of twenty-nine days in the trenches, exposed every moment to musketry and shells, in water to their knees, without fire, sugar or coffee, without stimulants, and with an inadequate supply of cooked flour and salt meats. I speak this in honor of those brave men whose patriotism made them indifferent to suffering, to disease, to danger and to death.These statements are not exaggerated in a single word. The trenches, which were principally in the flat and swampy land bordering the Warwick, filled with water as fast as opened, and could not be drained. Yet the continual firing compelled the men to remain in them, and at points where they were visible to the enemy a hand or a head could not be exposed for a moment without receiving a ball from the telescopic target rifles with which many of their sharp-shooters were armed, and which could be relied on to hit a button at two hundred and fifty yards. The trenches were, moreover, so hastily constructed, that they barely afforded room for the line of battle to crouch in, and in many places egress to the rear being impossible from the severity and accuracy of the sharp-shooters' fire, and locomotion to the right and left being extremely difficult, though the crowds huddled together in the water they soon became offensive beyond description. Fires were strictly prohibited by day and night, the greatest, and what it made it harder to bear, perhaps an entirely unnecessary hardship, under the circumstances. The scanty rations, generally miserably cooked at the camps, were brought into the trenches at night and distributed. False alarms at night were of common occurrence, and would often result in tremendous vollies of musketry, continued on each side for several minutes, and followed by random shelling. The sick list increased by many thousands, and cases occurred where men actually died in the mud and water of the trenches before they could be taken out to the hospitals. And not only was there no murmur or complaint, but in the midst of all this the terms of enlistment of a large part of the army expired, and they at once reenlisted for “three years or the war.” It might appear that this reenlistment was not voluntary, being performed under the Conscript Act of April 16th, 1862; but this very act was a favorite scheme in the army, and the army influence had no little weight in securing the passage of the bill. A few Kentucky troops, in the division of General G. W. Smith, alone opposed their own conscription on the ground that Kentucky was not one of the Confederate States, and they were, therefore, not citizens; but their opposition was principally based on a desire to transfer themselves
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