As We Went Marching On

 by G. W. Hosmer

As We Went Marching On by G. W. Hosmer book cover
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Across our front, and not very far away, ran a road that led from Culpepper on the south toward Lost Mountain and Ashby's Gap on the north ; and the Colonel passed some time every night on that road. One glorious, silent, starlight night he explored it as usual, accompanied only by Captain Pembroke, who was then acting as major for the major had been killed at Malvern Hills. They had ridden with customary care a mile, perhaps, beyond our last picket, and toward the south, when the Colonel heard a sound ahead which he stopped to consider. He was soon satisfied there was a horseman coming down this road toward them. He heard clearly in a few moments the jingle of accoutrements, and then a voice singing the Southern doggerel, "Hurrah for the bonnie blue flag, that bears a single star." It was a Confederate soldier, therefore ; but were there more behind him ? Was it a case that required a rapid ride to our lines that the men might be put under arms to be ready for any possibility, or was this merely some straggler unaware that there were Union troops near by ? Or was this horseman, indeed, the bait to a trap?


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