A HALT ON THE DAY OF BATTLE

Robert Gray

First Sergeant
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Jul 24, 2012
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The 9th of August, 1862. A sultry day in old Virginia. The brook rippling toward the Rappahannock cools the hoofs of the battery horses at halt, tired with rushing their heavy guns south from Culpeper Court House. The cannoneers lolling on horseback and caisson-seats look as if they too like to rest in the shade. Some gaze at the lucky wagoners across the creek, at ease while their horses feed. Least war-like of all seems the queer wagon to the right. They stare at it, and the civilian beside it, and at his companion wielding the clumsy apparatus for that newly discovered art—photography. Little do the actors in this quiet interlude imagine that by half-past two this afternoon the Federal batteries will plunge into range of a flaring crescent two miles long—"Stonewall" Jackson's guns; that those guns will roar destruction upon them for three hours without ceasing; and that before another sun rises, two thousand of Pope's army will lie dead and wounded beside thirteen hundred men in gray, upon the battle-ground of Cedar Mountain.

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR IN TEN VOLUMES
Frances T. Miller - Editor in Chief - The Review of Reviews Co.
1911

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