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Quite So
by [?]

“It was one evening two or three days before we got the news of Bull Run. I had gone down to the burying-ground to trim the spruce hedge set round the old man’s lot, and was just stepping into the enclosure, when I heard voices from the opposite side. One was Mary’s, and the other I knew to be young Marston’s, the minister’s son. I did n’t mean to listen, but what Mary was saying struck me dumb. We must never meet again , she was saying in a wild way. We must say good by here, forever,ógood by, good by! And I could hear her sobbing. Then, presently, she said, hurriedly, No, no; my hand, not my lips! Then it seemed he kissed her hands, and the two parted, one going towards the parsonage, and the other out by the gate near where I stood.

“I don’t know how long I stood there, but the night-dews had wet me to the bone when I stole out of the graveyard and across the road to the school-house. I unlocked the door, and took the Latin grammar from the desk and hid it in my bosom. There was not a sound or a light anywhere as I walked out of the village. And now,” said Bladburn, rising suddenly from the tree-trunk, “if the little book ever falls in your way, won’t you see that it comes to no harm, for my sake, and for the sake of the little woman who was true to me and did n’t love me? Wherever she is to-night, God bless her!”

As we descended to camp with our arms resting on each other’s shoulder, the watch-fires were burning low in the valleys and along the hillsides, and as far as the eye could reach the silent tents lay bleaching in the moonlight.


WE imagined that the throwing forward of our brigade was the initial movement of a general advance of the army; but that, as the reader will remember, did not take place until the following March. The Confederates had fallen back to Centreville without firing a shot, and the National troops were in possession of Lewinsville, Vienna, and Fairfax Court-House. Our new position was nearly identical with that which we had occupied on the night previous to the battle of Bull Run,óon the old turnpike road to Manassas, where the enemy was supposed to be in great force. With a field-glass we could see the Rebel pickets moving in a belt of woodland on our right, and morning and evening we heard the spiteful roll of their snare-drums.

Those pickets soon became a nuisance to us. Hardly a night passed but they fired upon our outposts, so far with no harmful result; but after a while it grew to be a serious matter. The Rebels would crawl out on all-fours from the wood into a field covered with underbrush, and lie there in the dark for hours, waiting for a shot. Then our men took to the rifle-pits, pits ten or twelve feet long by four or five deep, with the loose earth banked up a few inches high on the exposed sides. All the pits bore names, more or less felicitous, by which they were known to their transient tenants. One was called “The Pepper-Box,” another “Uncle Sam’s Well,” another “The Reb-Trap,” and another, I am constrained to say, was named after a not to be mentioned tropical locality. Though this rude sort of nomenclature predominated, there was no lack of softer titles, such as “Fortress Matilda” and “Castle Mary,” and one had, though unintentionally, a literary flavor to it, “Blair’s Grave,” which was not popularly considered as reflecting unpleasantly on Nat Blair, who had assisted in making the excavation.

Some of the regiment had discovered a field of late corn in the neighborhood, and used to boil a few ears every day, while it lasted, for the boys detailed on the night-picket. The corn-cobs were always scrupulously preserved and mounted on the parapets of the pits. Whenever a Rebel shot carried away one of these barbette guns, there was swearing in that particular trench. Strong, who was very sensitive to this kind of disaster, was complaining bitterly one morning, because he had lost three “pieces” the night before.