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[23] half so much overloaded with law as my blood was with malarial poison. Luckily, I got rid of the poison after a while, but held on to the law, and I never found it did me any harm. In fact, I would advise all young officers to acquire as much of it as they can.

In the winter of 1853-4 there was an armed truce between the United States of America and the Seminole nation. A new policy was soon inaugurated, which had for its object to establish a complete line of posts across the State from Jupiter to Lake Okeechobee, and thence westward to the gulf, so as more securely to confine the Seminoles within the Everglade region, although, so far as I know, nobody then wanted the use of that more northern part of this vast territory. The first step was to reopen the old military road from the mouth of Indian River across to the Kissimmee River, and thence to Tampa. Being the second lieutenant of the single company, I was given the privilege of doing that work, and nine men and one wagon were assigned me for that purpose. I spent the larger part of my time, going and coming, in hunting on either the right or the left of the road, thereby obtaining all the deer and turkeys the command could consume, but paying very little attention to the road itself, in utter disregard of the usual military rule which requires that a sketch be made and an itinerary kept of all such marches. Hence I was a little puzzled when Acting-Inspector-General Canby, from Washington, wanted to go across from Indian River to Tampa, and called on me for a copy of my map and itinerary. But I had stood very high in drawing at West Point, and could not allow myself to be disturbed in any such way as that; so I unlocked what little recollection I had of the route and my general knowledge of the country, and prepared a very beautiful map and a quite elaborate itinerary, with which the inspector-general seemed greatly pleased. But I took great care, in addition, to send

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