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Chapter 3:

  • The Seven days campaign
  • -- cross the Chickahominy -- sojourn in the swamp -- Gaines' Mill -- Savage's Station -- Fraser's Farm or Charles City cross roads -- Malvern Hill -- down the James to Westover -- intrenching -- humors of the camp -- comrades answer the “last roll call” -- Abraham Lincoln in camp

Nothing unusual occurred until the middle of the week, when ‘Boots and saddles!’ sounded, and, the camp being speedily broken up, we found ourselves moving down the river toward Cold Harbor.

During the previous weeks, the engineer corps of the army had been busy in performing various works which the wisdom and skill (conceded by the military world to be profound) of the chief of engineers had planned. One phase of this work was the trestlework bridges, rendered indispensable because the wings of our army were separated by the morass of the Chickahominy. There were now eleven of them, seven being available for heavy teams. One of these, constructed by the engineer brigade under Gen. Woodbury and called Woodbury's Bridge, completed, we believe, on the 14th of June, we crossed.

We desire to briefly describe this triumph of military engineering, as an illustration of one of the manifold phases of talent that were utilized by the government, in its struggle for existence.

The approach to the bridge on the north side from the foot of the hill, was of earth raised perhaps three feet, deep lateral ditches being made, the last and upper stratum of earth being thrown upon a layer of brush. There were perhaps twenty cribs built upon the swampy shore and into the stream, and, beyond these, six framed trestles. On the other side there were probably twenty more cribs, or firm, compact log piers. Stringers extended from cribs to trestles, and from trestles to the cribs upon the other side of the stream. Upon these timbers, for the floor of the bridge, were laid logs of nearly uniform size, and these were ballasted on either hand by sticks of timber which extended parallel with the stringers. The driveway between these timbers, which

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