Station, perhaps three quarters of a mile from the mill on Hazel River
Recollections of this camp will be vivid, because it was the point of departure for the Mine Run
expedition, the winter reconnoissance to Robinson's River
, the memorable passing in review before General Grant
, and for the entry upon the campaign of 1864 that culminated in the siege of Petersburg
These were the central and prominent features of our career during the fall
of 1863, and the spring of 1864; with what a tissue of reminiscences may the groundwork be clothed around and among them!
Camp architecture at this place attained a degree of perfection never before equalled, whether exemplified in privates' quarters, officers' abodes, chapels, or depots.
We recollect a facsimile of an omnibus without wheels, which two comrades, who have since gone over to the majority, cunningly constructed for their winter residence; also the commodious chapel of the Third Vermont, of our division, which was also lyceum and lecture hall, and of which more anon.
How thick the crows were in this section!
As we used to ride every day to Hazel River
, the fellows would throw out vedettes in a scanty line next us as we approached, behind which would be a somewhat more compact line, and some distance in its rear would be their main body.
Their pickets would saucily wait our approach, and as we neared them one would give a signal, ‘Caw
as he arose from the ground; this would be echoed in the other lines, and away flew the whole army.
Speaking of Hazel River
, some of the boys had the opportunity of noting the temperature of its waters during the season; some of the horses, hide-bound perhaps, since their flesh seemed to itch, as they manifested an insatiable desire to always lie down in the river when driven in, would gratify that passion, as soon as they had attained sufficient depth to handily immerse their drivers.
Any sympathy that the comrade drivers undoubtedly had for the chilled ones was tempered with such chaffing as: ‘Well!
you have washed yourself for once!
You have had one good bath!’
The stable this season had some strongly marked equine characters, some execrable brutes with swell foreheads, wall-eyes, and heels that flew toward all points of the compass, without warning.
Some of them were decidedly cannibalistic, since they would dart forward and bite a man who might be unconsciously within reach,