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Chapter IV

"We cannot say to much in praise of General Seymour's conduct in the fight. he handled the troops in a splendid manner, and directed the battle personally regardless of danger. When it was finally deemed prudent to retire, the whole force was withdrawn in the best order, with none of the confusion of a rout. The results of the engagement, embracing as they do, a forced retreat and the loss of many good men, are of course to be regretted, but we see nothing disheartening about them, and are happy to say that the morale of our troops remains unimpaired, with a strong desire throughout the force to meet the enemy again on more equal terms."

"Surrender!" they all cried.

"We give in," replied the rebels.

"April fool!" thundered all the boys in a single breath, gathering around the wondering rebels.

"I thought the hull Yankee army was a comin', and I reckon we're April fooled right smart," said one of the prisoners.

"Three cheers for the Union!" suggested on of company H. It was given with a will.

"What's this?" inquired another Union boy, holding up to view sheet of dirty looking letter paper that had evidently just been ritten on.

"It's a letter I reckon, Yank, an' I was a writin' on't when you'ns come up here," answered a reb.

"Well--yes, I see," continued Union. "Let me see: you wrote hat all was quiet along the lines, and the ink wasn't dry on the paper when we were after you like a thousand of brick. Ha! ha! From the appearance of things the captain began to think that some of the guard must be absent from the post; so selecting one of the prisoners he took him aside and said: "Sir, I am going to ask you a question, and your fate hangs on your answer; lie to me and your doom is sealed. Are not a part of your men absent?"

"Well, captain, I don't dare to tell, for if they find out they'll murder me."

"No sir; they shall never know it," said the captain, firmly.

"W-e-l-l, yes--I reckon they are," hesitatingly replied the prisoner.

"How many of them are there?"

"A sergeant and one man, I reckon." "Where can they be found? Tell me the truth."

"Won't ye'r tell on me, capting?"

"No, Sir."

"Then I will tell yer, although I kinder reckon how I ort'nt. They are up the road about two miles."

"By heavens! I've got you now, you heartless rascal," said the guide, shaking his revolver; under the nose of one of the prisoners. "You're the man who conscripted my brother and then murdered him because he tried to escape to freedom."

"Don't be too fast, guide," said one of our boys, observing the rebel trembling with fear.

"Yes," continued the guide, "you're the man who consigned me to prison, and drove by family beggars to the swamps. I'll have vengeance now!" and he sprang upon his foe, but before he had a chance to draw a dagger, or cock a revolver, the boys had him secure.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: March 19, 2006

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