high quarrel for this barrier. The regiments composing the grey centre found time to cheer for Fulkerson; the rumour of the fight reached the right where Ashby's squadron held the pike. Jackson himself came on Little Sorrel, looked at the wall and the line of men, powder grimed about the lips, plying the ramrods, shouldering the muskets, keeping back Tyler's regiments, and said "Good! good!"

Across a mile of field thundered an artillery duel, loud and prolonged. The blue had many guns; the grey eighteen in action. There were indeed but seventeen, for a Tredegar iron gun was disabled in crossing the meadow. The blue were the stronger cannon, modern, powerful. The grey were inferior there; also the grey must reach deeper and deeper into caisson and limber chest, must cast anxious backward glances toward ordnance wagons growing woefully light. The fire of the blue was extremely heavy; the fire of the grey as heavy as possible considering the question of ammunition. Rockbridge worked its guns in a narrow clearing dotted with straw stacks. A section under Lieutenant Poague was sent at a gallop, half a mile forward, to a point that seemed of vantage. Here the unlimbering guns found themselves in infantry company, a regiment lying flat, awaiting orders. "Hello, 65th!" said the gunners. "Wish people going to church at home could see us!"

A shell fell beside the howitzer and burst with appalling sound. The gun was blown from position, and out of the smoke came a fearful cry of wounded men. "O God!-O God!" The smoke cleared. All who had served that gun were down. Their fellows about the six-pounder, the other gun of the section, stood stupefied, staring, their lips parted, sponge staff or rammer or lanyard idle in their hands. A horse came galloping. An aide of Jackson's-Sandy Pendleton it was said-leaped to the ground. He was joined by Richard Cleave. The two came through the ring of the wounded and laid hold of the howitzer. "Mind the six-pounder, Poague! We'll serve here. Thunder Run men, three of you, come here and help!"

They drew the howitzer in position, charged it, and fired. In a very few moments after the horror of the shell, she was steadily sending canister against the great Parrott on the opposite hil

l. The six-pounder beside her worked as steadily. A surgeon came with his helpers, gathered up the wounded, and carried them beneath a whistling storm of shot and shell to a field hospital behind the ridge.

Out of the woods came fresh regiments of the enemy. These bore down upon the guns and upon the 5th Virginia now forming behind them. Poague's section opened with canister at one hundred and fifty yards. All the Valley marksmen of the 5th let fall the lids of their cartridge boxes, lifted their muskets, and fired. The blue withstood the first volley and the second, but at the third they went back to the wood. An order arrived from McLaughlin of the Rockbridge, "Lieutenant Poague back to the straw stacks!" The battery horses, quiet and steadfast, were brought from where they had stood and cropped the grass, the guns were limbered up, Jackson's aide and the men of the 65th fell back, the six-pounder shared its men with the howitzer, off thundered the guns. There was a stir in the 65th. "Boys, I heard say that when those fellows show again, we're going to charge!"

The battle was now general-Fulkerson on the left behind the stone wall, Garnett in the centre, the artillery and Burk with three battalions on the right. Against them poured the regiments of Kimball and Tyler, with Sullivan coming up. The sun, could it have been seen through the rolling smoke, would have showed low in the heavens. The musketry was continuous, and the sound of the cannon shook the heart of Winchester three miles away.

The 65th moved forward. Halfway up the slope, its colonel received an ugly wound. He staggered and sank. "Go on! go on, men! Fine hunt! Don't let the stag-" The 65th went on, led by Richard Cleave.

Before it stretched a long bank of springtime turf, a natural breastwork seized by the blue soldiers as the stone fence on the left had been taken by Fulkerson. From behind this now came a line of leaping flame. Several of the grey fell, among them the colour-bearer. The man nearest snatched the staff. Again the earthwork blazed and rang, and again the colour-bearer fell, pitching forward, shot through the heart. Billy Maydew caught the colours. "Thar's a durned sharpshooter a-settin' in that thar tree! Dave, you pick him off."

Again the bank blazed. A western regiment was behind it, a regiment of hunters and marksmen. Moreover a fresh body of troops could be seen through the smoke, hurrying down from the tall brown woods. The grey line broke, then rallied and swept on. The breastwork was now but a few hundred feet away. A flag waved upon it, the staff planted in the soft earth. Billy, moving side by side with Allan Gold, clutched closer the great red battle-flag with the blue cross. His young face was set, his eyes alight. Iron-sinewed he ran easily, without panting. "I air a-goin'," he announced, "I air a-goin' to put this here one in the place of that thar one."

"'T isn't going to be easy work," said Allan soberly. "What's the use of ducking, Steve Dagg? If a bullet's going to hit you it's going to hit you, and if it isn't going to hit you it isn't-"

A minie ball cut the staff of the flag in two just above Billy's head. He caught the colours as they came swaying down, Allan jerked a musket from a dead man's grasp, and together he and Billy somehow fastened the flag to the bayonet and lifted it high. The line halted under a momentary cover, made by the rising side of a hollow rimmed by a few young locust trees. Cleave came along it. "Close ranks!-Men, all of you! that earthwork must be taken. The 2d, the 4th, and the 33d are behind us looking to see us do it. General Jackson himself is looking. Attention! Fix bayonets! Forward! Charge!"

Up out of the hollow, and over the field went the 65th in a wild charge. The noise of a thousand seas was in the air, and the smoke of the bottomless pit. The yellow flashes of the guns came through it, and a blur of colour-the flag on the bank. On went their own great battle-flag, slanting forward as Billy Maydew ran. The bank flamed and roared. A bullet passed through the fleshy part of the boy's arm. He looked sideways at the blood. "Those durned bees sure do sting! I air a-goin' to plant this here flag on that thar bank, jest the same as if 't was a hop pole in Christianna's garden!"

Fulkerson fought on grimly by the stone wall; Garnett and the other Stonewall regiments struggled with desperation to hold the centre, the artillery thundered from every height. The 65th touched the earthwork. Cleave mounted first; Allan followed, then Billy and the Thunder Run men, the regiment pouring after. Hot was the welcome they got, and fierce was their answering grip. In places men could load and fire, but bayonet and musket butt did much of the work. There was a great clamour, the acrid smell of powder, the indescribable taste of battle. The flag was down; the red battle-flag with the blue cross in its place. There was a surge of the western regiment toward it, a battle around it that strewed the bank and the shallow ditch beneath with many a blue figure, many a grey. Step by step the grey pushed the blue back, away from the bank, back toward the wood arising, shadowy, from a base of eddying smoke.

Out of the smoke, suddenly, came hurrahing. It was deep and loud, issuing from many throats. The western regiment began to hurrah, too. "They're coming to help! They're coming to help! Indiana, ain't it?-Now, you rebs, you go back on the other side!"

The blue wave from the wood came to reinforce the blue wave in front. The 65th struggled with thrice its numbers, and there was a noise from the wood which portended more. Back, inch by inch, gave the grey, fighting desperately. They loaded, fired, loaded, fired. They used bayonet and musket stock. The blue fell thick, but always others came to take their places. The grey fell, and the ranks must close with none to reinforce. In the field to the left the 4th and the 33d had their hands very full; the 2d was gone to Fulkerson's support, the 5th and the 42d were not yet up. Out of the wood came a third huzzahing blue line. Cleave, hatless, bleeding from a bayonet thrust in the arm, ordered the retreat.

On the crest of the bank there was confusion and clamour, shots and shouts, the groans of the fallen, a horrible uproar. Out of the storm came a high voice, "It air a-goin' to stay, and I air a-goin' to stay with it!"

Billy Maydew had the flag. He stood defiant, half enveloped in its folds, his torn shirt showing throat and breast, his young head thrown back against the red ground. "I ain't a-goin' to quit-I ain't a-goin' to quit! Thunder Run and Thunder Mountain hear me what I am a-sayin'! I ain't a-goin' to quit!"

Allan Gold laid hold of him. "Why, Billy, we're coming back! There's got to be a lot of times like this in a big war! You come on and carry the colours out safe. You don't want those fellows to take them!"

Billy chanted on, "I ain't a-goin' to quit! I put it here jest like I was putting a hop pole in Christianna's garden, and I ain't a-goin' to dig it up again-"

Dave appeared. "Billy boy, don't be such a damned fool! You jest skeedaddle with the rest of us and take it out of them next time. Don't ye want to see Christianna again, an' maw an' the dogs?-Thar, now!"

A bullet split the standard, another-a spent ball coming from the hillside-struck the bearer in the chest. Billy came to his knees, the great crimson folds about him. Cleave appeared in the red-lit murk. "Pick him up, Allan, and bring him away."

It was almost dusk to the green and rolling world about the field of Kernstown. Upon that field, beneath the sulphurous battle cloud, it was dusk indeed. The fighting line was everywhere, and for the Confederates there were no reinforcements. Fulkerson yet held the left, Garnett with conspicuous gallantry the centre with the Stonewall regiments. The batteries yet thundered upon the right. But ammunition was low, and for three hours Ashby's mistake as to the enemy's numbers had received full demonstration. Shields's brigadiers did well and the blue soldiers did well.

A body of troops coming from the wood and crowding through a gap in a stone fence descended upon the Rockbridge battery. Four regiments of the Stonewall brigade clung desperately to the great uneven field which marked the centre. The musket barrels were burningly hot to the touch of the men, their fingers must grope for the cartridges rattling in the cartridge boxes, their weariness was horrible, their eyes were glazed, their lips baked with thirst. Long ago they had fought in a great, bright, glaring daytime; then again, long ago, they had begun to fight in a period of dusk, an age of dusk. The men loaded, fired, loaded, rammed, fired quite automatically. They had been doing this for a long, long time. Probably they would do it for a long time to come. Only the cartridges were not automatically supplied. It even seemed that they might one day come to an end. The dusk deepened. They had, beneath the red-lit battle clouds, a glimpse of Garnett, a general chivalric and loved, standing in his stirrups, looking out and upward toward the dark wood and Sullivan's fresh regiments.

A sergeant came along the line stretching a haversack open with his hands. In it were cartridges. "I gathered all the dead had. 'T isn't many. You've got to shoot to kill, boys!" A man with a ball through the end of his spine, lying not far from a hollow of the earth, half pool, half bog, began to cry aloud in an agonizing fashion. "Water! water! Oh, some one give me water! Water! For the love of God, water!" A grey soldier started out of line toward him; in a second both were killed. Garnett settled down in his saddle and came back to the irregular, smoke-wreathed, swaying line. He spoke to his colonels. "There are three thousand fresh bayonets at the back of these woods. General Jackson does not wish a massacre. I will withdraw the brigade."

The troops were ready to go. They had held the centre very long; the cartridges were all but spent, the loss was heavy, they were deadly tired. They wanted water to drink and to hear the command, Break ranks! Garnett was gallant and brave; they saw that he did what he did with reason, and their judgment acquiesced. There was momently a fresh foe. Without much alignment, fighting in squads or singly, firing as they went from thicket and hollow at the heavy on-coming masses, the Stonewall Brigade fell back upon the wood to the south. The blue wave saw victory and burst into a shout of triumph. Kimbal's batteries, too, began a jubilant thunder.

Over the field, from Fulkerson on the left to the broken centre and the withdrawing troops came a raw-bone sorrel urged to a furious gallop; upon it a figure all dusk in the dusk, a Cromwell-Quixote of a man, angered now to a degree, with an eye like steel and a voice like ice. He rode up to Garnett, as though he would ride him down. "General Garnett, what are you doing? Go back at once, sir!"

As he spoke he threw himself from the saddle and closed his gauntleted hand with force on the arm of a drummer boy. "Beat the rally!" he commanded.

The rapid and continuous rolling filled like a sound of the sea the ears of the Stonewall Brigade. Garnett, in a strange voice, gave the counter-order. The men uttered a hard and painful gasp. They looked and saw Stonewall Jackson lifted above them, an iron figure in a storm of shot and shell. He jerked his hand into the air; he shouted, "Back, men! Give them the bayonet!" The drum beat on. Colonels and captains and lieutenants strove to aid him and to change the retreat into an advance. In vain! the commands were shattered; the fighting line all broken and dispersed. The men did not shamefully flee; they retreated sullenly, staying here and there where there were yet cartridges, to fire upon the on-coming foe, but they continued to go back.

The 5th and the 42d with Funsten's small cavalry command came hastening to the broken centre and there made a desperate fight. The 5th Virginia and the 5th Ohio clanged shields. The 84th Pennsylvania broke twice, rallied twice, finally gave way. Two Indiana regiments came up; the 5th Virginia was flanked; other blue reinforcements poured in. The last grey commands gave way. Fulkerson, too, on the left, his right now uncovered, must leave his stone fence and save his men as best he might. Rockbridge and Carpenter and Waters no longer thundered from the heights. The grey infantry, wildly scattered, came in a slow surge back through the woods where dead men lay among the spring flowers, and down the ridge and through the fields, grey and dank in the March twilight, toward the Valley pike. Night and the lost battle weighed upon the army. The shadowy ambulances, the lights of the gatherers of the wounded flitting few and far over the smoke-clouded field, made for a ghastly depression. Sick at heart, in a daze of weariness, hunger and thirst, drunk with sleep, mad for rest, command by command stumbled down the pike or through the fields to where, several miles to the south, stretched the meadows where their trains were parked. There was no pursuit. Woods and fields were rough and pathless; it was now dark night, and Ashby held the pike above.

A camp-fire was built for Stonewall Jackson in a field to the right of the road, three miles from Kernstown. Here he stood, summoned Garnett, and put him under arrest. The army understood next day that heavy charges would be preferred against this general.

To right and left of the pike camp-fires flamed in the windy night. Passing one of these, Richard Cleave cut short some bewailing on the part of the ring about it. "Don't be so downcast, people! Sometimes a defeat in one place equals a victory in another. I don't believe that General Banks will join General McClellan just now. Indeed, it's not impossible that McClellan will have to part with another division. Their government's dreadfully uneasy about Washington and the road to Washington. They didn't beat us easily, and if we can lead them up and down this Valley for a while-I imagine that's what General Johnston wants, and what General Jackson will procure.-And now you'd better all go to sleep."

"Where are you going, Cleave?"

"To see about the colonel. They've just brought him to the farmhouse yonder. Dr. McGuire says he will get well-dear old Brooke!"

He went, striding over the furrowed field past groups of men sleeping and moaning as they slept. The stars were very bright in the clear, cold, windy night. He looked at them and thought of the battle and of the dead and the wounded, and of Judith and of his mother and sister, and of Will in the 2d, and of to-morrow's movements, and of Stonewall Jackson. A dark figure came wandering up to him. It proved to be that of an old negro. "Marster, is you seen Marse Charlie?"

"Marse Charlie whom, uncle?"

"Marse Charlie Armetage, sah, mah young marster. I 'spec you done seed him? I 'spec he come marchin' wif you down de pike f'om dat damn battlefield? I sure would be 'bleeged ef you could tell me, sah."

"I wish I could," said Cleave, with gentleness. "I haven't seen him, but maybe some one else has."

The old negro drew one hand through the other. "I's asked erbout fifty gent'men ... Reckon Marse Charlie so damn tired he jes' lain down somewhere an' gone ter sleep. Reckon he come down de pike in de mahnin', shoutin' fer Daniel. Don' you reckon so, marster?"

"It's not impossible, Daniel. Maybe you'll find him yet."

"I 'specs ter," said Daniel. "I 'spec ter fin' him howsomever he's a-lyin'." He wandered off in the darkness, and Cleave heard him speaking to a picket, "Marster, is you seen Marse Charlie?"

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