thing, which is true, though one would not believe it if seen in a paper. A Reb, either from greenness or by accident, fired his musket, whereupon our people dropped in their holes and were on the point of opening along the whole line, when the Rebs waved their hands and cried: “Don't shoot; you'll see how we'll fix him!” Then they took the musket from the unfortunate grey-back, put a rail on his shoulder, and made him walk up and down for a great while in front of their rifle-pits! If they get orders to open, they call out, “Get into your holes, Yanks, we are ordered to fire” ; and their first shots are aimed high, as a sort of warning. Their liberties go too far sometimes, as when two deliberately walked up to our breastwork to exchange papers; whereat General Crawford refused to allow them to return, saying very properly that the truce was not official, and that they had chosen to leave their own works and come over to ours, and that now they could carry back information of our position. They expected an attack on the 4th of July--I suppose as a grand melodramatic stroke on Grant's part; but, instead thereof, the Maryland brigade brought up their band to the trenches and played “Hail Columbia” ; upon which, to the surprise of everyone, a North Carolina regiment, lying opposite, rose as a man and gave three cheers! The news is not precisely cheery from Maryland.1 With the preparations on foot, we ought to bag a large part of the Rebels; but I have a sublime confidence that the movements of our troops will, as usual, be a day too late. . . .
July 5, 1864I forgot to tell you that yesterday there appeared a waggon of the Sanitary Commission bearing a gift for the comfort