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Text for Page 106 [04-06-1862]

              92
	        The March to Yorktown.

[newspaper clipping: first column]
From Our Special Correspondent.
SHANTY ADJACENT TO CLARK�S HOUSE, ABOUT TWO MILES}
     FROM THE REBEL INTRENCHMENTS IN FRONT OF}
     YORKTOWN, YORK CO., VA., Sunday Noon, April 6, �62.}
  My superscription is a rather lengthy identification
of locality, but I cannot condense it.  I write on the
day subsequent to that witnessing the beginning of
the attack upon Yorktown, in an outhouse appertain-
ing to the abandoned edifice of a Virginia doctor at
present appropriately occupied as a hospital for Gen.
Porter�s division.  I sit amid drums, knapsacks, hav-
ersacks, tubs, musical instruments, and miscellaneous
military paraphernalia, upon an inversed tin canister
(in which I have but limited confidence), using my
note-book for a desk, and alternately a drum and my
knee for a table.  Two or three good fellows in at-
tendance are discussing a fragmentary turkey (killed,
plucked, and cooked by one of them), of which I
have gratefully accepted a portion.  I slept last night
luxuriously in one of the upper rooms of the aban-
doned edifice; where I shall sleep to-night the Lord
only knows.	
	     A RIDE ACROSS COUNTRY.
  In concluding my last letter, dated Deep Creek, or
Young�s Mills, relating the occupation of a Rebel
camp by the division under the command of General 
Keyes, I expressed my intention of rejoining that of
Gen. Heintzelman immediately.  That involved my
retracing my steps for three miles or so and striking
across the country till I regained the road to York-
town via the Big and Little Bethels, by which the
main bulk of the army was marching onward to the
subjugation of Dixie.  This, I undertook, accord-
ingly, albeit with a lively recollection of Olmsted�s
experiences of travel in the Old Dominion.  I left
my night�s quarters, and the ruined church, the more
unwillingly, because the scouts had brought in news
of another Rebel battery ahead, mounting three guns
and commanding the road, and everybody was pre-
paring for action.  Knowing, however, that THE
TRIBUNE was very efficiently represented by my
comrade, and that my duty lay with Heintzelman, I
got to horse in good time and turned his head, tem-
porarily, in the direction of Newport News.
  It had lightened continuously during the night,
but the day broke splendidly, inciting hopes that
yesterday�s signs of coming storm might not be ful-
filled.  I rode past the long train of Keyes�s still
advancing troops, now in the open, now skirting
the fragrant pines, through a creek or two, beyond,
a ford and deep gully (not unlike that fronting the
Rebel camp I had left), and a mile further on it
turned off on the sinister hand, for �cross country
and Big Bethel.
  I had the entire road to myself, meeting nothing
living upon it excepting a few crows, which, dis-
turbed at the noise of my horses� feet, flew cawing
off from their feast on the proverbial early worm,

[newspaper clipping: second column]
into the pines.  It was a forest road, the branches
of the trees often menacing an incautious rider�s 
face.  Pines, snake-fence, neglected fields, deserted
farm-houses and huts, generally standing amid
little orchards beautiful with peach and apple
blossoms � these were the itinerary of my
journey.  These, and a drenching shower
of rain which convinced me that the weather
signs of Fortress Monroe still held good inland,
made me congratulate myself on my precaution
in having provided myself with a waterproof over-
coat.  Donning it, I dismounted, to visit a farm-
house exhibiting signs of inhabitation.  Two Secesh
dogs barked at me, and a grim-looking, reddish-
haired old farmer, Secesh also, directed me to turn
to the right, where the road forked.  A negro girl
leaning on a fence, not far from a white man, plough-
ing�the first time I have witnessed any agricultural
labor in progress in Virginia�confirmed the advice;
I followed it, and, in due time, emerged where the
blue overcoats of Uncle Sam�s volunteers were
streaming through the deserted embankments of
Great Bethel.
	THE MARCH TO YORKTOWN.
  I have written of an army on its march before.
Pressing on with some difficulty among the men,
horses, and impedimenta, I had reached Half-way
House (so called from it being equi-distant, 12 miles,
from Fortress Monroe and Yorktown), and was stop-
ping to return the friendly greeting of Col. Riley of
the 40th New York (the Mozart Regiment), when
again the heavens grew dark�ominously so.  Before,
behind, the horizon became of a deep indigo hue,
turning rapidly to black.  On with overcoats! out
with oil-cloak capes! horse-blankets! anything capa-
ble of sheltering the human form from the fury of the
aqueous element! for it�s coming, and in pailsful!
  I endured it, sitting on my horse, among the
Mozarters, until the rain streamed into my boots,
notwithstanding my India-rubber overcoat.  Then I
rode to an adjacent house, put my horse into a stable,
partly occupied by soldiers, and entered the tenement,
full also.  Perhaps a score of Uncle Sam�s boys,
volunteers from New-Hampshire, Maine and New-
York regiments, damp enough, and surrounding at a 
respectful distance the mistress of the mansion, a
gaunt, elderly woman, who knitted querulously.
Beside her was a white child, and a slatternly
negro girl, of the Topay order, all white-eyed aston-
ishment at the irruption of the devastating Yankees
into the premises.  Only a few sticks were smolder-
ing on the hearth; the courtesy or shyness of the
soldiers had prevented the request for more.  I made
it, offering payment and obtained them.
  The woman professed limited Union sympathies�
of course.  Her husband was a preacher and a
farmer.  �Our people��the Rebels�had drafted               
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