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Chapter 14:

  • Winter at Brandy Station
  • -- reminiscences -- reconnoissance at Robinson's river -- reminiscences -- Gen. Grant arrives at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac -- preparations for an advance -- the Army of the Potomac in the Wilderness -- the 5th, 6th, and 7th of May, 1864 -- flank movement -- Spottsylvania -- death of Gen. Sedgwick -- Laurel Hill -- success of the Second Corps -- flank movement -- north Anna -- flank movement -- Cold Harbor -- incidents of the battle of Cold Harbor, June, 1864 146-157

Once more established in winter quarters, the boys knew how to extract all the comfort and enjoyment of which the situation was susceptible; the leisure intervals occurring between times of regular camp duty, were employed by many in reading; papers, magazines, and books found their way to Brandy Station, furnishing pastime or food for reflection, according to the tastes and habits of the readers. In two neighboring regiments, the men had erected commodious chapels, the walls of logs and the roof of stanch canvas. These halls had each sufficient capacity to comfortably seat a regiment, and yet allow ample aisles and space around the speaker's desk. That built by the Third Vermont, which was right beyond our park of guns, was the weekly scene of devotional exercises and preaching, and on Wednesday evening, we believe, of each week between December and February, for a series of secular lectures by some chaplains of this corps. We were always heartily welcome to attend any and all services therein; and we have pleasurable recollections of the inimitable charm which pervaded the serio-comic discourse of Chaplain Bugle, of Rhode Island, who entertained us with a description and revelations of ‘Broad Top City,’ and the eloquently instructive lecture of Chaplain Perkins, of Massachusetts. Nor do we forget tile spirited debates to which we used to listen, in the chapel of the Sixth Vermont.


The alertness and suppleness of many of our boys was something wonderful; it was a spectacle suggestive of the athletic times of Greece and Rome, to witness their leaping, sparring, and racing.


We had a half dozen men whose power of mimicry, conjoined with large mirthfulness, we have never seen surpassed. The

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