Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/59

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RETREATING NORTHWARD

light, the enemy opened fire on us with fourteen pieces of artillery. I had already withdrawn my men from the river bank and stationed them where they could pour a heavy fire upon the Confederates, should they attempt to lay a bridge. I was therefore in a good position to watch at leisure the artillery duel which ensued. For two hours the shot flew back and forth across the stream, with out, however, great damage to our side. At the end of that time the Confederates apparently had had enough and withdrew from their position.

The succeeding days were passed in hard marching, with hot weather, no tents or blankets, short rations, and a poor country to forage in. The enemy occasionally made demonstration as though to cross at the fords of the Rappahannock, but all the while moving up toward the mountains. On the evening of August 27, while we were in camp near Warrenton Junction, rumors began to circulate that they had appeared in large force at Manassas Junction, and were threatening to cut off our retreat to Washington. The next morning we were called out at three o'clock, and soon after were on the road to the Junction. The corps of

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