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Word Count: 5,249
The cold passed reluctantly from the earth and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out onthe hills resting As the landscape changed from brown to green the army awakened and began totremble with eagerness at the noise of rumors It cast its eyes upon the roads which were growingfrom long troughs of liquid mud to proper thoroughfares A river amber-tinted in the shadow of itsbanks purled at the armys feet and at night when the stream had become of a sorrowful blacknessone could see across it the red eyelike gleam of hostile camp-fires set in the low brows of distantOnce a certain tall soldier developed virtues and went resolutely to wash a shirt He came flyingback from a brook waving his garment bannerlike He was swelled with a tale he had heard from areliable friend who had heard it from a truthful cavalryman who had heard it from his trustworthybrother one of the orderlies at division headquarters He adopted the important air of a herald in redWere goin t move tmorrah--sure he said pompously to a group in the company street Weregoin way up the river cut across an come around in behint em To his attentive audience he drew a loud and elaborate plan of a very brilliant campaign When hehad finished the blue-clothed men scattered into small arguing groups between the rows of squatbrown huts A negro teamster who had been dancing upon a cracker box with the hilariousencouragement of twoscore soldiers was deserted He sat mournfully down Smoke drifted lazilyfrom a multitude of quaint chimneys Its a lie thats all it is--a thunderin lie said another private loudly His smooth face was flushedand his hands were thrust sulkily into his trousers pockets He took the matter as an affront to himI dont believe the derned old armys ever going to move Were set Ive got ready to move eighttimes in the last two weeks and we aint moved yet The tall
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