Open main menu

Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/63

This page has been validated.


a snatch of much-needed sleep. But I soon awoke so thoroughly wet and cold that further slumber was out of the question. I thereupon sought a fire that some soldiers had built, and endeavored to extract a bit of comfort from its friendly heat. Just as I was beginning to feel its warmth, a number of staff officers came along and ordered the blaze extinguished, for, said they, it was against the orders of General Banks. I stepped back into the darkness so as not to be recognized, concluding that if General Banks wanted that fire put out, he would get no help from me. The men standing near, however, kicked the burning brands apart as though to put it out, and the officers passed on. But they were not fifty feet away before the fire had been rekindled and was again dispensing cheer. This scene was repeated at frequent intervals until daylight, the fire continuing to burn in spite of all orders.

That morning we took the road about nine, and marched until midnight. On the morning after, we found that we were within the fortifications of Alexandria. Two days later we crossed the Potomac at Georgetown, and went into camp at