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the mud and wet, the soldiers all over the the music of their bands as regiment after fields were dancing and kicking about, regiment arrived and was dismissed. The gay, good-humored, and frolicking, dan troops were billeted on the inhabitants, cing with a vim and enjoyment such as and the streets were crowded with soldiers, only Frenchmen can exhibit. An hour in groups of two or three together, their passed amid such scenes, when the bugles paper billets in their hands, seeking their sounded. The men instantly fell in be- quarters, which were easily found, as the hind the stacks, knapsacks were slung, quartermasters had been in the town in the piles of arms broken, and immediately advance, and on every door - post was the utmost order and quiet reigned where chalked the number of the company and less than a minute before everything had regiment, and of the men who were to be been confusion. The column moved into quartered in the house. This is considerthe road, and we were again tramping ed by no means a hardship by the inhabthrough the mire toward Yvetot. An itants, and the soldiers were hospitably rehour or two of marching brought us to ceived. Military and civil life in France a little village, a suburb of the town, are closely allied, and nearly every one of where the advance of the infantry, which the people has some relative, a son, a broI had been accompanying, halted, and I ther, a husband, in the army, for, as is took leave of them, pushing forward alone generally known, service for a time in the

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in search of quarters for the night. The land or naval forces of France is compulway led through a long ugly street, bor- sory to every citizen, no matter what his dered with unsightly trees and small de position in civil life may be, and so all tached houses. I passed an occasional realize that at some time their loved ones cavalryman sitting on his horse at a street will be cared for in the same manner in corner-for our cavalry, moving ahead of some other part of the land; therefore, as us, had already occupied the town-and in a rule, they give what they can, cheerfully a few minutes reached the door of a com- and even gladly, making of the arrival of fortable hotel, where I was fortunate their soldier guests in their midst a sort of enough find a room.

little fête. Place is made for them everyIt was not long, however, before the where, carts and horses are unceremonitroops followed, and the air was full of ously put aside to accommodate the cav

alry and artillery, and usually peaceful | up to his ankles in a heap of straw to keep stable and barn yards are speedily con- his feet out of the mud. At one end of the verted into impromptu barrack grounds. house the surgeons' offices and ambulances

The infantry had nearly all arrived, were established. The wagons were backwhen the rumbling of heavy wheels, the ed up against the walls, and the ambulance clatter of iron hoofs on the paved streets, tenders, hospital stewards, etc., were movand the cracking of whips announced the ing about on various errands. Through approach of the artillery. Twenty-four the open doorway I could see the doctor, pieces, with a like number of caissons, and with his assistants, examining the invathe necessary wagons and forges for four lids, there being naturally a few cases of batteries, the horses and guns covered sickness among such a large number of with mud, the men tired and wet, wheeled men. There were not many, however, up the street in front of the hotel, and and the cases seemed to be light ones, for went into park on the market-place. the doctor soon left, and a younger sur

Here all was life and commotion. The geon remained in charge. Under the guard had been told off, and occupied the market sheds on the opposite side of the Town-hall; the men for this duty were place the rations of fresh meat were being already lying on the benches under the distributed, the details taking it away in arches of the building, while the sentry huge canvas bags, preparatory to convertstood outside in front of the row of stacks, ing it into soup. In the court-yards and

gardens numerous fires were going, men of the infantry were cleaning their arms and accoutrements, cavalry and artillery men in linen jackets and overalls were taking the mud off their harness and horses. Forage for the latter was being dealt out from the wagons, the men staggering off toward the temporary stables with enormous bundles of hay or sacks of oats on their heads. Towns-people and peasants from the surrounding country were mingled with the troops, and a brisk trade in butter, eggs, poultry, and like delicacies was rapidly developed

As I left the market - place and crossed the main street on my way to the railway station, a company of troops under arms passed by. It was the detail for the grand guard and for the pickets, for now we were near the enemy, and the same precautions were taken as in actual warfare. Poor fel

lows, they did not look particularly cheerful at the prospect of spending the night in the open country while their comrades had such a comfortable billet as Yvetot. At the railway station the commissaries had established their head-quarters. This duty is performed by a special corps in the French service, having their own officers and training. Here the bakeries were in full operation. The bread is baked in cylindrical iron ovens, mounted on four-wheeled carriages, which accompany the troops wherever they go. The flour in this case had been brought to them by the railway, and the bakers were



kneading the dough under some tents that with monsieur. There was no tattoo that had been pitched by the side of the track. night, for it is against regulations to A number of cattle were herded near, un- make more noise than absolutely necesder the charge of some soldiers of the sub- sary when near the enemy. The patrol sistence department, and some had been goes round, the last party of merry-makslaughtered but a short time ago, the meat ers is turned out of the cafés, and by half



from which I had just seen distributed.

The sun was setting as I returned to my hotel, and its rays, striking behind the trees up against the evening sky, cast long shadows on the glistening

RAZ wet streets, and bathed the rows of houses in a strong flood of light. Relieving dark against their white walls were lines of troops, their forms reflected in the wet mud, standing silently and almost motionless, past nine the tired soldiers, from the gensave for the quick movements of the man- eral down to the lowest teamster, are all ual of arms as their officers passed along in their quarters. their lines inspecting their pieces and ac- Several days passed. We had frequent coutrements. The roll was called, the encounters with the enemy, and many inranks were broken, and the labor of the teresting events took place. The day aftsoldiers, excepting those detailed for spe- er our arrival at Yvetot was one of comcial duties, was over for the day.

parative quiet, and was passed by both Then, as the evening advanced, the parties in tactical formations and reconcafés filled, the click of billiard balls or noissances. On the following morning the rattle of dominoes on the wooden ta- we attacked our opponents, but were rebles, an occasional song or shout of laugh- pulsed, falling back upon Yvetot, and octer, were heard. Some of the soldiers cupying a strong position on the line of were to be seen at the doors of their billets hills in front of that town, where we in playing with the children, chatting with turn were attacked. This time, however, madame, or smoking an evening pipe we had the pleasure of not only repulsing


way, and making a retrograde movement toward the north of their former position. Here we again took the offensive, and again they retreated, but checked us once more a day or two afterward.

As I had not been able to find accommodations in the little hamlets occupied by my friends, I took leave of them for the nonce one

evening, and took up my quarour antagonists, but of pursuing them, ters in a more important town within the and taking possession of their lines of the lines of the opposing forces, where I passed day before, they retreating across the rail- | the night.




Bright and early the next morning I Then a small body of the enemy's cavalwas up and ready for my modest share of ry trotted out from behind a little farmthe day's work. Although it was but a house. The soldier wheeled his horse, few minutes after five o'clock when I pass- and giving it the spurs, dashed off to reed into the village street, not a soldier was join his comrades, who had evidently also to be seen, nor was there the slightest in- perceived the others, for they again haltdication that when I went to bed the night ed, and one of them galloped back toward before there had been three or four thou- some squads of infantry that had also desand infantry and half a regiment of ar- bouched from the woods. These latter tillery in the town. One early riser, a formed a line of skirmishers on the run, peasant, of whom I inquired, informed me and advanced across the fields until withthat the troops had left before sunrise al- in about a thousand feet of the enemy's most without a sound, and had gone up troopers, who, not waiting to receive their the highway back of the town, where, aft- fire, turned their horses, and slowly diser a few minutes' walk and with the aid appeared behind the town. of my glass, I discovered their line, their Again the chasseurs advanced, at first numbers greatly increased by the arrival cautiously and then more boldly, until of numerous other detachments from the they reached the first houses, where the adjacent villages, extended for some dis- young lieutenant in command halted his tance on some hills that ran nearly due troops, and sent half a dozen of his men east and west of the road. They were scurrying round the edges of the town on strongly posted, their infantry occupying both sides. They returned in a minute two villages and all the outlying farms, or two, reporting the place evidently unand their artillery massed on their right occupied and the way clear. Meanwhile and left. With my glass I could distinct- we heard desultory firing over on ly make out their guns in battery, and the right and beyond our position, so pushed white shakos of their advanced cavalry up the main street and out on the road to pickets.

the point where I had first seen the eneKnowing my friends would soon be my's line. My friends the chasseurs had on the move, I walked back through the not arrived a moment too soon, for not a village to meet them. I had not long hundred yards from us, crossing a wide to wait, for as I scanned the edge of the field of turnips, we saw a number of the forest I soon saw one or two dark objects, enemy's infantry advancing as skirmishwhich I made out to be horsemen, mov- ers, with the evident intention of occupying out of the shadow of the trees into the ing a row of hedges and earthen walls fields, while simultaneously a group of a which skirted the road, and from there dozen or more appeared on the highway. delay the progress of our troops through They moved slowly forward a little way, the town. Our infantry, however, were and then halted. One or two trotted off right on our heels, and quickly seizing to little eminences, stopped for a mo- the hedges, at once opened fire. The enement, and then returned to the squad still my replied sharply, but fell back toward standing in the road. Then one horse their main line, taking a position about man detached himself from the group, half-way between it and us, and in front of and came galloping toward me, while the a large farm surrounded by high walls and others moved slowly along at a walk, deep ditches. those whom I had seen emerging from the The firing on our right had gradually woods into the fields, and whose line had increased, and developed into a sharp skirsince been lengthened by the arrival of mish fire. We could see the enemy's first others, keeping pace with them.

line of skirmishers slowly falling back, I watched the rider as he came up the kneeling to load and deliver their fire, and road, his half-Arab horse moving with then retreating a short distance to repeat easy strides.

As they approached, the the same manæuvre. As the houses maskgallop subsided into a trot, and the man, ed the view of the approach of our troops, rising in his stirrups, peered over the I made my way toward our right by a hedges into the yards and orchards at road that ran along the edge of the grounds his sides, and I knew him for one of the of a fine old château, the inmates of which, soldiers of a troop of chasseurs-à-cheval ladies, children, and all, were perched the officers of which had been most kind the walls of the garden enjoying the nov. and polite in their behavior toward me. el sight.

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