Battle of First Bull Run Online Exhibit

Return of a Foraging Party

Foraging party returns, a black-and-white illustration from Harper's Weekly magazine.

Caption: Return of a Foraging Party to Philippi, Virginia. See page 519 [for related story].

Source: Illustration from Harper's Weekly, August 17, 1861, page 518; text below from page 519.

Return of a Foraging Party to Philippi

Our special artist writes: "While in Philippi I was attracted by an immense row in the street in front of the Court-house, and ran with the entire population of the town to learn the cause. Instead of the arrival of secession prisoners, or of an army courier, I found the tumult occasioned by the return from the country of a foraging party of volunteers – a squad of some half dozen, under command of a sergeant, with their spoil. Each man carried one or more young pigs – from the suckling up to the 'likely' shoat – and the squad entered the street in rank with piggy shouldered or trailed, according to the orders of the officer, to the vociferous music of their captives. As they neared the camp the town pigs took the alarm, and made a rush for the spoilers, followed by every cur of the neighborhood. The sergeant ordered 'double-quick,' but one old sow was too fast for the men; she broke their ranks and scattered them as they had routed the secessionists on the same ground. They saved their bacon by a rush into the Court-house yard."

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Last Updated: August 7, 2012