Armistead carefully held the reins of his horse, standing next to the mare and running on hand through her mane. He leaned on her slightly; the pain still in his chest, making his breathing slightly slower then was normal and still rather pale. The blood still clearly showed on the gray uniform but he carefully dragged himself up onto the horse and took the reins in his hands, sitting up as straight as he could without causing too much more pain. Glancing around the camp, Armistead thought about the last battle and were they would be going next. He'd heard some about the next move, something about moving the army down to Harrisburg to take the railroad tracks. He knew that would be a good idea, could see the clear advantage they would get from it.
Pickett rode up beside Lo. "Are the men ready?" he asked. "We're moving out soon."
"They are getting ready to pull out," Armistead said, nodding towards the men packing up the tents. He was glad that so far no one had questioned why he was out there, seeing as the doctors hadn't wanted to let him go yet. But he had fought them, wanting to get back with the men.
Pickett nodded. "Good. Harrisburg's a good day's march away."
Also nodding, Armistead smiled ever so slightly. The men were soon ready to go and they all got into line. Armistead watched them, riding the horse slowly along the lines, his face slightly tight from the pain from the rock of the horse. He wasn't better yet, but he was too stubborn to just sit on the sidelines.
Pickett moved to the front of the ranks, giving the signal to move out.
At the signal, the man started marching, Armistead riding alongside his brigade. There wasn't as many of them as before, he couldn't help but think that despite the victory he had won.
Pickett rode alongside the soldiers, returning their greetings as he passed. They were in high spirits, despite the casualties sustained in the battle.
Armistead rode in silence beside his men for a time, before bringing the horse into a trot, keeping his face tight to try and hide the pain as he rode up beside Pickett.
Pickett nodded in greeting. "How are you doing, Lo?"
"I'm alright," Armistead replied, keeping his face tight as he rode alongside him. "It's good to be back."
Pickett nodded in agreement. "It most certainly is."
Armistead nodded as well, glad that he wasn't riding with the ambulances behind the marching troops. He gladly dealt with the pain of riding so that he could be with his men.
Pickett glanced around at the men. "Their sprits have been lifted very much by our victory," he commented.
"Yes, they have," Armistead agreed, "It is good that the men have high spirits, good for the army and for all of us."
Pickett grinned broadly. "Indeed it is, for it gives us a greater chance of whipping the Yankees again!"
"And of winning the war," Armistead said.
Pickett nodded. "Of course," he agreed. "I do believe we have reached a turning point in this conflict, Lo."
"Yes, this did seem to be a very important battle," Armistead replied.
"It could not have been won without your actions, however," Pickett pointed out.
"Everyone did their job," Armistead stated softly, glancing down at his hands for a moment. His mind drifted back to the battle, the final charge towards the wall, right into Hancock's men. "Have you heard anything of Win?"
Pickett paused for a moment. "I am not entirely certain, I'm afraid," he admitted. "He is most likely a prisoner now."
"I wish I could see him again..." Armistead said, his voice still soft, "I'd like to figure out where he is, and make sure that he is alright."
"I will look into it as soon as I can," Pickett assured him, briefly placing a hand on Lo's shoulder.
Armistead looked up at him gratefully and gave him a small smile. "Thank you George."
"It is only the least I could do," Pickett replied, nodding.
"We can only hope that soon it will all be over," Armistead said, his voice softer then usual as he thought again about Win and California, the Mexican War, the Point...
"If this next move we take goes as it should, it will be over very soon," Pickett affirmed, his voice strong with conviction.
Armistead fell silent and rode next to his friend without saying anything until the sky started to darken and Harrisburg could be seen in the distance. He looked at it gratefully, his chest throbbing painfully from the motion of riding a horse all day, his skin pale and the wound having bleed slightly from the rubbing motion. But he had riden with his men, and he was glad about that.
The soldiers stopped just outside the town and began to set up camp for the night.
Reining in his horse, Armistead dismounted and leaned wearily against her, watching the men as they set up camp.
Pickett dismounted as well, an aide coming to take the horse's reins and lead it to the makeshift corral.
Armistead glanced towards him and the aide for a moment, holding his horses reins and using her slightly for some support were he stood. He didn't go to get his tent, didn't think that he'd be able to get it up on his own even if he did get it.
Pickett glanced toward Lo. "Long march wasn't it?" he asked.
"Yes, very long," Armistead said in agreement, nodding once. "But we are here now at least."
"Indeed," Pickett agreed, nodding. "I should think that the both of us are deserving of some rest, would you not agree?" He grinned, raising an eyebrow.
"I agree with you there," Armistead said, smiling slightly and glancing at his horse which he was still leaning on slightly, not all that noticeably unless one looked at him closely and saw the lines of pain he was carefully hiding on his face. "Let me just get my horse taken care of."
Pickett nodded and stepped away to his own tent.
Armistead made his way over to where the other horses were tethered and carefully tied up his own mount before making his way to the wagon where his tent was stored. He carefully pulled it out and picked it up, wincing from the sharp pain in his chest but not putting it down. His face tightened firmly in determation and he walked over to where Pickett was setting up his own tent.
Pickett glanced over at Lo. "How are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm fine," Armistead said quickly, setting his tent down on the ground and looking at it for a moment before kneeling to start putting it up, his face remaining tight from the pain.
Keith Armistead came over and began helping to set up the tent. "I've got it, sir," he said quickly, not wanting his father to strain his wounds.
Armistead stood up and smiled slightly at his son, grateful for the help. "Thank you," he said.
Keith nodded. "Yes, sir," he replied.
"How are you Keith?" Armistead asked his son, watching him set up the tent.
"I'm alright," the young man admitted as he tugged at a support rope. He paused for a moment before continuing. "How are you, father?" Though he didn't want to show it, he was worried.
Armistead was silent for a moment. "I'm fine," he said then, even though he didn't really feel fine.
Keith nodded, but still frowned slightly. "We were worried for you, sir," he said quietly.
"I know..." Armistead closed his eyes for a moment before looking back at his son, giving him a small smile. "But I'll be just fine."
Keith nodded again, turning back to the tent. "It should be ready for the night," he said,
"Thank you," Armistead said again, "I appreciate it Keith." He knew he would never have gotten it up on his own.
Keith smiled. "Yes, sir," he replied. "It was the least I could do."
He nodded. "Well, it was very helpful." Armistead patted his son's shoulder before turning towards the tent. "I'll see you in the morning Keith."
Keith saluted. "Good night, sir," he said.
Armistead returned the salute and turned towards Pickett once more, nodding in his direction as well. "Good night George."
George nodded in return. "Rest well, Lo," he stated, smiling.
"You too George," he replied, ducking into his tent and laying down inside of it. His chest still throbbed but his slide closed and he fell asleep in the matter of minutes, the march having worn him out since he was still trying to recover.
George went to his tent as well, and was soon asleep.