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[490] us seemed to know no bounds. Every day or two fresh orders were issued forbidding some privileges and abridging others. It would be a very difficult matter to describe our sufferings and privations during this terrible winter. Hunger and cold again forced many to forswear allegiance to the “stars and bars” and enlist under the flag of the enemy. All who did so were formed in a regiment of cavalry and sent to the Western frontier, and very many of them, as soon as an opportunity presented itself, deserted and returned to their native land. Nothing of importance occurred this winter. In the month of January, another boat load was taken from camp and sent to Dixie. This had occurred so often that it did not affect us much. About this time our suffering grew so intense from hunger and cold, that it did not seem possible for us to endure it. But the hope of seeing our dear old Dixie cheered us up, and the meeting with the loved ones at home was uppermost in every man's thoughts. On the 8th of February an unusual commotion was observed near the main entrance into the camp, and shortly after an order was posted on the bulletin board bidding the Gettysburg prisoners to hold themselves in readiness. With fear and trepidation we proceeded to obey the order, for we did not know what disposition was to be made of us. We were taken into a pen adjacent to the one we had occupied for the past eighteen months, and there we received the joyful intelligence that we were to be paroled. Several days were consumed in the process, and the night of the 11th, at 2 o'clock A. M., we were marched on board the steamer “City point.” At daybreak on the 12th we were well underway, and the place of our long and cruel captivity was fast receding from view. At noon, at that day, we passed Rip Raps, a barren rock where some of our gallant boys had been sent for some imaginary offence. A severe gale delayed our progress very materially, and the ice in James river was another obstacle. We had passed the grim walls of Fortress Monroe, and began to realize familiar scenes and places. About noon, on the 15th, we arrived at Varina Ferry, and were immediately transferred to our own boats, under the command of that courteous officer and gentleman, Captain Hatch. The officers of the boat had some difficulty in keeping the men in their proper places, for the river was full of torpedoes, and the boats had to be piloted very carefully. At 4 P. M. we landed at Richmond — dear old Richmond — and a happy day it was for us. The merchants near the wharf opened boxes of tobacco for us, and gave us bountifully of it. It would be difficult

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