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[227]

A bridge over the muddy Chickahominy--1862 This is a photograph of the insignificant stream that figured so largely in the calculations of the opposing generals before Richmond. Under the effect of the almost tropical rains, in a day luxuriant meadows would become transformed into lakes, and surging floods appear where before were stagnant pools. Thus it became doubtful in June whether the struggling Union army could depend upon the little bridges. It was said by some of the Union engineers that it was only the weight of the troops passing over them that held some in place. One was swept away immediately after a column had crossed. The muddy banks show more plainly than words what the little Chickahominy could do when it was thoroughly aroused.

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