Something unusual was going on at division headquarters. The men in the nearest regimental camps, regular and volunteer, were lined up along the sentry posts and silently, eagerly watching and waiting. For a week rumor had been rife that orders for a move were coming and the brigades hailed it with delight. For a month, shivering at night in the dripping, drenching fogs drifting in from the Pacific, or drilling for hours each day on the bleak slopes of the Presidio Heights, they had been praying for something to break the monotony of the routine. They were envious of the comrades who had been shipped to Manila, emulous of those who had stormed Santiago, and would have welcomed with unreasoning enthusiasm any mandate that bore promise of change of scene or duty. The afternoon was raw and chilly; the wet wind blew salt and strong from the westward sea, and the mist rolled in, thick and fleecy, hiding from view the familiar landmarks of the neighborhood and forcing a display of lamp lights in the row of gaudy saloons across the street that bounded the camp ground toward the setting sun, though that invisible luminary was still an hour high and afternoon drill only just over.
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June 30, 2010
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