by a dozen sportsmen in a forest where game was plenty, Our skirmishers, I understand, were ordered to fire but occasionally, and the enemy manifested no desire to provoke a severe skirmish along the line. Why this order was given I know not, but knowing ones assert that it was to give the enemy an impression that we were short of ammunition, and thereby induce them to come out of their works and attack us. If this was the object, it failed, for no attack was made. At seven P. M., six or eight shots were fired at Kenesaw by McPherson's artillery, but they called forth no response. During the night, however, the quietude was broken by pretty sharp skirmishing, lasting from ten o'clock until reveille this morning. The loss, however, was very light. The rest to-day has been fully appreciated by the over-taxed surgeons at the hospitals, who for many days have been on duty night and day, dressing the wounds of, and caring for the sufferers under their charge. In the absence of skirmishing, both armies have occupied the day in erecting new, and strengthening their old works. The lines are now so close before the Fourth and Fourteenth corps that the skirmishers in their rifle-pits keep up a lively conversation with each other. The intense heat which begins to prevail at. this season of the year in this latitude was, on the twenty-fourth, well-nigh at its maximum. Staff officers lay in their marquees or booths, endeavoring to kill time with such vile “commissary” as could be got, and ancient newspapers, and the pickets only occasionally roused themselves from a comfortable nap in their little trenches, peered out over the small heaps of dirt which lay between their heads and rebel bullets, and fired off a gun at random, to keep up appearances, and again subsided. Has it never occurred to any, one that this campaign is a very slow one? To those who are uninitiated and have not the key to strategies and policies, the reason for this slowness does not appear. The heated term is already inaugurated, and active operations are weekly becoming more tedious by reason of the heat. Rebel prisoners almost unanimously say there is very little to offer a substantial resistance to our march into Atlanta, after getting to the banks of the river, and the men are eager for a battle to end the campaign. Are we waiting for something to turn up? These have not been taken in any considerable numbers of late, but representatives from all States and regiments are found in the small squads that are picked up now and then. They all .present the same general appearance. An observer cannot but be struck with the listless, jaded motions and sallow countenances with which these men come among us, as of those whose spirits are broken, whose hopes are few, and who have no heart for the fight. Prisoners and deserters alike wear the countenances and speak the words of men who have been over-worked; of men who have been duped by fair speeches into a service which promised great things and yielded nothing but disappointment; of men whose minds and muscle have been goaded by a lavish use of stimulants to a feverish activity, and who are now suffering the inevitable reaction and languor which follow unnatural elevation They act like men who are thoroughly tired, worn out and disgusted. We have as little to hope from the deserters as the rebels, nor have the latter much to hope from the prisoners we may return to them by exchange, for, in the rough phrase of both alike, “They don't care a cuss, so they can get out of it and get home.” A very unpromising confession from those who are looked to as the material out of which to erect new and thriving States. It is amusing to witness the demonstration with which our boys receive rebel deserters into the lines on certain occasions. When the armies are lying very close together, as they often are, in battle lines, the disaffected rebels contrive to steal out unnoticed for a time, though they are generally discovered and fired on before reaching our lines. As soon as the soldiers see them coming, they appreciate the situation at once, and cannot resist the temptation to jump up from behind their works, though at the imminent risk of their heads, waving their hats and shouting, “Good boy, good boy!” “Come in out of the rain!” “You're our man!” “You're making good time!” etc. The first word of salutation is, “Got any tobacco, reb :” The returned prodigal, just escaped from the husks of the rebellion, is then treated to the fatted calf, the hard-tack and coffee, which latter is to him a luxury indeed. I lately met Dr. Lucius Culver, of the Sixty-first Ohio, under circumstances so creditable to himself, and so agreeable, in contrast to those investing the case of another member of the profession, which have been heretofore narrated in this correspondence, that I cannot forbear to mention it. The Doctor had been painfully ill for many days — much more fit to go to the hospital than the field — and yet, because his regiment would be left without medical attendance entirely, by his absence, he persisted in staying with it, sharing all the hardships of inclement weather, bad roads, and bad fare, following it in the camp and into the line of battle, and giving personal attention to the wounded men as they were brought in, and before they were taken in the ambulances to the hospital in the rear. Though every one knows how important it is that a surgeon should have a sound mind in a sound body, in order to give the best energies of both to the relief of the patient, and how depressing an effect the clouded face a physician who may be soured with his own ills often has on a sensitive sufferer, still every one who has seen, as I have, men bleed to death while being carried from the field to the hospital, from the lack of a surgeon close at hand to twist a tight bandage round the limb
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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