SERVICE WITH THE THIRD
rag and surrendered. The swift-flowing Rapidan, nearly three hundred feet wide, separated them from us, but we compelled them to wade over. In this way, without a casualty to our selves, we bagged 101 prisoners, and not a man escaped to the enemy to give warning of our approach.
We had just secured our prisoners when General Slocum came up. He immediately took in the situation, and ordered us to cross the river and secure the heights on the other side. We had had a good time laughing at our prisoners as we made them cross over to us, with the water up to their armpits; but when we had to go in ourselves, it did not seem so funny. It was still early in the spring, and the water was icy cold from the melting snow in the mountains. Moreover, the current was so swift that some mounted officers and cavalry who went in ahead of us could scarcely keep a footing. If a horse stumbled, he was washed off his feet in an instant and carried down stream. In fact, one man was drowned in such an accident, and several others had narrow escapes. We prepared for crossing by placing our ammunition and provisions,