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The Bull-Run Rout
Scenes Attending the First Clash of Volunteers in the Civil War

written by "Clement, Edward Henry, 1843-1920"
...rowd. I bantered jokes with such as were in joking mood, but most of the crowd were now silent and weary. All along the road lay men asleep in the pouring rain. There were blood blisters on my feet, but never once did I stop except to get a drink of water at a brook just after daylight. The rain now fell in torrents; we were literally wading in mud and water. The thirty miles from Centreville to Washington seemed three times that distance. My gun grew more and more heavy, and I shifted it constantly. It was about ten o'clock Monday forenoon when I reached the Virginia end of Long Bridge. A strong guard was posted there to stop the troops; for Washington was already full of fugitive soldiers. Forcing my way through a vast mob of shouting, cursing soldiers, I reached the officer in charge, and got a rough reception. First he doubted my pass; next he wanted to take away my musket, but I protested that I had saved it from the enemy; and at length he allowed me to pass carrying the gun I had so honestly won. I went down Pennsylvania Avenue much stared at as I limped along. Reaching my hotel, I took a bath and turned into a good bed, thinking of my brother and the thousands of other soldiers who were out in the rain and many of whom would perhaps have no bed to turn into for three years; for there were a few three years regiments even then. The next day, to my great joy, my brother's regiment marched in and over to Georgetown heights; and, after visiting them there, I sent my gun home by Adams Ex. and took the train for Boston. Said my father, when I got home, "Well, I think you have got enough of war now." "No, sir," I said, and in less than thirty days I had enlisted; and three years from the date of the first battle of Bull Run I was skirmishing about six miles from Richmond—three years—and yet I hadn't quite got to Richmond. That Bull-Run musket is the only war weapon left in the family, and I hope you will keep it in m...

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