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"Hold on, men," shouted the Lieutenant; "you are certainly not going to abandon your officer?"
"Don't know nothin' about it," answered Si, catching him by the shoulder to hurry him up. "'Tain't our business to know. We ain't paid for knowin' anything more than orders, and hardly enough for that. A man can't know much for a month."Si and Shorty and the rest were taking a deep interest in the affair. It was so fresh, so genuine, so unconventional that it went straight to all their hearts, and, besides, made a novel incident in their campaign. They were all on the side of the would-be bridegroom at once, and anxious for his success. The Adjutant had come up with the order that they should stop where they were, for the regiment would go into camp just below for the day. So they had full leisure to attend to the matter. The Tennesseeans took only a modified interest, for the presence of the union army was a much more engrossing subject, and they preferred to stand and gaze open-eyed and open-mouthed at the astonishing swarms of blue-clad men rather than to pay attention to a commonplace mountain wooing.
It was to Chattanooga that Gen. Scott ultimately looked when he began the organization of forces north of the Ohio River. It was to Chattanooga that Gens. Anderson, Sherman and Buell looked when they were building up the Army of the Ohio. It was nearly to Chattanooga that Gen. Mitchel made his memorable dash after the fall of Nashville, when he took Huntsville, Bridgeport, Stevenson and other outlying places. It was for Chattanooga that the "Engine Thieves" made their thrilling venture, that cost eight of their lives. It was to Chattanooga that Buell was ordered with the Army of the Ohio, after the "siege of Corinth," and from which he was run back by Bragg's flank movement into Kentucky. It was again toward Chattanooga that Rosecrans had started the Army of the Cumberland from Nashville, in December, 1862, and the battle of Stone River and the Tullahoma campaign were but stages in the journey."Stop right there, Si Klegg," said Shorty. "All girls is purty and nice that is, them that is purty and nice, but some's purtier and nicer than others. Then, agin, one's a hundred times purtier and nicer than any o' them. I've no doubt that the girls out your way are much purtier and nicer'n the general run o' girls, but none o' them kin hold a candle to that girl up in Wisconsin, and I won't have you sayin' so."
"You are right, Corporal," said Capt. McGillicuddy, stepping forward. "Lieutenant, you cannot order one of my men to be punished. You have no right to command here. You are merely to convey the General's orders to those who are in command."
"We'll wait till we find out more about 'em," said Shorty, as they moved back. They had to cross the road, upon the white surface of which they stood out in bold contrast and drew some shots which came uncomfortably close."Well, you liked to 've scared two fine young soldiers to death," murmured Si under his breath.