SERVICE WITH THE THIRD
main, we were as easy and unconcerned as though the war was over. And in fact, the good news received from all quarters, and the orders from the War Department to stop all recruiting, led us to believe that the contest was nearly ended. In camp, bets were freely offered, with no takers, that the Regiment would be back in Wisconsin by September. I remember writing to a friend, about this time, that my part of the work of suppressing the Rebellion seemed to be about done. How sadly were we mistaken!
The Tables Turned
We had a rude awakening from our dream of peace. While we had been idling in fancied security, General Jackson had gathered a large force with which to overwhelm us. Our first intimation of trouble came on the night of May 23, when we were hastily called to defend our railroad bridge toward Front Royal against the attack of the enemy. The next day we were in full retreat toward Winchester.
When about half way to Winchester, the enemy, who had crossed from Front Royal, attacked