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Meridiana's low sing-song continued:Specification I.That Corp'l William L. Elliott, Co. Q, 200th Ind. Vol. Inf., did strike and perform other physical violence upon Second Lieut. Adolph Steigermeyer, of the Second Corps, U. S. Engr's, who was his superior officer, and in the performance of his duty, in violation of the 9th Article of War, and contrary to the discipline of the Armies of the United States. This on the march of the army from Dalton, Ga., to Calhoun, Ga., and on the 16th day of May, 1864.
"Well, I'll bet a hatful o' red apples," said Si, "that them was guerrillas that we saw, and they're makin' for this train. The rebels in Nashville somehow got information to 'em about it."Shorty began to watch for Si's mail a good deal more anxiously than that worthy did. He managed to go by the Chaplain's tent whenever duty took him in that part of the camp, and sometimes when it did not, and inquire if there was any mail there for Si. One day he was rewarded by the Chaplain handing him two letters. His heart beat a little quicker by seeing that they were both postmarked Bean Blossom Creek. The smallera white envelope, superscribed in Annabel's cramped little handhe thrust indifferently into his pocket, and the largera fat, yellow envelope, covered with the good Deacon's massive crow-tracks, and securely fastened by a dab of sealing wax, pressed down with a centhe studied with tender interest. It had come directly from her homefrom her father. It probably told something about her.
The Radicals began to quake for their victory. Speakers were sent for from London, but could not even get a hearing, owing to the enemy's supplies of bad eggs. Meetings were everywhere broken up in disorder, and the Captain was reported to have said that the Liberal party ought to offer a knighthood to anyone who would poison Backfield's beer.And who were the slaves?
"By rights, I ought to be a Jigadier-Brindle," retorted Shorty, "but I never could git Abe Lincoln to take that view of it. Here, fill up your cartridgebox. You'll need lots of 'em, if you're only goin' to shoot to crease your rebels, as that feller did you."
It was a perilous movement to make in front of such overwhelming force. But the smoke curtained the manuver and the rebels only discovered it by the diminution of the fire in their front. Then they and the flanking brigades came on with ringing yells, and it seemed that the regiment was to be swept off the face of the earth. The 200th Ind. was not to be scared by yells, however, and sent such a galling fire from front and flanks, that the rebel advance lost its rushing impetus. The regiment was reaching the edge of the woods. The clear fields would give the rebel cavalry its chance.