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[600] lines here are picketed by colored soldiers. The rebel pickets were visible on the opposite side of the river.

On returning to headquarters, I found thirty rebel prisoners had arrived; they had been captured in the morning. About six o'clock, Brigadier-General Devens, who had been at the front all day with General Butler, came in, and, at a later hour, Colonel Kensell, chief of staff. The General remained with the army. From Colonel Kensell, I learned that Captain Davis, formerly of our Seventh Battery, had been severely wounded by a shell. He has been for some months on Brigadier-General R. S. Foster's staff.

After supper, we sat around a huge camp-fire in front of the tent, talking of old times and old friends, and of the war, until ten o'clock, when I retired. A tremendous cannonading was heard in the direction of Petersburg, which lasted for two hours.

Oct. 28.—Arose early. The morning was clear and pleasant. After breakfast, started with General Devens and Colonel Kensell, Colonel Dodge, and others of the staff, to the front. We rode about six miles through woods, over old cornfields, by lines of breastworks, through camps, and along the Farina and Darbytown turnpike, often mentioned in despatches, until we reached Dr. Johnson's farm, where we found General Butler, and General Terry, who commands the Tenth Army Corps. General Butler, who appears in excellent health, received me very cordially. Before we arrived, it had been decided to withdraw our forces, and retire within our lines; this was not done, though, until near noon. In the mean time, I walked over the field with General Devens, and visited some of the regiments behind the breastworks. Our skirmish line was about half a mile in advance. Considerable picket-firing was kept up on both sides; we could distinctly see the rebel pickets.

Several prisoners were brought into the General's headquarters, some of whom he questioned. They had been captured by the colored troops. Three prisoners belonged to the Hampton Legion, and one to a South-Carolina battery. They were asked if they were not afraid the black soldiers would kill them, and they confessed they were. ‘Well,’ said the General, ‘you see they didn't. Now I want you to write to your friends that black men are not murderers, and that, if they do not treat our black prisoners well, I will retaliate on you.’ The South-Carolina prisoner had been a merchant, and, as he said, ‘a gentleman.’ He asked permission to write to some friends in New York for funds, as he was entirely without means. Leave was granted. A colored man also came in. He was from Petersburg, and had bought his way through the rebel lines with a watch.

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